2014 Heartland Film Festival 'SlingShot' Review

What do you know about Segway creator Dean Kamen? I knew next to nothing, except that he died after a freak Segway accident involving a cliff. Turns out, that wasn’t even true! I had no idea that he was an eccentric genius scientist who has dedicated his life to invention.

About the Film
‘SlingShot’ is a documentary feature about Dean Kamen’s pursuit to solve the world’s water crisis. This is not a simple problem to solve, and he has dedicated 15 years to trying to create a solution for a crisis that affects billions.

As learned in the film, 50 percent of all human illness is the result of water borne pathogens. Dean invented an energy efficient vapor compression distiller known as SlingShot that can turn any unfit source of water (seawater, poisoned well water, river sludge, etc.) into potable, safe water without any need for chemical additives or filters.

The SlingShot vapor compression distiller could positively impact 500 million people.

‘SlingShot’ Review
Dean Kamen is a charismatic, brilliant, and totally quirky film subject. He is smart, talented, and driven to leave the world a better place where he found it. ‘SlingShot’ does a great job of showing him in a candid way. I knew next to nothing about Dean before watching this film, and now I feel like I know him personally.

Watching his vapor compression distiller go through early development to actual trial testing in rural Ghana (and beyond) was thrilling. It brought the global water crisis to the forefront and definitely made me think very differently about the water that flows freely from the faucets in my kitchen and bathroom.

This movie showcases the importance of innovation, invention, science, technology, and most importantly, passion.

There are three more opportunities for you to watch ‘SlingShot’ during the Heartland Film Festival. Ticketing information is available at www.heartlandfilm.org/festival/tickets.

Remaining ‘SlingShot’ Showtimes
Wednesday, Oct. 22 – 7:15 p.m. (AMC Castleton)
Thursday, Oct. 23 – 6:15 p.m. (AMC Traders Point)
Saturday, Oct. 25 – 3 p.m. (AMC Traders Point)

More information about ‘SlingShot’ can be found on the film’s official website: http://www.slingshotdoc.com/.

Photo Credit: Heartland Film

2014 Heartland Film Festival 'Lucky Stiff' Review

Out of the 130 independent films being showcased during the Heartland Film Festival, there are not many that fall into the musical comedy genre.

About the Film
‘Lucky Stiff’ is a narrative feature that celebrated its U.S. premiere at Heartland. The musical comedy with a romantic heart follows a British shoe salesman to a Moroccan casino where he helps his dead uncle live out his last, dying wishes. Yes, you read that correctly; his dead uncle.

Turns out this uncle was involved in an embezzlement scheme involving $6 million in diamonds and a dame with terrible eyesight… and hilarious calamity ensues.

The film’s cast includes veteran actors Jason Alexander, Pamela Shaw, and Dennis Farina.

Dominic Marsh plays Harry in 'Lucky Stiff.'

‘Lucky Stiff’ Review
I giggled through this entire film. Seriously. If you need a break from some of the heavy/serious films of the festival, this is an excellent choice.

Some of the situations were absolutely ludicrous, and I found them delightful. There are some great slapstick comedy moments, lots of amusing irony, and plenty of original songs to keep a smile on your face.

If you don’t like silly, goofy plots without a strong message or takeaway, this is not the film for you.

There are two more opportunities for you to watch ‘Lucky Stiff’ during the Heartland Film Festival. Ticketing information is available at www.heartlandfilm.org/festival/tickets.

Remaining ‘Lucky Stiff’ Showtimes
Tuesday, Oct. 21 – 5 p.m. (AMC Castleton)
Wednesday, Oct. 22 – 5 p.m. (AMC Traders Point)

More information about ‘Lucky Stiff’ can be found on the film’s official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/LuckyStiff.

Photo Credit: Heartland Film