Heartland Film Forum



The purpose of the Heartland Independent Film Forum (a 501(c)3 nonprofit) is to promote the production and distribution of award-winning independent films in the American midwest. The Forum's goal is to tell stories via both feature and documentary films that inform and enlighten audiences. Film projects developed in Michigan and other midwestern states draw on first rate talent from the region. These projects tell vital stories often overlooked by the media. These films create new opportunities for producers, directors, actors, crew and educators who have made a name for themselves in the midwest. The Forum also reaches a wide audience by distributing films in America and abroad through theaters, performing arts centers, colleges, schools and libraries. Wide international audiences are reached via DVD and streaming. 

In addition the Forum presents these inspiring, entertaining and informative films through educational television and other non-theatrical distribution channels. The forum supports many special events and VIP receptions with filmmakers, actors, screenwriters and cinematographers. From large community theaters to college theaters, the Forum reaches a diverse audience, drawing support from across the country and abroad.


Now Your Donation Goes Twice As Far

All donations made through January 31, 2019 will be matched thanks to a generous gift from

Ilene Tyler and Norman Tyler.

Our Projects


Feature Films

Heartland has supported the production of three feature films made in the American Midwest, Eclipse Award Winning Waterwalk, Pilot Error and Coming Up For Air to be released 2019.


Web Resource

Heartland is currently creating a website featuring the complete victim impact statements of more than 200 women who spoke at the sentencing of Michigan State University sports medicine Dr. Larry Nassar. This important resource documents the case histories of women who were victims of this trusted physician. Created with our media partner, the University of Michigan Daily, this site will become an important research tool useful to anyone who wants to know more about this landmark case that is beginning to transform the legal landscape in Michigan and beyond.

Justice Through Storytelling

Heartland supports  the work of Justice Through Storytelling which advocates for women defending their lives against an intimate abuser.  Women in the America, according to the CDC, are more likely to be killed by an intimate abuser, spouse or boyfriend than a stranger.  When women have defended their lives many have ended up in prison due to a lack of understanding by prosecutors, judges and juries.



An important Heartland mission is our work with student interns through our affiliated production companies. These training opportunities give students an opportunity to gain valuable production experience that will help them pursue careers in the film world. Heartland sponsored productions also give many young actors their first opportunity to appear in feature films, an important step from stage productions to motion pictures and television work. 

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What we are doing now


Sponsorship opportunities

Heartland is actively sponsoring community events in the midwest with a focus on suicide prevention, gun safety and mental health. These events, tied in to the forthcoming feature film Coming Up For Air partner with community mental health organizations, universities, schools, churches, synagogues and other community groups. Following up on the success of events in Milwaukee and Muskegon, events are now being planned for Kalamazoo, Grand Haven, Ludington, Grand Rapids and Traverse City. Let us know if you would like to sponsor one of these events. 

Heartland plays an active role in supporting community film events including appearances by acclaimed actors like Richard Riehle (The Fugitive, Office Space), Hollywood documentary producer Gene Gamache, Actor and Director Robert Cicchini, author/historian Dr. William Anderson, prosecutor D.J. Hilson and producer Andrew Sacks. In addition Heartland has been instrumental in promoting the distribution of documentary films across the midwest. 


Book and online course

The success of the Heartland supported feature film Pilot Error has inspired an acclaimed new book, Angle of Attack: Air France 447 and The Future of Aviation Safety. Great notices for this book, now in its third printing, has led to creation of an online training course on high altitude flying with co-author 777 Captain Shem Malmquist. 

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Our Team


Roger Rapoport 


Jean Pataky


William Loxterman
Jeff Closz

Phone: (231) 720-0930
Address: 339 Houston Avenue, Muskegon, MI 49441