'Captain' tops Heartland fest

'Devil' wins best documentary feature

Amin Matalqa's "Captain Abu Raed" won the grand prize for best dramatic feature, worth $100,000, at the Heartland Film Festival, which focuses on upbeat films about the human condition. At the fest's Crystal Heart Awards Gala in Indianapolis on Saturday, Gini Reticker's "Pray the Devil Back to Hell" was named best documentary feature.

The $10,000 Vision Award for best short film went to Charles Sommer's "Victoria."

The fest served up a special tribute to Bob Berney, president of the recently shuttered Picturehouse, with its Pioneering Spirit Award.

"Bob has been tied to many award-winning and critically acclaimed films, and we applaud him for his work in bringing these powerful and inspiring movies to the masses," said Jeffery L. Sparks, president and CEO of nonprofit Heartland Truly Moving Pictures, sponsor of the fest, which runs through Oct. 24.

Films recognized with Crystal Heart Awards included: "Amal," writer-director Richie Mehta; "Blessed Is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh," producer-director Roberta Grossman; "Captain Abu Raed," executive producer David Pritchard and writer-director Matalqa; "Karla's World," director Charlotte Sachs Bostrup; "Montana de Luz," producer Elisa Stone and producer-director Matthew Leahy; "Pray the Devil Back to Hell," producer Abigail Disney and director Reticker; "Second Hand Wedding," producer-director Paul Murphy; "Slow," producer-director-writer Kurt Kuenne; "Stranded: I've Come From a Plane that Crashed on the Mountains," writer-director Gonzalo Arijon; "Terra," writer-director Aristomenis Tsirbas; "War Child," producer Afshin Molavi; and "The Watchmaker's Son," director Brandon McCormick.

The filmmakers honored with the Jimmy Stewart Memorial Crystal Heart Award included: "15-40," director Christian Bagger; "As We Forgive," producer Thomas Hinson and producer-director Laura Waters Hinson; "Gaining Ground," director Marc Brummund; "Victoria," producer-director Charles Sommer and "The Wall," writer-director Michael Lloyd Green.

Heartland also recognized 15 films selected from November 2007 to date as recipients of the Truly Moving Picture Award, including: "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas," "The Bucket List," "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian," "Enchanted," "Forever Strong," "Henry Poole Is Here," "Journey to the Center of the Earth," "Kit Kittredge: An American Girl," "The Kite Runner," "Penelope," "Phoebe in Wonderland," "Tinker Bell," "Under the Same Moon," "WALL-E " and "Young@Heart."
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