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Truly Moving Picture Award - Heartland Film

Truly Moving Picture Award

Heartland Film honors select theatrically-released films--entertaining movies that do more than just entertain--with the Truly Moving Picture Award.

The Award allows studios and distributors to inform potential audiences of a film’s transformative power, and serves as a curatorial standard to enable moviegoers to identify entertaining films that do much more than just entertain.

Submissions are received directly from studios and producers for consideration. Films submitted to Heartland Film for Truly Moving Picture Award consideration are judged on their overall artistic and technical quality. Each film is screened by Truly Moving Picture Award jury members and Heartland Film staff.

2015 Truly Moving Picture Award winners include:


McFarland, USA

Seymour: An Introduction

2014 Truly Moving Picture Award winners include:

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day






The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

The Good Lie


The Imitation Game


The Judge



Million Dollar Arm

The Monuments Men

Mr. Peadbody & Sherman

Disney's Muppets Most Wanted

St. Vincent

The Theory of Everything width=


The Wind Rises

Full listing/database of past Truly Moving Picture Award winners coming soon.

What merits the TMPA?
Films selected for the Truly Moving Picture Award promote positive change through the transformative power of film. Heartland believes that films are transformative because their artistic and technical quality draws the viewer in and allows them to fully experience whatever story the filmmakers are trying to tell.

The story of every selected film will be one that has the power to impact the audience in a positive way. A film that aligns with Heartland’s mission will create some kind of positive change in the viewer, and can change the way they see the world. It could be the kind of change that inspires a viewer, or perhaps educates them. It could change their perspective or make them think about certain topics in new ways.

The transformative power of a film is evidenced in the way its combination of image, sound and music engages, enthralls and entertains audiences. Transformative power is inherent in the film, and lies in elements such as the acting, directing and cinematography. A film with transformative power is creative, beautiful, original, artistic and truthful. A film with these technical and artistic elements, combined with an ability to make a positive impact on the person experiencing it, is one that aligns with Heartland’s mission.

What is “Positive Change”?
Positive change is something the viewer takes away from the film, and is not something inherent in the film itself.

Positive change can be present in many forms, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Positive change can be something that educates an audience
  • Positive change can be something that inspires an audience, something that makes them want to go out in the world and do something
  • Positive change can be something that shifts a viewer’s perspective on life or on a particular subject
  • Positive change can be something that changes a viewer’s attitude on a certain topic
What is “Transformative Power”?
The quality of a film affects its ability to effectively promote positive change. These are elements inherent in the film – creativity, beauty, credibility, originality, truthfulness, and technical aspects such as direction, screenwriting, acting, cinematography or editing.

Some elements of transformative power include the following:

  • Story (How interesting is the premise and structure of the film?)
  • Originality (Have you seen this story and characters in other films?)
  • Creativity (Do the filmmakers utilize innovative techniques in telling the story?)
  • Credibility (Does the film ring true, in both the story and characters?)
  • Acting (How strong are the performances?)
  • Soundtrack (How well is the sound and music integrated with the visuals?)
  • Cinematography (How strong is the shot selection, framing and camera movement?)
  • Editing (How tightly is the film cut together; are there egregious continuity issues?)
  • Writing (Is the dialogue realistic or effective? Does the story structure make as much sense as it needs to?)