(KXXV) — Waco's own Deep in the Heart Film Festival begins March 28, and for the third year, amazing filmmakers, artists and visitors will enjoy films and events.
A local program will also kick off during the film festival festivities that pairs cowboys with artists to help Central Texas students.
The strength of Waco, is in its heart.
"You're going to get the Waco experience," said Deep in the Heart Film Festival Co-Founder Louis Hunter.
Co-Founders Samuel Thomas and Hunter love Waco and that's why they created the event that brings world-renowned filmmakers to town, and celebrates local storytellers.
"I hope someone who comes to the festival leaves with just a wow feeling. Those are the films that we select. We want to find things that hit you in your chest. Either they scare you or leave you in tears but at the end of the day, you will feel affected and just share the stories we have in Waco," said Hunter.
This year, the documentary "Let'er Buck," on the century-old Pendleton Round-Up in Oregon, created an opportunity for local cowboys and artists to become partners.
"We're calling this the 'Great HeARTventure' and the idea is really to connect the arts community with the HOT Fair & Rodeo and generate more scholarship money that we can give out," said HOT Fair & Rodeo VP of Marketing and Sponsorship Development Charva Ingram.
Ingram says the nonprofit has sent out over $3 million in scholarships to local students since 1991. The Great HeARTventure Program will raise money by selling more than 30 hearts to sponsors created by local artists or groups. They will be on display at the HOT Fair & Rodeo in October.
"The hearts are four feet tall. Made of fiberglass. They're on two stilt legs...we want them to use their artistic creativity and just have a lot of fun with the project," said Ingram.
Fiona Bond is the Executive Director of Creative Waco, and is connecting local artists to the project.
"Everyone will be a reminder that people love our community. That we have a creative community and that we all love to help young people get to the next level," said Bond.
Bond says most people see the arts as icing on the cake but great ideas like this, are a core component of what makes Waco unique.
"It's those things that define us as people. It's those things that define our values and connect us to one another and really make us not just another city but actually make us a city of personality, authenticity and heart," said Bond.
If you would like to sponsor a heart or create one, you can contact the HOT Fair & Rodeo and learn more here.
To purchase tickets to attend Deep in the Heart Film Festival, visit their website.
Central Texas News Now is a proud sponsor of Deep in the Heart Film Festival.
"Texas Voices" features the artists, musicians and creatives in our great state.