Deep in the Heart

Deep in the Heart Film Festival co-director Louis Hunter and his wife, Emily, the festival hospitality specialist, prepare lanyards for this year’s event, based at the Waco Hippodrome.

Waco’s Deep In The Heart Film Festival kicks off Thursday at the Waco Hippodrome, with three nights and slightly more than two days’ worth of movies long and short that display fresh energy, creativity within limited resources and a love for film-making.

This year marks the festival’s third year and includes seven feature-length movies and 103 short films, most between two and 20 minutes long. Those are grouped somewhat thematically for screening purposes, with such flexible themes as “The Shorts At Night Are Big And Bright” (Texas-related shorts for Opening Night), “Our Twisted World” and “No Easy Answers.”

There’s a Saturday afternoon block for kid-friendly shorts and an encore block on Sunday that reprises some of the audience favorites for the week, for those who want the high points of the week.

Among this year’s highlights:

  • Waco-made films
  • — Film shorts made in Waco include Brian Elliott and David Feagan’s “Age Of Bryce,” where a 12-year-old boy breaks free from his safety-obsessed, helicoptering mom (Baylor theater department chair Deanna Toten Beard); “Igniting Hope,” about a Cultivate 7twelve art exhibit on human trafficking, presented in conjunction with an emphasis on the anti-trafficking work of UnBound; “UnBound,” a longer look at UnBound’s work, including a former trafficking victim now helping others; and the children’s program “The Topaz Troop.”

The festival’s student films also includes Baylor work in “The Watchmakers,” “Wolfbane,” “The Man With Bloody Tears,””Smoke” and “Step By Step.”

  • “This Is Love,”
  • a documentary about unsung musician Rudy Love, produced by Mick Fleetwood, Sinbad and George Clinton (Saturday, 2:45 p.m.).
  • Prize-winning short
  • “Caroline,”
  • about kids left in a hot car by a flustered mom, which made the 2019 Academy Awards shortlist for short films and was screened at the Cannes International Film Festival (Saturday, 6 p.m.).
  • “Let ’Er Buck,”
  • a documentary about the long-running Pendleton Round-Up rodeo in Pendleton, Oregon, shown in conjunction with the launch of a public art fundraiser by the HOT Fair and Rodeo (Friday, 8 p.m.).
  • “The Last Whistle,”
  • a drama where a Texas high school football coach pushes winning too far (Saturday, 8:30 p.m.).
  • “You People,”
  • in which a black man adopted by a white suburban family struggles with his identity (Friday, 12:30 p.m.).
  • “Minor Injustice,”
  • a documentary looking at a Texas justice system that charges 17-year-olds as adults (Friday, 1:30 p.m.).

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