In addition to screening Academy Award contenders, the Heartland Film Festival (Oct. 17–26, $11 per film, $9 if bought online, trulymovingpictures.org) brings a surprisingly edgy batch of indie flicks—and directors—to Indy. Consider these tips as essential to enjoying the fest as the popcorn and Junior Mints.
1. Mingle with directors. More than 100 of them will be at The Toby on opening night (Oct. 17). First-day screenings at AMC Castleton Square (Oct. 18) and the Filmmakers Brunch at the Omni Severin (Oct. 20) also bring out auteurs.
2. Choose venues wisely. The Castleton AMC may boast more of the action, but it’s also the most hectic. AMC Showplace Traders Point is more family-friendly. Fountain Square’s Theater at Wheeler Arts, added this year, is more intimate still.
3. Attend the Awards. With its black-tie attire, surprise Hollywood participants, and $135,000 payout, the festival’s climax at the IRT (Oct. 19) rivals the Indianapolis City Ballet’s Evening with the Stars as the marquee art event of the year.
This article appeared in the October 2013 issue.