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Informatics alum’s animated short named an official selection of Heartland Film Festival

September 26, 2011

For School of Informatics and Computing alum Greg Oppman, animation is a way to bring his vision to life. And now Heartland Truly Moving Pictures will help him share his vision directly to the public as part of their annual film festival October 13-22.

Oppman’s animated short, Girlie Jar, was recently named an official selection by the Heartland Film Festival. Girlie Jar is one of only six animated shorts selected by the festival for screening this year. Overall, the festival accepted 118 full-length films and shorts from more than 850 submissions.

Oppman, a 2011 graduate of the Media Arts and Science program at the School of Informatics and Computing and a 2007 graduate of Zionsville High School, began creating Girlie Jar in May of 2010 as part of his senior capstone project.  Using the 3D graphics, animation and digital storytelling skills he developed as a media arts and science student, Girlie Jar tells the story of an army veteran father struggling to open a jar, only to find unexpected strength from his young daughter.

It’s an original concept and story that Oppman plays to comedic effect with his use of animation. “I could have told this story using live action and saved a lot of time. But the advantage of using computer animation was that I could exaggerate both the characters’ proportions and the storyline to give an unexpected twist to a familiar situation.”

Girlie Jar’s light-hearted touch fits well with Heartland’s mission to promote positive change in people’s lives through the transformative power of film, and bodes well for continued increased support of animated filmmaking from the festival.

“Many of the animated shorts are lighter as opposed to our heavier message [live-action] films, which provides comic relief to our patrons,” says Ray Mills, Heartland Film Festival artistic director. “I’m really excited about the future of animation at the Heartland Film Festival. We have not emphasized it in the past, but I’m hoping to change that as we go forward.”

Girlie Jar will be screened on October 15 at 3:35 p.m. and October 18 at 4:00 p.m. at AMC Castleton Square, and also on October 19 at 3:45 p.m. and October 22 at 6:45 p.m. at AMC Showplace 17 on South Meridian.

Started in 1992, Heartland Film Festival attracts thousands of visitors to enjoy independent films and special events. The festival awards more than $100,000 in cash prizes. Learn more at

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Media Contact

Joanne Lovrinic