From Africa to Indiana, discover the heart of film - The Echo News
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From Africa to Indiana, discover the heart of film

Alumni screen films at Heartland Film Festival

After 800 hours, “Film School Africa” can be shown to the public. (Provided by Nathan Pfaff and Andrew Paul Davis)

After 800 hours, “Film School Africa” can be shown to the public. (Provided by Nathan Pfaff and Andrew Paul Davis)

By Gabby Carlson | Echo

Taylor graduates Andrew Paul Davis (’18) and Nathan Pfaff (’14) will be featured on the big screen this month.

Their films, “Palace” and “Film School Africa” were accepted and will be shown at the Indiana based Heartland Film Festival three times apiece from October 14–20, 2018. The full festival runs from October 11–21, 2018, according to the festival’s website.

Davis began his journey to The Heartland Film Festival two days before deadline. His narrative film, “Palace,” was not yet finished when he submitted it. It was a project he began writing summer 2017.

According to “Palace’s” official press kit, “This cross-generational portrait of life in the cornfields examines familial dissociation, culture-clash and the pursuit of music, back-dropped by the crackling soil of early spring-time Indiana.”

Filming took 18 consecutive days in March 2018, and the project exclusively features Grant County. He submitted his work-in-progress just before deadline and waited for a response.

“I had always planned to go after the winter heavy-hitters like Sundance,” Davis said. “But I decided last minute Heartland would be our best bet at a big premiere where our Indiana story would be appreciated.”

Shortly after Davis moved to Bloomington from Florida this August, he received an email confirming his film’s acceptance into the Heartland Film Festival.

As well as Davis, Pfaff has entered his film, “Film School Africa,” into several film festivals. It has been selected for screening and  

Andrew Paul Davis studies his script. (Provided by Andrew Paul Davis)

Andrew Paul Davis studies his script. (Provided by Andrew Paul Davis)

nominated or won 12 different times, including the Heartland Film Festival.

He worked solo on his documentary with another Taylor alum, Katie Taylor (02) in Cape Town, South Africa, for almost three months and only used his camera, GoPro and phone for filming.

In the film, he tells Taylor’s story of moving to South Africa and taking a job teaching filmmaking to children who desired to tell a story. Because of this decision, Taylor declined a prestigious position in Hollywood ending her up and coming film making career.

“(Taylor) came back to Taylor (University) in 2013 to give a presentation about the school when I was studying media comm,” Pfaff said. “I thought it was really cool when she talked about how the students in South Africa naturally ended up telling stories from their lives, and in doing so, used their film projects as art therapy.”

Editing was another job he took on alone, aside from audio mixing and the film soundtrack. Around 800 hours later, from his couch in Los Angeles, “Film School Africa” was complete.

Being back in Indiana will be sentimental for both Taylor and Pfaff since both of them began their film careers at Taylor.

“Heartland was actually the first film festival I was ever exposed to or attended, and since I know it is a relatively large and well respected festival, it was always my dream to have it screen there,” Pfaff said.

Alumni and current students are encouraged to attend the Heartland Film Festival and support local filmmakers and their fellow Taylor graduates. The festival will be held in various venues in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Both filmmakers are waiting on various other film festivals to accept their films in the coming weeks and months. They will also both be in attendance to their film’s screenings.

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