Indy Film Fest

5Oct/111

Fall Movie Bonanza – October

Posted by Lisa Trifone

As you may recall, I'm posting each month those Fall movie releases I'm most looking forward to (and some I'm ignoring all together!). It's an exciting time of year for movie-lovers, so I thought it'd be fun to start a conversation around the best, most anticipated films hitting the big screen each month as the year wraps up.

You can check in on all of my September picks here. As for October, the releases kick into full gear this month, so there are a lot of titles to cover. This month includes one of September's stars popping up again, the debut of a younger sister with a familiar last name (and it's not Fanning), as well as two action-flick players (who co-starred in 2009's Star Trek) appearing in very different roles than their sci-fi counterparts.

Continue reading to get up to speed on all I'm anticipating (and one I'm very much avoiding) in October.

29Sep/110

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.

23Sep/110

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.

12Sep/110

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!

11Sep/117

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!

31Aug/110

We Built It :: Will You Come?

Posted by Sara McGuyer

Summer seems to be winding down (can you believe it's September tomorrow!?!), but it wouldn't be complete without a trip to the ball field. We've cooked up a special night to make sure you get at least one last visit in this season. Roving Cinema returns for a special screening of Field of Dreams at Victory Field.

This year, the Indians are celebrating 125 seasons of professional baseball in Indianapolis. We can't think of a better way to pay tribute to that rich history than to screen the ultimate baseball flick right on their big scoreboard. Join us for peanuts, some brews and some serious Kevin Costner action.

Thursday, September 1
Doors open at 7:30pm | Show at Sunset, approx. 8:15
Ticketing options & event details!

View the trailer:

Check out the event on facebook to see who else is coming.

7Aug/110

I had a cooler weekend than you.

Posted by Lisa Trifone

No, not me - it was the 40 teams who banded together to make a movie in 48 hours. They had an awesome weekend with the 48 Hour Film Project, delightfully summed up in the anthem "I Had a Cooler Weekend Than You."

What these groups went through - from writing to shooting to editing and mixing, plus working in a specific character, prop and line of dialogue - in the span of just two days was on display at the IMA Saturday night as all 40 films screened to friends and fans alike. I was lucky enough to serve on the jury, and while not every film was award-worthy, every team clearly had a blast along the way.

Every film had to manage to work an orange (yes, the fruit) into the shot; had to have someone say the line "I would prefer not to..."; and had to make room for a character named Jonathan (or Jolene) Taylor, a lawyer. What's more, each group pulled a genre at the start of the weekend - whatever they created had to be a western, a dark comedy, a thriller or even a musical, among other categories. There was a found-footage foray into a haunted mansion, an awkward dinner between a divorce lawyer and her two boyfriends, and a spot-on superhero spoof complete with a secret lair hidden behind a bookshelf door.

The prospect of watching 40 films in quick succession was daunting as we kicked off at 5 o'clock on a Saturday evening. But by the time the last film rolled at 11:30 at night, I found myself invigorated. Sure, the quality wasn't always pitch-perfect, and a couple films looked like they'd been shot on a cell phone. But the passion of these crews, the fun they all had - it was infectious! And several films shined above the rest for their writing, cinematography, acting and music. The ability to pull all those elements together in such a short period of time - and to do it well - is a talent, to be sure.

The 48 Hour Film Project is a world-wide event; over the course of the year, projects run in cities all over America and abroad. The winners will screen with winners from every city and even has the chance to screen at Cannes in 2012!

To see all that talent - all that LOCAL talent - concentrated on a single project for one moment in time...it's why we do this. It's why Big Car produces the event, why the Indy Film Fest, iMoca and The Film Yap support it. Because all that potential exists out there, and deserves its moment on the big screen. Congrats to all who participated, and congrats to the winners!

Want to see the best of this year's Indianapolis 48HFP? I found one of the Best Film runners up online here. But for all of them, mark your calendar for August 25, when all award winners (and some Judge's Picks!) will screen at Big Car. Deets to follow!

1Jun/110

All Hail the King!

Posted by Sara McGuyer

Sun King, that is. We are out-of-our-mind excited to announce that Sun King has been named the official beer of the 2011 Indianapolis International Film Festival.

When our board president, Craig Mince, approached Sun King about the opportunity, the fine team at the brewery said yes before he could finish his sentence.

What does this all mean? It means come movie time during the fest at the IMA (July 14 through 24) you can enjoy Sun King beers in the theatres. Sun King will be the only beer sold during festival screenings and brewery staff will be on site during the entire festival run.

New this year, we're having a Sneak Peek Party, and what better place to have it than at Sun King?

Thursday, June 16 | 7-10 p.m.
Sun King Brewing Co., 135 N. College Ave.

We'll announce the official lineup for the 2011 festival. The Sneak Peek will be the first opportunity to purchase festival tickets, Sun King will sell pints (including a limited supply of Popcorn Pilsner) TwinPeaks will man the turntables, Yelp will provide the popcorn and food will be provided by Scratch Food Truck. We hope you'll come and rock the brewery with us. RSVP on Facebook.

We'll see you there, right? Until then, help us thank Sun King by showing them some love. Tweet sweet nothings to them @SunKingBrewing and tell them you're glad they'll be a part of the fest. And order Sun King when you're out and about. If you go somewhere that doesn't have any, tell the bartender they're missing out!

1Jun/110

A Little Magic

Posted by Sara McGuyer

Some new friends of the fest shot a little video of the Bigger Picture Show, so we wanted to share it with you here. If the magic of this event is any indication of the vibe for the 2011 festival, we'll be in for a real treat!

16May/110

The Bigger Picture Show lives up to its name

Posted by Lisa Trifone

Wow.

Holy smokes.

Not entirely sure we can put into words the awesomeness that was Friday night's BIGGER PICTURE SHOW, our second-annual arts event featuring local designers who've re-imagined movie posters for our most beloved films.

We knew it'd be big, but we didn't realize it'd be this big. So big that people were perusing the art by 7:20 for a show that started at 7:30. So big that a few of the posters sold by 7:25.

(C) 2011 Stacy Kagiwada

So big that the party would eventually be outside, too, because the gallery couldn't contain everyone who came out.

(C) 2011 Stacy Kagiwada

So big that we got tweets like this one from @Articulate_Indy the next day: "Still feeling inspired by the poster designs from the Bigger Picture Show. Congrats, @IndyFilmFest!"

Thank you to every single designer for your art - you raised the bar yet again. This city is lucky to have you, and we're glad to know you.

(C) 2011 Stacy Kagiwada

Thank you Lodge Design for giving the show such a vibrant voice and story. It was as much your night as ours.

Thank you Big Car for hosting us in your new Service Center for Contemporary Culture and Community, a space that's sure to thrive.

Thank you Yelp Indy and Fat Sammies for the food, TwinPeaks for the sounds, Stacy Kagiwada for snapping the pictures (here and here).

And lastly, thank you Indianapolis - thanks to everyone who told us how much they loved the show, how impressed they were with the art, how great it was to see us on the scene, how great a time they had - we love what we do, and we love that you love what we do.

We'll see you at the festival!