Heartland Film Festival Reports Record Numbers, Breaks All-Time Screening Attendance Record

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In its twenty-second year, the 2013 Heartland Film Festival experienced growth across all areas, including a 13 percent rise in attendance compared to 2012 with 24,000 in screening attendance This year’s 10-day celebration of independent, international, enlightening film proved to be the biggest yet for Indianapolis-based Heartland Film Festival. The event (Oct. 17-26), bookended by a world premiere of Vanessa Hudgens’ “Gimme Shelter” and a red carpet special presentation of “The Book Thief” with Geoffrey Rush, drew all-time record numbers in categories spanning attendance, submissions, programming and community outreach:

Oscar®-winning filmmakers Eva Orner (left) and Sean Fine, along with Sundance winner Danny Yourd, discuss the filmmaking process at the 2013 Heartland Film Festival Awards Ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 19. Orner’s film, “The Network,” won Heartland’s $50,000 Grand Prize for Best Documentary Feature.

ATTENDANCE

  • 13 percent increase in attendance (over 2012, more than double the 5.5 percent increase in 2012 over 2011)
  • 24,000 screening attendance (all-time record, previous record was 23,000 in 2010)
  • 600+ in attendance at the Wheeler Arts Community (new, third venue added in Fountain Square—Heartland’s neighborhood—number is for 8 screenings over 4 days)
  • 120 attending filmmakers from 10 countries

SUBMISSIONS

  • 1,521 total film submissions (all-time record, previous record was 1,292 in 2012)
  • 76 submitting countries (all-time record, previous record was 68 in 2012)
  • 71 High School Film Competition submissions from 5 countries (all-time record, previous record was 62 submissions in 2011)

PROGRAMMING

  • 134 films programmed (all-time record, previous record was 129 in 2011)
  • 282 film screenings (all-time record, previous record was 276 in 2012)
  • 27 U.S. or world premiere titles (new prize category added in 2013)

MEDIA & OUTREACH

  • 62 community partners signed up for $2Back Ticket Program fundraiser (all-time record, previous record was 29 in 2012)
  • Earned media figures for 2013 are more than double that of 2012

“Beyond our amazing lineup of films and world-renowned hospitality, this year’s success can be attributed to three specific areas,” said Greg Sorvig, Heartland’s director of marketing and communications. “Our strategic marketing plan, revitalized brand identity and expanded community partnerships foreshadowed these numbers. We have supporters that have been around from the beginning 22 years ago, and we keep hearing that—from artistic, marketing and operational standpoints—the 2013 Heartland Film Festival was the best one yet. “Heartland keeps pushing the envelope on what inspiring film can be. This year’s diverse lineup combined with our year-round presence in Fountain Square has expanded Heartland’s fan base and broadened the overall demographic. Internationally, as an Academy Awards®qualifying Festival in the Short Films category, Heartland continues to attract attention from top tier filmmakers from all over the world. Momentum is on our side, so moviegoers can expect great things again in 2014.” Planning has already begun for the 2014 Heartland Film Festival (Oct. 16-25, 2014), with the Call for Entries period beginning in February, as well as the Festival’s twenty-fifth anniversary in 2016.

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