WACO, Texas (FOX 44)- The Deep in the Heart Film Festival makes a return back to the Waco Hippodrome.

“The film festival. It’s not a film series. It’s not just a film screening. It’s a festival. There’s a reason the word festival is there,” says John Wildman, with the Deep in the Heart Film Festival.

The in-person event kicks off on Thursday July 21st. There is a wide selection of short films to watch throughout the four day event.

The 6th Annual Deep in the Heart Film Festival announced that Juliet Landau, the Director, Co-writer, Producer, and star of A Place Among the Dead, and her husband, and the film’s co-writer/producer, Deverill Weekes, are unable to attend the festival in person, due to testing positive for Covid-19.

Landau said, “Deverill and I are so incredibly bummed. We were beyond excited to come to Waco and share our film with what we’ve heard are amazing film fans there. Unfortunately, Covid-19 has hit our home, so taking care of our health and ensuring the safety of everyone else is just what has to be done. As soon as we discovered this, I began working with co-founders Samuel (Thomas) and Louis (Hunter) to do all that I was scheduled to do live, now virtually. We are crestfallen not to be celebrating this visionary festival in person. Dev and I have been really looking forward to attending live but thank goodness we can be a part of sharing A PLACE AMONG THE DEAD, the post-film Q&A and the roundtable panel discussion, etc., online.” 

Thomas and Hunter added, “It is sincerely disappointing that we will not be able to have Juliet join us on Friday night. We are big fans of her film and, of course, all of the great stuff she has done prior to that – having her join us was going to be one of our personal highlights as well as the film festival itself. Of course, safety, her and Deverill’s health, and everyone else’s health at the film festival is always our chief priority and it just shows that in addition to being such a beloved talent in the genre community, that she also immediately had everyone else in her mind when letting us know she could not come. Hopefully, Juliet’s schedule will make it possible for her to join us next year and will give her the proper Waco welcome and celebration at that time.”
“Literally, you want to cross off every day and just have fun for four days nonstop,” says Wildman.

This year the film festival is launching the Made Deep in the Heart Screenplay Grant. This grant is awarded to the winner of the festival’s screenplay contest, and it provides a variety of elements for producing that screenplay in Waco.

“Which is all part of that effort to get people to come back to Waco to make films. And literally, it’s like up to like $2,500,” says Wildman.

Brazos Theatre, Silent House Theater, and Wild Imaginings will perform the finalists at the festival 

To ensure everyone gets the best experience of the four day event transportation will be available.

“We have a Waco trolley film maker shuttle, which is bringing our filmmakers all the way from the DFW airport to Waco and other places to get them back and forth easy,” says Wildman.

You’ll even get a chance to scout the Waco area and learn about the benefits and opportunities of filming in Central Texas.

“We’ll give a Waco film locations tour, and that’s going to go through all the cool areas and not just the obvious ones that could be used as locations to to shoot at,” says Wildman.

If you can’t make it out in person or simply miss a day, don’t worry, there are other options.

“We have a virtual option, I think that’s here to stay, not just for Deep in the Heart of Film Festival, but a lot of film festivals are going to always continue to have a virtual option,” says Wildman.