Top Heartland Film Festival Prize Winners Return to Central Indiana for Heartland Film Roadshow Screening Events


Heartland Film partners with Butler University’s College of Communication to present 2016 Grand Prize and Audience Choice Award winner “Night School” on Feb. 20, the Historic Artcraft Theatre in Franklin, Ind. to present four 2016 Heartland Film Festival favorites from March 3-4, and “Under the Same Sun” at the JCC Indianapolis on March 13.

Heartland Film is excited to announce the lineup of powerful and inspiring films that will be screening across Central Indiana as part of the organization’s traveling Heartland Film Roadshow program. Since 2011, this initiative has given Heartland Film a consistent, year-round footprint across Central Indiana, offering moviegoers the opportunity to be inspired by the transformative power of film via standalone and mini-festival screening events. These special events have ranged in size and scope over the years, from “Hoosiers” on the 50-foot Bankers Life Fieldhouse jumbotron (with filmmakers and original Hickory basketball players in attendance), to a world premiere of Ted Green Films/WFYI Productions’ “Attucks: A School That Opened a City” at the historic Madame Walker Theatre on Indiana Avenue.

Feb. 20: “Night School” at Butler University’s Schrott Center for the Arts

This month, Heartland Film, in partnership with Butler University’s College of Communication, will present an encore screening of 2016 Heartland Film Festival $45,000 Grand Prize for Best Documentary Feature/Audience Choice Award winner “Night School” at Butler University’s Schrott Center for the Arts on Feb. 20, 2017. The event is part of Butler University’s fourth annual CCOM Symposium on Feb. 20 – March 2, 2017, hosted by the College of Communication at Butler University. Individual sessions will feature local community leaders, visiting scholars, filmmakers, musicians, journalists, and communication alumni, all addressing the theme of “Communicating Difference.” Each year, the symposium is designed to promote conversations at Butler University and in the Indianapolis community about matters of significant public interest.

The absorbing documentary “Night School” observes three Indianapolis-based adult students as they work to earn their high school diplomas, confront their fears about education and improve their lives. Following students with significant personal challenges, “Night School” is not just a film about adult education, but an intimate look at the roadblocks facing many underprivileged individuals as they attempt to move upward in society. At its core, the documentary explores the question: Is the American Dream still alive for those willing to sacrifice for it?

The event will include a screening of “Night School” at 7 p.m. followed by a brief question-and-answer session with Director/Producer Andrew Cohn and featured subjects of the film. Tickets to the event cost $13 and can be purchased online at or at the box office.

“Heartland Film could not be more pleased to bring back this deeply affecting documentary that made a huge impact on both audiences and critics alike at our 25th annual Heartland Film Festival,” said Heartland Film President Craig Prater. “‘Night School’ examines difficult issues like widespread education reform and the cycle of poverty at a human level, right here in our city of Indianapolis. We couldn’t be more pleased to welcome back two-time Heartland Film Festival alumnus Andrew Cohn for this event with Butler University’s College of Communication.”

  • 2016 Heartland Film Festival Grand Prize and Audience Choice Award Winner for Best Documentary Feature
  • Director/Producer Andrew Cohn and featured subjects scheduled to attend
  • Tickets: $13 online and at the box office
  • Venue: Schrott Center for the Arts at Butler University, 610 W. 46th St., Indianapolis, Ind. 46208, (317) 940-2787

March 3 & 4: Best of the Fest in Franklin, Ind.

Best of the FestKnown for showcasing the best in independent, inspiring film from all over the world every October, the Heartland Film Festival — presented by nonprofit arts organization Heartland Film — and The Historic Artcraft Theatre will offer moviegoers in Franklin, Ind. a chance to experience the festival atmosphere in their own backyard. The two day mini-festival will feature four screenings of crowd favorites from the 2016 Heartland Film Festival including Jimmy Stewart Legacy Award Winner “Wild Prairie Rose,” Official Selection “The Adventure Club,” Special Presentation “USS Indianapolis: The Legacy,” and Audience Choice Award Winner “Te Ata.”

“Heartland Film is ecstatic to be back in the charming city of Franklin to host the fourth annual Best of the Fest with the amazing team at the Historic Artcraft Theatre,” said Heartland Film Director of Film Programming & Marketing Greg Sorvig. “Among the film lineup are two of the 2016 Heartland Film Festival’s top prize winners: the inaugural Jimmy Stewart Legacy Award winner ‘Wild Prairie Rose’ and Narrative Feature Audience Choice Award winner ‘Te Ata.’ Additionally, we are excited to show encore showings of kid-friendly ‘The Adventure Club’ and the two-time sellout special presentation ‘USS Indianapolis: The Legacy.’”

Tickets to each of the four screenings cost $6 and can be purchased online at or at the box office. All screenings throughout the two-day Best of the Fest mini-festival will be held at the Historic Artcraft Theatre, located at 57 North Main Street, Franklin, Ind.

Full Best of the Fest Schedule

To learn more about the films, watch trailers, and buy tickets visit

Friday, March 3 – 7:30 p.m.
“Wild Prairie Rose” – 90 mins.
2016 Heartland Film Festival Jimmy Stewart Legacy Award Winner
In English and American Sign Language with limited English subtitles. An ASL interpreter from LUNA Language Services will be in attendance; deaf and hearing-impaired guests are encouraged to attend.

In 1952, Rose Miller returns to her rural hometown of Beresford, South Dakota to care for her ailing mother. Once there, she falls in love with a deaf man and must decide if she has the courage to follow her heart. “Wild Prairie Rose” is an examination of the changing roles of women in 1950s America and the ways we can learn to communicate with one another. It is a film that focuses on one woman’s story, and yet challenges the audience to examine their own assumptions about what makes a good life. Directed by Deborah LaVine. ASL interpretation sponsored by LUNA Language Services.

Saturday, March 4 – 2:30 p.m.
“The Adventure Club” – 94 mins.
2016 Heartland Film Festival Official Selection

“The Adventure Club” is a heartfelt story about a group of friends who find a magical mystery and are banded together on an exciting adventure. They encounter challenges and adversaries, joining forces as The Adventure Club in order to outsmart opposing forces and save the day. Directed by Geoff Anderson.

Saturday, March 4 – 5 p.m.
“USS Indianapolis: The Legacy” – 98 mins.
2016 Heartland Film Festival Special Presentation

“USS Indianapolis: The Legacy” is the story of the greatest sea disaster in U.S. Navy History, told for the first time by only those who lived it. In the most top secret Navy mission of World War II, the crew of the heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis delivered components of the atomic bomb to Tinian Island. Four days later, two Japanese torpedoes sank the ship in the Challenger Deep, triggering an epic tale of survival. For five days, the 880 men who made it into the water faced searing sun, thirst, hundreds of sharks, and ultimately each other. Just 317 men survived – only to band together again in a 58-year fight to clear their captain’s name. Directed by Sara Vladic.

Saturday, March 4 – 7:30 p.m.
“Te Ata” – 105 mins.
2016 Heartland Film Festival Audience Choice Award Winner, Narrative Feature

“Te Ata” (TAY’ AH-TAH) is based on the inspiring, true story of Mary Thompson Fisher, a woman who traversed cultural barriers to become one of the greatest Native American performers of all time. Born in Indian territory, and raised on the songs and stories of her Chickasaw tribe, Te Ata’s journey to find her true calling led her through isolation, discovery, love and a stage career that culminated in performances for a United States president, European royalty and audiences across the world. Yet of all the stories she shared, none are more inspiring than her own. Directed by Nathan Frankowski.

March 13: “Under the Same Sun” at JCC Indianapolis

Under the Same Sun at JCC IndianapolisPart of the “Heartland Film Festival at the JCC” screening series, Heartland Film will partner with JCC Indianapolis for an encore screening of Mitra Sen’s cross-cultural narrative feature “Under the Same Sun,” on Monday, March 13 at 7 p.m.

“Under the Same Sun” shares the story of Karim Jamal, a young fugitive, who accidentally stumbles into a village of Hindu and Muslim orphaned children near the medieval town of Jaisalmer, India. The children bewildered at first by their uninvited visitor decide to provide Karim with shelter and food keeping their village guest a secret from their elders. To Karim’s surprise, he soon discovers how these young spirits, both Muslim and Hindu, share the bond of one family, celebrating each other’s festivals, following each other’s traditions and living together under one roof in peace. Karim recalls the contrast with his childhood, which was void of music, colour, and love. Through the spirit and innocence of these children, Karim discovers a new sense of brotherhood, compassion and humanity, which compels him to re-examine his ultimate goal and purpose in life.

The event will include a screening of “Under the Same Sun” at 7 p.m. followed by a brief question-and-answer videochat session with Director/Producer/Writer Mitra Sen. Tickets to the event cost $10 and can be purchased online at or at the box office.

“For more than five years the JCC Indianapolis and Heartland Film have partnered for a fantastic, ongoing community screening series,” said Heartland Film Director of Film Programming & Marketing Greg Sorvig. “‘Under the Same Sun’ is an especially important film in today’s socio-political landscape and sold out all of its screenings at last year’s Heartland Film Festival.”

  • 2016 Heartland Film Festival Official Selection, Narrative Feature
  • Director/Producer/Writer Mitra Sen scheduled to participate in post-screening videochat
  • Tickets: $10 online and at the box office
  • Venue: Arthur M Glick JCC, Laikin Auditorium
    6701 Hoover Road, Indianapolis, 46260

Learn more about the Heartland Film Roadshow and view upcoming events.


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