Below are my top picks for narrative features (slightly longer list than last year because there are just too many great ones to pick from); there are a few narrative features that I was not able to see but so many great films in this year’s festival. Make sure to come find me so we can talk about what your favorites are.

The Bachelors

After the early death of his wife, a mourning father moves with his teenage son across the country for a private school teaching job. Their lives begin to transform due to two unique women, who help them embrace life and love again.

Includes mature themes

Talent Scheduled to Attend:

Karen Allen, Actor
Laura Goodenow, Producer
Alexander Janko, Writer/Director/Composer

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For the Birds

Irma Humpel, a stubborn tomboy, finds herself in a wedding dress in front of the altar, but isn’t exactly sure how she ended up next to Sampie de Klerk. Irma had convinced herself for many years that the only way to be truly free was to remain independent–of the past, of men, and definitely of love, but the extraordinary, charming rugby player with a heart of gold challenges all her beliefs and makes her go weak at the knees.

Includes mature themes, suitable for most audiences

Filmmakers Scheduled to Attend October 15:
Simone Nortmann, Actress (Lead)

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Tatterdemalion

A dramatic thriller about an army veteran suffering from PTSD who returns home to the Ozarks to look for her brother, who she was separated from as a child. As she searches, she stumbles upon an abandoned boy living in the woods. She takes the boy into her home and soon discovers that she has entered a mysterious world of folk lore, clan rules and lies.

Includes mature themes

***PREMIERE & AFTER-PARTY – 10/14 2:30 pm AMC Castleton
Ticket gives access to premiere screening and party.
Vouchers ARE NOT accepted for this screening.
Party will be available following this screening.

Filmmakers Scheduled to Attend Premiere on October 14th:
Leven Alice Rambin, Actor
Johanna Tacadena, Casting Director
Landon Edwards, Lead Actor
Kip Collins, Supporting Actor
Toni Johnson, Supporting Actress
Tim Macy, Writer/Producer
Ramaa Mosley, Director/Writer
Cameron Gray, Production Designer/Producer
Darin Moran, Director of Photography
Kristy Kuster, Makeup Department
MaryJo Green, Wardrobe
Lindsey Hughes, Actor
Lizbeth Chappell, Co-Producer
Eric Cook, Producer

Filmmakers Scheduled to Attend Premiere on October 15th:
Leven Alice Rambin, Actor
Landon Edwards, Lead Actor
Toni Johnson, Supporting Actress
Tim Macy, Writer/Producer
Ramaa Mosley, Director/Writer
Cameron Gray, Production Designer/Producer
Darin Moran, Director of Photography
Lizbeth Chappell, Co-Producer
Eric Cook, Producer
Gina Resnick, Producer
Patricia Gallio, Casting Director

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Stuck

A New York City subway train stops in the tunnel beneath the city with six complete strangers stuck inside the rear car. The strangers are a cross section of New Yorkers of different race, culture and age. The emotions of the trapped, frustrated strangers explode as the subway car becomes a kind of magical, musical, conduit cell. A place where strangers reveal, through song, more of themselves than any of them ever could have imagined.

Includes mature themes and violence

Michael Berry, Director/Screen Writer, Schedules to Attend:
October 13

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Instrument of War

”Hello American. For you, the war is over.” When US B-24 bomber pilot Clair Cline is shot down and captured in northern Germany, one battle ends and another begins—to keep hope alive. Now behind Nazi barbed wire and oppression, Cline and his fellow POW’s must find a way to bond together to not just survive but transcend their captivity. Inspired by true events.

Includes mature themes and violence, suitable for most audiences

***PREMIERE & AFTER-PARTY – 10/19 7:15 pm AMC Castleton
Ticket gives access to premiere screening and party.
Vouchers ARE NOT accepted for this screening.
Party will be available following this screening.

Filmmakers Scheduled to Attend October 19th, 20th, 21st, 22nd:
Adam Thomas Anderegg, Director
Russ Kendall, Producer

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American Folk

Two strangers, both folk musicians stranded in California, take a road trip to New York in the days after 9/11. A story about the kindness of strangers and the power of music.

Includes mature themes, suitable for most audiences

Filmmakers scheduled to attend Oct. 19th, 20th, 21st, 22nd:
David M Heinz, Writer/Director/Editor
Fiona Walsh, Producer

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The Girl Who Invented Kissing

A nameless, pill-popping drifter girl steps off a bus and into a neighborhood bar owned by middle-age brothers Jimmy and Victor. She quickly befriends older brother Victor—a good-natured lummox whose mind was effected as the result of a childhood accident. The mysterious girl soon upsets the delicate balance of the brothers’ lives while bringing both trouble and new life into the world of these resigned characters.

Includes drug use, language, and mature themes, suitable for most audiences

Filmmaker Scheduled to Attend Oct. 14th & 16th:
Tom Sierchio, Writer/Director

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Red Dog: True Blue

But Wait…There’s More

Nope, that’s not the name of a film. But, every year, it does get increasingly difficult to pick my top films. Here are others that I am so excited for filmgoers to see if you are seeking more narrative options:

For ticket information, visit heartlandfilm.org/festival.