By Nancy Hammerstrom
The 31st annual Heartland International Film Festival invites the community to “Get Lost in Film,” the theme of the 11-day festival, starting tonight and running through Sunday, Oct. 16.
This year, more than 100 independent films (50 are premiering during Heartland) will show at six different theaters throughout the Indianapolis Metro area, including Living Room Theaters in the Bottleworks District (off Massachusetts Avenue) and The Historic Artcraft Theatre in Franklin.
Among the must-see movies this year? “The hot ticket is ‘The Whale’ starring Brendan Fraser, which will be the closing night title of the festival this year,” said Greg Sorvig, artistic director for Heartland Film. “Fraser was born in Indy, and this is the best performance of his career, and he is highly favored to be nominated for an Academy Award.”
“The Whale” is the story of a reclusive English teacher living with severe obesity who attempts to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter (played by Sadie Sink, who plays Max on Netflix’s popular series, “Stranger Things”) for one last chance at redemption.
Eleven Indiana Spotlight films will be part of the fest, including “More Than Corn,” a documentary featuring Genesis and Eli, husband and wife farmers based in Noblesville, Ind. The couple share their journey to produce delicious, local food. While some may call it the “simple life,” “More Than Corn” explores the challenges of starting and operating a produce farm in the Midwest.
In “Arab Indianapolis: A Hidden History,” author Edward Curtis and other Arab Americans search for their roots in Indianapolis. They discover a history that’s been hiding in plain sight at Lucas Oil Stadium, the Indiana Capitol, the Indiana War Memorials and other Hoosier landmarks.
Outside the Hoosier lens includes a variety of American and international comedy, drama and horror films. “Some titles that have been added since our big announcement include “Holy Spider,” which is Denmark’s entry to the Academy Awards, and “The Banshees of Inisherin,” a big fall title from Searchlight Pictures where Colin Farrell is favored to be nominated for best actor,” added Sorvig.
Tickets are $14 per person for both in-person and virtual screenings, and screenings at the Historic Artcraft Theatre are $8. A 10-pack of tickets may be purchased for $125. Fest passes, which include one ticket to each in-person and virtual screening, are $195, and duo fest passes, including two tickets to every in-person and virtual screening, are $390. Members receive 20% off tickets.
To learn more about connecting Heartland Film’s streaming site to your TV, visit watch.eventive.org/help. Virtual screenings are available now through Oct. 16.
“We will have more than 100 filmmakers and talent from films here for Q&A’s during the fest and we will keep up-to-date information about attendees on our online film pages,” said Sorvig.
For more information, go to heartlandfilmfestival.org.