What do Indianapolis, Bangkok, Palm Springs, Cabo San Lucas, and Cape Town all have in common? Their international film festivals were all started with the help of Craig Prater.

Craig, now the president of the Heartland International Film Festival, grew up in Fillmore, Missouri. When he was young, his grandmother would lift him up on the sofa, give him a movie magazine, and say, “Look at all these movie stars. You’ll need this someday.” She was right. After college at Northwestern Missouri State, Craig moved to Palm Springs and worked on Sonny Bono’s political campaigns.

“Yeah, here’s where I get defensive of the city of Indianapolis because Indianapolis as a city
would hold its own with any majors in this country, and I could argue and debate anyone who
wants to take me on.” – Craig Prater

Craig’s career in film festivals began when Sonny, then the mayor of Palm Springs, wanted to start an international film festival in Palm Springs. From there, Craig then traveled all over the world to launch other film festivals. Tune in to learn about the prestige of the Heartland International Film Festival, the cultural differences in how the arts are supported, and the logistics of starting a film festival. Drink deep of the culture that surrounds you with Craig Prater from Heartland International Film Festival.


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Hayley Brown

Hayley Brown

Drink Culture