Thursday, October 20, 2011

Heartland Film Festival

Garbage in, garbage out.  I also think that the opposite is true.

I am amazed at:
A. The content that is consistently in films (language, violence, etc)
B. How popular these films are
C. The younger the viewership has become

What has also surprised me is how popular an institution that goes against this model has become.  At this time each year, a film festival occurs in Indianapolis that honors films with pro-social content.  Heartland Film Festival has occurred for the past 20 years (I believe), honoring those whose films present the better part of life.  These are the films that touch us, that inspire us, films that truly move us.  

I first got involved with Heartland Film Festival when I was in college at Anderson University.  Not only did it make sense for the production majors to attend the workshops and conferences that surrounded the festival, but we were hired to record and edit them.  Yay press pass!  Of course, this also included some tickets to go to the screenings.  What I love about this aspect is that the films show in the mainstream theaters right next to everything else that is showing.  This film festival is not set apart, reserving a whole theater just for its uses, but places itself right in the midst of the rest of the (good) junk that is out there.  

What stands out, is this business sets the example of how I should live my life.  Don't isolate yourself from everything else to try to preserve your standards.  Set your standards and then jump into the midst of everything else.  They have proven that they can survive without having to compromise.  Heartland Film Festival put themselves out there, and I am just amazed at how it has grown over the years.  The Indianapolis Star had a great article about HFF recently, and the title says it all: Playing nice pays off for Heartland Film Festival.

As I mentioned, in college I was able to work with Heartland Film Festival in a production role.  One of my classmates had the privilege to work with HFF for several years.  She now lives in Ireland with her husband (whom she met at HFF several years ago), but occasionally will recount her days at HFF.  You can catch up with her at View From an Irish Back Yard (link is to a specific post, but please read more).

So, if you are in Indy, go see some good films this weekend as the festival wraps up.  For all of us, it is ok to stand out for being quality material.

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