Indy Film Fest

6Jul/130

IIFF 2013 :: MILES TO GO

Posted by Kate Pell

Guest Post by Nik Browning
Began musical blogging under myspace/facebook dev. http://redrkr.blogspot.com/  http://redrkr2.blogspot.com/ - movies.

Miles is alone, listless. He runs at night because he has trouble sleeping. We learn at his therapist's office that he’s suffering from dumper’s remorse. A break-up which he initiated because he felt trapped, but now misses his ex. He realizes his selfishness of contacting her- as he simply wants some comfort without considering a future. But the ex soon forces his hand and provides an ultimatum. Full relationship or nothing. And Miles is cornered, needing to face his fears and make a decision. Embrace the love that presents itself? Or sabotage what he sees as the inevitable?

A supporting cast are quick to enter and leave the proceedings. They seem to normalize Miles and his girlfriend, Julia. As sexually selfish as Miles is, his best friend is worse. As depressed as he can feel, his sister is worse. They all bring along a little color commentary without bringing enough baggage to weigh down the story or direct it away from the main couple. As the girlfriend, Jen McPherson plays the role as straight and sweetly as one could hope. She goes from hurt to forgiving to hopeful quite logically without being jerked around to seem unstable, like a male director is sometimes want to do.

The first thing that will come to mind when describing a film that is written by, directed by and stars the same guy… Which is about a writer with romantic commitment issues… is of course, Woody Allen. And Quincy Rose is careful not to steal that voice, but it is a clear inspiration. The dinner party scene strays from mortality discussions based on Nietzsche writings and gears more toward the philosophy of anal sex while reciting gangsta rap lyrics. This film has been likened to a long “Girls” episode as well, which is fair. But it’s crude sexuality serves the purpose of the greater story, investigating if lasting relationships can be maintained in an age where social media leaves alternative interaction with each mouse click and strip mall massage parlors are a block away.

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

Wednesday, July 24 @ 1:00 in the Toby
Saturday, July 27 @ 4:30 in the DeBoest

6Jul/130

IIFF 2013 ::THEY WORE THE RED SUIT

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.

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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

3Jul/130

IIFF 2013 :: MEDORA

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.

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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

2Jul/130

IIFF 2013 ::AS HIGH AS THE SKY

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).

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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

2Jul/130

IIFF 2013 :: THE CLEANER

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.

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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

30Jun/130

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.

1Mar/130

We Are Serving Up A Feast Of Thought-Provoking Cinema

Posted by Craig Mince

2013 Spring Film Series features dinner-and-movie pairings

Foodies and film buffs alike are invited to gather round the table this spring when the Indianapolis International Film Fest kicks off its tenth anniversary season with a series of food-related films paired with enticing cuisine provided by local restaurants.

“We are celebrating our tenth year in a big way, with new partnerships and new experiences,” said Craig Mince, president and COO of the Indy Film Fest. “These pairings include Indy’s hottest restaurants, plus great films, making the perfect date night or evening out with friends.”

The series kicks off on March 13 with Toast, starring Freddie Highmore and Helena Bonham Carter. Based on the best-selling memoir by Nigel Slater, the story follows a young British food critic as he grapples with the untimely death of his mother, whose sole culinary success is making toast. Teeming with 1960s nostalgia, the heartwarming tale of a boy’s hunger is written by Lee Hall, who secured an Academy Award nomination in 2000 for Billy Elliot.

Dinner, including a glass of wine, will be provided by Amelia’s Bakery and Bluebeard. This event is for ages 21 and older.

Other films in the series are:

  • March 27: Sushi: The Global Catch, which takes us to five countries to explore the rise of the common Tokyo street food. Dinner provided by FortyFive Degrees.
  • April 10: Nina’s Heavenly Delights, the tale of an Indian woman’s return home to save her father’s failing restaurant. Dinner provided by Spicebox.
  • April 24: Eating Alabama, a thoughtful and funny look at community, the South, and sustainability. Dinner provided by Duos.

Tickets, which include dinner and the movie are $22 and are available at www.indyfilmfest.org. Tickets for the film only are $10, and will be sold at the door. All movies will be held at the IndyFringe Basile Theatre at 719 St. Clair St. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and dinner begin at 7 p.m.

Tickets are available at http://www.eventbrite.com/org/355037990

14Feb/130

We’re Popped Up!

Posted by Sara McGuyer

We're still reeling from Craig's big win at Big Car. The challenge was to pitch an arts + tech idea that revolutionizes our city for the inaugural 5x5 event. This series of themed idea-pitching events awards $10,000 to one big idea, and is hosted by local innovators like Big Car and People for Urban Progress, and funded by CICF, the Efroymson Family Fund and Christel DeHaan Family Foundation.

Five finalists got the chance to pitch for the $10K. Our idea: bring movies to the people all over this city for some pop up cinema! The funds will be used to purchase a screen worthy of any outdoor venue and a portable sound and projection set up. Any field, any warehouse or gallery - any place at all is fair game. Who knows what we'll dream up?

We were incredibly honored to receive both the audience and judges' votes. Getting one of those over-sized checks is a pretty amazing thing! Thanks to Big Car, CICF and the rest of the crew for this incredible opportunity. We can't wait to turn this city into our theater!

For more, see NUVO's great slideshow of photos by Stacy Kagiwada and check out the slides (made lovely by Lodge Design) below!

Craig Mince: Popped Up! 5x5 slideshow by Big Car

27Dec/120

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!

18Dec/120

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!