From Heartland to local cinemas, where to see it

At the 2022 Indy Shorts Film Festival, Emmy-nominated actor Colman Domingo said, “Something special is going on at Indy.”

When it comes to the city’s thriving independent film scene, he’s not wrong.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, several cinemas offering independent films have opened their doors, filling a niche left empty for many moviegoers.

And, with the city’s many film festivals spotlighting up-and-coming local, national, and international independent filmmakers, Indianapolis is proving to be a Midwestern hub for all cinema, not just movies that can stand on their own. with a large studio. support.

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Here’s everything you need to know about the booming movie scene this fall and what’s in store for Indy’s independent film market.

Independent films: where to find them?

Kan-Kan Cinema and Brasserie, 1258 Windsor St., is Indianapolis’ only non-profit arthouse cinema. It presents cinema as an art form and encourages discussion about these films, said programming director Daniel Arthur Jacobson.

Along with large-scale casts like “Nope” and “Elvis,” Kan-Kan shows new and classic indie films, such as “Lost Highway” and “But I’m a Cheerleader,” in addition to the work of filmmakers based in Indiana. .

Viewing space accessible inside the Kan-Kan cinema and the Brasserie 1 theater.

“We run the gamut from independent films, auteur films,” Jacobson said. “We have international films…and we just had a local documentary film premiere here.”

The cinema is heavily involved with the local film community, and Jacobson said he tries to respond to the community and provide an outlet for the city’s independent film needs. Recently, it was a venue for the Indy Film Fest, a 10-day festival that took place in June.

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Despite opening last August, Kan-Kan hosted Indiana’s Heartland Film Festival in October. Jacobson said one of his favorite moments after first hosting the festival was at a screening of “The Power of the Dog,” which gave the theater its first sold-out theater. He said seeing the audience talking about the film afterwards reinforced the theater’s goal of encouraging conversation about the film.

“Especially being a new theater for the community, Heartland Film Festival attracts a loyal following, so it was great to show them the space for the first time,” Jacobson said.

Additionally, Kan-Kan is teaming up this fall with Butler University, where they plan to show 10 films by Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar on the big screen. While the screenings are for a college Spanish film class, Jacobson said they were open to the public and viewers could attend a classroom lecture before the film.

Kan-Kan will also host some screenings of this year’s Heartland Film Festival, which runs October 6-16.

Here are other upcoming events in Kan-Kan:

  • August 28: Kan-Kan organizes screenings of the Black Documentary Film Fest in Indianapolis.
  • September 16: Free outdoor community screening of “The Iron Giant” at Intermission Park.
  • September 22: In partnership with the Ray Bradbury Center, Kan-Kan will screen the 1925 version of “The Phantom of the Opera” on 16mm film, followed by a panel discussion on how the film affected Bradbury.
  • October 13: Outdoor screening of “Sleepy Hollow” at the Indianapolis Arts Center.
  • November, 1st: In partnership with the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library, the theater will screen “Interstellar” as part of its “So it Goes” series, which features films that honor Vonnegut’s philosophy and legacy.
  • November 9: After a screening of the PBS short “Finding My Place,” which chronicles when kids wrote the headlines for an IndyStar Y-Press program, a panel featuring some of the students — who are now adults — will focus on the impact of journalism on their The Journey of Life.
  • November 11-13: Kan-Kan will host the LGBT Film Fest.
The eight-screen Living Room theaters opened as part of the Bottleworks development on Mass Ave in December 2020.

Another venue showing independent films is The Living Room, 745 E. 9th St., Suite 810, which opened in 2021.

With a fully equipped kitchen and full bar, The Living Room encourages conversations about independent filmmaking. Event coordinator Angela Taylor said a movie ticket was not necessary to dine or drink on site.

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Local Indiana films have a platform to be distributed to a wide audience at The Living Room, as they have two screenings of “Cold Cross”, a film shot entirely in Indiana by the Indiana-based production company. Indiana Query Productions. The screenings will take place on September 15 and 16.

In addition to hosting the 4SCENE festival in May, The Living Room screened a few films from the Indy Shorts International Film Festival, presented by Heartland Film, in July. In October, it will host the Heartland Feature Film Festival.

Heartland Film Festival

Indiana moviegoers have the Heartland Film Festival to look forward to in October, which returns for its 31st anniversary Oct. 6-16.

Several Indiana theaters – Kan-Kan, The Living Room, Newfields, the Historic Artcraft Theater and Landmark’s Glendale 12 – will serve as host venues for this year’s festival, where new feature films from around the world will be screened.

In addition to film screenings, filmmakers will participate in public Q&A events so audiences can learn more about their favorite films, said director of marketing and communications Jessica Chapman.

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“Over three decades, we’ve developed a mix of films and events that have everyone excited,” Chapman said. “With blockbuster premieres and films made right here in Indiana, our festivals bring filmmakers and audiences together to celebrate transformative films from diverse perspectives.”

Some of Heartland’s 2021 lineup highlights, with names like “King Richard,” “Spencer,” and “Belfast,” went on to receive Oscar recognition, with some of the films also picking up wins at home.

But it’s not just the big movies. Chapman said the festival highlights Indiana Spotlight films, typically showing eight to 12 films with a strong connection to Indiana.

This year, Heartland will sell individual movie tickets, as well as options that give viewers full access to the festival, both virtually and in theater screenings.

Tickets, along with the full lineup and schedule, will be released on September 15.

Indy shorts

This year, more than 7,000 short films screened over six days at the Indy Shorts International Film Festival, presented by Heartland Film.

Indy Shorts, the largest short film festival in the Midwest, not only awards cash prizes to the three short films that win its biggest prizes, but it is one of only 34 festivals worldwide to have the qualifying festival designation. for the Oscars. categories of short films: live action, documentaries and animations.

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The following three shorts received Oscar qualifications in July at this year’s festival:

  1. Narrative Grand Prize: “Ousmane” (Jorge Camarotti, Canada). “Ousmane” follows an immigrant who, on returning from work, discovers his disoriented neighbor in the hall.
  2. Documentary Grand Prize: “Stranger at the Gate” (Joshua Seftel, USA). “Stranger at the Gate” tells the story of Mac McKinney, a Hoosier Marine who returned to Indiana with the intention of bombing the local mosque. But, after meeting Muslims face to face, his plan changes. The short also won the Indiana Spotlight Award.
  3. Animated grand prize: “Black Slide” (Uri Lotan, Israel/UK) This animated short chronicles the journey of a young girl as she rides the scariest waterslide of them all, The Black Slide.
Colman Domingo in

Actor Colman Domingo received the Pioneering Spirit Award at the festival, which is given to someone who exemplifies Heartland Films’ mission and is a true pioneer in their art of storytelling.

Domingo’s shorts “New Moon” and “NORTH STAR” won the audience awards in the animated and narrative categories, respectively.

So take note of Domingo’s proclamation – “Something special is going on at Indy” – because if the past two years are any indication, indie film is here to stay in Indianapolis.

You can contact Pulliam Fellow Griffin Wiles at [email protected] or on Twitter at @griffinwiles.