synopsis about screenings links blog




Heartland Transport is winning the hearts of audiences all over the United States. This short documentary tells the story of 17 same-sex couples who obtain their marriage licenses in Iowa.

On April 3, 2009, the Iowa Supreme court unanimously upheld the ruling holding that there was no governmental interest in denying citizens marriage licenses based on their sexual orientation.

Immediately following, Ed Reggi and Scott Emanuel chartered a bus taking seventeen same sex couples from St. Louis, Missouri to Iowa City, Iowa to be legally married.




Cody Stokes (writer / director / producer) A winner of the prestigious Princess Grace Film Award, Cody has worked in Ghana, Rwanda, and around the United States on various films. While living in St. Louis, MO he founded the Middle Coast Film Collective. Cody now lives in Brooklyn, New York City with his wife Amanda Stokes. While traveling and promoting Heartland Transport, he is also producing two short films Paper Hallways, and Stories of Friends and Lovers and will begin work on a his third music video in March.

"This film was something that came very unexpectedly to me. I consider myself mainly a narrative filmmaker, and, although I've always had a great interest in documentary film, I was quite intimidated by it. So, when I learned of the planned trip from St. Louis to Iowa City only two days before the buses left, I wasn't sure if it was something I could really pull off. I knew that, for history's sake alone, this was a film that needed to be made, and as soon as I spoke with Ed Reggi I knew it was something that I personally wanted to be involved in. After going on the trip and seeing people partaking in a civil right so many of them thought they'd never see, I was no longer worried about how I was going to make the film - the story fashioned itself. It has been such a great feeling to be let into these people's lives in such an intimate way. I'm very proud of the film. We now have to work to get the film out there and seen, something I look forward to doing." - Cody Stokes


Photo Courtesy of Vital Voice Magazine

Ed Reggi (producer / actor / activist) was born in the Big Apple and spent his youth sneaking into the NBC Studios in his Brooklyn neighborhood. Reggi pursued musical Theatre at the University of New York but transferred to Fontbonne University where he earned his BFA in 1994. Reggi went on to study at Chicago’s historic The Second City and later went on to work closely with its founder Paul Sills. In November 2008, upon hearing of the passing of Proposition 8, Ed began using his background in theatre to organize the first “Show Me No Hate” rally on the steps of the Historic Old Court House. Since that day, he has been organizing protests and rallies in the Show Me State. Today, Ed works as a freelance Executive Producer with the local PBS affiliate in St. Louis. When Ed is not counter-protesting Fred Phelps, he is a fierce advocate and public speaker for Marriage Equality.

Scott Emanuel (social worker / activist) has been active community organizer in the St. Louis LGBT community for more than twenty years. A social worker by profession, he has been spent the last nine years as an active volunteer and adult leader with Growing American Youth, an organization providing support and social opportunities to LGBTQ youth. He has seen firsthand that LGBTQ youth, when supported, can and do actualize amazing lives for themselves. Before his work with Growing American Youth, Scott was heard on 88.1FM KDHX’s “Lavender Limelight” and then again on “Outspoken.” Both were St. Louis’ only LGBT talk radio shows. Today, Scott is the Development Associate at the ACLU of Eastern Missouri, an organization committed to supporting LGBTQ people through legal advocacy and public education. Scott also serves on the St. Louis LGBT Community Center’s board.

In September, Ed Reggi and Scott Emanuel both received the Human Rights Campaign - St. Louis Chapter - 2010 Equality Award for their work around Marriage Equality.

The fall continued to shower Reggi and Emanuel with praises. Both were both nominated as the 2010 Shining Stars by the Wish Upon A Wedding for their efforts in helping local same-sex couples obtain legal marriages in Iowa.

The January 2011 issue of St. Louis Magazine featured a story about Scott and Ed's next marriage bus, where they will successfully have transported over 100 couples to Iowa.

Early February, ALIVE Magazine announced its 2011 Buzz List, a list of dedicated movers and shakers of Saint Louis. This year's Buzz List included Scott and Ed for their work on marriage equality.





February 7-8, 2010
San Francisco Indie Film Festival
San Francisco, CA

February 18, 2010
Big Sky Film Festival
Missoula, MT

February 26 & 28, 2010
Big Muddy Film Festival
Carbondale, IL

March 2, 2010
Fontbonne University: Multicultural Affairs Department
Clayton, MO

March 7, 2010
St. Louis Ethical Society
Ladue, MO

March 14, 2010
Unite the Fight: Midwest LGBT Conference
Chicago, IL

March 14, 2010
DC Indie Film Festival
Washington DC

March 26, 2010
At the Crossroads Conference
St. Louis, MO

March 27, 2010
People's Settlement: Marriage Teach-In
St. Louis, MO

March 28, 2010
Q Fest LGBT Film Festival
St. Louis, MO

April 8, 2010
South Loop Film Festival
Chicago, IL

April 14 & 17, 2010
Kansas City FilmFest
Kansis City, MO

April 20 & 21, 2010
Nashville Film Festival
Nashville, TN

May 3-4, 2010
Private Screening for Marriage Equality Bus
Iowa City, IA

May 15, 2010
The Center Project of Columbia Missouri
Columbia, Missouri

May 21, 2010
Rooftop Film Festival
Open Road Rooftop (lower east side)
Brooklyn, New York City

May 28, 2010
National Association of Social Workers Screening
Washington, DC

June 4, 2010
Quad Citians Affirming Diversity
Rock Island, IL

August 7, 2010
13th Annual Hardacre Film Festival
Tipton, IA

August 10-15, 2010
Rhode Island International Film Festival
Providence, RI

August 18-22, 2010
The Columbia Gorge International Film Festival
Formerly The Washougal International Film Festival

Vancouver, WA

October 15, 2010
Documentary Channel
Direct TV 267 and DISH 197

November 7, 2010
Reeling 29:
The Chicago International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival
Chicago, IL

November 21, 2010 8:30pm
The St. Louis International Film Festival
Tivoli Theatre in University City The Loop

St. Louis, MO

December 5, 2010
Davenport LGBT Film Festival

Davenport, IA

January 11, 2011
Future Shorts ONE Festival - Australia

Mt Lawley, Australia

January 11, 2011
Future Shorts ONE Festival - Indonesia

Jakarta, Indonesia

January 14, 2011
B'nai El Congregation

Frontenac, MO

January 2011
- largest online documentary collection

January 26, 2011
Pecha Kucha St. Louis #5
The Bridge

St. Louis, MO

January 27, 2011 7:45pm Eastern
Documentary Channel
Direct TV 267 and DISH 197

February 19, 2011
PFLAG St. Louis
Ethical Society of St. Louis

St. Louis, MO

February 23-26, 2011
Prairie Pride Film Festival
The Joyo Theatre

Lincoln, NE

February 26, 2011
Queer in the Midwest
Washington University

Clayton, MO

March 7, 2011 4:15am Eastern
Documentary Channel
Direct TV 267 and DISH 197

March 26, 2011
Conversation about Marriage
Southern Illinois University

Edwardsville, IL

March 31, 2011
MothUP St. Louis - "TransitLove"
The Duck Room, Blueberry Hill on the Loop

University City, MO







02-01-11 Great Press! The January 2011 issue of St. Louis Magazine featured a story about Scott and Ed's next marriage bus, where they will successfully have transported over 100 couples to Iowa. Early February, ALIVE Magazine announced its 2011 Buzz List, a list of dedicated movers and shakers of Saint Louis. This year's Buzz List included Scott and Ed for their work on marriage equality.

01-26-11 Ed Reggi was invited to present at the Saint Louis Pecha Kucka on January 26th. Pecha Kucha is a highly stylized way of spreading powerful ideas to an audience. Reggi adapted the Heartland Transport film to the Pecha Kucha requirements of 20 slides, 20 seconds each, for a total of 6:40 minutes. This event is located at The Bridge, Downtown St. Louis. Reggi will update this blog after the presentation.

01-15-11 What a wonderful audience we had last night at B'nai El Congregation in Frontenac Missouri. Scott and Ed had an excellent shabbat dinner with the amazing congregation before beginnng Friday night services at one of the oldest Reform Jewish congregations west of the Mississippi. Heartland Transport was a huge success to the 75 participants who participated in the screening and Q&A session that immediately followed. The event had everyone from 8-80 years old asking questions about marriage equality and our marriage equality buses. Thank you Rabbi Plotkin for inviting us to share our mitzvah with your congregation.

12-01-10 Heartland Transport returns to Iowa. On Sunday December 5th, Iowans can attend the fabulous Davenport LGBT Film Festival and say "I DO" support marriage equality and our film. This is not the first time Heartland Transport; has screened in its second home state; however, it's for sure the first Iowa LGBT Film Festival.

11-01-10 Heartland Transport comes back to the heartland in November. On Sunday November 7th, Chicagoans can see our marriage bus on the silver screen during the Reeling 29: The Chicago International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival and on Sunday November 21st, St. Louisians can watch our documentary at the Tivioli during the St. Louis International Film Fesitval. Both cities have already screened Heartland Transport; however, the second time is always better!

10-10-10 It's official: Heartland Transport premieres on the Documentary Film Channel in 5 days. Our story about marriage has played in festivals, coffee houses, Equality award events, universities, colleges, and inside lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community centers since January 1, 2010. The Documentary Channel has licensed to broadcast our short until 2012. On October 15th, some 50 million satelite subscribers will have the ability to watch Heartland Transport.

09-25-10 The Human Rights Campaign just presented its Equality Award to two long-time leaders in St. Louis’ lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, to Scott Emanuel and Ed Reggi. “You couldn’t ask for two people who better exemplify a life of ‘No Excuses'," stated HRC Gala Dinner co-chair Don Eakins.

08-10-10 We screened at two new Film Festivals this August for Heartland Transport, the 13th Annual Hardacre Film Festival in Tipton, Iowa and the Rhode Island International Film Festival in Providence, Rhode Island. The entire crew of Heartland couldn't be more pleased with picking up a variety of Film Festivals all over the United States. Especially before the very important election coming up in November.

07-27-10 It has been a busy summer for Heartland Transport. Our little short documentary film about marriage equality has been playing at Film Festivals, coffee houses, Universities, Colleges, and inside LGBT community centers all over the United States. The Documentary Channel has shown interest in our 8 minute film and has licensed to broadcast it for the next 2 years. Over 50 million subscribers will soon be able to watch Heartland Transport. We are very excited! Our next push in 2011 are Jewish Film Festivals and LGBT Film Festivals. Our film had great success with various International Film Festivals and we hope 2011 will allow even more audiences to discover our story about marriage.

06-05-10 At the Unite + Fight Conference, Ed Reggi spoke about his project tranporting couples from Missouri to Iowa to marry. He urged everyone to get married in Iowa, "take a bus, ride a bike, walk to Iowa." Conveniently, Rachel Miller's girlfirend (a native of Moline, IL actually can walk to Iowa. It's just across the river.) On Friday June 4, Rachel and Lindsey will held a short march to raise awareness of marriage equality issues in Illinois. They applied for their marriage licenses at the Rock Island County Clerk's Office. After being denied, they walked 1 mile across Centennial Bridge to the Davenport office and filed their paperwork. Shortly after they marched back to the Quad Citians Affirming Diversity to watch Heartland Transport.

05-21-10 Cody Stokes attended the New York City premiere of Heartland Transport at this year's Rooftop Film Festival in Brooklyn, New York City. The evening's screening was sold-out. Background: the Rooftop Film Festival takes place in New York City over the summer and uses the backdrop of the Hudson River for the films selected. "Over 1200 New Yorkers met, partied and completely came to a dead silence stop when Heartland came up on the screen," said Cody Stokes. "It was the most magical moment for me as a filmmaker." The New York Rooftop screening helped draw more National attention toward the short documentary about marriage equality.

05-15-10 The Center Project was the host location for the first screening of Heartland Transport in Mid-Missouri. Ed Reggi and Scott Emanuel were on hand to answer questions and answers about the film and their marriage equality project. The result of the screening is interest of having a bus leaving from Columbia, Missouri later this year.

05-07-10 Ed Reggi and Scott Emanuel were at it again. The 4th Marriage Equality Bus transported another 12 couples to Iowa City. It was a wonderful day for everyone. That brings the total number of marriages to 58 organized by the Heartland Transport. Another bus is scheduled for August 13th.

04-18-10 Heartland Transport wins the Best Heartland Documentary Short at the KC Film Festival. Cody Stokes receives award from festival organizers at Award Gala Sunday evening.

04-17-10 Cody Stokes, Amanda Stokes and Ed Reggi attend the 2010 KC Film Fesitval in Kansas City, MO. Heartland Transport screens before a sold-out audience at the AMC Main Street theatre downtown Kansas City.

04-13-10 Heartland Transport receives letter of acceptance from Dan Nuxoll, Program Director at Rooftop Films

03-28-10 Cody Stokes, Ed Reggi and Scott Emanuel along with a dozen of the original couples featured in Heartland Transport attent the St. Louis QFest screening of Heartland Transport at the Tivoli Theatre in University City, MO. Heartland Transport screened directly before the feature documentary Mississippi Queen. The St. Louis screening of Heartland Transport was well received and many thanks goes out to Chris Clark with Cinema St. Louis for allowing Heartland Transport to screen with such a wonderful complimentary feature.

03-27-10 Ed Reggi and Scott Emanuel presented Heartland Transport at the St. Louis People's Settlement camp on Friday March 26. The film was screened outside at the Fireman's Memorial Park downtown St. Louis. The audience were members of a coalition to end poverity, hunger, unemployment, discrimination and war.