Letters to the Editor: DOCUTAH Filmmaker, Foundation founders apologize

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR – In a letter to the editor published Sept. 8, 2013, Greta Hyland objected to the “passing of the plate” for donations to the Heart Walk Foundation at the conclusion of the screening of “Heart of the Andes” at the Dixie State University DOCUTAH Southern Utah International Documentary Film Festival. The following two responsive letters to the editor are submitted by the filmmaker and the foundation’s founders.

From the filmmaker

As filmmaker of “Heart of the Andes” and moderator of the panel discussion, I certainly regret putting any form of embarrassment on the DOCUTAH committee or film festival, or the university. I regret handling the question and answer time in a way that may have reflected poorly on any of the organizers. Following the screening, Christina Schultz, Vice President of Institutional Advancement at DSU, contacted me to inform me that what occurred was in violation of university policy. I certainly regret and apologize for distracting from the high quality of this year’s outstanding festival. They are blameless.

Submitted by: Melynda Thorpe Burt

From the co-founders of the Heart Walk Foundation

After the screening of “Heart of the Andes” film during the DOCUTAH festival last week, the Q&A session that followed included an appeal for greenhouse projects in the Andes Mountains of Peru, which violated Dixie State University policies and the spirit of the DOCUTAH film festival. DOCUTAH brings much valued intellectual and cultural enrichment to this community, and this well-deserved reputation must not be sullied by the turn of events during the Q&A for the film “Heart of the Andes.”

The entire board of directors of Heart Walk Foundation apologizes to the DOCUTAH team and to our friends and colleagues at DSU, who have built a truly impressive festival.

Submitted by: Tim and Penelope Eicher, Co-founders, Heart Walk Foundation and the Board of Directors

Ed. note: Letters to the editor are presented as received without edit. The opinions stated are those of the writer and not representative of St. George News. Melynda Thorpe Burt is an occasional contributing writer for St. George News. Greta Hyland is the wife of St. George News columnist Dallas Hyland.

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Letters to the Editor are not the product of St. George News, its editors, staff or news contributors. The matters stated and opinions given are the responsibility of the person submitting them. They do not reflect the product or opinion of St. George News and are given only light edit for technical style and formatting.



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  • DoubleTap September 9, 2013 at 8:49 am

    Alrighty now…apologize and make your way to the bank. Interesting to know that in the other story about this, the just happens to be a “rep” of the Foundation with “a box of envelopes” and admits that she knows it is wrong, but continues to pass out the envelopes for donations. Sounds like it was pre-planned. Just as long as you apologize while you make your way to the bank to deposit donations. Nice.

  • Jessa September 9, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    I don’t feel like they have anything to apologize for. When I was at the viewing of the film the night before this event there was no way to donate money except to go on the website, and the amount of $ they were asking for? 1$ per every person that saw the film. One dollar people!!!! and 100% of that money would go to providing green houses to every family on that gorgeous mountain. These people are selfless and true expressions of love. No reason for them to apologize or to attack them. I’m amazed by the kind of people that actually take time out of their day to b*tch about something someone else is doing from their heart in order to help others. Nothing but love and respect for the filmmaker and the founders of this organization.

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