Dan Moore

10 Day Festival Starting… NOW!

Hello film fans! I’m Dan Moore, Executive Director of Indy Film Fest. I first attended our festival in 2006 which happened to be the first year we expanded from a 3-4 day festival all the way up to a full two-weekend, ten day celebration of independent film.

This year our festival has been taking place over a full 3 weeks to give lots of time to check out all 40+ features and shorts blocks. But for those of you Indy Film Fest regulars who, like me, know us as a 10-day festival with hard decisions to make every day about which films you’ll see before the end of the festival… you should feel right at home now because that’s how much time is remaining through our last day on May 19.  That’s still plenty of time to make use of an all-access digital pass for only $65 (or $55 if you’re outside of Indiana!).

So what should you watch?  A great place to start is the tippy-top of our virtual festival page with the This Week Only section where you’ll see 5 films available only though May 12:

Bleeding Audio

From inspiring triumphs to heartbreaking setbacks, Bleeding Audio relives the explosive career of The Matches and explores what it means to succeed in the digital age of music. (dir. Chelsea Christer)

Workhorse Queen

It’s not all glitz and glamour in the drag queen world. This doc tells the story of Mrs. Kasha Davis and what it takes to be a successful, working drag queen. (dir. Angela Washko)

This Is Where I Meet You w/Other Fish

If you are in your 20’s and feeling lost, what better place to find yourself than a beautiful seaside location with lots of interesting strangers open to conversation and some fun? (dir. Katharina Ludwig).  Screens with the short Other Fish (dir. Kurtis Bowersock).

The Catch

A troubled woman returns to her estranged family in coastal Maine. With her lobsterman father caught up in a turf war at sea, she and an ex-boyfriend make plans to hijack local drug runners. (dir. Matthew Ya-Hsiung Balzer).  Be sure to check out Film Yap’s interview with director Matthew Ya-Hsiung Balzer and stick around after watching for the Q&A!

Water Like Fire

A young surfer makes up for lost time with her estranged brother after he winds up in the hospital after a hit-and-run. (dir. Mitchel Viernes)

Our Nomadic Tales

Chloé Zhao’s historic win along with the rest of the awards Nomadland picked up on movie’s biggest night made me think of a couple of the films we have coming up as part of this year’s 18th Indy Film Fest. Like Nomadland, both of these features have a fictional story that’s surrounded by and mixed with many unexpected true-life stories from non-actors mostly portraying themselves during filming.

First off we’ve got Uisenma Borchu’s film Schwarze Milch [Black Milk] which tells the story of a woman returning from Germany to visit her nomadic family in Mongolia. She struggles to connect with her sister especially after decades — most of their life — apart. While it shares the gorgeous outdoor views in a land filled (though sparsely) with true nomads, this is definitely no Nomadland. Intimate scenes within the yurts as well as the rough and occasionally graphic reality of living in isolation make this much more of an Indy Film Fest film. Inspired partially by the personal story of the writer/director, it goes in dreamlike directions as it deals with what it means to be a woman in different cultures. The director joined our World Cinema Features programmer Ana Barbir this past weekend for a great conversation about the film and her life which is included during its April 29 – May 6 run at our festival.

Our other close to authentic nomadic feature is Teddy, Out of Tune. With a piano strapped to the back of his truck, a street musician named Teddy drives 2,000 miles north to Canada on an emotional mission to spread his mother’s ashes. Along the way he encounters a peculiar mix of friends and strangers that allow him to share more about his complicated history with mental health and abuse. A nod to the film’s mix of the true and the fictional, we’ve paired this film with the short Introduction To Genre: An Introduction.

If shorts are more your speed, our Going Places Shorts Block might be right up your alley. These 8 stories include traveling to find the right place to settle down for a life or a conversation, some short car rides across unexpected routes, and an epic true journey to reunite with a dying father with a hearty crustacean as a passenger. Like almost all our shorts they’re available anywhere in the US from April 29 – May 19.




PRESS RELEASE: Fest Announces Opening Night

Indianapolis, IN, April 2, 2021

Beginning April 29, the Fest will hold select in-person screenings and will unveil movies of all genres for Fest “goers” to screen at home.

Walk the Red Carpet…

The Fest is structured differently this year with three, week-long blocks of films:

  • April 29 – May 5
  • May 6 – May 12
  • May 13 – May 19

The focus from Thursday to Sunday will be on live or digital but interactive events; the focus from Monday to Wednesday will be on virtual streaming. In addition to the opening night screening, in-person screenings will be held for some linchpin films the Fest will announce in the coming weeks.


And the Opening Night Film Goes To…

The Fest kicks off on the 29th with an opening-night feature at Tibbs Drive-In Theater. The first film to screen will be THE DRY, directed by Australian filmmaker Robert Connolly. In THE DRY, Federal Agent Aaron Falk returns to his drought-stricken hometown after an absence of more than twenty years to attend the funeral of his childhood friend, who allegedly murdered his wife and child before taking his own life. While there, Falk opens up an old wound — the decades-old, unsolved death of a teenage girl. Get tickets in advance, this thriller is sure to sell out, as all social distancing guidelines and state mandates will be observed at all live screenings.


Following opening night, movie lovers can enjoy more quality films from the comfort of their own homes by purchasing virtual tickets. The variety of films ensures that attendees can find movies for every part of their imagination. The entire Indy Film Fest lineup will soon be available online.



We’d Like to Thank the Academy…

“We made a lot of changes this year to be able to still hold the Fest but we’re staying true to our mission to bring together fans around great films,” said Dan Moore, Indy Film Fest Executive Director. “We’re excited about the lineup of new, fresh content and to bring you movies that you’re not otherwise going to see.”


You’re Invited to the After Party…

As is the Indy Film Fest-way, filmmaker Q&A will still take place this year, albeit digitally. Select screenings will have filmmakers available for live and recorded Q&A and “behind the scenes” sessions to learn more about the making of the films.

For more information on Indy Film Fest, visit www.indyfilmfest.org, like Indy Film Fest on Facebook and follow @IndyFilmFest on Twitter and Instagram.



About Indy Film Fest
A non-profit, all-volunteer organization, the Indy Film Fest has grown into one of the Midwest’s fastest-growing and most-watched film festivals. Now in its 18th year, the Indy Film Fest seeks to create a shared experience around film by championing movies that entertain, challenge and expand perspectives in Indianapolis and beyond. This exciting year of creativity and collaboration will culminate with a ten-day film festival. For more info, visit https://indyfilmfest.org.

More of our Checkered Past

This past weekend we told you about our Checkered Past, official selections from past Indy Film Fests that you can watch right now!  But since we’re in Indianapolis we have more history with racing films than can fit in one post, so here are a few more we’ve presented over the years.

McLaren (2007)

The story of Bruce McLaren, the New Zealander who founded the McLaren Motor Racing team. A man who showed the world that a man of humble beginnings could take on the elite of motor racing and win.

While not a festival selection we worked with the filmmakers, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and McLaren to host the North American premiere of this amazing documentary. Amanda McLaren, Bruce’s daughter, participated in the Q&A following the screening at the Indiana State Museum’s IMAX theater. A private collector graciously brought Bruce McLaren’s personal road McLaren and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum provided Johnny Rutherford’s 1974 McLaren IndyCar.


WATCH NOW on Amazon Prime

(Photos by Stacy Kagiwada)


Winning (1969)

Frank Capua (Paul Newman) is a rising star on the race circuit who dreams of winning the big one–the Indianapolis 500. But to get there he runs the risk of losing his wife Elora to his rival, Luther Erding, and strains the relationship with his stepson.

Winning was presented at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as part of our Roving Cinema series in 2016 leading up to the 100th running of the Indy 500. IMS President Doug Boles moderated a pre-screening Q&A with three-time winner of the Indianapolis 500 Bobby Unser who appears in the film, then rookie driver Matthew Brabham, technical director Bill Marvel, and Hoosiers director David Anspaugh who got his start in film working on Winning. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum brought several IndyCars for display during the event, including the one driven by Paul Newman’s character and the one Bobby Unser drove in the film.


WATCH NOW on Amazon Prime

(Photos by Stacy Kagiwada)


The Race of Gentlemen

Filmed over a three-year period, “The Race Of Gentlemen” is a documentary about the men who build hot rods in the “traditional style” and gather from around the world to race them for this annual event. While the world is marching forward in the pursuit of new technology these gentlemen are stepping backwards and embracing the old technology as it relates to there passion for the “traditional” style of hot rodding. This subculture has gained recognition and received much publicity in various forms of media throughout the world.

The Race of Gentlemen was an official selection in the 14th Indy Film Fest in 2017.  Like many films that we feature at the Indy Film Fest, it does not currently have distribution and so is not available to watch.


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

We included RACING DREAMS in our previous Our Checkered Past post about festival selections, but since we showed it a second time outside of the festival we thought it deserved a second mention.  Here’s a photo from our screening held in Indianapolis’s Highland Park back in 2013.

Photo by Stacy Kagiwada

(Thanks to former board member Joe Ball for helping with this post!)

Watch 2015 Indy Film Fest Selection ALMOST HOLY

From now through April 7, 2020, you can watch 2015 Indy Film Fest official selection Almost Holy for free on YouTube.  This gripping documentary from director Steve Hoover follows Gennadiy Mohknenko, a Ukrainian pastor who fights against child homelessness by abducting street kids. His tough love approach has made him a hero to some and a lawless vigilante to others. Can this self-appointed savior save his city?

If you attended back in 2015 and the title doesn’t ring a bell, that’s because it still had it’s original title Crocodile Gennadiy in our festival program.  Please support the film and the filmmakers by recommending it to your friends and then check out the director’s other IFF official selection Blood Brother which was part of our 2013 program.  If you missed the chance to watch it for free, Almost Holy is available for purchase or rental from several platforms.

Full Film

(Watch on YouTube)