Chagrin Documentary Film Festival – Official Selection

CONGRATULATIONS to the Wine Diamonds Film team for being chosen as an OFFICIAL SELECTION to the Chagrin Documentary Film Festival. The Chagrin Documentary Film Festival is “named to MovieMaker Magazine’s prestigious list of “Top 50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee”, the Festival takes place at venues in and around the lovely century village of Chagrin Falls, Ohio.”

We are excited and honored to be chosen as an Official Selection to this important documentary film festival and thrilled to share the story of growing Midwestern wine industry with audiences across the country.


“2016 Outstanding Industry Partner Award”


Wine Diamonds: Uncorking America’s Heartland™ is a feature length independent documentary film about the struggles and opportunities of creating a new wine region in the upper Midwest.

This past weekend we attended the Iowa Wine Growers Association’s annual conference to talk to industry about our film, show a clip and the trailer and were surprised and honored to be recognized with the 2016 “Outstanding Industry Partner Award!”  Thank you Iowa!

Watch: Wine Diamonds Movie Trailer

UPDATE: We began filming in July 2014 and for the past 18 months we’ve driven more than 3,000 miles, filmed in four states (IA, IL, MN & WI), interviewed more than 200 wine industry people, and cataloged more than 100 hours of interview footage.

Right now we are in the final stages of editing the movie and need your help. This last phase is a time consuming and expensive stage. We need to raise several thousand dollars to help us pay for the movie soundtrack composition and production, entry into film festival competitions (to help us get picked up by a national distributor), and attendance at film festivals across the country.

We’re at a critical point right now and need your help today. Your help means so much to our successful completion and if every local wine lover (or fan of independent film) gave $10 we’d be well on our way to achieving our goal of making a beautifully filmed and compelling story.

Your donation will help us tell this important wine story. Please give now:


IWGA “2016 Outstanding Industry Partner” Award
Mike White presents Wine Diamonds Producer, Brad Johnson, the 2016 “Outstanding Industry Partner” Award for the Wine Diamonds Team
Brad Johnson, film producer, talks with IWGA members about the film.
Iowa Wine Growers Association members watching Wine Diamonds clip.


“On the Road” wins Motion Picture Award!

The producers of Wine Diamonds: Uncorking America’s Heartland is pleased to announce our “On the Road” web series has been nominated to receive an Iowa Motion Picture Association (IMPA) Award!

UPDATE – The “On the Road” web series won an Award of Achievement from IMPA. WATCH!

IMPA-acrylic-artBeing named as an official nominee signifies that our entry was selected by a panel of IMPA judges as one of the top entries in a specific category. By being a nominee it means our web series has qualified to win either an Award of Achievement or an Award of Excellence. The highest-scoring entry in each category earns the Award of Excellence.

“On the Road” is a companion web series from the producers of the documentary film, Wine Diamonds: Uncorking America’s Heartland. “On the Road” offers a fresh perspective on the world of wine by exploring the new frontier of wine that’s happening in the Midwest. This new web series has multifaceted purposes: to explore the burgeoning new Midwestern wine region by introducing wine enthusiasts to some of the most exciting wines and winemakers in the region; to inform and educate wine fans about delicious wines grown and made in the heartland and discuss, in informal terms, much of the wine jargon used today; all wrapped in a package that’s fun, lighthearted and entertaining.

The Iowa Motion Picture Awards recognize outstanding creative and technical achievement in Iowa’s moving image production industry, in all its forms – including 21 program categories and 26 craft categories – directing, acting, cinematography, lighting, screenwriting, art direction, editing – and many more. There are two levels of recognition, the Award of Achievement and the highest Award of Excellence.

Kirk 2013
Kirk Monson accepts a 2014 IMPA Award of Excellence.

This is the first award recognition for the producers of Wine Diamonds; however, in past years Kirk Monson and Jeff Zahrt have both won top honors for exceptional work in documentary film production, television commercial production, and earned special recognition for writing and cinematography.

The 24th Annual Iowa Motion Picture Awards will be held on Saturday, May 2, 2015, at the historic renovated Pella Opera House Theater Center, 611 Franklin, Pella, Iowa. The public is invited to join with Iowa filmmakers throughout the day and evening Saturday, May 2, in workshops, networking events, and the 24th Annual Gala Awards Ceremony, which is Iowa’s version of the Academy Awards.

We are humbled by the early recognition for this important project and we are grateful for the IMPA honor; and happily send our appreciation to the winery families we’ve met and interviewed, and we wish to acknowledge our full team of amazing, dedicated and creative volunteers:

Rob Bauer, Graphics and Cinematography
Jeff Fitzgerald, Aerial Cinematography
Shayna Grundey, Art/Graphics and Web Master
Pat Ganzer Holland, Social Media Booster
Rebekah Neuendorf, Social Media Booster
Carol Reed, Social Media Booster

Brad Johnson, Producer
Kirk Monson, Producer and Director of Cinematography
Jeff Zahrt, Producer