DIRECTOR: Maura Anderson

Expected to attend: Director Maura Anderson, Executive Producer Grace Kim, Producer Wesley Hamm, Actor/Producer/Writer Velinda Godfrey

Two very different women form an unexpected bond, but when their friendship sparks a reckless romance their worlds are turned upside-down.

Lauren is at sea after the death of her girlfriend. Finding herself jobless and evicted, she retreats to her childhood home in Oklahoma and her well-meaning but less than accepting mother (splendidly portrayed by Beth Grant). Also returning to the nest is Lauren’s brother Justin, bringing his polished, Californian girlfriend, Carrie, with him. Carrie is a fish out of water, always overdressed and underprepared for the social niceties of this small town. Justin and Carrie are driven and business-minded, and the pair’s romantic and business relationships are inextricably linked as they try to launch a local branch of her family’s Napa winery. When a crucial meeting sends Justin out of town, Lauren’s grief and Carrie’s career and commitment anxieties draw the two women together, challenging them to face their fears and rise from the ashes of their former lives.

Having worked extensively behind the scenes in film and digital platforms, Maura Anderson chose to make Heartland her feature directorial debut after she was first approached to produce. Set against the beauty of the plains, Heartland’s story is accompanied by a warm acoustic score. Velinda Godfrey, who plays Lauren, co-wrote the script with Todd Waring after the two met in a workshop led by Jeffrey Tambor. Together, Anderson and Godfrey lead a majority female cast and crew to bring this down-to-earth story to the screen.

— Laura Henneman

AT&T Audience Award Text Voting Code: F114

Co-presented by:
Women's Film Institute

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