About the Festival Taking place at the Eloia Theater in downtown Calvert, the Tenderheart Film Festival is an industry leading event in a historic venue of Texas fame. The festival boasts the opportunity for independent filmmakers to showcase their work, connect with industry professionals, win awards, attend trade seminars, and screen their film in front of potential sales agents and distributors. Inspired by humanitarian Chris Johnson, the films included in our program reflect the qualities of friendship, kindness, and compassion.
Andrew Patterson, Festival Director - Andrew’s first film Subtle Voices: Cries from Colombia (2006) was an official selection at both the Delray Beach Film Festival and the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival. His second film, Let There Be Zombies (2014) premiered to a sold out crowd of over seven hundred fans at the Lakewood Theater in Dallas. The film won the People’s Choice Award at the Interurban Film Festival and the Award of Merit at Indie Fest. Let There Be Zombies has been picked up for distribution and now available on demand from multiple platforms such as Amazon, Vudu, iTunes, Hulu, Dish On Demand, Xbox Video, Playstation, and Google Play. His third feature film Prepper (2016) premiered at the historic Texas Theatre in Dallas and won Best Feature at the Boomtown Film and Music Festival, Best Domestic Feature at the Fort Worth Indie Film Showcase, and Honorable Mention at the Lionshead Film Festival. It is now available on Amazon and Vimeo and is being prepared for distribution through Global Digital Release. The Tenderheart Film Festival is a passion of Andrew’s and he is excited to see this dream come to fruition and continue to grow.
Daniel Beltran, Festival Producer - A key member of the Film Patterson team since 2011, Daniel made his mark in film as Production Coordinator for Let There Be Zombies (2014) and continues to build his resume. Stepping up in the role of producer for the short film Unalii marked Daniel’s first Executive Producer credit. He was a key producer in development and production on the film Prepper (2016) and is set to reprise his producer status for several upcoming projects. Daniel’s joy for the craft of filmmaking, work ethic, networking skills, and relentless pursuit of excellence have been the keys to unlocking the success of the Film Patterson team. Like the Tenderheart Film Festival, whenever there is a successful red carpet experience you can bet that Daniel was a big part of the production.
Lara Patterson, Artistic Director - Lara officially began her career in film working in the art department on Let There be Zombies (2014) where she discovered a passion for set design. She continued to develop her craft while working on the documentary film Tenderheart and the short film Unalii. In her most recent film Prepper (2016), Lara lent her talents as Art Director, as well as stepped up to the role of producer. In both her roles, Lara is able to blend the unique skills of creative design and hard nosed financial organizer. She brings both of those skills to continue the success of the Tenderheart Film Festival.
Chris Johnson, Moderator - Chris Johnson was born in 1974, at Ellsworth AFB Hospital, in Rapid City, South Dakota. At the age of five, a doctor diagnosed him with a brain tumor and it was removed at Walter Reed Medical Center. He overcame the operation but went on to require radiation therapy. At the age of seven, he started second grade at Wakefield Elementary in Sherman, Texas but due to the radiation and surgery, he had to relearn how to read, write, spell or count. When he was thirteen, he attended a Boy Scout summer camp where he learned how to craft lanyards using a plastic material called Rex Lace. Continuing to experiment with Rex Lace over the years, Chris has built a ministry making figurines which he has shared with kids and people of all ages. Chris currently teaches his craft and has been a featured instructor at such institutions that include Grand Avenue Presbyterian Church, Austin College, Camp Gilmont, Grace Presbytery, and Saint Stephens Presbyterian Church. Tenderheart, the original documentary film about Chris was the inspiration behind the creation of the Tenderheart Film Festival in 2016.