Indy Film Fest


Santa Smackdown: Clash of the Cult Classics

Posted by Craig Mince

For almost a year now I’ve been talking up our year-end Roving Cinema screening, or “Santa Smackdown” as we lovingly refer to it. For months, we’ve been working with our buddies at Sun King to create the ultimate wish list for our audience-choice holiday she-bang.

You might say to yourself, “Self, I hope they picked my favorite holiday classic: DIE HARD (or DIE HARD 2 for that matter).” Don’t worry your pretty little self. We’ve got “bigger” plans for beloved cult classics like DH and DH2.

For this year’s ballot, we dug deep and plumbed the depths of the holiday film genre to find the perfect mix of films with just enough cheer to kick off the holiday season, and set us all up for a Happy New Year. Films that explore the true meaning of the holiday spirit. Films that are best experienced with 124 of your soon-to-be best friends and a pint of Sun King’s finest in your hand? This year, we’re talking NAUGHTY VS NICE. You’re welcome.

Introducing the 2013 Roving Cinema SANTA SMACKDOWN: Naughty vs. Nice:


But that’s not all:

  • A portion of the night’s ticket sales will go to the HELP SUN KING SAVE CHRISTMAS campaign.
  • A VERY special (and film-inspired) Sun King brew will be unveiled at the Santa Smackdown.
  • Santa himself will be on hand to listen to all of your Holiday rants and demands.
  • Food will be available for purchase from a tasty food truck.
  • The Indy Film Fest will announce its 2014 programming calendar, including next year’s Roving Cinemas (trust me, you’re going to want to snatch up a few of these tickets in advance as the line-up is INSANE).

Visit between October 8th and the 22nd and select the film you’d most like to see on December 11th. We’ll announce the winning film on Wednesday, October 24th.

Once you’ve voted, jump over to to purchase your tickets to the (THIS IS GOING TO SELL OUT) screening.

And because we like you, if you buy your tickets during the voting dates you will save $2 off admission.

Hug and Kisses,


Craig Mince

Board President

Indy Film Fest



Posted by Kate Pell

Guest post by Joe Ball
Proud Hoosier. Consumer of movies, music, art, smart jokes, tacos & bourbon.

Years ago, at the start of Indiana Pacers home games and just after the introduction of the visiting team, the arena would darken and the center court video boards illuminated a sepia-toned montage of historic Pacers games. The audio of a radio announcer calling the on-screen plays was mixed with the theme music from the movie HOOSIERS. At the culmination of the montage, just after Reggie Miller drains a signature 3-pointer over Michael Jordan, the screens flip to a blinding white background and the following quote appears:

“In 49 states it’s just basketball…but this is Indiana.”

Having grown up in Indiana, I know how true those words are. Basketball lore is woven into countless stories of our state. MEDORA, a documentary by filmmakers Andrew Cohn and Davy Rothbart, is one such tale. Following a 2009 The New York Times article on both the town and the basketball team’s trials, the filmmakers set out to document why the team has gone decades without a winning record.

It is a story of players, products of broken homes and bad luck, who don’t dream of reaching the big stage of playing for a state championship. They dream of staying out of trouble; of reuniting with parents struggling with alcoholism; of being the first in their family to graduate high school; of maybe joining the military or possibly getting into college. They dream of winning just one basketball game.

It is also a story of what a winless basketball team can mean to a community struggling to stay alive. Nestled just south of US-50 (between Bedford and Seymour) Medora, Indiana has a population of approximately 500 people. Hard hit by the recession, factories have closed and jobs have left the impoverished farming community. With an enrollment of just 72, Medora High School is one of the smallest schools in the state. Its sports teams routinely play against those from consolidated schools, sometimes with talent pools ten-times the size of Medora’s. The city’s school system is facing a budget crisis and consolidation seems to be an option in the near future. As one resident of Medora points out, “This town will die when that school leaves.” In a town with nothing, one win could mean everything.

Yes, this is a basketball story and yes, this is Indiana. But Medora could be anywhere and its story is the story of countless small towns throughout the country. I won’t bore you with sports movie clichés to entice you to see this film. If you need one, just know that Medora is the ultimate underdog story. And a story that needs to be seen.

The 2013 Indianapolis International Film Festival will take place July 18 to 28. Secure your tickets now for MEDORA. 

SPECIAL VENUE:  Friday, July 19 @ 9:30 in The Harrison Center gym
Thursday, July 25 @ 4:30 in The Toby


Go West, young woman, go West and make us proud!

Posted by Craig Mince

Today the Indy Film Fest, and Indianapolis as a whole, says goodbye to one of its shining stars, Lisa Trifone. Lisa leaves tomorrow to take on a new role with the internationally renowned Sundance Film Festival. Although we are very sad to see her go, we are also very excited to see her follow her passions and dreams.

It's safe to say the Indy Film Fest would not be where it is today without the dedication and support of Lisa. You might have seen Lisa announcing films and rocking Q & A with filmmakers at events, but the lion share of her work was behind the scenes. She pounded the pavement, getting our name out there to filmmakers and studios alike. She created systems and processes that took our DIY-to-the-extreme organization to a much more organized place. Her tireless efforts have helped catapult this rag tag film festival into the national spotlight (I mean, you guys saw her in the Hollywood reporter, right?) and we will forever be in her gratitude.

Please join us in saying thank you and goodbye to one of Indy’s best and brightest.

Since we are movie nerds we always speak in movie quotes so…

“Here’s looking at you, kid.” – Humphery Bogart as Rick Blaine


Just Pop In! <3 Indy Film Fest

Posted by Lisa Trifone

It's here! The 2012 Opening Night event, once again presented by Just Pop In!, is upon us.

Don't have your tickets yet? Have we got a deal for you. Your just one Facebook like away from not only a four-pack of tickets (film and party included!) to the big event, but the amazing Just Pop In! prize pack pictured, too.

All you have to do is like us on Facebook. Easy as that. Like us by 3p Thursday afternoon and we'll pick a winner to join us at Opening Night. Already a Facebook fan? Leave a comment here naming your favorite film of all time, and you'll also be entered to win!

Learn more about Opening Night here - a screening of THE ORANGES starring Hugh Laurie, and a party at Sun King Brewing right after.

Want to guarantee a seat? Get your tickets here. Anyone attending is entered to win tickets to Hugh Laurie's upcoming concert at the Palladium, too. It could be your lucky night!


Looking for a great experience? Inquire within.

Posted by Lisa Trifone

As you may've heard already, the Indy Film Fest is an all-volunteer organization. Every one of us works our tookus off because, well, it's worth it.

We're gearing up for the 2012 festivities, and that means all hands on deck. We're specifically seeking two strong interns to help in with our operations and marketing efforts. Do you have what it takes? Here's a few ways to tell:

You love films, but love getting things done more.

True, we're all huge movie buffs here at the festival. But in order to present the most exciting events and parties possible, we work hard and on deadline. We have regular meetings and ongoing conversations; we live and die by our inboxes - both email and texts - and we hold each other highly accountable for those projects and tasks that need doing. Because if we don't make it happen...well, it doesn't happen.

You're available odd-ish hours.

Because we're all making the festival happen in our off hours, our work usually happens in the evening, on weekends or, sometimes if we're awake enough, early morning coffee meet-ups. Your availability is similar to this, or at least aligns here and there. Could be the perfect opportunity to hold a part-time job while rocking it out at a grass-roots arts org, too. We're happy to set a flexible schedule so that you can keep your calendar in order.

You operate well on auto-pilot, and play well with others, too.

The time in-between events, screenings and meetings is essentially, as our second grade teacher called it, independent work time. You'll have a list of tasks and projects, and we'll count on you to jump in and knock them into the Done pile. You'll have a chance to jump on new or underdeveloped projects, too, because that's the kind of take-charge person you are. And when the time comes, you're as good with the group work as you are on your own.

Right now, we're primarily seeking a Marketing & Design Intern and an Operations Intern. These positions would begin as soon as this month, and could run through August, pending your availability. While most weeks would require roughly 6 - 10 hours of work, that commitment ramps up as the Festival approaches in July.

Sound like you're the right person for the job? We can't wait to meet you. Send a resume and brief cover letter to us today!


2012 Film Submissions are NOW OPEN

Posted by Lisa Trifone

It's hard to believe, but here we are again - we're officially accepting submissions for the 2012 Indy Film Fest.

The festival (July 19 - 29) will be our 9th annual event, and we can't wait to make a big splash. Does that include your film? You'll never know if you don't send it our way!

To get started, just follow the directions below. Simply click to submit.

We're looking for every kind of film out there - short, feature-length, animated, live action, drama, comedy - you name it, we want to see it. We screen films in three categories - American Spectrum, World Cinema and Matter of Fact (documentaries). And new this year, we've expanded our Hoosier Lens recognition to be an entire category of its own.

Hoosier Lens films are those productions with Indiana ties - you or your cast/crew are from Indiana, went to school here or a significant portion of the film was shot in the Hoosier state. We're stoked to recognize these home-grown productions in front of hometown audiences next summer!

Not a filmmaker, but interested in helping out the festival? If you're local to Indy, you may be right for our screening committee. Fill out the application and we'll be in touch - you might just be a part of deciding which films our audiences see next summer.

2012, here we come!


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


Topic Du Jour: Opening Night Selection

Posted by Sara McGuyer

The hot topic du jour in the festival office is the opening night film. What film matches the mood we're seeking? Which will help us build buzz? Much thought and discussion goes into this one decision.

Barry MundayWhile we're digging into our selections and programming this year's lineup, you can have a festival in your own living room. If you're a netflix subscriber, the 2010 opening night film Barry Munday is available to watch instantly.

In the film, Barry loses his ability to procreate after a bludgeoning via trumpet (ouch!). He learns he has unwittingly impregnated a recent sexual partner, no matter that he doesn't  recall even meeting her. A quirky and hilarious tale unfolds as Barry tries to navigate a new relationship and the path to parenthood. Earns points for a stellar cast and frequent laughs.

Do tell: have you discovered any of your festival favorites on Netflix?


We Heart You

Posted by Sara McGuyer

As the year comes to a close, we'll be off spending time with family and friends. We might be a little bit quiet. But we'll be re-energized and so excited to get back to official festival business in the new year!

Before we head out for our winter break, let us say WE HEART YOU. Thank you for watching movies with us, tweeting with us and supporting independent film in Indianapolis. We love our extended family of volunteers, supporters and fans. Indy Film Fest couldn't possibly be without all of you.


Relive Our Past

Posted by Sara McGuyer

We are chugging away with plans for 2011. Of course, we think it will be the best fest yet. Until then, we invite you to relive our past. Check out a recap of all that rocked in 2010, cut together by our own Michael Tressler.

If you went to the festival, what did you like? Or not like? Please do tell us before we finalize our plans for the year. Your feedback, encouragement and constructive criticism are all appreciated!