Posts Tagged ‘Heartland Film Festival’

Appointment in Heartland

September 24, 2010

My documentary about five-time Olympic skier Casey Puckett will screen in October (16-23) at the Heartland Film Festival — one of the biggest film festivals in the midwest with the largest prize purse worldwide!

This year the 18 year-old Indianapolis-based festival had a record 835 submissions of which APPOINTMENT IN VANCOUVER is one of the lucky 94 selected to screen. Congratulations and many thanks to the crew, cast and supporters of AIV. Without this amazing team, AIV would not have been possible.

If anyone is interested in attending the Heartland Film Festival, do it! I went when QUEEN OF CACTUS COVE won the Jimmy Stewart Crystal Heart Award and was blown away by the genuinely excited and appreciative audiences and the staff’s unparalleled hospitality. It was there that I met Frank Kelly (the mastermind behind “140”, which is also an official Heartland selection) and became a fan of the “heartland hug” – a really genuine hug only possible in Indiana.

Write, Visit, Judge

August 10, 2010

I’m currently on a week long post hiatus which couldn’t be happening at a better time!  First of all, I welcome the break to do real-life things — hello dry cleaners!  Hey there, dying herb plants! What’s up brown bananas and empty fridge (save for the nail polish which keeps better in the cold)?!?

Also, I have amazing friends visiting: Danielle Ongart and her boyfriend, Drew.  Danielle was my first awesome producer, the other parent to my Northwestern “thesis” film SOCK IT TO ME.  Without that film, I wouldn’t have been admitted to AFI, and without Danielle, that film wouldn’t have existed.  She is one of the most inspiring people I know – so hardworking, hilarious, fierecely devoted to those she loves and, above all else, Danielle has always known who she is. I love being around her because her sense of self and comfort in her own skin make me feel the same way.

On top of Danielle’s visit, I’m back in writing mode. I’m drafting the first pass on the script(s) for the brand-sponsored lactose-free milk cooking show that I’ll direct in the winter, AND I’m doing the first steps on two new feature ideas.  This is the most nebulous (aka scary) time in the story development for the scripts.  It’s also the most exciting and daunting — the plot possibilities are infinite.  The first step is defining the foundation – what do I want to say in these stories! What are the themes!  From there, we can make plot and story decisions that reenforce and dramatize the themes.

Lastly, I’m a juror for the Angelus Student Film Festival! A few years ago, QUEEN OF CACTUS COVE won one of the top prizes at this festival. Ever since, I’ve remained a fan and friend of Angelus. This year, the fest celebrates its 15th birthday, and I’m honored to be on the jury. I’ve been watching the live-action finalists’ films and will join the rest of the jurors on Wednesday afternoon to discuss and deliberate. Just like when I was a juror for Heartland Film Festival, I’m really enjoying watching the shorts with a sharp eye. It makes me think of my own work – how I can improve, what I can learn from these up-and-coming talents, and (on the flipside), what I’m doing (and have done) right with my work.

“140” Premieres

October 6, 2009

140_logo_FK“140” had a special preview screening this week at Hatchfest in Bozeman, MT.  I believe this has something to do with Frank (the organizer of the project) being married to a Bozeman-ian. (BTW – I was there when these two sweethearts met at Heartland Film Fest ’06!)

Frank edited 140 and is close to a final-final-final cut.  There’s murmurs of officially premiering in as innovative manner as we shoot — 140 screenings on the same day, possibly in late November.  From red carpet affairs to in fireside viewings in the coziness of our own homes.

Totally confused because you don’t remember wtf “140” is? I understand.  Here’s its crib sheet:

  • On June 21, 2009, 140 filmmakers in 140 different locations simultaneously shot 140 seconds of footage.
  • The objective: to demonstrate the connections between the filmmakers and the places they call home.
  • Inspired by the micro-blogging site Twitter.com (and its 140 character limit for its messages),
  • 140 is an experimental documentary that brings together the talents of these 140 filmmakers in 30 countries on 5 continents.
  • The range of filmmakers is diverse, ranging from students to seasoned industry professionals, from bare-bones indie filmmakers to successful Hollywood directors.
  • The unique footage that tells their stories has been assembled into a eature length (85 min)montage of poignant visual moments – the exact same moments captured all across our planet.

To keep up with the progress of “140,” check out Frank’s blog.

“140 Project” Shoots this Sunday

June 16, 2009

On June 21 at 8pm (gmt) (that’s 1pm in LA) I will shoot a feature.140_logo_FK

Say what?!?!

A few months ago I accepted Frank Kelly‘s invitation to participate in his 140 Project. Frank is a talented and very innovative Irish filmmaker who I met at the Heartland Film Festival in 2006 when our short films (his Emily’s Song; mine Queen of Cactus Cove) screened together.  I’m thrilled to be a part of his newest endeavor.  Here’s the concept:

  1. 140 filmmakers
  2. 140 locations
  3. 140 seconds

Not clear yet? I thought so.  Here’s the concept in Frank’s words:

This project is about connection. How the Internet connects us. How twitter presents a unique way to be a part of someone’s life as it happens. I want you to capture what connects you to the place you live: The landscapes, cityscapes, the way the wind blows through the trees by your house, the way cars screech down the highway, the way a lover sleeps, or even makes toast, the smile of your child or grandmother… whatever it may be. What is special about your home? Your job is to capture that in 140 seconds. So be prepared.

140 of us are going to shoot on Sunday at the same exact minute – signaled by Frank’s Twitter tweet. Which means I have to get on Twitter… but that’s another posting.  When we are done shooting 140 seconds, we send the UNCUT footage to Frank.  He will edit all of the material into a “feature length visual dedication to our cities, our homes, this vision and the 140 seconds that connected all of us while creating this piece.”

I know what I’m going to shoot.  It involves the Sunday newspaper, a little arts and crafts, and destiny. Ooh, la, la.  I’ll report back on how it goes next week.

Interesting sidenote:  As the word on 140 has spread, interest has increased.  Zach Helm has joined the project. Zach wrote Stranger than Fiction (Dustin Hoffman, Will Ferrell, Emma Thompson) and wrote/directed Mr. Magorium’s Magical Emporium.

For more on this exciting project, check out the awesome press Frank has been generating for us and the project (Niiiice Frank!):

“Twitter, The Movie: Director Frank Kelly Talks 140 (Paste Magazine)

“Kelly Preps New Short Film & Twitter Doc” (The Irish Film & Television Network website)


Jury Member for Heartland Film Festival

June 3, 2009

I’m a Crystal Heart Award jury member for this year’s Heartland Film Festival!

A few years ago, my film Queen of Cactus Cove screened at the Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis (see pics below).  I loved this fest because they treat their filmmakers like stars, generate major media exposure (I did a TV and radio interview while there!) and throw a black-tie awards gala with 2500 guests at which I accepted a gorgeous award for Queen from Judy Stewart (James Stewart’s daughter) in front of the huge crowd and on two jumbotrons.  Just thinking about it makes me nervous all over again.  

Heartland stands out in my mind as one of the few fests that spawned  lasting, wonderful friendships.  It was there that I bonded with Frank Kelly.  Our films played in the same HFF program!  Now Frank is spearheading the 140 project which I’m participating in later this month.  It’s also because of Heartland that I met the hilarious guys behind A Man Named Pearl and my favorite tea connoisseur Joel Nassan.

Tonight I’m having dinner with the other LA jury members and Jeff Sparks, the director of the Heartland Film Festival who invited me to join the jury.  Heartland hugs are required.


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