The co-founder of the Middle Coast Film Festival in Bloomington believes the city and region have the ingredients to be on-par with the independent film-making scene in other cities like Austin, Texas. Jessica Levandoski, who came to Bloomington from Austin, says she saw first-hand what the early-1990s film "Dazed and Confused" did to spark Austin’s industry. She says it could happen in Monroe County. Austin officials estimate the film and television industry has an annual economic impact of $180 million. During a recent special edition of Inside INdiana Business Television focusing on women entrepreneurs, Levandoski said efforts by local enthusiasts, professionals and Visit Bloomington are starting to show returns, including the recent filming of "The Good Catholic" starring Danny Glover.
Hollywood producer and director David Anspaugh, known for "Hoosiers" and "Rudy," still spends much of his time in Bloomington and Levandoski says access to big names like him also benefits the community. "We had a film-maker come down from Chicago. First time film-maker, on no one’s radar. Him and David are no best friends and text each other all the time, so that’s the kind of connections that are made."
Levandoski is pushing for targeted tax credits for productions that take place in the state. She says a micro-film scene could grow in Bloomington. "The things that are starting to win at the Oscars, like "Room" for instance, that was filmed in Ohio. There’s no reason that can’t be shot here in Indiana."
The Middle Coast Film Festival is set for July 28-30 and will feature 65-70 films throughout the city. You can connect to more about the event by clicking here.