Checkered Past

Indianapolis is a wonderful place to be in May. We love kicking off the month with our 10-day film festival just as much we love ending it with the Indianapolis 500 on Memorial Day weekend. In honor of what we wish was another racing weekend here in Indianapolis, here is a collection of some of our favorite racing films we have had the honor of selecting for our festival over the past few years.

We’ve also screened a few great racing films outside of the festival which you can read about in More of our Checkered Past.



The Indianapolis 500 has long been hailed as “the only race” in motorsports, and in 1977, Janet Guthrie earned a prestigious place among 33 talented drivers, making her the first woman to compete in the race. After overcoming impossible odds, Guthrie had her own team and seemed destined for success. ‘Qualified’ tells her story and examines what caused her career to inexplicably stall before she was able to find the the fame and fortune she was headed for.

Qualified was an official selection in the 16th Indy Film Fest in 2019 and won best Hoosier Lens feature film.




The Eight

Follow three late-model car drivers as they run ‘The Eight’ a fast paced daredevil competition that pits drivers and machines against the treacherous figure eight.

The Eight was an official selection in the 15th Indy Film Fest in 2018.


WATCH NOW on Amazon Prime


A Sicilian Dream

The Targa Florio was a Sicilian mountain road race that, in 1906, gave birth to an era of motorsport still going today. Dreamt up by the younger son of a Sicilian Dynasty, Vincenzo Florio, it ran until 1977 and was considered both totally insane and an absolute must by drivers and manufacturers alike. Pistons Passions Pleasures – A Sicilian Dream is a film that journeys into the heart of this story – exploring its intrigue and revelations. We’re taken on this journey with one of Italy’s preeminent dreamers ‘Francesco da Mosto’ accompanied by racing driver Alain de Cadenet with his 1931 Alfa Romeo 8c supercharged racing car reputedly driven by Nuvolari in the Targa event.

A Sicilian Dream was an official selection in the 13th Indy Film Fest in 2016.


WATCH NOW on Amazon Prime


Hella Shitty Racing Team

This documentary short follows A group of hackers turn their attention to motor racing and form Hella Shitty Racing Team to participate at 24 Hours of Lemons at Sonoma Raceway in Northern California.

Hella Shitty Racing Team was an official selection in the 15th Indy Film Fest in 2018.


WATCH NOW on Vimeo


Boys Of Bonneville

Examining the life of Ab Jenkins, who set out to break every existing land speed record and establish endurance records of his own, this film brings its racing heroes back to life through vintage newsreels, photos, interviews and letters.

Boys of Bonneville was an official selection to the 8th Indianapolis International Film Festival (our original name!) in 2011.


WATCH NOW on Amazon Prime


Racing Dreams

A feature documentary following three young racers as they compete in the World Karting Association’s National Pavement Series. Clocking speeds up to 70 mph, these kids chase the National Championship title and take one step closer toward their dream of someday racing in the big show… NASCAR.

Racing Dreams was an official selection to the 6th Indianapolis International Film Festival in 2009 and was the winner of that year’s Audience Award – Best Feature! In 2020, director Marhsall Curry won the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short for his first fiction film, The Neighbors’ Window.


WATCH NOW on Amazon Prime


Looking for more racing films?  Check out our other post on More of our Checkered Past.

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