Heartland Film Festival Summer Rewind – June 26-28, 2014
Heartland Film Festival Summer Rewind showcases some of the best Heartland Film Festival movies of the past in an abbreviated, three-day mini-festival format, giving moviegoers an opportunity to see an enlightening slate of independent films and to meet the filmmakers who crafted them. Today we interview one of the attending filmmakers, Producer T.R. Boyce, Jr. His film, The Forgotten Kingdom, was a Festival Award Winner at the 2013 Heartland Film Festival.
T.R. Boyce has worked with some of the best filmmakers in the world: from Steven Spielberg to Mike Nichols; from David Mamet to Tony Gilroy; from Frank Marshall to Scott Rudin and has had the opportunity to work with incredible actors such as Meryl Streep, Dustin Hoffman, Matt Damon and Al Pacino since starting in film 15 years ago. Boyce has used his experiences to produce a number of short films including Gabriel Y Gato, the 2003 Chrysler Million Dollar Film Festival winner directed by Andrew Mudge and Nonplussed directed by AICP award-winning director, Craig Abell-Champion. He produced a multiple Africa Movie Academy Award winning foreign language feature, The Forgotten Kingdom in Southern Africa and co-produced the N.Y.C. feature, Sam & Amira, which just premiered at this year’s Seattle International Film Festival. A 2013 Trans Atlantic Partners fellow, focusing on International Finance and Co-productions, and a 2012 IFP Filmmaker Lab alumnus, Boyce currently has two features and a television show in development with his company, filmROOSTER, and divides his time between New York, Los Angeles and Pennsylvania.
Heartland Film Interview
Heartland Film: Can you tell us a little about your overall Heartland Film Festival experience and what you’re looking forward to the most about returning to Indy?
T.R. Boyce, Jr.: Let me search for the words… hmmm… exciting town. Warm welcomes. Big hearted. Smart audiences. Great films (and also wide roads)…. I mean have you been to the awards ceremony (aka: Heartland Oscars)? Or the Filmmakers Brunch (aka: The Scrambled Eggs and Secrets Session)? Bottom line… there are festivals that feel like home and then there is Heartland, which is home. Coming back again is something I never imagined happening but besides getting to see another season, I get to catch up with old Heartland family and make new Indy friends. What more could one ask for?
Heartland Film: Give us an update on The Forgotten Kingdom since it was shown at Heartland last October. Any big news?
T.R. Boyce, Jr.: Wow where to begin… So many good things. We’ve been lucky enough to have more people join our journey through continued screenings at festivals here and abroad… (while also taking a couple awards along the way).
In Africa, we finally got to take the film back home in what we called the TFK Africa Roadshow. Starting with a premiere for His Majesty, King Letsie the III, the Prime Minister, the Ministries and about 600+ Basotho at the Ster Kinekor theater in Maseru, Andrew and a number of original crew members saddled up in 4x4s with a blowup screen, generators and two big speakers traveling over the course of three weeks to townships and communities throughout Lesotho. Screening outdoors, in churches and sheep shearing buildings, thousands throughout the country got a chance to see what they helped to make. Following that road trip we opened in theaters in Lesotho and South Africa for what turned out to be a great six-week run. We even took tops in the Lesotho box office for 3 weeks beating films like Noah and Captain America. Simply amazing. Culminating our run, we were unexpectedly nominated for nine Africa Movie Academy Awards and last weekend in Nigeria, were awarded 3 for Achievement in Cinematography, Achievement in Sound and for Lebohang Ntsane, our boy actor from Lesotho who had never acted before, Best Child Actor! It was truly a once in a lifetime event to see him take his award and exclaim, “This is for Lesotho!”… a moment to die for!
As for here in the U.S., we are slowly building our followers one viewer and one screening at a time. Through our partnership with Gathr.us, as part of their signature Preview series, we had a one night event screening in 13 cities throughout the country and established the ability for people to request screenings via their website, wherever and whenever they want. Our hopes are each person who sees the will tell another and maybe Lesotho can swell across the nation. In addition, since becoming a member of the Kino Lorber family, we have screenings set up in June as a part of their Alive Mind Cinema series and are setting up week long screenings over the summer in some of our former Festival towns like Minneapolis, Denver, Chicago and Maine. We hope to add many many more so those who missed it at the fests will get a chance to see the film on the big screen in all its beauty. As part of the deal with Kino, we will hopefully be available on DVD by end of summer and with a digital partner with Gaiam TV, viable for download even sooner. Stay tuned to our website and Facebook because I don’t think this ride is over…
Heartland Film: Heartland Film Festival moviegoers love filmmaker Q&As. Let’s say a Summer Rewind attendee wants to earn some brownie points—what is a question that you’d love to answer, but haven’t yet been asked?
T.R. Boyce, Jr.: The BEST question I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR but haven’t been asked… this one is easy… “Where can I send money to invest and be an executive producer in your next film?” No seriously, I’m not sure how other filmmakers feel about it but that would score HUGE brownie points with me.