How to Do the Heartland Film Festival

Pro tips for navigating Indy’s biggest, longest-running film festival

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0914-HEARTLANDFILMFESTRed-carpet premieres. Parties. Not to mention hundreds of indie film screenings across Indianapolis. Yes, it’s almost time for the Heartland Film Festival (October 16–25), a 10-day marathon for movie-lovers. Now an Academy Award–qualifying festival within the Short Film category, Heartland has had two Oscar-winning short films over the past five years—meaning you may meet tomorrow’s Oscar nominees and winners. Here are some ways to get the most out of your Heartland experience:

See the 20 festival award winners on October 17. AMC Castleton Square 14 will showcase all 20 winners from among more than 130 movies. The makers behind every film will be in attendance to meet you and answer questions.

Look for guests with a “Filmmaker” badge. Heartland provides unprecedented access to moviemakers—it’s your chance to meet more than 100 of them right here in Indy.

Attend Awards Night. Put on your best cocktail attire and head to the Old National Centre on October 18, when more than $115,000 will be awarded to indie filmmakers, plus Academy Award qualification status will go to the winner of the Best Narrative Short Film category. The red-carpet gala is one of the city’s premier arts events.

Don’t leave when the credits roll. After every one of the Festival’s screenings, you have the chance to share your thoughts with filmmakers, festival staff, and fellow filmgoers doing Q&A sessions.

Buy online, save money. Regular screening tickets are $11 at the box office, but you can score them for $9 each if you buy in advance at heartlandfilmfestival.org.

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