The largest and longest-running film festival in Indiana will kick off its 2019 edition Thursday. The Heartland International Film Festival will feature a record 200+ films and 400 film screenings during its 10-day run and award $60,000 in cash prizes. One of the categories is the Indiana Spotlight, which showcases films shot by Hoosiers or filmed in Indiana.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Heartland Film Artistic Director Greg Sorvig said Indiana-related films typically don’t get a lot of attention.
"Candidly, I think we’re one of 14 states that has no tax incentive for production of film; you can cross over a river or a border and we’re landlocked by states that have incentives for you, that will give you money just for crossing a man-made boundary, if you will," said Sorvig. "People like to focus on what we don’t have — glass half empty — but hopefully, with this prize, (we) definitely want to put a spotlight on those films because there are quality films being made in Indiana or by Hoosiers."
The Indiana Spotlight category will award a $2,000 cash prize to the winning film. Sorvig says Indiana needs people like those who made the films in the category to shine a spotlight on what Indiana can offer in hopes of becoming a state that offers incentives to bring in more productions.
"There are quality films being made and I think people do come to the festival as well, filmmakers from all over the world, and they realize what kind of beautiful resources and settings and other things that we have. We do have great players in place with Film Indiana; Visit Indy has their initiative for Indianapolis specifically. So it’s just a matter of getting people to Indiana, I think is half the battle. It’s monumentally important that the films that are made here do have success on the festival run, not just here, but throughout the country and the world as well."
The festival will also feature films that Heartland Film says could be award contenders, such as "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" starring Tom Hanks and "Just Mercy" starring Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx and Brie Larson. It will also feature a 20th anniversary screening of "The Mummy," which will include a Q&A with actor and Indianapolis native Brendan Fraser.
You can learn more about the Heartland International Film Festival, including the lineup of films, by clicking here.
Sorvig says Indiana-related films typically don’t get a lot of attention.