Film festival opens this month

The first Heartland Film Festival was held in Indianapolis in 1992, and the city has hosted the 10-day event every October since.

From Oct. 18 to Oct. 27, Heartland Truly Moving Pictures will show independent, international films at various theaters, including the AMC Castleton Square 14 and the AMC Showplace Traders Point 12 theaters.

Heartland Film Festival chose its name because Indianapolis is in the heartland of America, said Louise Henderson, vice president of operations for Heartland Truly Moving Pictures.

“We are trying to say that the film industries on the East and West coast have their place, but there is a whole huge ‘fly-over’ part of the country that also wants to see good, quality films that have something to say,” she said.

This year, people from all around the world submitted 1,240 films in three categories—documentary, narrative and short. Of these, 118 films were chosen.

“The festival has always been all about films that inspire, educate and engage you,” Henderson said. “These are the kind of movies that stick with you, as opposed to the romantic comedy that was fun but didn’t really stick.”

In addition to the screenings, Heartland Truly Moving Pictures flies certain filmmakers into Indianapolis from all over the world.

One filmmaker, Bill Brummel, is flying in from Los Angeles for his film “Erasing Hate,”which deals with a skinhead’s story of transformation and redemption.

Brummel said he likes the Heartland Film Festival because it treats the filmmakers with respect, which is not done at every festival.

“They are willing to bend over backwards to make it a good experience for us,” Brummel said.

Another filmmaker, Kip Pastor, said Indianapolis is a perfect place to show his documentary “In Organic We Trust” because of Indy’s agricultural presence and emphasis on urban ecology.

The festival presents awards, the highest of which is $100,000, to the best narrative feature. It is also a qualifying festival in the Short Films category for the Academy Awards.

Tickets are  $8 if ordered in advance or $10 at the theater. The schedule of special events and regular film screenings is available online at