Indy Film Fest

1Apr/110

The Dude Abides

Posted by Sara McGuyer

We are pretty much beside-ourselves-ecstatic to share the details of our upcoming Roving Cinema. Wednesday, April 20 The Dude joins Indy Film Fest at Jillian's. That's right - you can get your bowl on with The Big Lebowski streaming in the background.

Wednesday, April 20
Doors 6 pm | Show 7:30 pm
Jillians, 141 S. Meridian St., Indianapolis, IN 46225
Get tickets here.

This time, we have two options for you. Regular admission is $5 and gets you in for the movie. You're on your own for seating (first come, first serve) and bowling. Bring a blanket to camp out on the floor near the lanes, or find a seat anywhere in the bar.

For $75, we're offering a premium package, which we're lovingly calling The Big Lebowski Party. This includes a reserved spot at your own bowling lane for up to 6 people. Ticket price includes admission, one game of bowling and shoe rental for a party of up to 6 people. Get your tickets here.

We'll be joined by Yelp once again, who will be providing complimentary popcorn. Jillian's will offer WHITE RUSSIANS for only $5, and the full bar and menu will be available, so come for drinks and dinner! And we'll also be selling awesomeness in the form of limited-edition silk-screened posters by local designer Aaron Scamihorn.

We can't promise this one will be the quietest screening you've ever been to. In fact, we hope it isn't. This one's gonna be a party. Mark it, dude.

Watch the trailer:

9Mar/110

We like to party. So do you!

Posted by Lisa Trifone

When what you do is a festival, it can be hard to wait an entire year to check out the next round of films, parties, panels and more.

Which is why we created The 355 and all the events we do the rest of the year. We've particularly been doing a lot lately between festivals - an event or two each month to keep you (and us!) excited about film in the city (see previous post!).

We've launched a couple of our Roving Cinema series, testing the waters for how those would be received. And we can confirm after super-great events at both Sun King Brewery and The Eiteljorg (pictured) - the water is wonderful! Look for an upcoming announcement of more Roving Cinema events. We have a feeling you'll like it, dude.

And last month, we hosted - with FortyFive Degrees - our best Oscars Viewing Party to date. It's the biggest night in Hollywood, and we threw a party you all seemed to love. The place was packed, the drinks were flowing and several lucky attendees walked away with great movie swag as door prizes.

What's more, we put up for auction some stellar Indy experiences and gift packages that would've made Santa blush. You came, you saw, and you bid! The whole evening was a smashing success - the best spot in town to watch the show. And amid the fun, you helped raise the money it takes to keep us doing what we do.

THANK YOU for your support - by attending, bidding, tweeting - what ever it is you do - you're making your voice heard for independent film and - more importantly - for arts in Indianapolis and the Indianapolis International Film Festival in particular.

Watch this space and this space for all the latest on our upcoming, non-Festival events, as well as for updates on the 2011 Festival as well!

2Mar/113

Dare We Say It?

Posted by Sara McGuyer

Is it just me, or does it feel like the Indy film scene is heating up? Dare we even label it a "film scene?" As a volunteer entrenched and smitten with this festival, I thought maybe it was just me being hyper-aware of movie happenings.

But lately it seems there's more and more to choose from - different venues, new themes. One minute I'm in awe of something the IMA is putting on, the next I'm intrigued by IMOCA's new series.

It isn't just me, apparently. The Indy Star had a great article summing up all of this magic, plus a handy list to keep at the ready.

What do you think? Are you happy with the local film offerings? Is there anything you'd want to see more of?

Image credit: Carbon Arc via Flickr

21Feb/111

Oscar Night is this Week!

Posted by Lisa Trifone

The Academy (of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, that is) has spoken. The nominees for the 83rd Academy Awards are now known to all and the ceremony is almost here.

Which, if you're anything like me, means I've got some movies to see (and just a week left to do it in)! Overall, I'm content with how this year's nominees played out. It's an improvement over last year, at least - there's no black sheep that's got us holding our breath, praying the Academy won't be silly enough to actually give a film like that an Oscar.

Yes, I'm talking about last year's love-fest with Avatar. But I digress...

I was surprised to hear that the film leading this year's nominees is The King's Speech (it racked up 12 nods!). Not surprised because it doesn't merit every one of them, but surprised because - for me at least - it's a solid 3rd best film of the year. But it's traditionalism may've served it well with the Academy, as it helped garner it nominations across a broad range of categories, something neither Social Network or Black Swan really did (each of those just got one acting nod, to TKS's three).

Also pleasantly welcome are the nominations for The Kids Are All Right and Winter's Bone, two smaller films that resonated with audiences at the beginning of the year and throughout the festival circuit. That both managed to snag acting nods and Best Picture slots is wonderful to see, though it's fairly common knowledge that neither would've gotten a spot in the latter were the Academy still only selecting five films for the category instead of 10.

There was some outcry from the interwebs after the announcement when it became known that Christopher Nolan had snagged a nomination for writing Inception but not for directing it - despite that film's inclusion in the 10 Best Picture titles as well. While it would've been easy to place Nolan in the Best Directing group, the fact is that this is just another way the 10 best picture nominees impacts the other categories. Only 5 of the directors who get a Best Picture nod can also get a Best Director one . I might point out that Lisa Cholodenko and Debra Granik were both left off the list of best helmers as well, meaning we'll see no repeat of Kathryn Bigelow's triumphant win for female directors from last year, a much more telling oversight than Nolan's absense.

Finally, I'm always amused by those films that make it into the heralded "Oscar nominated" realm via the likes of categories like Visual Effects, Costume Design or Original Song. Now Iron Man 2, Alice in Wonderland and Country Strong can all tout themselves as nominees (in those categories, respectively), though I'm sure no one would immediately associate the two.

But then, I suppose it could've been worse - the Academy could've nominated Burlesque.

Join the Indy Film Fest as we watch all the Oscars get handed out on Sunday, February 27.

9Feb/110

Hey, Gunslingers! See you soon?

Posted by Sara McGuyer

We're counting down the days until our next Roving Cinema event. Indy Film Fest will be bringing our big screen to the Eiteljorg on Feb 17 for a screening of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Get your tickets in advance here.

Five reasons why this is going to be awesome:

  1. The Eiteljorg is an amazing building. If you've never been, you're in for a real treat. It houses one of the best Native American and Western art collections in the world. That's right, THE WORLD. (We're so lucky in Indy, aren't we?)
  2. This is only one of the best westerns EVER.
  3. You're supporting the Indy Film Fest with your ticket purchase. Events like this allow us to continue bringing awesome film experiences to you.
  4. There will be beer.
  5. No one will look at you funny if you wear your cowboy hat and spurs.

Check out the trailer, gunslingers, This is gonna be one heck of a show.

3Feb/110

How We Build It (aka The Screening Process)

Posted by Lisa Trifone

One of the most frequently requested volunteer positions is the chance to serve on our film submissions screening committee. The thinking goes something like this:

You mean I can do volunteer work that is nothing but watching movies?! Sign me up!


Which, at first glance, makes sense. Yes, being on the screening committee means you're going to see A LOT of movies in a very short time. But this is no popcorn-and-soda way to pass the time. We ask much more of our screeners, and it isn't all so glamorous!

Every film submitted to the festival (hundreds every season!) gets watched by at least two screening committee members. This is to ensure that if one viewer gives it a low rating, a second person - with their own perspectives and tastes - can also see it. Just because it didn't appeal to one person doesn't mean it won't appeal to others.

Each screening committee member is asked to rate the films they watch on a number of criteria. A film may have great acting, but the story just isn't up to par - we consider all angles when we think about what the festival audience will enjoy.

When all is said and done, we consider all the notes the screening committee has taken of the course of the process and sit down to determine which films have made the cut. This is both an invigorating and agonizing process, but always results in festival film selections that we're proud to feature.

Sure, watching movies for a few hours a week seems like a no-brainer. But as any of our screening committee members could tell you, there's a lot riding on their input - not the least of which is Joe MovieLover's festival experience. If we can find at least one film in our line-up of over a hundred that he's glad he got the chance to see, we've done our job!

image credit: Nataraj Metz via Flickr

25Jan/110

And the Nominations are In!

Posted by Sara McGuyer

Awards season can be such an exciting time. Know what makes it even better? When a film we screened at the Indy Film Fest snags a nomination. Huge congrats to GOD OF LOVE, Indy Film Fest's 2010 Best Short Film, for being nominated in the category Best Short Film, Live Action in the 83rd Annual Academy Awards®.

If you're not planning a trip to the red carpet, why not spend movies' biggest night with Indy Film Fest? Join us for our annual Academy Awards® Viewing Party - watch the show, talk best dressed and bid on a grand assortment of items in our silent auction.

Sunday, February 27 from 6:30 p - 11 p
45 Degrees | 765 Massachusetts Avenue

Put on your favorite cocktail party number and come out for the red carpet treatment. We'll have complimentary appetizers and drink specials, plus swag bags and door prizes for a few luck party-goers. What's even better? Entry is free, so save your moolah for the silent auction.

Meet us at 45 Degrees? RSVP on Facebook.

Before you arrive, check out the full list of nominations and cast your ballot here. What do you think? Are any of your favorites missing? Any big surprises for you?

17Jan/110

The Waive

Posted by Lisa Trifone

There are a couple things you can count on in life - you know, death and taxes?

Turns out, there's something entirely reliable in a film festival's submission process, too: the request for a fee waiver.

Because we see them come through almost daily, I wanted to take a minute to acknowledge the waiver requests and offer a bit of insight to filmmakers on our approach to them (and, if you're not a filmmaker, maybe give you an idea of the inside workings of a festival).

15Jan/112

Have Movie Will Travel :: Roving Cinema is Back

Posted by Sara McGuyer

ROVING CINEMA is back. This time, it's Sergio Leone's classic spaghetti western THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY. And what better place to experience this western original than in Indy's premiere home for western art, the Eiteljorg. In this 1966 flick, Clint Eastwood stars as a gunslinger competing for buried treasure.

Please join us February 17, 2011
Eiteljorg, White River State Park
500 Washington Ave.
Doors open 6p | Show 7p

We are thrilled to partnering with the Eiteljorg and their young professional group, Agave. Started in 2006, the group plans events, raises funds, recruits new members and fosters relations with local community partners. Ticket admission may be applied to an Agave membership purchased on the evening of the event.

We'll have the drinks (cash bar), movie candy and complimentary popcorn from our friends at Yelp. In the first Roving Cinema at Sun King, it was BYOC, (bring your own chair), but this time, we'll even have the seats. All you've got to do is get your tickets here for $8. Tickets will be available at the door, but be forewarned. The inaugural Roving Cinema sold out - we recommend buying ahead of time.

p.s. We're still seeking your input on the future of Roving Cinema. Have an idea for an upcoming event? Tell us here.

About Roving Cinema:
Sure, there's something about the smell of popcorn at the theater, the big comfy seats and towering screen. But what if we brought you movies in venues perfect for the film? We're calling it Roving Cinema, and we'll be featuring movies all over the city, pairing stories with scenes right in your own backyard.