Indy Film Fest


2012 Award Winners Announced!

Posted by Lisa Trifone

The 2012 Festival Award winners were announced at tonight's Closing Night event, and they'll be screened all day at Earth House at our Best of the Fest program! This year's winning films are:

Best American Spectrum -- Feature
Somebody Up There Likes Me (directed by Bob Byington)

Best American Spectrum – Short Film
Narcocorrido (directed by Ryan Prows)

Best Matter of Fact – Feature Film
Detropia (directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady)

Best Matter of Fact – Short Film
Cutting Loose (directed by Adrian McDowell and Finlay Pretsell)

Best World Cinema – Feature Film
Patang (directed by Prashant Bhargava - filmmaker in attendance!)

Best World Cinema – Short Film
The Maker (directed by Christopher Kezelos)

Audience Award Winner - Feature Film
Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines (directed by Kristi Guevara-Flanagan)

Audience Award Winner - Short Film
Mondays at Racine (directed by Cynthia Wade)

Sunday's Best of the Fest screening schedule is as follows:

2p ::  MATTER OF FACT Winners (Detropia, preceded by Cutting Loose)

4:30p :: WORLD CINEMA Winners (Patang, preceded by The Maker)

7p :: AMERICAN SPECTRUM Winners (Somebody Up There Likes Me, preceded by Narcocorrido)

9:30p :: AUDIENCE AWARD Winners (Wonder Women!, preceded by Mondays in Racine)

All shows are at Earth House (map) and $10 per ticket. You can use a 10-ticket bundle voucher or your Living Social purchase for these screenings. Or, get a 4-film pass for just $30 here.


This one’s for you, Colorado.

Posted by Lisa Trifone

The 2012 Indy Film Fest is successfully under way, after an Opening Night event that exceeded all of our wildest expectations. I was up until 3am, and I'm pretty sure I was still on cloud nine when I did finally get to bed. We welcomed over 300 people to our screening of the well-received THE ORANGES, followed by a party where the anticipation of the amazing ten days of films, conversations and experiences to come was tangible, indeed.

The wind, however, has been knocked out of me this morning. Waking to the news about the tragedy at the late-night screening of THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, my heart is heavy. Perhaps it's the timing most of all, but to hear of such a horrific turn of events occur at - of all places - a movie theater leaves me shocked, saddened and, in some strange way, filled with resolve.

If I've said it once, I've said it a million times: the Indy Film Fest exists to create a shared experience around film. In an age when we can watch the latest releases in the palm of our hands, sound piped in via earbuds - the most solitary of experiences - the festival exists as an antidote. We ARE community. We ARE a gathering place. Three hundred people collectively laughing at the one-liners, gasping at the third-act reveals, cheering on the underdog - there is a humanity there, something palpable and inescapable, that has kept cinema seats full for decades.

It's why entire weekends full of screenings of TDKR have sold out across the country, why we don't think twice about going to a screening that doesn't even start till 3am. If we were truly OK with consuming these stories on our own terms - from our iPads, on the subway, on our own - movie theaters would've shuttered as a whole decades ago; the movie-going experience would've disappeared all together.

And yet, it persists. It persists because we gravitate towards community, we gravitate towards sharing our lives, our experiences, our opinions and our impressions with each other. What's the first thing you do when the credits start to roll? You ask the person next to you what they thought of the story you both just saw unfold on screen. You relive it, you disect it, you quote it and, if it's a truly special flick, you turn to it again and again down the road.

My heart and my prayers are with everyone who was in that theater this morning; I cannot imagine the fear, confusion, and sadness that unfolded during the tragic turn of events (and will continue to process, I'm sure). The Paris premiere of the film has been canceled out of respect of these events, an appropriately sober response. Here at the Indy Film Fest, we will go on. Not only will we go on, but we begin screenings today with that theater in our hearts. The 2012 Indy Film Fest is now yours, Aurora, CO.

As you come to a film at this year's festival - just one, or several over the next week - I have just one request of you: gather in the spirit of the shared experience through film that no one - no technology, no attacker, no one - can take away from us.



Posted by Amanda Harbeck

Aimée MacArthur Guest post by Aimée MacArthur
Bio: Aimée writes the blog, Indianapolis Amy, where she takes photos and shares her recommendations on food, movies, pop culture, and

“She would be interested in the community of women.  Certainly not against men, but for the community of women.”  Lynda Carter on her role as Wonder Woman

The documentary, Wonder Women!  The Untold Story of American Superheroines, really took me back to my childhood in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. I remember for a time, Wonder Woman was the only superheroine girls had to look up to.  I’m not gonna lie, as I kid I remember spinning around like Wonder Woman and wearing bracelets on each wrist.  To me and my friends, Wonder Woman was a true badass who could do anything.  She was the original trailblazer for many superheroines to come later.  Wonder Woman was a feminist and showed (along with a lot of other real life female trailblazers) many young girls that women and men should be equals.

While I loved male super heros growing up (Batman & Robin, Hans Solo, Luke Skywalker, Superman) as well, seeing a female being a superheroine, changed it for me.  It also helped me that I had strong female role models like my mother and my aunts around me.

The film explains the beginnings of the Wonder Woman comic book and later the TV show with Lynda Carter.  In addition, there are interviews with various authors and others who explain how inspiring Wonder Woman was to a generation of women who needed a superheroine.  The film highlights other superheroines in TV, such as "The Bionic Woman" (Lindsay Wagner), "Charlie’s Angels" and in films, like Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) in the Alien films and Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) and her killer biceps in Terminator 2.

Wonder Women!  The Untold Story of American Superheroines features interviews with Gloria Steinem (who featured an image of Wonder Woman on the first issue of Ms. Magazine), Lynda Carter, Lindsay Wagner, Kathleen Hanna of the band, Bikini Kill and many more.  I thoroughly enjoyed this take on the changes of Wonder Woman through  the years (she wasn’t always so powerful). In many ways, Wonder Woman's journey parallels the feminist movement.  Young girls and women today still need Wonder Woman and other superheroines in their lives.  I enjoyed this no nonsense documentary by Kristi Guevara-Flanagan which masterfully intertwines clips and interviews with celebrities (and real people) to show what an impact Wonder Woman (and other superheroines) has had on popular culture.  Don’t miss this documentary.  It’s got it all- an interesting subject, humor, history and plenty of insights on society and women’s equality.

A current fact I didn’t know:  “Three percent of the decision making positions in media are held by women.”

WONDER WOMEN! The Untold Story of American Superheroines
Kristy Guevara-Flanagan 2012
Categories: Featured, Matter of Fact Features

View the trailer:

The 9th annual Indianapolis International Film Festival features more than 100 films in 10 days. July 19-29 at IMA and Earth House. See the entire 2012 line up!


Indy Film Fest 2012: GENERAL EDUCATION

Posted by Amanda Harbeck

Kate Pell Guest post by  Kate Pell
Bio: Supporter of cool things & cool people. Lover of previews & movie trailers. Communicator at the Arts Council of Indianapolis.

Everyone loves a good high school comedy—no, not those movies for high schoolers, with the latest teenage heartthrob; but those movies that showcase the peer, familial and personal struggles that happen around high school age. General Education delivers with a fun, entertaining high school comedy.

The film centers on Levi, the soon-to-be-graduating high school senior. Levi is on the cusp of success; he is days away from graduating high school and one tournament away from a full-ride tennis scholarship.  However, Levi’s ambition—or more like his father’s ambition—to be a star tennis player has caused him to miss one too many classes. In order to graduate he must complete summer school, and it’s not going to be easy.

Over the course of the 90-minute film, we see Levi in moments of brilliance and poor decisions. What keeps Levi’s journey entertaining are the characters. You have the overbearing father living vicariously through his son played by Larry Miller. There’s the overlooked, chardonnay-chugging housewife played by Janeane Garofalo. The strict, but sexy teacher played by Elaine Hendrix (who plays the same type of character in other films).  Levi’s friends and siblings round out the eccentric cast.

There are many stereotypical characters in General Education, and when you put them all in one scene there can be a lot happening. However, each character adds a unique flavor to the overall whole and gives you someone to cheer for.

General Education

Tom Morris 2011
Categories: American Spectrum Features

View the trailer:

The 9th annual Indianapolis International Film Festival features more than 100 films in 10 days. July 19-29 at IMA and Earth House. See the entire 2012 line up!


Indy Film Fest 2012: TILT

Posted by Amanda Harbeck

Elizabeth Friedland Guest Post by Elizabeth Friedland
Bio: Senior PR Manager living the ad agency life. Voracious consumer (and sometimes publisher) of the written word, culture, politics and music.

When I first heard “Tilt” was a Bulgarian movie set in the 1980’s Communist era, I wasn’t exactly optimistic about the film. Luckily, I couldn’t have been more wrong.

“Tilt” opens with a group of guys in their late teens/early twenties doing typical Communist Bulgarian frat boy type things. They watch porn. They play arcade games. They ride skateboards, listen to the Beastie Boys (RIP) and pull pranks on one another. One of these “Jackass” style stunts done by a guy nicknamed Stash has him falling (quite literally) for a stunning and mysterious punk rocker girl.

Sparks fly, and from there it’s just your typical Bulgarian love story – boy falls for girl, girl falls for boy… and the Communist police try to keep them apart. It’s Romeo and Juliet, if Renaissance Italy was 1989 Eastern Europe.

Yes, you’ll have to do some reading (it’s subtitled, so bring your glasses), but this movie is well worth the extra effort. The chemistry between the two star-crossed lovers in intense, and the peek into Communist life (which isn’t as far back as it seems) is quite interesting.

Grab your crush and see this one. While they might roll their eyes when you tell them it’s a retro Bulgarian flick, they’ll come to realize love conquers all – even (perhaps) Communism.

Viktor Chouchkov 2011
Categories: World Cinema Features

View the trailer:

The 9th annual Indianapolis International Film Festival features more than 100 films in 10 days. July 19-29 at IMA and Earth House. See the entire 2012 line up!



Posted by Amanda Harbeck

Ben Traub Guest post by Ben Traub
Bio: visual/audio artist that plays in bands, makes pictures, & loves film. movies are ok too.  appreciates the absurd, enjoys romance, digs stuff.

Hand held video of ultimate squalor. Heartbreaking scenes of day to day poverty. No narration other than simple cinematography and direction. Rough stuff.

A mother bathing her daughter in a courtyard to prepare her for an ultimate sacrifice into a life of … it’s the opening of a movie inside this movie. And the whole time you have to question if you would actually sit and watch it…while watching what it would take to make it.

The film follows the young writer/director Rainier (Kean Cipriano), his producer BingBong (JM de Guzman) and their PA Jocelyn (Cai Cortez) in dreamy tow. They have appointments set, people to see, coffee to drink, iPad chargers to remember for next time. This film is the irony of the “creative process”:  Watching others create while mocking the world of indie cinema (which it totally deserves), keeping its thumb on the absolutely bi-polar world of casting, script revision, location scouting, and ultimately, more manipulation.

Eugene Domingo, playing herself playing herself (trust me) gives an insanely good performance as a super famous actor looking to break the mold a little bit, do something exciting, be in an Indie film, where the real Art is made. She takes the role as the Woman in the Septic Tank, kind of a joke about having to title a film inside this film - also allegory for being so deep in the crap that can be making Art. If by the end of the film you can still remember her touching, torturous acting at the beginning and know that the final shot is exactly where she wants to be, the Woman in the Septic Tank and the filmmakers have done their job.

You, the film viewer, are always being manipulated into the seeing only the vision of the filmmaker. THE WOMAN IN THE SEPTIC TANK takes this manipulation, runs away with, then runs right back and shoves it in your face while laughing. Oh, this movie isn’t laughing at you. Not unless you’re guilty of buying into the idea that film is a true representation of reality. It’s not. A movie is a movie. Film may capture something real, something scary and sad or funny and amazing, but you only see what the creators have allowed you to see, what’s in the frame, not what gets edited out. Not like life.

The comedy is pretty dark and the dialogue fast, spoken in Filipino and English so keep your eyes and ears open. The rhythm of the film takes some getting used to as what are some sneaky comedy bits can quickly dissolve into a musical daydream, a melodramatic soap opera, or just the rapid fire destruction of an Artist’s story. Manipulation.

I can imagine Hollywood films about poverty being fleshed out over $10 cups of what passes as coffee these days. How? Because anyone that means business drinks coffee with extra caramel drizzle through a straw like a child. I’ve seen it in a movie. It must be real.

The Woman in the Septic Tank
Marlon Rivera 2011
Categories: World Cinema Features

View the trailer:

The 9th annual Indianapolis International Film Festival features more than 100 films in 10 days. July 19-29 at IMA and Earth House. See the entire 2012 line up!



Posted by Amanda Harbeck

Guest post by  Joe Ball
Bio: Proud Hoosier. Consumer of movies, music, smart jokes, tacos & bourbon. Attempting to grow up without selling out.

Father Figure, a series of seven films for the American Spectrum Shorts program, examines the traits of the fatherly role. Themes of discipline, redemption, selfishness, regret, pride, embarrassment, ambition, determination and reconciliation are woven both throughout the individual films and the program as a whole. Through the 103 minutes that the program lasts, viewers are taken into a multitude of situations that touch upon these themes and the outcomes of the choices made by father figures, either as the lead or supporting role.

‘HELLION’, the shortest film at 7 minutes, presents Petey, the youngest of three siblings, being picked on by his older brothers. When Dad comes home to discover Petey’s plight, his punishment is severe for the older boys, while he attempts to provide Petey with a life lesson.

Kat Candler 2012
Categories: American Spectrum Shorts
After making a name for himself as the “Wrigleyville Burglar” and making off with approximately $4 million in stolen property, James Gardner lost decades of his life and precious time with his family to serving jail time. Ultimately, it took a father figure within the prison system to provide him with career assistance and essential tools to help him right his wrongs. ‘Love, Dad’ follows James as he begins to mend ties with the broken family he left behind while incarcerated. ‘Love, Dad’ examines opportunities for redemption after years of selfishness.
Love, Dad

Ronnie Reese, Kristofor Husted 2011
Categories: Matter of Fact Shorts
‘Spark’ focuses on new opportunities for a son as a result of the father figure choosing selfish actions. A son waits for his father’s romantic encounter to end so the two can experience lighting fireworks together. The boy’s plan is interrupted when the daughter of the father’s lover steals his hopes for a meaningful father-son moment. However, this film beautifully captures the crossover moment in adolescence when boys stop thinking about time spent with their fathers and want to be around those they are attracted to. ‘Spark’, clocking in at only 9 minutes, was a highlight of the program.

Annie Silverstein 2012
Categories: American Spectrum Shorts
Other highlights include ‘Atonal’ and ‘Fatakra’, both of which examine strained relationships between fathers and sons when one does not live up to the expectations of the other. ‘Atonal’ deals with a son finding his forgotten father decades after a disappointing moment in which the boy did not live up to his father’s dream. ‘Fatakra’ showcases a father reuniting with the family he left back in India to pursue new opportunities for them in America. Drawing parallels to an epic Hindu story featured in the film, the father goes to great lengths to prove himself to a son who feels abandoned. Though told through different perspectives and narratives, the two films echo each other during sweet father-son moments.

Derrick Hausen 2011
Categories: American Spectrum Shorts

Soham Mehta 2011
Categories: American Spectrum Shorts
It’s difficult to summarize all of the films featured in the program into a nice concise overview. What isn’t difficult is to acknowledge the influence, whether positive or negative, the fathers have on the lives of those in the films. Father’s Day may have occurred weeks ago, but this film series provides an excellent opportunity to take your dad to the Indy Film Fest and enjoy the unique perspective fathers play in film.

Check out all the films included in this Shorts Program:

Father Figure

The 9th annual Indianapolis International Film Festival features more than 100 films in 10 days. July 19-29 at IMA and Earth House. See the entire 2012 line up!


Scheduling Update

Posted by Lisa Trifone

We're sorry to say that due to circumstances beyond our control, we will not be screening the documentary BACK TO THE SQUARE at this year's festival. These screenings have been canceled. Thank you for your understanding.

See what else is screening in the full Festival lineup.


Hugh Laurie :: actor, touring musician

Posted by Lisa Trifone

Did you know that Dr. House is in a band? True story. Actor Hugh Laurie, who stars in THE ORANGES (opening the festival on Thursday night!), is a pretty talented guy. So much so that when he's not acting, he's touring with is band.

Hugh Laurie & The Copper Bottom Band are making their way to Indianapolis on Wednesday August 22, performing at The Palladium. And we've got your hook up. Anyone attending Opening Night is automatically entered to win two tickets to the show! Just be sure you get your raffle ticket before you head into the theater.

Intrigued? Here's more about Laurie as musician:

He may be known for playing the irascibly brilliant Dr. Gregory House on the hit TV show “House,” or the undeniable love interest in the film “Oranges,” Hugh Laurie also has an impressive musical side. On his recent album, “Let Them Talk,” the multi-faceted performer puts his personal stamp on the music of his favorite bluesmen, including Leadbelly, Willie Dixon and Robert Johnson.

You can learn more about the event here. Then get your Opening Night tickets here. And you may just leave with concert tickets!

This great opportunity made possible by our friends at The Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts.


Indy Film Fest 2012: RUBBERNECK

Posted by Amanda Harbeck

Daniel Fahrner Guest post by Daniel Fahrner
Bio: Marketing Man @SmallBox by day, underground strategy board game enthusiast and music business professional by night. Proud  papa
to be.

Psycho-sexual-obsession panic attacks. I’ve had it up to here with them! Actually.. I wanted to start this blog post off on a light hearted note because this film is truly the opposite of light hearted and recounting the intensity and anxiety within such a film isn’t always the most positive way to start a fella’s day.

Rubberneck digs deep. Equal parts psychological, evocative, passionate and anxiety inducing, this film pushes characters further down the emotional spectrum in a fantastically slow burn of a pace than it could possibly hint towards when we first meet Paul. Paul (Alex Karpovsky) is your classic purpose and passion-less protagonist who seems to have hit an unpleasant plateau. His career has stagnated and abandonment issues stemming from childhood have left him without many deep relationships. When a passionate office party fling presents hope, he clings to it like a desperate child dangling from the monkey bars.

Paul’s optimism dissolves quickly back into the minutiae of his everyday existence when the subject of his fling, pretty coworker Danielle, puts the kibosh on the potential for a relationship. Paul doesn’t seem to get the hint, though, or really accept the fate of their relationship and broods silently over the course of 8 months.

That’s when $h*t gets real. Danielle tempts a new coworker into an affair, jealousy sets in and Paul begins a series of desperate attempts to destroy their romance. As Paul confronts his desolation, we begin to understand the underlying cause of his confusion: abandonment.

The most impressive aspect of this film is Karpovsky’s ability to realize the vision of his character’s emotional extremity. This builds from becoming a mere subject of pity in his purpose-less work environment to pain and confusion bred by lust and rejection all the way to intense panic attacks.

Yes, it gets intense, but the emotional build is well constructed, brick by brick. Just like real life. Although, let’s just pretend that psycho-sexual-obsession panic attacks don’t actually happen in real life.

Alex Karpovsky 2012
Categories: American Spectrum Features, Featured

View the trailer:

The 9th annual Indianapolis International Film Festival features more than 100 films in 10 days. July 19-29 at IMA and Earth House. See the entire 2012 line up!