Tuesday, September 22, 2009

"Precious" to play Heartland

"Precious," the hard-bitten drama about a teen urban girl that made a big splash at Sundance, will be featured at the Heartland Film Festival, which runs Oct. 15-24 in Indianapolis.

The annual fest, whose mission is to feature life-affirming movies, will play "Precious" as part of a special engagement of sneak peeks of upcoming mainstream films that have earned Heartland's "Truly Moving Picture" designation. "Bright Star," the newest film from Jane Campion ("The Piano") about the young romance of John Keats, will also play.

The opening night film for Heartland will be "Hachi," starring Richard Gere in a tale inspired by the true story of a dog who showed unbelievable loyalty to his master -- even after his death.

The closing night film will be a documentary -- a first for Heartland -- titled "The Horse Boy," about an American autistic boy who found help with a Mongolian tribe of horse masters.

A total of 17 Crystal Heart award winners will play in competition: five dramatic features, five documentaries and seven shorts. They will split a total of $200,000 in prize money, including a $100,000 check to the top award winner -- the highest cash award of any film festival in the world.

A complete schedule of films will be posted Wednesday, with tickets going on sale the same day.

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