Ball State University and Heartland Film Team Up to Offer Rare Learning Opportunity for Film Production Students


Ball State University film production students will get a rare opportunity to learn from Indianapolis-based Heartland Film—well-known for hosting the Heartland International Film Festival—thanks to a creative partnership between Heartland and the University’s new Radiance Cinema.

A year-long Ball State Immersive Learning project formed jointly by the University’s College of Communication, Information, and Media (CCIM) and the College of Fine Arts (CFA), Radiance Cinema will give students the chance to participate in a film festival. In Summer 2024, Ball State students will showcase the films they’ve created during a dedicated time block at the Indy Shorts Festival—hosted by Heartland Film. Additionally, Heartland Film staff will visit campus to teach about film festivals.

“We are excited to partner with Heartland Film,” said Benjamin Strack, assistant teaching professor of Media at Ball State. “The collaboration between the Department of Theatre and Dance (in CFA) and the Department of Media (in CCIM) provides new opportunities to expand student expertise, and these efforts are unified into the new program, Radiance Cinema.

“Our partnership with Heartland Film makes student film production real,” Mr. Strack added. “Their collaboration gives a professional goal for the students to achieve.”

Mark Cabus, assistant teaching professor of Acting and co-collaborator in the College of Fine Arts, also has high hopes for the program’s success.

“Radiance Cinema is a class and a program whose time has come,” Mr. Cabus said. “With the passing of Act 361 last year, providing tax credits to film and television production companies coming to our state, we hope to cultivate resources for those companies and our students in their post-college careers.”

Partnering with Ball State students aligns with Heartland Film’s mission to curate, promote, and celebrate thoughtful and engaging films from diverse perspectives, according to Heartland Film president and Ball State alum Michael Ault, ’86.

“As a Ball State alum, I’m delighted to welcome Radiance Cinema to the Heartland International Film Festival,” Mr. Ault said. “I believe this program will help inspire and develop the next generation of cinematic leaders as students network and experience films from local and international independent filmmakers this Fall.”

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