Indy Film Fest



Posted by Kate Pell

Guest post by Claire Brosman
Grant writer & storyteller for non-profits. Better composter than gardener. Obsessed with good food and where it comes from.

Some men devote their lives to creating peace and prosperity in the world, some devote themselves to discovering medical miracles, and some devote their lives to dressing up like Santa Clause. It sounds like a punch line, and before watching THEY WORE THE RED SUIT it was. But this documentary by Indiana filmmaker Larry Peter examines the world of Santa impersonators in a light I’ve not seen before.

Peters doesn’t set out to make these impersonators misfit men who seek solace in hiding behind big beards and even bigger bellies as they live in the fantasy of Christmas with their elves and reindeer. Instead Peters steeps these men’s actions in tradition and history; from their suits and accessories to the “Ho, Ho, Ho” of the original Santa impersonator, Jim Yellig, he gives a lineage to these men. He roots his narrative in Santa Clause, Indiana and Santa Claus Land where Yellig worked for 38 years.

Through the director’s narration and a series of interviews with these Santas we learn about the traditions and each man’s revelation about the true importance of his life’s work. While they might learn every child’s material wants, they also are the keepers of children’s less tangible wishes. They may not be able to make wishes come true, but giving each wish a place to land might be all a child needs. And the men in the red suits take that role very seriously.

The 2013 Indianapolis International Film Festival will take place July 18 to 28. Secure your tickets now for THEY WORE THE RED SUIT.

Wednesday, July 24 @ 6:15 in the DeBoest
Sunday, July 21 @ 4:30 in the Toby



Posted by Kate Pell

Guest post by Melanie Woods
Comm/marketing professional, adjunct comm professor, NFL junkie - GO COLTS, art collector, proud Indy resident

In college, my roommates liked to mess with my stuff. They would rearrange my DVD collection (which was in alphabetical order) or move things around on my desk (which was always perfectly arranged). When I got home, they would see how long it would take me to notice and freak out (which was never too long).

My OCD tendencies are nothing compared to those of Maggie, the main character in AS HIGH AS THE SKY. The opening sequence quickly establishes Maggie’s routine of making sure things are where they are supposed to be. Her house is impeccable but there are hints that not everything is in place in her life. She wakes up looking embarrassed to be cuddling a pillow and quickly puts it back on the other side of the bed. The manly voice on her answering machine informs callers that “we” can’t come to the phone, but Maggie lives alone.

You can’t help but wonder what Maggie is trying to suppress. There’s clearly more to this character but writer and director Nikki Braendlin takes her time revealing the layers. This plot is somewhat of a slow burner but the payoff is worth it in the end, when you will be grateful for a dark theatre to hide the fact that you may be tearing up (which you probably will be).

Maggie’s world of order and control is disrupted when her sister Josephine and niece Hannah drop in for an unannounced visit. Maggie welcomes them into her home but is visibly anxious as they scatter their stuff around and settle in. Josephine is the polar opposite of Maggie. She’s 13 years older, loud, carefree, tattooed and smokes weed. She and her 10-year-old daughter have one of those “you and me against the world” relationships. The father isn’t in the picture but they are doing just fine without him.

It’s not clear how long it’s been since the sisters last saw each other. Their parents died in a car crash when Josephine was 17. She took off, leaving 4-year-old Maggie to be raised by her aunts. Maggie and Josephine seem awkward around each other at first and Hannah is noticeably uncomfortable with her aunt’s eccentric behavior.

Over the course of their stay, the trio breaks down their emotional barriers and finds a way to connect. There are a few moments when Maggie lets herself lose control and actually has fun with her family. And as the viewer, you’ll feel yourself relaxing and smiling along with her. The sisters share a genuine moment when Josephine apologizes for abandoning Maggie and Maggie says she never blamed her for leaving. They solidify their sisterly bond but it may be too late to matter.

“As High as the Sky” is one of those movies where you don’t know everything, but once you know what you do, you look back at various events in the film with a different perspective. It’s not a particularly unique plot but the characters are well-developed and you end up fully invested in what will happen to them at the end of the movie (which is why you should pack some Kleenex).

The 2013 Indianapolis International Film Festival will take place July 18 to 28. Secure your tickets now for AS HIGH AS THE SKY. 

Saturday, July 20 @ 3:00 p.m. at The Toby
Thursday, July 25 @ 1:00 p.m. at The Toby



Posted by Kate Pell

Guest post by Claire Brosman
Grant writer & storyteller for non-profits. Better composter than gardener. Obsessed with good food and where it comes from.

In the way of stories, what THE CLEANER offers isn’t new. Eusebio Vela is a forensic cleaner during an epidemic sweeping Lima, Peru. He is lonely. Joaquin, an orphan, enters his life. Eusebio is changed. We all know that story and have seen a life transformed on screen again and again.

But the thing is the control first-time director Adrian Saba brings to the film makes the story its own. Saba builds a world void of distractions and lets you linger in Eusebio’s life and his revelations. Dialogue is sparse, the soundtrack used sparingly and the takes are long and static. It’s beautiful to let the story unfold before you quietly and at its own pace, never compromising the story by telling too much. Really though, my screener paused mid-film and I didn’t notice anything was awry for a few seconds.

THE CLEANER is a Spanish-language film, but highlighting it as such hardly seems relevant. Dialogue doesn’t dominate the story; you’ll take in the characters’ experiences and emotions through Eusebio’s low hung head and Joaquin’s furrowed eyebrows. A rarely employed soundtrack accompanies only a few scenes drawing focus instead to the sounds of the Eusebio’s broom on the pavement as he alone washes away death in the wake of the epidemic, the swishing of his suit as he moves from job to job or the sound of his breath as he sits alone in his apartment. And by stripping everything away, this film captures the magnitude of Eusebio’s metamorphosis.

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

Saturday, July 20 @ 4:30 p.m. in The DeBoest
Tuesday, July 23 @ 6:30 p.m. in The DeBoest
Saturday, July 27 @ 11:30 a.m. in The Toby


Follow the Filmsquatch to the IMA and beyond!

Posted by Kate Pell

Screen Shot 2013-06-30 at 10.39.48 PM

This year's 2013 Indianapolis International Film Festival will find us at the Indianapolis Museum of Art for most screenings, but as night falls we will move in to some of the great venues of Indy.

Part Festival, part Roving Cinema, 2013's line up includes:

Friday, July 19::MEDORA at The Harrison Center Gym

Monday, July 22::HEY BARTENDER at The Libertine

Tuesday, July 23::LOST FOR WORDS at Tibbs Drive In

Wednesday, July 24::OUT OF PRINT at Indiana Historical Society

Thursday, July 25::FALL AND WINTER at Eiteljorg Museum

Friday, July 26::DETROIT UNLEADED at Big Car Service Center

Check out our video featuring our evening programming.


Sponsors Make Our World Go ‘Round

Posted by Sara McGuyer

If you're looking to align your business with a thriving arts organization, look no further. There isn't a better year than this, our tenth! We're going to be pulling out all the stops and we'd love to have you along for the ride. Opportunities abound with Indy Film Fest.

Sponsorship of Year Round Programming
We know how to throw a film party. Put your name on it, and let the good times roll. We have one of our programs still up for grabs (as of this post) – our 2013 Spring Dinner & a Movie Series. (Deadline is February 2013).

Festival Sponsorships
We're going big for our 10th Fest! We have plenty of ways for you to join the party, from our Marquee sponsorship for the 10 day summer festival, to covering single films and more. Want to underwrite our filmmaker awards and earn naming rights for our annual audience choice awards? Perhaps you'd like to power our box office? Sponsorships vary, starting at $500 and up. (Deadlines vary, April-June 2013)

In-Kind Gifts
Our wish list almost always includes iPads (the box office of the future! Or, our present), Mac laptops, printer ink, stamps, copy paper and the like. But we also can work wonders with your other in-kind gifts. Your donated goods save us money, and we can shout our love from the rooftops. Win-win. (Needed year round)

Donate to our Silent Auction

For certain in-kind gifts, we can auction them at our annual silent auction in February to raise big money for the festival. We generally collect items between $50 and $1,500. (Needed by early February 2013)

Donate to our Filmmaker and VIP Swag Bags
We pass these bad boys out to filmmakers from around the world and our biggest supporters here in Indy. Do you have something awesome that fits in a bag? We want to hear from you. (Needed by June 2013)

Ads in the 2013 Festival Program

Ads start at just $80 and align your business with the arts and film in Indy. Want to be emailed our rates and form? Say so here. (Deadline is May 29, 2013)

Please contact Sara with your inquiries and good news!


Look Out, 2013

Posted by Sara McGuyer

We just released some details about our programming for the upcoming year, and all I can say is, watch out 2013. Here's a sample of what's in the works.

Key Events
• Feb 24th – Movie’s Biggest Night @ 45 Degrees
• May 10th - The Bigger Picture Show @ Big Car Service Center
• June 13th – Indy Film Fest Preview Party
• July 18th – 28th – Indy Film Fest - Multiple Locations

Roving Cinema sponsored by Butler Scion - Tickets on sale now! Get 'em while you can!
We bring movies to you, in places you love to hang! We're so pleased to welcome Butler Scion as the 2013 sponsor for Roving Cinema.
• Jan 24th - THIS IS SPINAL TAP @ Do317 Lounge
• Feb 28th - THE NEVERENDING STORY @ Indy Reads Books
• May 16th - FIGHT CLUB @ Indianapolis City Market Catacombs
• June 5th - MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL @ Sun King Brewery
• Aug 29th - WAITING FOR GUFFMAN @ IRT Upper Stage
• Dec 11th - SANTA’S BATTLE ROYALE (Audience Selection) @ Sun King Brewery (Tickets available after movie vote in Oct/Nov)

Spring Series
Ooh, fancy! We're trying something new for us. Film and food pairings are TBA, but we're so excited to partner with Indy Fringe to bring you dinner and a movie! (Corporate sponsorships available. Email for details!
• March 13th - Spring Series – Dinner & Movie @ Indy Fringe Theatre
• March 27th - Spring Series – Dinner & Movie @ Indy Fringe Theatre
• April 10th - Spring Series – Dinner & Movie @ Indy Fringe Theatre
• April 24th - Spring Series – Dinner & Movie @ Indy Fringe Theatre

Fall Film Series sponsored by SmallBox
We're bringing music-themed films back this fall, and we're super pleased that SmallBox is sponsoring this for the second year in a row! Films and location TBA, dates are tentative.
• Sept 26th – Fall Series
• Oct 10th – Fall Series
• Oct 24th – Fall Series
• Nov 7th - Fall Series

We live for this stuff. More to come.

p.s. If you like what you see and want to support this programming, you can make a donation to our Grand Holiday!


Can you chip in?

Posted by Sara McGuyer

Grand HolidayMy movie-watching comes in seasons. It's that time of year for what is perhaps one of my favorites: re-watching all of my beloved holiday flicks. In the quiet of the end of the year, I try to take stay-cation, and have started a new tradition of going to the theater solo. In the bitter cold of January, I re-visit the Lord of the Rings trilogy. And then something magical takes place: I transition to watching screening copies of our film submissions.

Our summer fest may seems worlds away, but even today, we're putting all sorts of moving parts into place: seeking sponsors, planning parties, negotiating vendor contracts. This 10 day festival is a long time in the making, and needs a lot of care and support to come into being.

Now through the end of the year, we're in a mad dash to make it a Grand Holiday and raise $2,500, all of which will support our tenth festival. Ten is a big, exciting milestone for us, and we're committed to making this the best fest yet.

$2,500 isn't a huge amount. We're not looking for one or two people to swoop in and take out our whole goal. What we're wishing is for all of our fans to come together and chip in. Can you give $5? Cool. $50? Fantastic.

In case you aren't convinced, here are a few reasons to give:

1. The fest brings awesome movies to Indy.
2. We have a film reel wearing a santa hat. I mean, can you really say no to that?
3. A lot of volunteers pour heart, soul and sweat into this thing. Our collective hearts will swell with gratitude for you.

Seriously I love this festival, and I know I'm not alone. Let's all make a grand holiday for the fest, shall we?