Chad Veal's 20 Over picked up the $1,000 prize for Best Indiana Student Film at the 2020 Indy Shorts International Film Festival as the Academy Award-qualifying festival winds down from a week of virtual and drive-in screenings that have proven once again that no matter the obstacle the folks at Heartland Film always put together a top-notch program and the world class service for which the festival is known.
A student film out of Upland, Indiana's Taylor University, 20 Over is an inspirational feel-good doc about Noah Malone, a star track athlete who was only in middle school when he began developing a rare eye disease that eventually left him legally blind. Living amidst these difficult circumstances, Noah continues to shine while pursuing greater achievements, breaking down barriers, and constantly pursuing the goals he sets for himself.
This 9-minute short doc is devoid of the usual heartstring histrionics you often find in such a film. Instead, Veal trusts the power and the inspiration of the story itself and the quiet charisma of the immensely likable Malone. Heartland Film audiences absolutely love stories like 20 Over and there's no doubt this is a film Indy Shorts audiences will be talking about.
Weaving together engaging interviews with compelling animation and top-notch production values, Veal wisely avoids the oft-hated "inspiration porn" in favor of a story of empowerment, perseverance, and the resilience of the human spirit.
If you don't know Noah Malone, you'll want to by the end of 20 Over.