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Indy Film Fest is Brewing

July 11, 2011 | By | Add a Comment

Laura Schell

Indianapolis International Film Festival
@ Indianapolis Museum of Art
July 14- 24, 2011

The Indianapolis International Film Festival takes the word “festival” seriously, by hosting not only films, but parties, panel discussions and workshops with world-class directors, actors, and filmmakers. The festival started in 2004 as a three-day event featuring 24 films. In eight years, it has become the fastest-growing and most-watched film festival in the Midwest featuring films from every corner of the U.S and more than 50 countries. The 2011 line-up will be exhibiting over 100 films ranging from short-subject documentaries to full-length features.

Come July 14th the Indy Film Fest will put on ten solid days of the best in independent film. Opening night starts off with Fox Searchlight’s Another Earth, the story of an ambitious young student and an accomplished composer who meet on the night that a duplicate planet is discovered within the solar system. The film is co-wrote, co-produced, and co-starred by one of Chicago’s own, Brit Marling. She has been busy this year. Marling also was highly involved in the writing and production as well as stars in another sci-fi, Sundance indie called Sound of My Voice making her the only female “multi-hyphenate” to debut two, side-by-side projects in a single season. Other titles at Indy range from films featured at Sundance and Cannes film festivals to the work of emerging, regional filmmakers. The fest splits up the films into three genres—American Spectrum, World Cinema, and Matter of Fact (Documentaries). In the American Spectrum is Conception starring Chicago-native Tim Griffin, which follows several Los Angeles couples who, intentionally or not, conceive children. Natural Selection also stars a Chicago-born actor, Matt O’Leary, in a story about a sterile Texan housewife in search of her dying husband’s illegitimate son.

Natural Selection by director Robbie Pickering

The screenings and discussion panels will take place at the Indianapolis Museum of Art with its state-of-the-art Toby Theater screen. Visitors can wander the IMA campus encompassing 152 acres of gardens and grounds, and more than 54,000 works of art spanning 5,000 years of international history. There will be a concessions stand serving up all the movie snacks and adult beverages to enhance viewing pleasure. Single admission is $10 or an All-Access-Pass for $150 includes all fest films. If you are not feeling quite that ambitious you can purchase a “10-ticket bundle” where you can choose any ten films for $80.

For Chicagoan film buffs the Indy Film Fest may be the ideal summer road trip.  Amateur filmmakers and those just interested in the art of filmmaking can sit in on panel discussions and workshops held by experts in the film business. Workshops cover everything from writing and directing to shooting, editing and marketing your own work. The panels will give an inside look to the process of filmmaking by creating open dialogues with visiting filmmakers and tackling current cinema topics.

The Indy Film Fest in a non-profit organization that relies on the efforts of their members and volunteers. For months have been organizing special events to support the festival, including the 2nd annual Bigger Picture show.

Photo by Stacy Kagieada

This hot ticket event invited designers from all over the city to re-imagine classic movie posters and present them at Big Car’s new Service Center for Contemporary Culture. “The film fest is not just about coming and sitting in a dark movie theater for two hours,” says Lisa Trifone, Festival Managing Director. “We seek to create a shared experience around film.“ Posters were selling before the 7:30 opening and the show attracted more people than the Big Car could contain, forcing crowds to overflow into the streets. “We’re stretching ourselves this year,” says Trifone, “and we’re programming the kind of films and related events you wouldn’t normally see in town.”

The festival will close on July 23rd with These Amazing Shadows, a Sundance favorite about the National Film Registry and the importance of film preservation. A closing night party will follow the screening where awards for Best Film and a new Culturally Adventurous Award, for a film that defies genre, will be presented by the IMA. A last-chance viewing of all the award-winners will take place the next day.

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