We're in the middle of our search for the best independent and international films out there to feature at the 2011 Indianapolis International Film Festival in July. It's 10 days that bring to Indianapolis all the compelling and entertaining cinema that otherwise might not make it to the screen in the Circle City.
While our early deadline has passed (and we're seeing some great films come our way!), maybe you're not convinced yet - maybe you're not sure about sending your film our way for consideration. Allow me to offer a few thoughts (five, actually) on why we'd love it if you did.
1. Indianapolis loves movies. Let's play a game of word association. I say Indianapolis...you say? Movies! Right? No? You said racing? Well, I suppose I can't blame you. And yet, it's true - Indy loves its movies. Sure, we've got the multiplexes and blockbusters; but we've also got The Irving. And several unique screenings a month at the Toby at the Indianapolis Museum of Art (aka the Indy Film Fest host venue!). And south of the city, The Artcraft. And down in Bloomington, the IU Cinema Center. And with several festivals in the city throughout the year, landing in the Indy Film Fest line-up will land you in a town in love with its movies.
2. We'll keep you in budget. We know times are tough. And we know independent filmmakers are working with limited resources. That's why we took a long hard look at our submissions and cut our fees in half this year, hopefully opening the door for every budget-concious filmmaker out there to submit. Our early deadline has passed, but we're accepting submissions until the end of March. Submit by February 28 for just $30 - $20 for projects upgraded at Withoutabox. We know you're watching every penny; submit with us and keep more of them in your pocket.
3. People are watching. You submit to film festivals because, at the end of the day, it puts your movie in front of audiences. In our seven years in existence, we've seen our audiences grow exponentially - from humble beginnings during a few days in April, 2004 to the 10-day stretch of today with crowds coming and going every day, catching matinees and evening shows alike. Add to that the press we're generating - television, radio and print coverage, plus the social worlds of Facebook and Twitter - and your presence at the Indy Film Fest reaches far beyond Indianapolis.
4. And they're talking. And partying. After the credits, we've cultivated a culture of conversation, discussion and Q&A that encourages our audiences - and filmmakers - to connect. We were the first festival in the city to utilize Skype for Q&As with filmmakers who couldn't make it into town, allowing filmmakers the chance to connect with audiences despite thousands of miles between them. We also throw the best festival parties in town, from our opening night kick-off to drinks after the late shows and wrapping it all up on closing night. Because, if you can't party at a film festival, is it even a festival at all?
5. We'll shower you with affection. Well, if not affection, definitely awards. Every film accepted for the 2011 Indy Film Fest receives Official Selection laurels. Each film is also in the running for several honors based on category - bests in American Spectrum, World Cinema or Matter of Fact, and in both short and feature lengths. We encourage audience members to vote for their favorite, and bestow our Hoosier Lens Award on the best film with ties to Indiana. And the festival's best film receives the Grand Jury Award, along with the $1,000 prize purse.
I could think of a hundred more reasons to encourage you to submit your film with us, but suffice it to say - if you send us your film, we'll do everything we can to take care of it and you. Submissions are open through March. To get your film in the mix, submit here.
photo credit Smithsonian Institute