Home Ties: Five Movies Filmed in Indiana

To celebrate the Heartland Film Festival, check out these locally filmed favorites.

With the Heartland Film Festival starting this weekend, you might be in a movie state of mind. Whether you’re excited for a flashy premiere at the IMA or binging on short art-house films at various locations around Indianapolis, or you’re enthusiastic but just not entirely sure what to do, there are tons of ways to join in this annual celebration of cinematic art.

This year, Heartland is celebrating local film in its own way by giving out the Indiana Spotlight Award, a $5,000 reward that goes to the best film by a Hoosier. To celebrate the small but proud history of movies filmed in Indiana, here are five films with local roots:

The Judge

Filmed in:
Jackson County, Indiana

Though set in fictional Carlinville, Indiana, this award-winning movie was primarily filmed in Massachusetts. Only one location in Indiana was used in filming—Jackson County. We’ll forgive Robert Downey Jr. for his non-Hoosier trespasses and reminisce about the time we were pleasantly surprised by his appearance when the film was previewed at the Heartland Film Festival in 2014.

Ah, memories.


A League of Their Own

Filmed in:
New Harmony

“There’s no crying in baseball!”

Archived as a culturally significant film in the National Film Registry, this Tom Hanks classic from 1992 was filmed largely in southern Indiana. We dare you not to quote this movie.


Your Catfish Friend

Your Catfish Friend Preview from Kurt Lee Nettleton on Vimeo.

Filmed in:
iMOCA, Fountain Square, Indianapolis

If short documentaries are more your speed than features, check out this film by Kurt Lee Nettleton at the Heartland Film Festival this week. Featuring Fountain Square artist Philip Campbell, the short explores his journey as he spends more than a year creating a hand-carved catfish on a wall at  iMOCA. Indianapolis heritage runs strong in this piece, which is one of the contestants for the Indiana Spotlight Award.


Nightmare on Elm Street

Filmed in:

If Halloween slashers suit you more than indie film, you’ll be happy to know that the 2011 Nightmare on Elm Street remake from Michael Bay did some shooting in Gary.

Considering the city’s run-down architecture, it’s not surprising that some of the locations in Gary are havens for films that feature mayhem, horror, and scenes where things explode. If you need any clue, Michael Bay also filmed parts of Pearl Harbor and Transformers: Dark of the Moon in Gary.



Filmed in:
New Richmond
Boone County
Hendricks County
Montgomery County

You didn’t think we’d leave out this Indiana classic, did you?

Filmed primarily in Hickory—oops, we mean New Richmond—this underdog sports story is a classic. After receiving two nominations for an Academy Award (for best score and best supporting actor) and being considered one of the greatest sports films of all time by the American Film Institute, we think it has earned that right.

Also, did you hear? The Pacers are going to be wearing Hickory-inspired jerseys for ten games this year to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the film. If you weren’t excited before, you should be now.