Family Friendly Films at Heartland Film Festival 2013



This week, my family has seen more films in the movie theater than we have in the past two calendar years combined. We are taking in as much as our schedule allows at this year’s Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis.

Not every film is suitable for my kids, who are five and eight. But so far, they’ve seen two (I’ve seen four) and they are all getting a resounding thumbs up from us.


superdeafyposterNo Ordinary Super Hero: the SuperDeafy Movie sold out it’s premiere show on Sunday afternoon. Lucky for us, they added an 8:45pm show at the last minute, as we arrived back into town. We kept the kids up late, and I am so glad that we did. This film explores what life is like for deaf people in a hearing world, what it’s like to straddle both the hearing and deaf communities, and brings awareness to how the world has room for people of every kind. Super Deafy is a television super hero frustrated with how his character has been portrayed. Jacob is a deaf child in a mainstream classroom, being forced to lip read, but has no real way to communicate with his peers, and only his mother has taken the time to learn ASL. The film explores what the least restrictive environment really means for a deaf child, and so, so much more. Did my kids enjoy this movie? When the director reminded the audience about the ballots at the end of the film, Andrew held his up and said, “I’m giving this a FIVE!’ (so yes_. They picked up a few signs too.

No Ordinary Super Hero is showing at the Castleton Mall AMC on Thursday (Oct 24) at 3pm, and Friday (Oct 25) at 4pm.

(Total bonus? Marlee Matlin, or as I like to call her, Joey Lucas, has a role in this film too. I heart her. Shoshannah Stern, from Jericho and Weeds, is also in the film and also lovely.)


TCC300x250banner2The Christmas Candle is based on the Max Lucado book of the same name. This period piece, brings a little bit of magic to the town of Gladbury in 1904. It’s about faith and believing, even when you don’t get what you want most desperately in the world. There are some great characters and humor, AND, do you remember Susan Boyle? She’s in this film and she’s lovely, AND SHE SINGS. Did my kids like this movie? Andrew’s still talking about what happened when the Christmas candle was lit. Meg was upset by some sad happenings, but ended up liking it anyway. For this ballot, she told me, “It started out as a five, then it went down to a one, and then it went back up to a four.” Not bad.

The Christmas Candle is showing at Friday (Oct 25) at 11:30am at the Traders Point AMC theater. Fall break treat, anyone?


The Discoverers is one I went to see with my friend Julie. It’s not for kids my age, but teens would probably enjoy it. It’s already done showing at Heartland, but you never know where you might see it next.



Angels Sing was the film I caught today while the kids were in school (my first successful check mark on my School Day Bucket List). My friend Heather and I hit the theater for a matinee, and I am so, so glad that I did. Yes, I am biased. I would watch Harry Connick, Jr. do just about anything. I still have visions of him floating along the streets of NOLA after Hurricane Katrina helping people. I would also watch Connie Britton (of Friday NIght Lights and Nashville) do just about anything. She’s pretty and she’s graceful and she just strikes me as a lovely person through and through.


The movie is good too- it stars Willie Nelson as an Angel, and it takes place mostly on a street in Austin where most of the neighbors are Christmas enthusiasts. LYLE LOVETT wears the most stunning collection of ugly Christmas Sweaters I have ever seen. There’s good music, and good family dynamics, and I think most kids would handle the sad parts just fine. The over top decorations are great fun, and well, it’s just a whole lot of Harry Connick, Jr., which suits me just fine.

Angels Sing plays at Traders Point AMC Thursday (Oct 24) at 8:15pm, and again at 12:30pm on Sat (Oct 26). It will also be playing the weekend of November 1st at the Castleton AMC (not part of the festival). If ticket sales are strong in Indianapolis and other select locations, there may be a wider release this holiday season.

There are several more films I want to see personally, and few more I hope to take the kids to, including Hava Nagila,

Have you been to Heartland yet this year? What have you seen? What would you like to see?


Disclosure: I’ve received no compensation for the above reviews, but I did receive a media pass as part of the 2013 Twitter team. (It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it)

11 Replies to “Family Friendly Films at Heartland Film Festival 2013”

  1. Great reviews! I’ve never been to Heartland. I’m such an awful Hoosier! 😉 Shirtless Harry floating through the streets like a real live action hero. I mean, nothing. I didn’t have a flashback at all reading that.

    1. Yet another reason why we’re friends….we must have been watching the Today Show on the same morning. Ah memories….

      Heartland is really neat- maybe you can come play on the north side next year! Thanks for sharing all around too!

    1. I hear you. I think if they just marketed to woman over the age of 30 or so and said, it’s 87mins of Harry, they’d have no problem getting a wider distribution. My only wish is that he sat down and played the amazing piano that was in his foyer. BUT I can’t wait for the soundtrack!

  2. I found out that a woman I went to college with is now a movie producer and is in town with one of her latest films that is being shown at the festival! The movie is called “Wish You Well.”

  3. “and if you remember Susan boyle”… What has she done in the past few years? … released four albums (total well over 20,000,000 sold), with a fifth “Home for Christmas” (which includes duets with Elvis and Johnny Mathis) due out next week … had a wonderful and touching musical written about her life (at the end of which she herself sang in over over 75 of the performances) ,.. is in the feature film above, “The Christmas Candle” with the script being rewritten (after it was half done) with a part specially for her (she sings a song written especially her her as well as acts) … toured Scotland performing a 24 song set to sold out venues … was partially responsble for LesMiserables being made into the recent movie (according to Les Mis producers), … sang in China, Japan, Russia and many other countries … sang before the Pope at an outdoor mass in front of thousands and an TV audience of millions … sang at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee … sang in Las Vegas with Donny Osmond (her idol since she was a young teen) … has had two documentaries made of her life (the first following her through her singing in China and the beginnings of the making of the musical “I Dreamed a Dream” and the second coming out later this year following her as she prepared for the Scotland tour in July of this year). Oh yes she has also been nominated for Grammys, won three Guiness World records, matched the Beatles by having back back-to-back number one albums for two years in a row in the UK and US … and – well, I hope you get the “picture” that this movie is not the only thing she has done in the last few years. She has been one busy wee woman fae Scotland.

    1. Take it easy there. I think she was just segueing into bringing up Susan Boyle who is not typically an actress and is more notable for her singing performances. I not only have played and performed in local (and notable) symphonies for over 26 years but am also an avid music lover of all genre’s and Susan Boyle is not on MY radar. NOT because she lacks my interest, but because there are SO many musicians to follow- so little time. SO I think the reference ‘Remember Susan Boyle?’ was more as a director to the next compliment that was given in all caps “AND SHE SINGS’ because well, she is a fantastic performer and she was reminding all of us about that.

      Michelle: I love the festival. This is the first year we haven’t attended one screening but 2 years ago we saw a movie about a homeless family (true story), sat behind the majority of the central cast, the actual family and production staff, and got to have a great discussion with them afterwards. This really left an impression on my kids.

      1. Thanks Heather- you’re exactly right. And the movie soundtrack will be divine, I think.

        So awesome that a Heartland screening made an impression on your kids – I think seeing No Ordinary Hero and listening to the Q &A had a similar effect on mine.

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