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The Independent Critic

 2012 Heartland Film Festival: A-Z Reviews, Vol. 27 
Walk Tall (10 Mins., Doc Short)

Directed by: Kate Sullivan

“No sponsorship, one kidney, tuberculosis, a broken back... All set for the London Olympics, 1948.” George Weedon’s glory days as a 1948 Olympic gymnast come to life as filmmaker Kate Sullivan balances her animation with live action documentary to tell his story and explore the passions that he still holds today.

The above description is straight from the film guide for the 2012 Heartland Film Festival, of which this film is an official selection. It's hard not to admire director Kate Sullivan's ambitious 10-minute film, however, it's also hard not to get a wee bit of a case of ADD as she weaves together different approaches to telling what is essentially a rather simple story. At times, Walk Tall feels more like a gimmick than an actual film and that, in the end, is what knocks the film down a notch and dilutes the inspiration of this story.


What I Want (9 Mins., High School Film Competition)
Directed by: Michelle Mixay



In Michelle Mixay's entry into the Heartland Film Festival's High School Film Competition, a young woman struggles with the pressures of growing up when she chooses to go to the San Diego Comic-Con.

A finalist in this year's festival, What I want is a nine-minute film that explores this young woman's efforts to "grow up" while remaining faithful to who she is. While the story itself is a tad cliche'd, it's a promising film from the young Mixay.

What if, Like Me (10 Mins., Narrative Short)

Starring: David Aldridge, Nancy Sullivan, Tyson Douglas; Written and Directed by: Sean Kelly;

An amusing short that paled in comparison to the other films in the "world of whimsy" block of shorts, writer/director Sean Kelly's What if, Like Me is certainly whimsical in story and is best seen rather than described so as not to spoil the experience. The biggest problem that the film faces is that it feels like it's trying awfully hard to be whimsical and, in trying so hard, a lot of the whimsy feels manufactured. That said, the story itself still amuses and the ensemble cast certainly gives things their best shot along the way.


    The 50/50 x 2020 Pledge

    The Independent Critic is proud to support Indy-based Heartland Film by committing to the 50/50 x 2020 Pledge - By the end of the year 2020, The Independent Critic will achieve gender parity in its reviews of both shorts and feature films. Furthermore, The Independent Critic also pledges support for the Ruderman Family Foundation's call for authentic representation of people with disabilities in film and actively commits to leverage its journalistic influence to effect genuine change in the film industry by calling for and actively promoting authentic and inclusive casting and hiring of people with disabilities.

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