Heartland film winner gives back to community


One of the winners for this year's Heartland Film Festival is making an impact all around the world. The Egyptian born filmmaker is giving back here in Indianapolis.

When Mohamed Diab made the film Cario 678, a film about women standing up to sexual harrassment, he had no idea that the movie would resonate with females all around the world.

"I never thought that the film could affect anyone outside of Egypt, I never thought the problem was as big anyplace outside of Egypt. I showed the film in 50 cities around the world and the reactions are the same," said Diab.

The film, based on true stories, follows three Egyptian women who decide to stand up against the constant attacks and groping from men. One of the women filed the first sexual harassment lawsuit in Egypt and won the case.

The filmmaker explained, "Three weeks after the film was released in Egypt, they changed the laws of sexual harrassment. More and more women, and this is more important, are actually standing up and filing cases against harassers."

Saturday night, Cairo 678 took grand prize for best narrative feature at the Heartland Film Festival, which comes with $100,000.

"I always wished as a kid that I make a difference in the world. Yesterdays prize just made me feel like I am on the right track," said Diab.

"Heartlands mission is to inspire audiences and filmmakers through the transformative power of film and Mohamed is doing exactly that," said Tim with Heartland Film Festival.

Despite the fact that Diab came to Indianapolis with only $20, he is donating $25,000 back to a charity in Indianapolis.

Diab says, "It's a promise I made to myself. Any money I am ever going to make, I am going to donate 20% because I am one of the people who wants to make a difference in the world."

He says from now on, Heartland will be his compass, making sure never compromises meaning for money.

You can see the film Cairo 678 along with other independent films all week long.