Indy Film Fest


And the GRAND total is…

Posted by Sara McGuyer

Grand HolidayIn December, we embarked on a mini-fundraiser for a Grand Holiday. The goal was simple - raise $1,000 before ringing in the New Year. Can we just say, you guys rock! We made it with time to spare, with a final total of $1,099.

Where do these donations go? Each gift supports our programming efforts, covering anything from film screening fees to filmmaker travel. Additional support covers less sexy things like postage, which never the less make what we do possible.

We stretch every dollar as far as we can by powering the festival with an army of volunteers, keeping our operating expenses low and through some very generous in-kind gifts and pro bono work from partners like Lodge, who donates loads of creative time and expertise and SmallBox, who covers our email marketing expenses.

We're getting super-excited for what's in store for this Fest in 2012, but for now, we're still celebrating your generosity. Thank you, thank you, thank you! A Grand Holiday, indeed.

p.s. If you didn't get a chance to give and wish to do so, we'll gladly accept your gift in 2012, just go here. All donations are fully tax-deductible and come with sweet, sweet Karma magic.


Getting Crafty

Posted by Sara McGuyer

Everyone recognizes the Oscar statue. Awards and film just go hand in hand. Indy Film Fest gives out awards too - but this year we learned the marble trophies we'd been using for years were no longer available. With the old style being discontinued, we decided to mix things up. The idea was to create hand-crafted awards to reflect the personal style of our featured films. Here's the result:

2011 Indy Film Fest Awards
The award art work was silk-screened onto actual birch paper, which absorbed the ink in unexpectedly cool ways. Each award turned out a little different from the next — a one-of-a-kind memento from the 2011 Festival. After adding a simple frame to commemorate the recognition, these festival trophies are ready to hang with their new filmmaker friends.

Huge thanks to our creative partner, Lodge Design for dreaming these up and making it happen!


Festival Films – see ‘em again!

Posted by Lisa Trifone

There's maybe no worse feeling during a festival than realizing you missed your last chance to see that doc you'd been eying, or the great indie you'd been hearing so much about.

Fear not, movie fans! Several 2011 Indy Film Fest selections are making their way to other nearby festivals where you can see them again!

47th Chicago International Film Festival

This stalwart of the midwest film festival scene is featuring a couple great festival selections, both features and shorts. Catch racy short film Ex-Sex on Friday, 10/14 - how exactly do you break up with someone you're still sleeping with? For film lovers looking to get the scoop on international film industries, Cinema Komunisto is a great peak into the Yugoslavian film industry of the last century. And definitely worth driving up I-65 for if you missed it in Indy is Natural Selection - snagging both Best American Spectrum Feature Film and the 2011 Grand Jury Award, this one's still wowing audiences. It screens 10/15 and 10/16 - weekend trip to the Windy City, anyone?

See the entire @ChiFilmFest line-up here; the whole thing is housed at the AMC River East in the heart of downtown and runs through October 20.

Heartland Film Festival

Though it's the city's better-known festival, we're excited to say that we brought a couple of their selections to Indianapolis earlier this summer. Really, it works out great for you - maybe you were on summer vacation or otherwise enjoying the warm weather back in July. Grab your sweater this month and catch both Boys of Bonneville, about the land-speed record-setting feats of some very daring men, and our Closing Night selection These Amazing Shadows, which chronicles the creation and significance of the National Film Registry, at Indy's fall film festival. You can see the whole schedule here; Heartland runs October 13 - 22 at the AMC Castleton 14.

One of the greatest things - no, THE greatest thing about film festivals is experiencing those films you wouldn't otherwise have a chance to check out - they might not make it to the multiplex or won't land in your Netflix queue. It's always exciting to see some great titles within reach again, so make some time this month to see these Indy Film Fest selections again while you can!


Video Recap!

Posted by Sara McGuyer

Scott Smith, a volunteer, made this video for us after filming throughout the 2011 Indy Film Fest. Thanks, Scott!

Covering everything from the lobbies, to the workshops, to the parties, this is a pretty good account of what went down in 2011. We hope you enjoy it!

Can you spot yourself in it?


The Audience Awards go to…

Posted by Sara McGuyer

For ten full days of film, you came out, you watched, you voted. After very careful tallying and recounting (because the results were SO CLOSE!), we're pleased to share your picks with you!

And the Audience Awards of the 2011 Indy Film Fest go to...

Audience Award Winner - Short Film

Audience Award Winner - Feature Film


All films were rated on that scale of 1 - 5 on the ballots. The top films ended up in some case only hundredths of percentage points behind the next. Rounding out the Top 5 Most Loved by audiences at this year's fest, are the following films:

Something Left, Something Taken

A Bag of Hammers
Natural Selection
Better this World
Boys of Bonneville

Thank you to each of you who supported the fest. Every ticket purchased, every vote cast helps support the film scene in Indy. We loved seeing new faces and old friends alike, and we can't wait to hear what you thought of the festival. Stay tuned - we'll be posting a survey soon!


And the winner is…

Posted by Sara McGuyer

Fresh on the heels of their acquisition by The Cinema Guild, NATURAL SELECTION triumphs as the Grand Jury winner of Indy Film Fest. This distinction names it best overall film at the festival and carries a $1,000 prize. In addition to the Grand Jury award, the film directed by Robbie Pickering also earned the distinction of Best American Spectrum Feature Film.

It's a total bonus that the film has Indiana ties. The film's production designer Michael Bricker is an Indiana native and the co-founder and Executive Director at People for Urban Progress in Indianapolis.

All winners get an encore screening! If you missed them, catch them today at The IMA!

Best Matter of Fact @ 2 pm

Short Film – TYPE A
Feature Film – THE GREEN WAVE
Get tickets for Type A & The Green Wave

Best World Cinema @ 4:30 pm
Short Film – DIREK ASK
Get tickets
for Direk Ask & Small Town Murder Songs

Best American Spectrum @ 7 pm
Get tickets for Something Left, Something Taken & Natural Selection

The IMA Culturally Adventurous Award @ 9:30 pm
Get tickets for Jess + Moss

The IMA Culturally Adventurous Award is a new honor bestowed on an official Indy Film Fest selection by festival host Indianapolis Museum of Art. This award seeks to honor the selection which defies categorization, contains exciting cross-cultural or international content, or embodies stylistic experimentation.

Our Audience Award will be announced after all of the ballots are tallied from Sunday! More soon!


One Swank Par-tay!

Posted by Sara McGuyer

The Bar at the Ambassador was such a wonderful host for the 2011 Indy Film Fest Opening Night Party. We got rave reviews about the atmosphere and food. Thanks to all who came out to watch Another Earth with us and hang out afterwards! We loved hearing the discussions about the end of the movie and the eeriness of the Indianapolis moon that night as the film let out (did you notice it?).

The Just Pop In popcorn bar at the IMA and at Opening Night has been a huge hit!

Just Pop In Popcorn Bar

Thanks to SmallBox, we had a rocking photo booth set up – can't wait to get those pics back! Here's a shot of Rachel Rubenstein of Spinshot in action.

Photo booth in action!

These photos were taken by Stacy Kagiwada. See the full album on Facebook.


Skype it Up!

Posted by Sara McGuyer

If you came to the festival last year, you might have experienced a skype session with a filmmaker after their movie screened. Not everyone can travel to Indy from their corner of their world, but that doesn't need to stop us from making their film more of a shared experience for you!

In these skype sessions, the audience gets to ask questions while the filmmaker is on-screen, responding to our Q&A in real time. Oh, technology, how do we love thee? Let us count the ways!

On Saturday, 7/16, these filmmakers are will be skyped on-screen after their films:
Montreal Girl, 10a
Way of the Morris, 12:15p
Turkey Bowl, 2:30p
Small Town Murder Songs, 5p
Bag of Hammers, 9p

Stick around after for Q&A! And, to keep in the loop on visiting filmmakers at the IMA, sign up for our emails at the footer of our site and follow us on twitter!


Indy Recommends

Posted by Sara McGuyer

Looking for recommendations? We're curating a list of reviews and recommendations to help you decide what to see at the 2011 Indy Film Fest!

See you at the movies!

NUVO: Indy Film Fest 2011: Cinematic Journeys

Indy Star has two articles: If you can only see five films, pick these
and Hoosier filmmaker gets delusional

The Film Yap: The most comprehensive collection of reviews

IBJ: LOU'S VIEWS: Get a jump start on Indy International Film Festival

Indianapolis Museum of Art has two blog posts: On Screen & In the Gallery
and On Screen & In Between at Indy Film Fest

The Independent Critic has several reviews

Add your personal recommendations in the comments!


And the Secret Screening is…

Posted by Sara McGuyer

The word is out! Our Summer Nights secret screening on July 22 is THE SWELL SEASON, the music documentary about the band that captured our hearts in ONCE and went on to indie success off-screen, too. This subtle film, that wowed at Tribeca and Silverdocs, bears witness to the band and the couple, from musical numbers that pleasure the ears and vibrate the screen to quiet moments where body language and silent pauses linger with foreboding heartbreak.

Get tickets to this Festival and IMA Summer Nights co-presentation here.