The director of a short film competing for a spot at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival says Indiana has more to offer than many people think when it comes to film production. Elizabeth Friedland, whose movie Dessert won top honors in the Indianapolis 48 Hour Film Festival, says the state offers a strong talent pool and "fantastic landscapes" ranging from Lake Michigan to vibrant downtown life. She compares the film industry to "where the tech sector was 20 years ago," saying the state is figuring out how to be attractive to filmmakers.

Dessert won the Best Film, Best Writing, Best Use of Line and Audience Choice awards in this summer’s 48 Hour Film Festival. The competition involves teams being given two days to write, cast, shoot and produce a short film based on material provided by organizers. Next week in Atlanta, Dessert will compete against 128 other city winners from throughout the world. The top 10 films will be screened at Cannes in the short film category.

You can see the full movie by clicking here.

Friedland, like many in the industry, says Indiana could attract more projects by offering incentives to production companies and studios.

Late last year, Visit Indy launched a pilot program aiming to attract film and television projects. Film Indy is a two-year public-private partnership aiming to attract millions of dollars in economic impact and positive marketing exposure by promoting the city as a good location to film movies, television shows and commercials. Vice President Chris Gahl also touted the area’s landscapes, saying the area is attractive because of its "diversity of locations within minutes of each other." The effort is being funded by $300,000 from Visit Indy, the city of Indianapolis and the Central Indiana Community Foundation.

Last month, filming began in Bloomington for a romantic comedy being produced by two Indiana University alumni. The Good Catholic is a project of Pigasus Pictures, owned by Zach Spicer and John Armstrong. The movie has attracted big-name backing. David Anspaugh, who directed Hoosiers and Rudy, will serve as executive producer.

Friedland says bringing more production to the state will bring benefits well beyond the film industry.