Heartland Film Festival's 2015 Winners 

And it's more than $120,000 in prizes for independent filmmakers

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This year Heartland Film has awarded filmmakers more than $120,000 to honor their achievements. The award winning films (covering everything from Grand Prizes, Best Premieres, Audience Choice to Indiana Spotlights) are chosen by an artistic board or through audience votes.

"These Grand Prize winners tackle current, topical subjects in profound ways, and tell their important stories with masterful filmmaking," said Heartland Film Artistic Director Tim Irwin in a press release. "We are excited to support these filmmakers, and hopefully inspire them to continue to tell stories that need to be told. With the new Indiana Spotlight Award we are hoping to encourage and support the filmmaking community in Indiana.”

"Of the 149 films programmed this year, tonight’s winners are a great indicator the wide breadth of programming at the 2015 Heartland Film Festival," said Greg Sorvig, Director of Marketing & PR at Heartland. "From our Grand Prize Winner for Best Narrative Feature — the Bulgarian best foreign film nominee at this year’s Academy Awards, “The Judgment” — to an amazing documentary from a Hoosier filmmaker — Indiana Spotlight Winner “Citizen Teklit” — tonight’s winners span the gamut of genres and topics. The conversation and relationships made between filmmakers and audiences this year prove that film is not a passive form of media, but instead the ultimate vehicle for connectivity and inspiration."
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Here are your 2015 Heartland Film Festival winners:

$45,000 Grand Prize for Best Narrative Feature
• “The Judgment,” directed by Stephan Komandarev (Bulgaria)



$45,000 Grand Prize for Best Documentary Feature
• “Romeo is Bleeding,” directed by Jason Zeldes (USA)



$5,000 Grand Prize for Best Narrative Short
Underwritten by Heartland Film Endowment’s Sparks Vision Award
• “The Way of Tea,” directed by Marc Fouchard (France)

Les frémissements du thé / The way of tea // teaser from Marc Fouchard on Vimeo.

$5,000 Grand Prize for Best Documentary Short
Underwritten by Heartland Film Endowment’s Sparks Vision Award
• “The 100 Years Show,” directed by Alison Klayman (USA)

The 100 Years Show (Teaser) — a new documentary film on Carmen Herrera from Alison Klayman on Vimeo.

$5,000 Best Premiere for Narrative Feature
• "Borderless," directed by Amir Hossein Asgari (Iran)



$5,000 Best Premiere for Documentary Feature
• "Big Voice," directed by Varda Bar-Kar (USA)



$5,000 Indiana Spotlight Winner
• "Citizen Teklit," directed by Tim Taylor (USA)

$3,000 Summer White Lynch Memorial Award Winner - High School Film Competition Grand Prize
Underwritten by Gary D. & Marlene Cohen
• “This Home Is Not Empty,” directed by Carol Nguyen (Canada)

$2,000 prizes for the Jimmy Stewart Memorial Crystal Heart Awards
• “The Heart Thief,” directed by Ella Rubeli (Australia)
• “Leidi,” directed by Simon Mesa Soto (Columbia, UK)

The Heart Thief from Raw Science on Vimeo.

Audience Choice Award Winner, Narrative Feature
• "Marie's Story," directed by Jean-Pierre Améris (France)



Audience Choice Award Winner, Documentary Feature
• "dream/killer," directed by Andrew Jenks (USA)


Audience Choice Award Winner, Narrative Short
• "Moving On," directed by Marcia Fields and Mike Spear (USA)



Audience Choice Award Winner, Documentary Short
• "Teen Press," directed by T.C. Johnstone (USA)



Submissions for the 25th annual Heartland Film Festival (Oct. 21-30, 2016) will open in February.


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Emily Taylor

Emily Taylor

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Emily is the arts editor at NUVO, where she covers everything from visual art to comedy. In fact she is probably at a theater production right now. Before joining the ranks here, she worked for Indianapolis Monthly and Gannett. You can find her thoughts about Indy scattered throughout the NUVO arts section and... more

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