Talent Guide

Heather Courtney

  • Discipline:Director, Producer
  • Program Year:Grants and Awards 2012


Heather Courtney won the 2012 Film Independent Spirit Awards’ Nokia Truer Than Fiction Award for her film “Where Do Soldiers Come From.” In addition to the Film Independent Spirit Award, Where Do Soldiers Come From has won awards at festivals around the country, including a Jury Award for Editing at the SXSW Film Festival, Best Documentary Feature at the Philadelphia Film Festival, and the Founders Award for Best U.S. Documentary at Michael Moore’s Traverse City Film Festival. The film received rave reviews in The New York Times, The Washington Post and other publications during its theatrical release in Fall 2011, and was broadcast nationally on the PBS program POV. It made several “Top 10 Films of 2011” lists, including Salon, which ranked it as #3 for best non-fiction television of 2011.

The film was supported by many grants and fellowships during its production including

ITVS, the Sundance Documentary Fund, and the United States Artists Fellowship.

Courtney was also a fellow at the Sundance Edit and Story Lab.

Prior to Where Soldiers Come From, Heather Courtney directed and produced

several documentary films including award-winners Letters From The Other Side (which was supported by a Fulbright) and Los Trabajadores (IDA award for best student documentary), and was a co-director on Roger Weisberg’s documentary

Critical Condition. Letters From The Other Side was the Closing Night film at the Slamdance Film Festival in January 2006, and was broadcast on over 60 PBS stations.

Los Trabajadores won the Audience Award at SXSW and was broadcast nationally on the PBS series Independent Lens. Prior to receiving her MFA in Film Production, Heather spent eight years writing and photographing for the United Nations and several refugee and immigrant rights organizations, including in the Rwandan refugee camps after the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Current Project

Where Soldiers Come From (Documentary Feature)


A film about growing up, Where Soldiers Come From is an intimate look at the young men who fight our wars and the families and town they come from.