Our Staff


Craig Prater – President

Craig was named president of Heartland Film in August, 2016.

Prater began his international film festival career as executive director of the Palm Springs International Film Festival (Palm Springs, California), where he co-founded the Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films and the Film Noir Festival before being recruited by the Royal Thai government to lead their new Bangkok International Film Festival as executive director.

Prater also founded the Festival of Festivals, whose debut coincided with the opening of the Mary Pickford Theatre in Cathedral City, California, and served as the director/producer of the Latino Film Festivals for the National Hispanic American Educational Foundation in Indio, California and Tampa, Florida. Most recently, Prater served as executive VP, strategic partnerships for the San Diego International Film Festival and director of the San Diego Jewish Film Festival.


Michael Ault – Vice President

Michael leads Heartland Film's development strategy and sponsor/donor relationships.

Passionate about the Central Indiana community, Michael teaches a Nonprofit Volunteer and Management Class at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), serves on the board for Teachers’ Treasures and Camp Saturday – The People’s Burn Foundation, and volunteers for a myriad of causes, including Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Indianapolis Meridian Kessler Home Tour, Rock for Hope, the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon and more. Michael previously worked at Methodist Health Foundation and is a graduate of Ball State University with a Certificate in Fundraising Management from IUPUI.



Adam Howell – Director of Production & Events

Adam is responsible for running all the behind-the-scenes operations at the Heartland Film Festival and Heartland Film Roadshow events. This includes planning logistics, event management, technical production, quality control, vendor liaison and more.

Adam earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music Business from Anderson University. Outside of working with Heartland Film, Adam has worked at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, managed production for three Anderson University chorale tours across the country, and still performs in a vocal group that has performed more than 600 concerts across the country.



Greg Sorvig – Artistic Director

Greg leads the organization's artistic vision and film programming department including its Academy Award®-qualifying Indy Shorts International Film Festival and Heartland International Film Festival events, serving as the organization’s liaison with major studios, industry, and filmmakers.

Greg earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication & Culture, with a focus in film studies, from Indiana University and has previously worked for Fortune 100s, including The Walt Disney Company. Greg is an alumni board member of the Media School at Indiana University, serves as a panelist at major industry conferences and juror at other film festivals, and is a contributor for the FilmFreeway blog. Greg recently served as a 2019 Arts Works II grant panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts.

LinkedIn Available for Juries & Industry Engagements

Julia Ricci

Julia Ricci – Senior Programmer

Julia works closely with the Artistic Director to plan and curate film festival lineups and sidebar programs. She serves as a key representative of the department at national and international film festivals, staying familiar with awards contenders, new filmmakers, and emerging movements. Julia also manages the submissions process and volunteer screening committees.

Julia is an Emmy® Award-nominated researcher with a bachelor’s degree in History from Ball State University. She was a researcher for the Emmy®-winning documentary short "Legacies of Perfection: Auburn, Cord, Duesenberg" (2013) and the documentary feature "The Healing Wall" (2014 Heartland International Film Festival Indiana Spotlight). Beyond her role at Heartland Film, Julia continues to combine her love of film and history with her work as a freelance researcher for Turner Classic Movies and The Criterion Collection’s streaming service FilmStruck.


Jessica Chapman – Marketing Manager

Jessica oversees the communications and promotions for Heartland Film. She strives to bring awareness to Heartland through creative initiatives and impactful messaging. Jessica serves as the lead contact for media and advertising.

Jessica previously worked as the Eva Impact Manager for WFYI Public Media, in which she oversaw all marketing and community outreach for the documentary “Eva: A-7063” and its attendant Eva Education Program. For these efforts, Jessica won a regional Emmy in 2020 and was nominated in 2019. Jessica’s team was also awarded the coveted Silver Anvil award from the Public Relations Society of America for Content Marketing, the American Public Television Program of Excellence and the Indiana Broadcasters Association’s Cardinal Community Service Award. The documentary, meanwhile, won several national honors, including HIFF’s Jimmy Stewart Legacy Award. She swam for the University of Akron, where she graduated with an MBA and a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing. In the summer, you’ll find Jessica swimming, boating, paddleboarding or floating down the river.


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Angelo Auriemma – Marketing Coordinator

Angelo works to curate content and promote Heartland Film through various marketing strategies including social media, design, writing, live event coverage, and more.

Angelo graduated from Ball State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism-Telecommunications and a minor in Digital Media. He originally fell in love with Heartland Film while covering it for a student organization on campus, and went on to intern for two consecutive summers at the company before being hired on as an employee. When not working, he partakes in playing with his cats, making videos, and eating an excessive amount of pizza.



Kelly Alexiou – Chief Administrative Officer

Kelly is Heartland Film’s Chief Administrative Officer, and she manages and oversees the financial and administrative business.

Kelly earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration, management and operation from IUPUI and was previously an executive assistant at Methodist Health Foundation and a human resources manager before joining the Heartland Film team. Kelly is a proud mother of two Marines, enjoys traveling, and loves expensive footwear.



Julie Sommers Neuman – Grants Writer

Julie is Heartland Film's grant writer.

Julie is an attorney with development experience. As a graduate of Northwestern University School of Law and Vanderbilt University, Julie's experience spans the for-profit, governmental and non-profit worlds. From working with Washington Township Schools to United Way of Central Indiana, she has a broad experience in grant-writing and fundraising. Julie serves on the Coalition for Our Immigrant Neighbors (COIN) and provides pro bono legal work for the Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic.