For those who don’t know me, I’m an Indiana boy at heart! I spent my formative years in America living in the Midwest. So I’m very supportive of the Heartland Filmfest, not only because of my love for the region, but also because of the quality of submissions. And this year, it’s simply fantastic! Take a look at their official press release, and to purchase tickets to see the films virtually, click here.
Heartland Film announced the lineup of the 76 independent feature films – 9 World Premieres
and 14 U.S. Premieres – included in the 29th Heartland International Film Festival (HIFF29)
running via hybrid model of drive-in and virtual, Oct. 8-18. The 11-day festival is offering drive-
in screenings every night (29 drive-in screenings total) through their partnerships with Tibbs
Drive-In Theatre (480 S Tibbs Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46241) and Conner Prairie’s new pop-up
drive-in experience (13400 Allisonville Rd, Fishers, IN 46038). HIFF29 is among the first
festivals to offer hybrid events films, featuring both drive-in and virtual titles for centerpiece and
This year’s theme is THE FULL SPECTRUM OF FILM to celebrate the diverse genres, stories
and perspectives showcased in the festival. “The 29th Heartland International Film Festival is
packed with films that are incredibly relevant to the conversations our society has every day,”
said Heartland Film President Craig Prater. “We have films that take you inside a Wuhan
hospital during the COVID-19 lockdown (76 Days), that dig into the emotional landscape of
Black males (BLACK BOYS), capture the struggle of children dealing with the deportation of
their family (The Great Mother), and even invite you to join a haunted Zoom call (HOST).”
HIFF29 may not be offering any classic theater screenings, but you can still expect a fun festival
atmosphere with unique Drive-Thru Red-Carpet photo opportunity at Tibbs Drive-In Theatre,
special events such as Opening and Closing Night events, live virtual Q&A with filmmakers,
virtual awards presentation giving away more than $60,000 in cash prizes, virtual and drive-in
centerpiece films, and a Hitchcock Night at Conner Prairie.
Opening Night kicks off at Tibbs Drive-In on Thursday, October 8, with the U.S. Premiere of
“Eat Wheaties!” starring Tony Hale (“Arrested Development,” “VEEP,” “Toy Story 4”) and
directed by Scott Abramovitch. This quirky comedy follows Sid as his life unravels as he tries to
prove that he was friends with a celebrity, Elizabeth Banks, in college. The Drive-Thru Red-
Carpet and live jazz music by Premium Blend begin at 6 PM. The premiere screening begins under the stars at 7:15 PM.
The special events continue with the Virtual Centerpiece screening of “Minari” from A24 and
Director Lee Isaac Chung. The Sundance Grand Jury and Audience Choice Award-winning film
follows a Korean-American family that moves to a tiny Arkansas farm in search of their own
American Dream. The family home changes completely with the arrival of their sly, foul-
mouthed, but incredibly loving grandmother. “Minari” is a tender and sweeping story about what
roots us, and shows the undeniable resilience of family and what really makes a home.
“The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain” will be the featured Drive-In Centerpiece film at the
Tibbs Drive-In on Thursday, October 15. While this film is based on a true story from 10-years
ago, the message is very timely as it recounts the minutes an elderly African-American veteran
with bipolar disorder is killed during a conflict with police officers who were dispatched to
check on him. Morgan Freeman and Lori McCreary’s Revelations Entertainment have recently
signed on as executive producers and the film will receive HIFF29’s Spirit of Change Award, to
be accepted via video message by Kenneth Chamberlain, Jr.
HIFF29 will return to the Tibbs Drive-In on Sunday, October 18, with a Drive-In Closing Night
screening of “Blithe Spirit” from IFC Films featuring Dan Stevens as a best-selling crime
novelist, Dame Judi Dench as an eccentric mystic, Isla Fisher as the picture-perfect new wife,
and Leslie Mann as the spirit of the deceased first wife. This star-studded comedy will arise a
few spirits and big laughs.
Fresh off its premiere at TIFF, IFC Films will also present the documentary “MLK/FBI” as
HIFF29’s Virtual Closing Night screening title. Directed by Sam Pollard, “MLK/FBI” is the
first film to uncover the extent of the FBI’s surveillance and harassment of Dr. Martin Luther
King Jr. The film has been honored with Heartland Film’s Truly Moving Picture Award.
The full film lineup, drive-in schedule, fest passes, and ticket details can be found below or at
*Heartland Film members receive 15% off all ticketing options
Virtual Fest Pass | $129 | Access to all virtual screenings
VIP Fest Pass | $179 | Access to all virtual screenings + one ticket to each drive-in screening
VIRTUAL FESTIVAL TICKETS
Virtual Only 10 Pack | $80
Virtual Only 5 Pack | $40
Individual Virtual | $9
DRIVE-IN FESTIVAL TICKETS
Conner Prairie 4 Pack | $55
Conner Prairie Individual Ticket | $15
Tibbs Drive-In Individual Ticket | $11
Opening Night | General $20 | Members $15
Thursday, October 8, 2020 | Tibbs Drive-In Theatre
“Eat Wheaties!” | 7:15 PM
Drive-Thru Red-Carpet and Live Jazz Music | 6 PM
Director: Scott Abramovitch
Producers: Scott Abramovitch, David J. Phillips
Cast: Tony Hale, Elisha Cuthbert, Paul Walter Hauser, Alan Tudyk, Danielle Brooks
Description: Lonely executive Sid Straw’s life spirals out of control after he reaches out to
former college classmate Elizabeth Banks on social media to invite her to attend their reunion.
Sid must overcome his tendency to try too hard and say too much in order to connect with the
world around him.
Hitchcock Night | $15 per screening
Wednesday, October 14, 2020 | Conner Prairie Drive-In
Rear Window | 7:15 PM
Vertigo | 9:15 PM
Description: Heartland Film celebrates actor and Heartland International Film Festival award
namesake Jimmy Stewart, who turns his genial everyman persona upside down in the suspense
thrillers “Rear Window” (1954) and “Vertigo” (1958), two of the four films he made with
director Alfred Hitchcock in one of Hollywood’s all-time great collaborations.
Since 2015 in partnership with the Stewart Family, the Heartland International Film Festival
has presented the annual Jimmy Stewart Legacy Award and $5,000 cash prize to a single
winner, selected from the Festival’s feature-length narrative and documentary titles. The
winning film will best embody the ongoing legacy of actor and national hero Jimmy Stewart and
will demonstrate the triumph of the human spirit through determination and the defiance of odds,
humble vulnerability, and courage in the face of adversity.
Virtual Centerpiece | $9
Wednesday, October 14, 2020
“Minari” from A24 |
Director: Lee Isaac Chung
Cast: Steven Yeun, Yeri Han, Alan Kim, Noel Kate Cho, Scott Haze, with Yuh-Jung Youn, Will
Description: A tender and sweeping story about what roots us, “Minari” follows a Korean-
American family that moves to a tiny Arkansas farm in search of their own American Dream.
The family home changes completely with the arrival of their sly, foul-mouthed, but incredibly
loving grandmother. Amidst the instability and challenges of this new life in the rugged Ozarks,
“Minari” shows the undeniable resilience of family and what really makes a home.
Drive-In Centerpiece | $11
Thursday, October 15, 2020 | Tibbs Drive-In Theatre
“The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain” | 7:15 PM
Director: David Midell
Cast: Frankie Faison, Steve O’Connell, Enrico Natale, Ben Marten, Anika Noni Rose, LaRoyce
Executive Producers: Morgan Freeman, Lori McCreary, Sharad Chib, Chris Paladino, Milan
Description: An elderly African-American veteran with bipolar disorder, is killed during a
conflict with police officers who were dispatched to check on him. Based on the true story of the
events that led to the death of Kenneth Chamberlain Sr.
Virtual Closing Night | $9
Sunday, October 18, 2020
“MLK/FBI” from IFC Films
Director: Sam Pollard
Producer/Writer: Benjamin Hedin
Description: “MLK/FBI” is the first film to uncover the extent of the FBI’s surveillance and
harassment of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Based on newly discovered and declassified files,
utilizing a trove of documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act and unsealed by
the National Archives, as well as revelatory restored footage, the documentary explores the
government’s history of targeting Black activists, and the contested meaning behind some of our
most cherished ideals. Featuring interviews with key cultural figures including former FBI
director James Comey, “MLK/FBI” tells this astonishing and tragic story with searing relevance
to our current moment. An IFC Films release.
Drive-In Closing Night | $11
Sunday, October 18, 2020 | Tibbs Drive-In Theatre
“Blithe Spirit” from IFC Films | 7:15 PM
Director: Edward Hall
Cast: Dan Stevens, Judi Dench, Isla Fisher, Leslie Mann, Aimee-ffion Edwards, Emilia Fox
Best-selling crime novelist Charles (Dan Stevens) suffers from terrible writer’s block and is
struggling to finish his first screenplay. His picture-perfect new wife Ruth (Isla Fisher) is doing
her best to keep him focused, so they can fulfill her dream of leaving London for Hollywood.
Charles’ quest for inspiration leads him to invite the eccentric mystic Madame Acarti (Judi
Dench) to perform a séance in his home. He gets more than he bargained for when Madame
Acarti inadvertently summons the spirit of his first wife: the brilliant and fiery Elvira (Leslie
Mann). An IFC Films release.
Virtual Awards Presentation | Free
Saturday, October 17, 2020 | 7 PM
Join us virtually for the 29th Heartland International Film Festival Awards Presentations where
we will be announcing the winners to over $60,000 in cash prizes.
Thursday, October 8, 2020 | Tibbs Drive-In
Eat Wheaties! | 7:15 PM
Friday, October 9, 2020 | Tibbs Drive-In
The Last Shift | 7:15 PM
Havel | 9:15 PM
Sisters Apart | 7:15 PM
76 Days | 9:15 PM
Saturday, October 10, 2020 | Tibbs Drive-In
The Cave | 7:15 PM
Transhood | 7:15 PM
Breaking Fast | 9:15 PM
Sunday, October 11, 2020 | Tibbs Drive-In
Generation Growth | 7:15 PM
What Lies Inside | 9:15 PM
Head to Head | 7:15 PM
Worth the Wait/Sleeze Lake | 9:15 PM
Monday, October 12, 2020 | Conner Prairie
River City Drumbeat | 7:15 PM
Can You Hear My Voice? | 9:15 PM
Tuesday, October 13, 2020 | Conner Prairie
Best Summer Ever | 7:15 PM
Linda and the Mockingbirds | 9:15 PM
Wednesday, October 14, 2020 | Conner Prairie
Rear Window | Alfred Hitchcock | 7:15 PM
Vertigo | Alfred Hitchcock | 9:15 PM
Thursday, October 15, 2020 | Tibbs Drive-In
Drive-In Centerpiece | The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain | 7:15 PM
Unapologetic | 9:15 PM
In Case of Emergency | 7:15 PM
Citizen Penn | 9:15 PM
Friday, October 16, 2020 | Tibbs Drive-In
Stuntwomen: The Untold Hollywood Story | 7:15 PM
Stardust | 9:15 PM
Saturday, October 17, 2020 | Tibbs Drive-In
Who Goes There? / Host | 7:15 PM
Hum | 9:15 PM
Dear Santa | 7:15 PM
A Call to Spy | 9:15 PM
Sunday, October 18, 2020 | Tibbs Drive-In
Blithe Spirit | 7:15 PM
FULL 2020 HEARTLAND INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL LINEUP
Film Title | Director(s) | Premiere Status | Country of Production
DOCUMENTARY FEATURE FINALISTS
76 Days | Hao Wu, Weixi Chen, Anonymous | U.S., China
On January 23rd, 2020, China locked down Wuhan, a city of 11 million, to combat the emerging
COVID-19 outbreak. Set deep inside the frontlines of the crisis, “76 Days” tells indelible human
stories of the healthcare workers and patients who struggle to survive the pandemic with
resilience and dignity.
Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the
opinions of Heartland Film.
Belly of the Beast | Erika Cohn | U.S.
When an unlikely duo discovers illegal sterilizations in women’s prisons, they wage a near
impossible battle against the Department of Corrections. Filmed over seven years, with
extraordinary access and intimate accounts from currently and formerly incarcerated people,
“Belly of the Beast” exposes modern-day eugenics and reproductive injustice in California
Can You Hear My Voice? | Bill Brummel | U.S.
The one-of-a-kind Shout at Cancer London choir, whose members have had their voice boxes
removed, prepare for their most ambitious concert. Along the way, choir members’ cancer stories
unfold, revealing struggles with self-identity and loss. Far from maudlin, the film illustrates the
human capacity for resilience in the face of overwhelming adversity.
The Last Out | Sami Khan, Michael Gassert | U.S.
Three young Cuban baseball players leave their families and risk exile to train in Central
America and chase their dreams of playing in the Major Leagues. “The Last Out” is a human
story of people caught between countries who want nothing more than to make a better life for
River City Drumbeat | Marlon Johnson, Anne Flatté | U.S.
“River City Drumbeat” is a powerful story of music, love, and legacies, told by the members of a
Black drum corps community in Louisville, Kentucky. When founder Edward White moves on,
Albert Shumake, whose destiny was shaped by the drumline, must take up the mantle for the
NARRATIVE FEATURE FINALISTS
*Havel | Slavek Horak | U.S. Premiere | Czech Republic
“Havel” is a dramatic biopic depicting the dissident years of Vaclav Havel — later president of
Czechoslovakia — and his transformation from carefree playwright to global human rights
The Last Shift | Andrew Cohn | U.S.
Stanley (Richard Jenkins), an aging fast-food worker, calls it quits after 38 years on the
graveyard shift at Oscar’s Chicken and Fish. His last weekend takes a turn while training his
replacement, Jevon (Shane Paul McGhie), a talented but stalled young writer whose provocative
politics keep landing him in trouble. The men are worlds apart. A high school dropout who has
watched life pass by his drive-through window, Stanley proudly details the nuances of the job.
Jevon, a columnist who’s too smart to be flipping patties, contends their labor is being exploited.
But a flicker of trust sparks during the long overnight hours in a quiet kitchen.
*SISTERS APART | Daphne Charizani | U.S. Premiere | Germany, Greece
Rojda, a young German soldier with Kurdish-Iraqi roots, searches for her mother, Ferhat, in a
Greek refugee camp. When the two finally find each other after so many years apart, they are
overjoyed. But their happiness soon fades when Rojda learns that her sister, Dilan, is still in Iraq.
Rojda requests a redeployment to Iraq to find her sister, and quickly wins the trust of the Kurdish
female fighters. But the more intensely she searches for her sister, the more she becomes caught
between the two sides.
Song Without a Name | Melina León | Peru, Spain, U.S.
Based on harrowing true events, “Song Without A Name” tells the story of Georgina, an
indigenous Andean woman whose newborn baby is whisked away moments after its birth in a
downtown Lima clinic – and never returned. Stonewalled by a byzantine and indifferent legal
system, Georgina approaches journalist Pedro Campas, who uncovers a web of fake clinics and
abductions – suggesting deep, rotting corruption in Peru. Set in 1988, in a Peru wracked by
political violence and turmoil, Melina León’s heart-wrenching first feature renders Georgina’s
story in gorgeous, shadowy black-and-white cinematography, “styled like the most beautiful of
bad dreams” (Variety). “Song Without A Name” is a “Kafkaesque thriller” (The Hollywood
Reporter) that unflinchingly depicts real-life, stranger-than fiction tragedies with poetic beauty.
There Is No Evil | Mohammad Rasoulof | Iran
Every country that enforces the death penalty needs people to kill other people. Four men are
given an unthinkable but simple choice. Whatever they decide will redefine themselves, their
relationships, and their entire lives.
DOCUMENTARY OFFICIAL SELECTIONS
Beethoven In Beijing | Jennifer Lin, Sharon Mullally | U.S., China
“Beethoven in Beijing” starts with a forgotten moment in history —the first American orchestra’s
visit to communist China. The Philadelphia Orchestra’s 1973 tour was a gesture of cultural
diplomacy that resonates still today, as the revival of classical music in China energizes the
world of music.
BLACK BOYS | Sonia Lowman | U.S.
A film for this historical moment, “BLACK BOYS” exposes the dehumanization of Black men
and boys in America at the intersection of sports, education and criminal justice in a nation still
struggling to rectify its past. The film is a rare glimpse into the emotional landscape of Black
males, illuminating their full humanity, vulnerability and resilience.
Citizen Penn | Don Hardy | U.S.
“Citizen Penn” chronicles the moment Sean Penn and a team of volunteers landed in Haiti after a
7.0 earthquake struck in 2010, and the decade since. The film offers viewers an intimate, honest,
and self-reflective look at a man who decided to get involved in a way few celebrity activists
**Dear Santa | Dana Nachman, Chelsea Matter | U.S.
An elixir to our current state, “Dear Santa” takes us on the fanciful and poignant journey of a
little known program called Operation Santa. For more than 100 years, human elves have been
helping Santa respond to the thousands of letters children write and mail to him. This gripping
documentary crisscrosses the country, following the most emotional letters as the elves work
hard to make sure each child’s Christmas dreams come true. An IFC Films release.
The Donut Dollies | Norm Anderson | U.S., Vietnam
In 1968, two best friends flew into a war zone wearing powder blue dresses. They were Red
Cross Donut Dollies, and their mission was to cheer up battle-worn GIs on the frontlines of the
Vietnam War. 46 years later, they reunite in Vietnam and share their stories for the first time.
Fandango at the Wall | Varda Bar-Kar | U.S., Mexico
“Fandango at the Wall” follows New York City maestro Arturo O’Farrill, the founder of the Afro
Latin Jazz Orchestra, to Veracruz, Mexico. There, he meets up with the masters of a 300-year-
old folk music tradition, son jarocho, and joins them for “Fandango Fronterizo”, a historic music
festival that takes place simultaneously on both sides of the United States-Mexico border. The
festival transforms the wall from an object that divides to one that unites.
Finding Yingying | Jiayan “Jenny” Shi | U.S.
After Yingying Zhang, a 26-year-old Chinese student, disappears from an American campus
within weeks of her arrival, the Zhang family travels to the U.S. for the first time to search for
her. “Finding Yingying” is the story of who Yingying was: a talented young woman loved by her
family and friends.
The Great Mother | Dave LaMattina, Chad Walker | U.S., Columbia
“LA GRAN MADRE” takes a personal look at immigration through the eyes of Nora Sandigo,
legal guardian to over 1,000 U.S. born children of undocumented immigrants.
If parents are deported, their children are sent to foster care. After three months, the children can
be adopted, ending any chance of a reunion. When Nora steps in as a guardian, she saves
children from foster care and battles to keep parents from being deported. Shot over two years,
encompassing the 2016 election and its aftermath, the film captures the most tumultuous years
on record for immigrants in a deeply personal way.
**Hell or High Seas | Glenn Holsten | World Premiere | U.S.
“Hell or High Seas” follows U.S. Navy veteran Taylor Grieger and writer Stephen O’Shea on the
adventure of a lifetime. As the two sail around Cape Horn – the world’s most treacherous ocean
waters – to raise awareness about veteran suicide, Taylor finds healing from his own painful
journey with PTSD.
In Case of Emergency | Carolyn Jones | U.S.
All of our country’s biggest public health challenges—from COVID-19 to the opioid crisis to
gun violence to lack of insurance—collide in emergency departments. Nearly half of all medical
care in the U.S. is delivered in E.D.s and nurses are on the frontlines, addressing our physical and
emotional needs and sending us back out into the world. “In Case of Emergency” follows
emergency nurses across the U.S, shedding light on the biggest health crises facing Americans
today, and the opportunity that emergency nurses have to help break a sometimes-vicious cycle
for patients under their care.
Keyboard Fantasies: The Beverly Glenn-Copeland Story | Posy Dixon | U.K.
“Keyboard Fantasies: The Beverly Glenn-Copeland Story” follows a transgender protagonist
who commits his life and music to screen for the first time. Half aural-visual history, half DIY
tour-video, it’s a vehicle for our newly appointed queer elder to connect with youth. A timely
lullaby to soothe those souls struggling to make sense of the world.
*Linda and the Mockingbirds | James Keach | U.S. Premiere | U.S.
A road movie with music. Linda is Linda Ronstadt and The Mockingbirds are Los Cenzontles
(“mockingbirds” in the Nahuatl language). A song-soaked, foot-stomping trip straight to the
heart of what it means to be Mexican, and to be American, and the complex joy of being both at
the same time.
Medicine Man: The Stan Brock Story | Paul Michael Angell | U.K.
“Medicine Man: The Stan Brock Story” recounts the incredible life of British-born Amazonian
cowboy turned U.S. TV star, Stan Brock, who sacrificed everything to bring free healthcare to
America. This film is the inspirational tale of an unlikely man on an improbable mission to
resolve one of the biggest social issues of our time.
OPEKA | Cam Cowan | U.S.
Pedro Opeka could have been a professional soccer player in Argentina. Instead, he chose to
become a priest in Madagascar, where he taught destitute families living in landfills how to build
their own city. His mission is to prepare the children he saves to one day save their country.
Picture Character | Ian Cheney, Martha Shane | U.S., Germany, Japan, Argentina, Austria,
“Picture Character” explores the complex, conflict-prone, and often hilarious world of the
creators, lovers, and arbiters of emoji, our world’s newest pictorial language. How do you create
a global language on the fly? This film charts the evolution of emojis, and investigates what they
may reveal about our increasingly technological world.
Pier Kids | Elegance Bratton | U.S.
Elegance Bratton’s vérité directorial debut uncovers the gritty resilience of the underground
community along the piers at the end of Christopher Street in New York City. Krystal LaBeija, a
transgender woman, returns to her Missouri home seeking the acceptance of her mother, who
doesn’t fully embrace Krystal’s identity. Casper and Desean transition out of homelessness,
carving out their place in the world. Bratton utilizes her own experience as a pier kid, the camera
never intrusive or objectifying. “Pier Kids” sheds light on the unjust harassment and police
profiling of queer kids as they navigate a precarious, complicated and vibrant lifestyle. Preceded
by “This is an Address” (dir. Sasha Wortzel 17 min), in which Stonewall veterans and queer
activists claim the Christopher Street piers, while cranes raze vacant buildings for a new skyline.
The Sit-In: Harry Belafonte Hosts the Tonight Show | Yoruba Richen | U.S.
In early 1968, racial tensions inflamed the nation and a divisive election was underway. America
was exploding politically and culturally, much like today.
“The Sit-In: Harry Belafonte Hosts the Tonight Show” chronicles a remarkable moment during
February, 1968 when for one week, singer, actor and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte took
over the desk as guest host of Johnny Carson’s iconic “Tonight Show.” It was the first time an
African-American hosted a late night television show for an entire week.
*Storm in a Teacup | Nia Pericles | U.S. Premiere | Australia
As Australian artist Leon Pericles embarks on a retrospective exhibition of his life’s works, his
wife and collaborator Moira’s Alzheimers diagnosis turns their world upside down. Told through
the eyes of their daughter Nia, this uplifting, raw and emotionally engaging documentary
explores love, life and loss. “Storm in a Teacup” is playful, funny and a story many will relate to.
Stuntwomen: The Untold Hollywood Story | April Wright | U.S., Canada
“Stuntwomen: The Untold Hollywood Story” tells the history of stuntwomen, beginning in the
silent era, with films such as “Hazards of Helen” (1914), to the women behind the scenes of
present day blockbusters, like “Wonder Woman.”
*Tiny Souls | Dina Naser | U.S. Premiere | Jordan
Marwa, a nine year old child, her mother and siblings are stranded in Zaatari Refugee Camp –
Jordan, where they arrived in 2012 after escaping war in Syria. Marwa’s playful character comes
to life around her mischievous younger brother Mahmoud and her sassy younger sister, Ayah;
they reveal the emotional impact war can have on a little girl. Four months into camp life, Marwa
expects that they’d likely stay there for another week, maybe two. Over the ensuing four years,
the director follows Marwa’s day to day life in the camp, where she blossoms from a child to a
young woman, where life perseveres time and again, despite its unusual shape. Amidst daily
challenges, we witness humor, friction, and resilience. As the years go by, Marwa gets attached
to her camp life, friends, and make-shift home. One day, her elder brother is called upon by
authorities for interrogation about his association with militant extremists, and their “settled” life
takes an immense turn.
Transhood | Sharon Liese | U.S.
Filmed over five years in Kansas City, Transhood follows four transgender kids – beginning at
ages 4, 7, 12, and 15 – as they redefine “coming of age.” These trans kids and their families allow
us into the intimate realities of how gender is re-shaping the family next door in a never-before-
told chronicling of growing up trans in the heartland. The film is a nuanced examination of how
families tussle, transform, and sometimes find unexpected purpose in their identities as trans
Unapologetic | Ashley O’Shay | U.S.
“Unapologetic” investigates the Movement for Black Lives in Chicago, from the police murder
of Rekia Boyd to the election of Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
**When My Time Comes | Joe Fab | World Premiere | U.S.
Spurred on by the death of her husband, Peabody-award winning NPR journalist Diane Rehm
crosses the country to take investigate the right-to-die movement in America.
NARRATIVE OFFICIAL SELECTIONS
A Call to Spy | Lydia Dean Pilcher | U.S.
As Great Britain’s forces were stretched thin during World War II, Winston Churchill’s Special
Operations Executive (SOE) began to enlist women as spies. Their daunting mission: conduct
sabotage and build a resistance. Spymistress Vera Atkins, later the inspiration for Ian Fleming’s
Miss Moneypenny in the James Bond franchise, was the chief recruiter for this secret army.
Atkins selected two unusual candidates: Virginia Hall, an American journalist from Baltimore
hampered by a wooden leg, and Noor Inayat Khan, a wireless officer of Indian descent and an
avowed pacifist. Together, they worked to undermine the Nazi regime in France. The courage,
sacrifices and grit of these three women helped quell the Nazi occupation – and ultimately turned
the tide of the war. An IFC Films release.
*All for My Mother | Małgorzata Imielska | U.S. Premiere | Poland
Olka is seventeen years old, tomboyish, with large eyes hidden behind her hair. She bites her
nails, and her hands bear the marks of self-harm. For years, she had been looking for her mother.
Constant escapes from the orphanage landed her in a reformatory; she lives there but is in
another world. Unlike the other girls, she does not care for hipster clothes or the newest
smartphone, and doesn’t want to provide sexual services to the guard for a smoke. She only
wants her mother back.
*An Old Lady | Sun-ae Lim | U.S. Premiere | South Korea
Hyo-jeong, a 69-year-old woman, is raped by a male caregiver. She informs it to Dong-in who
lives with her and reports to the police but few people, including the police, are willing to believe
her words. Most people question whether that handsome young man really would have done so.
Only Dong-in, who loves Hyo-jeong dearly, is cooing to free her from her injustice but even
himself feels difficult to trust her wholeheartedly.
**Best Summer Ever | Michael Parks Randa, Lauren Smitelli | World Premiere | U.S.
Sage and Anthony have had the “Best Summer Ever” after falling in love at a dance camp in
Vermont. They don’t expect to see each other again until the following summer, but by a twist of
fate, Sage arrives unexpectedly at Anthony’s high school. Now faced with the drama of high
school cliques, an evil cheerleader, and the illegal secret that keeps Sage’s family on the move,
they are forced to reevaluate their relationship, while Tony struggles to be both the high school
football star and the dancer he’s always wanted to be.
A fresh and exhilarating take on the beloved teen musical genre, “Best Summer Ever” features
eight original songs and a fully integrated cast and crew of people with and without disabilities.
Breaking Fast | Mike Mosallam | U.S.
Mo, a practicing Muslim living in West Hollywood, is learning to navigate life post heartbreak.
Enter Kal, an All-American guy who surprises Mo by offering to break fast with him during the
holy month of Ramadan. As they learn more about each other, they fall in love over what they
have in common and what they don’t.
*The Cave | Tom Waller | U.S. Premiere | Thailand, Ireland
Based on true events, “The Cave” tells the story of the dramatic rescue that captivated the world,
from the point of view of the unsung heroes in the Tham Luang mission. Rescue workers
scramble to free thirteen members of the ‘Wild Boars’ football team from a cave, culminating in a
triumphant outcome against all the odds.
*DIAPASON | HAMED TEHRANI | U.S. Premiere | Iran
Rana Salehi is a middle-aged woman and a deputy at one of the most reputable banks in the
country. On the birthday of her only child, Hoda, she must overcome a challenge to obtain equal
rights in a patriarchal society.
Farewell Amor | Ekwa Msangi | U.S.
Seventeen years after Walter left his family in Angola, he picks up his wife, Esther, and
daughter, Sylvia, from the airport to bring them home to his one-bedroom Brooklyn apartment.
The reunion isn’t seamless. After Walter cooks a welcome dinner, Esther wonders who taught
him how to cook. Before they eat, Esther says grace, revealing her thunderous new passion for
Jesus. And later, Walter realizes that he has not moved on from Linda, his lover who moved out
of his apartment to make way for his family. When young Sylvia starts to explore the city and
takes part in a dance competition, she unexpectedly opens up a pathway of muscle memory for
the family to rediscover one another. An IFC Films release.
Freeland | Mario Furloni, Kate McLean | U.S.
Devi has been breeding legendary pot strains for decades on the remote homestead she built
herself. But when cannabis is legalized, she suddenly finds herself fighting for her survival. In a
tour-de-force performance, Krisha Fairchild (Devi) battles to keep her black-market farm alive.
Shot on off-the-grid pot farms during their harvest, directors Mario Furloni and Kate McLean
imbue this emotional thriller with a deep and empathetic authenticity.
Gossamer Folds | Lisa Donato | U.S.
A young boy with an unhappy home life finds solace in an unexpected friendship with his next-
door neighbor, a trans woman named Gossamer.
I Will Make You Mine | Lynn Chen | U.S.
Rachel (Lynn Chen) lives in idle luxury with a cheating husband, Professor Erika (Ayako
Fujitani) juggles career demands while raising her daughter Sachiko (newcomer Ayami Riley
Tomine), and struggling musician Yea-Ming (Yea-Ming Chen) is still chasing a fast-fading
dream. Three women who could not be more different have one thing in common: their flawed
romantic history with singer-songwriter Goh Nakamura. When the amiable but unreliable Goh
ambles back into town and into their lives, the past comes roaring back. This semi-sequel to
SURROGATE VALENTINE (SXSW 2011) and DAYLIGHT SAVINGS (SXSW 2012) revisits
the characters in a stand-alone story with a fresh new perspective.
*Ladies of Steel | Pamela Tola | U.S. Premiere | Finland
After hitting her husband on the head with a frying pan, Inkeri, 75, flees with her two sisters,
Raili and Sylvi. Their journey through Finland is filled with charming hitchhikers, memories,
and sinful dancing. When Inkeri comes across her old university writings and finds Eino, a crush
from her youth, she remembers her dreams that were later suppressed by a patriarchal marriage.
Ultimately, Inkeri must make a huge decision, a choice between happiness and convention.
**Lokkhi Chhele (An Angel’s Kiss) | Kaushik Ganguly | World Premiere | India
Inspired by a true story, “Lokkhi Chhele (An Angel’s Kiss)” depicts the shackles of human
superstition and the power of human belief. It is inherent in the power of cinema to precipitate
universal conversations, and in the nature of Kaushik Ganguly’s cinema to do the same. “Lokhhi
Chhele” is rural story with a global appeal.
Love Type D | Sasha Collington | U.K.
How can someone love you yesterday and not today? Shortly after her boyfriend sends his 12-
year-old brother, Wilbur, to break the news that she’s dumped, 27-year-old Frankie Browne
discovers that she has a loser in love gene. Every man she goes out with will inevitably break up
with her. And Frankie is not alone. It is estimated by scientists that one in five people have the
gene for romantic misfortune.
Facing a lifetime of romantic failure, Frankie turns to the only genetics expert she knows: her
former nemesis, Wilbur, now a schoolboy science prodigy. Wilbur develops a maverick theory to
reverse her romantic fortunes, based on his work studying the DNA of hamsters. His theory sets
into motion an unexpected and comic journey into Frankie’s past and her questionable romantic
choices, as Frankie struggles to understand the intricacies of the human heart and whether your
genes are truly your destiny.
Milkwater | Morgan Ingari | U.S.
Seeking direction and purpose, Milo (Molly Bernard) rashly decides to become a surrogate and
egg donor for an older gay man she meets in a bar (Patrick Breen). But as Milo becomes
increasingly attached to him, she starts leveraging the pregnancy as a means of staying
embedded in his life.
**Molto Bella | Alexander Jeffery | World Premiere | U.S.
“Molto Bella” follows an aspiring poet in search of inspiration. When they meet an established
folk singer trying to write a follow-up to her breakout hit, their chemistry sparks collaboration,
and they challenge each other to express their thorniest struggles.
Monuments | Jack C. Newell | U.S.
A grieving widower travels cross-country in a stolen pick-up truck, determined to scatter his late
wife’s ashes in Chicago.
The Outside Story | Casmir Nozkowski | U.S.
After many acclaimed supporting roles, Brian Tyree Henry (Atlanta, If Beale Street Could Talk,
The Eternals) takes on his first big screen lead character as Charles Young, an introverted video
editor, trying to recover from a broken heart. Perceiving a betrayal of trust as a sign his girlfriend
Isha (Sonequa Martin-Green, Star Trek: Discovery) is leaving him, Charles pre-emptively blows
up his relationship and sequesters himself at home. The fates do not comply and Charles
accidentally locks himself out of his apartment. Stumbling into a life-changing odyssey
exploring his building and opening himself up to his community, Charles meets a world of
previously avoided neighbors played by Asia Kate Dillon (John Wick 3, Billions), Sunita Mani
(GLOW, Mr. Robot, Madeline’s Madeline) Olivia Edward (Better Things) Maria Dizzia (Orange
is the New Black) and Michael Cyril Creighton (Spotlight) among others. In a nearly real-time
experience, Charles is forced to re-evaluate his choices when he sees his life in parallel with the
people around him. From his recently widowed neighbor next door, to the curious swingers
upstairs, to the piano prodigy hiding out on the roof, Charles moves from one neck-snapping
tableau to the next, disrupting and being disrupted in the process. With no shoes, no money, a
phone running low and the stars aligned to keep him physically separated from his comfort zone,
Charles discovers we’ve all got issues and it never helps to keep them locked up inside.
*SOPHIE JONES | Jessie Barr | U.S. Premiere | U.S.
As 16-year-old Sophie Jones grapples with the recent death of her mother, physical intimacy
with another person becomes the only way for her to feel anything. Sophie tries to keep her
relationships strictly for her own empowerment, as a means of distraction, but ultimately learns
that sexual intimacy is a temporary salve, while love is lasting medicine.
Stardust | Gabriel Range | U.K.
“Stardust” chronicles the young David Bowie’s first visit to the US in 1971 – a trip that inspired
the invention of his iconic alter ego Ziggy Stardust. An IFC Films release.
*Vagrant | Caleb Ryan | U.S. Premiere | Canada
After a night of drinking, Frank, a homeless man, wakes up to find a puppy that was left to die in
a garbage bin. As Frank takes the necessary steps in caring for the dog he begins to unravel his
past while facing an uncertain future.
**Generation Growth | Mu Sun | World Premiere | U.S.
Health and educational outcomes in low-income areas across America are staggeringly low.
Bronx educator Stephen Ritz is out to change that, by implementing a curriculum that allows
children to grow vegetables in their classrooms. “Generation Growth” follows Ritz as expands
his program across the country, bringing hope, health and opportunity to those who need it the
Head to Head | Andrea Alberti | U.S., India
Five women experience traumatic blows to their self-image after unexpectedly losing their hair.
Through the subsequent mental health, relationship, financial, and social impacts, they cope with
these challenges in dramatically different ways. The Director also grapples with her own identity
and what it means to be authentic.
HUM | Henry Johnston | U.S.
Two years ago, a Chest appeared in the woods. It could not be opened. It could not be moved. Its
contents were unknown. The Dead began to appear within the week.
Today, police trainee David Parker is tasked with guarding the Chest. When it finally opens on
his watch, David becomes inexplicably trapped, along with his spiteful mentor and a mysterious
woman connected to a local cult.
Sleeze Lake: Vanlife at its Lowest & Best | Nick Nummerdor, Andrew J. Morgan | U.S.
In 1977, searching for freedom and community in a post Vietnam world, groups of young people
took to the open roads in shag-carpeted custom vans. They called themselves “vanners” and
erected a culture of irreverence and hedonism. In South Side, Chicago, a van proved the perfect
escape from the smog of the steel mills and refineries; a van club called Midwest Vans Ltd. was
born. On Memorial Day weekend, these blue collar outcasts set out to build their own personal
utopia, free of rules and restrictions. They erected a ramshackle resort town around a small pond
and called it “Sleeze Lake”, but when over 20,000 people showed up to the party, all bets were
off! Set among the foggy memories and ephemera of a subculture lost into the arms of time,
Sleeze Lake tells the story of Midwest Vans and the biggest party you’ve never heard of.
**What Lies Inside | Luke A. Renner | World Premiere | Haiti, U.S.
In the aftermath of Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake, grappling with PTSD, filmmaker Luke A. Renner set out on a healing journey. In his pursuit, Luke would eventually uncover an older,deeper, childhood trauma he had lost in time, the insidious reality of psychological damage, and a public health crisis that’s been quietly wreaking havoc on humanity.
Worth The Wait | Tucker Gragg | U.S.
Coach Yeagley’s turns the Indiana University Intramural Soccer team into the power house it is
today. “We couldn’t do it the normal way, but it sure was worth the wait.” -Jerry Yeagley
The Color Rose | Courtney Paige | Canada
Seven girls from a religious town start a cult the embodies the seven deadly sins. Grace Carver,
the pastor’s daughter and cult leader, takes action against one of the betraying members. The
group dwindles one by one; each girl is capable of being a suspect, or worse, a victim.
Darkness in Tenement 45 | Nicole Groton | U.S.
After the threat of a biological attack during the Cold War leaves the residents of a NYC
tenement building trapped inside, a troubled teenager must fight against the self-appointed leader
in order to save the tenants.
HOST | Rob Savage | U.S.
Six friends hire a medium to hold a séance over Zoom during lockdown, but they get far more
than they bargain for when things quickly start going wrong. When an evil spirit starts invading
their homes, they begin to realize they might not survive the night.
*La Dosis | Martin Kraut | U.S. Premiere | Argentina
Nurse Marcos cares for dying patients, and sometimes (secretly) helps them reach their last
moment more quickly. His routine shatters when the young, attractive nurse Gabriel arrives, and
the death rate increases. When Marcos realizes that Gabriel is also killing patients, but
indiscriminately and carelessly, he decides to act.
CULTURAL JOURNEY ISRAEL PREVIEW
Crescendo | Dror Zahavi | Germany
When world-famous conductor Eduard Sporck (Peter Simonischek, Toni Erdmann) accepts the
job to create an Israeli-Palestinian youth orchestra, he is quickly drawn into a tempest of sheer
unsolvable problems. Having grown up in a state of war, suppression or constant risk of terrorist
attacks, the young musicians from both sides are far from able to form a team. Lined up behind
the two best violinists – the emancipated Palestinian Layla and the handsome Israeli Ron – they
form two parties who deeply mistrust each other, on and off-stage. Will Sporck succeed and
make the young people forget their hatred, at least for the three weeks until the concert? With the
first glimmer of hope, however, the political opponents of the orchestra show how strong they
Loosely inspired by Daniel Barenboim’s West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, Academy-Award
nominated director Dror Zahavi (“Alexander Penn”, “Everything for my Father”) directs this
gripping drama as a constantly growing ‘crescendo’, rising the tension and conflicts until the last
frame. Lead actor Peter Simonischek (“Toni Erdmann”) stars next to a highly convincing
selection of up-and-coming actors like Daniel Donskoy (“Victoria”) and Sabrina Amali (“4
Blocks”). A remarkable theatrical movie and contribution to the world-wide efforts towards
understanding, humanity and peace.
GOLDA | Udi Nir, Sagi Bornstein, Shani Rozanes | Israel, Germany
“GOLDA” is the story of Golda Meir’s term as prime minister of Israel – from her surprising rise
to power and iconic international stature as “queen of the Jewish people”, to her tragic and lonely
Here We Are | Nir Bergman | Israel, Italy
“GOLDA” is the story of Golda Meir’s term as prime minister of Israel – from her surprising rise
to power and iconic international stature as “queen of the Jewish people”, to her tragic and lonely
**UPHEAVAL: The Journey of Menachem Begin Jonathan Gruber | World Premiere |
Argentina | U.S.
“Upheaval: The Journey of Menachem Begin” is the compelling biopic of former Israeli Prime
Minister Menachem Begin. The film provides a nuanced and complicated canvas on which to
illustrate parts of Israeli history and its relationship to its neighbors.
HITCHCOCK NIGHT AT CONNER PRAIRIE
Rear Window | Alfred Hitchcock | U.S.
Professional photographer L.B. “Jeff” Jefferies breaks his leg while getting an action shot at an
auto race. Confined to his New York apartment, he spends his time looking out of the rear
window observing the neighbors. He begins to suspect that a man across the courtyard may have
murdered his wife. Jeff enlists the help of his high society fashion-consultant girlfriend Lisa
Freemont and his visiting nurse Stella to investigate.
Vertigo | Alfred Hitchcock | U.S.
A former police detective juggles wrestling with his personal demons and becoming obsessed
with a hauntingly beautiful woman.
INDY SHORTS AWARD WINNERS
Indy Shorts Award Winners 1 | 20 OVER | GRAB MY HAND: A LETTER TO MY DAD |
YELLOW GIRL AND ME | UMBRELLA | WHIPPED CREAM CAKE | WHO GOES THERE?
| TRACES | BLACKFEET BOXING: NOT INVISIBLE |
Indy Shorts Award Winners 2 | CAMP ALEC | A PIECE OF CAKE | STITCHING A LIFE:
THE STORY OF TRUDIE STROBEL | BROKEN BIRD | THE PRESENT | SONNIE | NO
CRYING AT THE DINNER TABLE | o28 | DA YIE |
All of the films, description, and trailers can be found at HeartlandFilmFestival.org.
Please note, programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily
reflect the opinions of Heartland Film.
About Heartland Film, Inc.
Heartland Film is a nonprofit arts organization founded in 1991 with the mission to inspire
filmmakers and audiences through the transformative power of film. Heartland Film presents the
annual Heartland International Film Festival, Academy Award®-qualifying Indy Shorts
International Film Festival, the Heartland Film Best of Fest, Heartland Film Marquee Series and
bestows the Truly Moving Picture Award industry honor to major film releases throughout the
year. In response to COVID, Heartland Film launched Heartland Film at Home as a safe option
to watch the latest and best in independent cinema including HIFF films from the past from your
home. For more information, visit Heartlandfilm.org.