OKLAHOMA CITY, Oct. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- The soon-to-be released motion picture "End of the Spear," an inspirational film based on the historical events of the Waodani tribe who speared five American missionaries to death in 1956, has been honored as the grand prize winner for best dramatic feature by the Heartland Film Festival. The grand prize honor comes with a $50,000 check, one of the largest film festival cash prizes in the industry.
The Heartland Film Festival, a non-profit organization based in Indianapolis, was established in 1991 to recognize and honor filmmakers whose work explores the human journey by artistically expressing hope and respect for the positive values of life. The festival seeks to recognize theatrically-released films that seek to enrich, inspire and provide hope.
"Our goal is to bring truth beyond imagination to our culture through incredible true stories, and we're excited by the response to this film," said Bill Ewing, president of Every Tribe Entertainment and producer of "End of the Spear." "We think the message in 'End of the Spear' will impact a new generation. Our hope is that the story will touch the hearts of all who view this film, and honor not only the men who lost their lives, but the Waodani who helped us tell their story."
"End of the Spear" ( http://www.endofthespear.com/ ) is among a select group of 20 independent films in dramatic, documentary and animated categories to receive the 2005 Heartland Film Festival Crystal Heart Award. Judges selected the winning films from 558 submissions in the 2005 festival.
The Heartland Film Festival reported record attendance this year, with an estimated 18,000 moviegoers during the Oct. 13-21 screenings and special events. "End of the Spear," featured several times throughout the festival, attracted the festival's second highest number of moviegoers throughout the week.
"End of the Spear" tells the remarkable true story of how a savage Ecuadorian tribesman becomes grandfather to the family of the American man that he kills. It portrays the experience of the true story of the Waodani leader who speared Nate Saint, and four other missionaries, in the remote Amazon basin of Ecuador. Soon after the spearing a wife of one of the slain men and sister of another went to live with the tribe who killed their loved ones. Within two years, the tribal homicide rate dropped more than 90 percent.
The film follows this remarkable true story through the life journeys of two people: Mincayani, a Waodani warrior who led the raid that killed the missionaries, and Steve Saint, the son of the missionary Mincayani killed. The story was made famous by LIFE magazine and the book, "Through Gates of Splendor," by Elisabeth Elliot. However, most people have never known the other side of the story, from the perspective of the tribe, until now.
Every Tribe Entertainment, an independent film studio created to produce motion picture experiences that delight and inspire a broad international audience with true stories, said End of the Spear will release on Jan. 20, 2006. "End of the Spear" is the first theatrical release for Every Tribe and will be distributed by M Power to 1,200 screens nationwide. The true story commemorates a classic Christian testimony of tragedy, triumph, forgiveness and redemption on the fiftieth anniversary of the missionary slayings.
Rated PG-13, the film is 111 minutes long and is a dramatic adaptation of the 2002 Heartland Film Festival Award-winning documentary, "Beyond the Gates of Splendor." The documentary, released in stores nationwide this month, details the deaths of missionaries Nate Saint, Jim Elliot, Pete Fleming, Ed McCully and Roger Youderian with insight from the missionaries' widows and children, as well as interviews with the actual tribesmen involved in the missionaries' spearings.
About Every Tribe Entertainment
Every Tribe Entertainment (ETE) was created to produce motion picture experiences that delight and inspire a broad international audience with true stories. ETE is driven to provide exceptional entertainment experiences that engage the human spirit, as well as heart and mind. ETE selects stories from the documentaries made by the non-profit ministry Bearing Fruit Communications that unquestionably inspire the human soul, and translates them into memorable motion pictures experiences. Visit http://www.everytribe.com/ or http://www.endofthespear.com/ for more information.
Source: Every Tribe Entertainment