MovieMaker Magazine announced its 2023 list of the 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World: the Indy Shorts International Film Festival and the Heartland International Film Festival, the two film festivals presented by Indianapolis-based nonprofit arts organization Heartland Film.
“We’re deeply thankful to the thoughtful panel of moviemakers and film experts who handpicked these festivals,” said MovieMaker editor-in-chief Tim Molloy. “In addition to celebrating film, all of these beloved festivals offer the promise of new friendships, new adventures, and new experiences, on- and off-screen.”
MovieMaker’s 2023 Panel of Cool includes Katie Bignell and Ian Bignell (Festival Formula), as well as filmmakers Hanadi Elyan (Salma’s Home), Camrus Johnson (“She Dreams at Sunrise”), Aaron Hills (Cinedigm, Fish Kill Flea), Geoff Marslett (Quantum Cowboys), Sylvia Caminer (Follow Her), and Ondi Timoner (Last Flight Home).
“With thousands of film festivals in the world, this is an incredible achievement,” said Heartland Film Artistic Director Greg Sorvig. “This honor has been on the top of our wish list for years, and we’re incredibly fortunate to the panelists and alumni who have made our events so intimate and fun over the years.”
Heartland Film was founded in 1991 with the mission to curate, promote and celebrate thoughtful and engaging films from diverse perspectives. Over the years, the festivals have presented $3.5 million in cash prizes – the largest total amount awarded by any film festival in North America.
Last year, Indy Shorts was included on MovieMaker Magazine’s 2022 Best Short Film Festivals in the World list. Both festivals are annually on the 50 Best Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee.
The Academy-qualifying Heartland spinoff was established six years ago to highlight shorts and has quickly established itself as a shorts destination.
The Editor-in-Chief of MovieMaker Magazine, Tim Molloy, is scheduled to attend this year’s Indy Shorts International Film Festival running July 18 – 23. Tickets are now on sale for the 6th Annual festival that will host screenings at Living Room Theaters (indoor), Newfields (indoor & amphitheater), Fort Ben Cultural Campus (indoor & outdoor) and virtually. The festival had a record number of 3,900+ shorts submitted, and from those, 165 shorts from 21 countries were programmed. The film lineup includes 18 World Premieres, 19 US Premieres, 54 Midwest Premieres and 47 Indiana Premieres.
The shorts festival is also Academy Award®-Qualifying in all three short film categories (Live Action, Documentary and Animated) – only 34 film festivals in the world hold this designation. With a track record of 33 nominations and 10 Oscar®-winning shorts, there’s a good chance attendees will see the next Academy Award®-contending films first in Indianapolis. Last year, an Indiana Spotlight film, “Stranger at the Gate” won the Grand Prize for Best Short Documentary receiving its Oscar® qualification. The film was then nominated for an Academy Award®.
Oscar®-winning director, Ben Proudfoot, is scheduled to attend Indy Shorts with his Academy Award® statuette. Proudfoot’s new documentary, “Forgiving Johnny,” will World Premiere as part of the Spotlight: Breakwater Studios Program. This program also includes two other shorts from the director. Ben Proudfoot’s Oscar®-Winning short documentary, “The Queen of Basketball,” is playing at the Indy Shorts International Film Festival on Friday, July 21, during the Oscar® Shorts program at the Amphitheatre at Newfields.
ESPN Films, Vanishing Angle, Easterseals Disability Film Challenge, Children’s Resilience with Shine Global, and the High School Film Competition are other Spotlight Programs at Indy Shorts.
The 32nd Heartland International Film Festival is running Oct. 5-15 at theaters around the Indianapolis area. The film lineup and tickets will be available starting on Sept. 15.
You can read about all 25 festivals included on the list in a PDF of the full MovieMaker Magazine article here.