Indy Film Fest


Movies over lunch? Yes, please!

Posted by Lisa Trifone

The last month or so post-festival has been one big brainstorming session for us - we've been mulling over all kinds of awesome events and opportunities to bring to Indy all in the name of film.

One we're excited to kick off is the first of hopefully many in a series - a brown bag lunch shorts screening series. (We might need to think of a better name for it - like I said, it's new!)

Every year, we program dozens of amazing short films - quick cinematic experiences that are funny, dramatic, captivating and entertaining. At the festival, you can see these in programs where half a dozen are presented in succession, like going to a full length movie but actually seeing so many more.

Once the festival wraps, though, it's hard to find the best way to get these great gems out to our audiences. So the idea was hatched to try something new - something informal, casual and completely approachable.

It's simple, really. You bring a lunch, we bring the films.

Our first foray into this new series is a partnership with Ivy Tech's Center for Community and Culture Studies. On Friday, October 7, we'll feature the best of our recent animated short films - including 2011 Best American Spectrum Short film Something Left, Something Taken. All the details are here. It's free, come as you are and totally worth your time.

So mark your calendar to sneak away from the office or class, stop at your favorite shop for a sandwich, and join us to see these great shorts among your fellow festival fans. It'll be the best lunch meeting on your calendar.


Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then

Posted by Sara McGuyer

Gravity Was Everwhere Back Then Fall may be fast-approaching, but there's still one more chance for an outdoor film at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. (NOTE: Film has since been moved inside to The Toby to keep you warm!) You'll be in good company too - the IMA is being joined by the IMA Contemporary Art Society, iMOCA and us over at Indy Film Fest to present "Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then" (2010, 75 min., dir. Brent Green, USA) on Saturday, October 1 at 7:30 p.m.

Filmmaker Brent Green & His Touring House
Based on a true story, the film follows Leonard, a church-music playing hardware clerk from Louisville. Upon his wife's diagnosis of cancer, Leonard begins building his house into what he hopes will be a "healing machine" to rid his wife of her disease. The unexpected windows and doorways might call to mind Alice in Wonderland meets Picasso, but it's like nothing you've ever seen. A total dream land.

Filmmaker and narrator Brent Green visited the real-life home of Leonard before it was demolished and recreated it in his own back yard for the film. When asked how long it took to re-build the house and the rest of the set, he says, "A while.  A great long while." I'm guessing that means waaaaay longer than you and I can even imagine.

Brent and his crew have packed up the house, all the handmade furniture and toured with the film to museums and places all over the world. You might think carrying around another man's story with all that baggage would begin to feel burdensome, but not so for Green. When I asked, he answered, "It's great. I wanted to celebrate Leonard Wood's story. It seems like, as a society, we ignore the folks that make our culture one worth living in. Leonard was certainly one of those people, and it's thrilling to me people are letting me drag this story, with or without the house attached, all over the globe. Thrilling."

A Live Score?!
The folk-punk score will be performed live along with the film by Brendan Canty (Fugazi), Drew Henkels (Drew and the Medicinal Pen), John Swartz (Guy Maddin’s orchestra), and Donna K (who plays Mary in "Gravity..."). The movie was always meant to be shown with the live soundtrack, so they don't screen it often without it. IMA's outdoor amphitheater, with the trees towering around, is a dreamy place to see live music and how often do you get to hear the live score with a movie?

Add in a cash bar, a few blankets (it's BYO-blanket or lawn chair) and we're set for a one-of-a-kind film experience. Tickets are $10-15, and are available on IMA's site. Get tickets

According to Rachel Saltz in The New York Times, the film “radiates an oddball homemade charm.” Oddball homemade charm. Sounds magical, indeed.

View the trailer:

Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then from Brent Green on Vimeo.


How Netflix Got it Wrong…

Posted by Lisa Trifone

When I was a new grad, waiting tables to pay bills and wondering if I'd ever find a job, I cut back on every single expense out there. I got haircuts at the salon training school; I ate a LOT of Spaghetti Os; I dreamt of watching cable one day when I'd "made it."

But as hard as my mother tried to convince me to, I would not, under any circumstances, compromise on my 3-disc at a time Netflix habit. It was years before streaming existed, and those three discs - in heavy rotation - were all that kept me entertained on nights I was sure I'd be eating ramen forever.

Today, I'm down to one disc at a time and stream the service on my computer, my TV (via Wii) and my phone (it came in mighty handy one cold winter evening I was stranded on the interstate because of an accident ahead of me).

Some of my DVDs

When it was announced weeks ago that they'd be separating out discs and streaming plans, I griped. How could you charge the same for a streaming library no where near as big (or at least vastly different) from the cavernous reach of the DVD library? But I figured I'd pay the extra (maybe finally cancel the cable I'd since been able to afford) and nothing much would change for me.

Then the bottom dropped out. Shares dropped 8%. One million subscribers dropped the service all together. Reed Hastings sends a "humble" email acknowledging the mistake.

Except that's not at all what the email does. Instead, it's one big "eff you" to customers, saying in no uncertain terms where exactly we stand in the company's priorities: the bottom.

Read on for my take on all that's wrong with this latest "solution"...and once I calm down a bit, we'll see about Netflix alternatives


Festival Intern: join the team today!

Posted by Lisa Trifone

We're currently seeking a Festival Submissions and Operations intern for the 2011 - 2012 season! Interested in learning all about what it takes to make a festival run? This is the role for you.

The Indianapolis International Film Festival is an all-volunteer organization, and we need an enthusiastic, organized individual to join us in all the work it'll take over the next several months to make the annual festival happen.

What can you expect to work on? Everything!

free rubber band ball wallpaper

Film Submissions - the festival sees over 500 films come through our doors hoping to land a slot in the annual event. We need your help in managing all these incoming movies. From tracking to filing to screening them (with the help of a Screening Committee!), you'll be at the front lines of managing the 2012 Festival experience!

Office Management - as the organization grows, we're making more and more friends. We're hoping to keep track of all of them in our management systems and processes, and you can help! From entering all the data to organizing it in a way that makes it easy to access, you'll be helping to make sure our friends are all accounted for.

Event Participation - this is probably the most fun part - the screenings, parties, discussions and more. As a part of the festival team, you'll always be on the invite list to every event we host. These include cocktail parties, advanced screenings and even some great meet & greets. Want to be on the right side of the red carpet? You will be in this role!

We're looking for college upperclassmen or recent grads; you're local to Indy with reliable transportation. Your schedule is fairly flexible, available for evening meetings and weekend work sessions. You're plugged in to email, social media and ideally, the local arts scene. Sound like you? Check out the complete job description, then shoot us an email with your info to apply!

Image credit: Beth Gray via flickr


A Small Act: a not-so-small impact

Posted by Lisa Trifone

Admit it - you've sat up at night, unable to sleep and staring blankly into those infomercials about helping one child for just pennies a day.

What if I told you that it's possible, and it does help? Maybe not through those infomercials, but that just $15 a month can - and has - completely altered the direction of one Kenyan boy's life and set him on a path to have a similar impact on the generation behind him?

That's the exact turn of events in A SMALL ACT, the 2010 Sundance Film Festival hit that's coming to the Indianapolis Museum of Art on Thursday, September 15. This special engagement is a chance to see the story for yourself, and we're proud to help bring it to Indy.

What's more, the woman who helps change one child's life with her simple gift is a survivor herself - a Holocaust survivor, she found it in her heart to cultivate life and hope after a childhood of terror and uncertainty. Watch the trailer below.

The story is, in a word, incredible. And filmmaker Jennifer Arnold has captured all the best of it for the film, crafting a documentary that compels, enlightens and inspires. Join us for this exceptional evening - enjoy the film, and learn how you can give back; how one small act can set off a series of positive events that ripple outward like a pebble dropped in the pond.

RSVP on Facebook, or get your tickets in advance here. Interested in winning a couple tickets? Keep an eye on @IndyFilmFest on Twitter!


Fall Movie Bonanza – September

Posted by Lisa Trifone

In case you weren't sure, we're movie people here at the Indy Film Fest. As such, there are certain favorite times of year - January and the gems that come out of Sundance is always exciting; late February and the Oscars are almost as good as Christmas.

But nothing quite compares to the final few months of the year when all the best films come pouring out of every nook and crannie and into movie theaters like little gifts from the filmmaking gods. Just looking at the release calendar for September through December is enough to get me swooning.

Movie Tickets

And what kind of movie person would I be if I didn't share a bit of that swooning with you?

Here's how this is gonna work: Each month, I'll post those films I'm looking forward to seeing in the weeks ahead - and why. And just to prove that I'm paying some attention here, I'll even post a few that I'm purposefully avoiding. It'll be fun - you can let me know what you're excited about, what you've seen and loved, or what you'd like me to see and chime in on!