Premieres, Record Number of Films Highlight 2015 Heartland Film Festival

October 16-25 Festival To Open With Critically-Acclaimed Major Motion Picture “Room” Based On The International Best-Selling Book By Emma Donoghue

Heartland Film announced the full lineup and event schedule for its 24th annual Heartland Film Festival (Oct. 16-25, 2015) to a cheering crowd at The Athenaeum. The Festival gives its moviegoers access to more than 100 visiting independent filmmakers from all over the world, right in the heart of the Midwest, and will showcase 147 entertaining movies that do more than just entertain over 10 days of red carpet premieres and events, parties and hundreds of film screenings across Indianapolis. The Festival has added new features for 2015, including a brand-new Premiere Pavilion at AMC Showplace Traders Point 12.2015-heartland-film-festival-web-slider

Every October, the Heartland Film Festival gives its moviegoers access to more than 100 visiting independent filmmakers from all over the world, right in the heart of the Midwest. Each year, the Heartland Film Festival awards more than $120,000 in cash prizes and presents its Festival Awards to top-judged submissions. The Festival has awarded more than $2.9 million to support indie filmmakers over the last 23 years. Beyond the annual Heartland Film Festival, Heartland Film honors theatrically-released films that align with its mission via the Truly Moving Picture Award, inspires the next generation of filmmakers via the Heartland Film Institute, and exhibits films across Indiana all year long via the Heartland Film Roadshow.

This year has been one of Heartland Film’s most exciting and challenging yet; over 1,750 films, representing 95 countries, were submitted, and narrowing the field down to the best 145 was a daunting task,” explained Heartland Film Artistic Director Tim Irwin. “The end result is a line-up of films that is Heartland’s most varied yet. With local films competing in the all-new Indiana Spotlight competition and foreign films from Iran, Australia, Pakistan, Kosovo and Bulgaria, there is a plethora of independent films that will engage, educate, inspire and challenge audiences of all ages. After receiving standing ovations at the Telluride and Toronto film festivals, Truly Moving Picture Award-winning film ‘Room’ will open this year’s Festival, giving Heartland audiences their first chance to experience this incredible film.

Opening and Closing Night Event Films 


Still from Opening Night Film, Lenny Abramson’s “Room”, starring Jacob Tremblay and Brie Larson and was the winner of the GROLSCH PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS at the just-concluded 2015 Toronto International Film Festival.

Room” – Indianapolis Museum of Art – Friday, Oct. 16, 7 p.m.
Both highly suspenseful and deeply emotional, “Room” is a unique and touching exploration of the boundless love between a mother and her child. After five-year-old Jack and his Ma escape from the enclosed surroundings that Jack has known his entire life, the boy makes a thrilling discovery: the outside world. As he experiences all the joy, excitement, and fear that this new adventure brings, he holds tight to the one thing that matters most of all—his special bond with his loving and devoted Ma. The A24 release starring Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Joan Allen and William H. Macy, directed by Lenny Abrahamson, has received Heartland Film’s prestigious Truly Moving Picture Award and was a big winner at the just-concluded 2015 Toronto International Film Festival.

Coming Through the Rye” – AMC Showplace Traders Point 12 – Sunday, Oct. 25, 7 p.m.
Set in 1969, Jamie Schwartz, obsessed with Holden Caulfield, runs away from boarding school to find reclusive author JD Salinger. Inspired by actual events, Jamie’s search for Salinger becomes a journey into sexual awakening, love and loss. Starring Adrian Pasdar, Chris Cooper, Alex Wolff and Stefania Owen, directed by James Sadwith. Director James Sadwith scheduled to attend.

Premieres to Highlight First Weekend at AMC Showplace Traders Point 12

These five U.S. or World Premiere special events include the film screening at AMC Showplace Traders Point 12 plus access to the Premiere Pavilion after-party (includes access and hors d’oeuvres). Filmmakers and/or talent from every film are scheduled to attend and take part in Premiere Pavilion red carpet festivities. Tickets $15 / $12 members.

Many Beautiful Things” – Saturday, Oct. 17, 5:30 p.m.
U.S. Premiere, Documentary Feature – Morocco, UK, USA

Victor” – Saturday, Oct. 17, 7:45 p.m.
World Premiere, Narrative Feature – USA

Oddball” – Sunday, Oct. 18, 2:30 p.m.
U.S. Premiere, Narrative Feature – Australia (family-friendly)

Borderless” – Sunday, Oct. 18, 5 p.m.
U.S. Premiere, Narrative Feature – Iran

Big Voice” – Sunday, Oct. 18, 7:30 p.m.
World Premiere, Documentary Feature – USA

Special Presentations Bring Hollywood to Indianapolis

The 33” – AMC Showplace Traders Point 12 – Friday, Oct. 23, 7 p.m.
Based on the real-life event, when a gold and copper mine collapses, it traps 33 miners underground for 69 days. Warner Bros. Pictures release starring Antonio Banderas and Juliette Binoche, directed by Patricia Riggen. Director Patricia Riggen scheduled to attend.

I Saw the Light” – AMC Castleton Square 14 – Tuesday, Oct. 20, 8 p.m.
Biography of singer Hank Williams starring Tom Hiddleston and Elizabeth Olsen. A Sony Pictures Classics release directed by Marc Abraham.

Highlights and Storylines

Repeat High School Film Competition Grand Prize Winner
Three-time High School Film Competition filmmaker Carol Nguyen (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), has taken the top 2015 Summer White Lynch Memorial Award for best high school film (award underwritten by Gary D. & Marlene Cohen).

Academy Awards® Qualification
The Heartland Film Festival has earned the special designation of being a qualifying festival for the Annual Academy Awards® within the Live Action Short Subject category. This means that the winner of the Grand Prize for Best Narrative Short Film will qualify for consideration in the Short Films category of the Annual Academy Awards® without the standard theatrical run, provided the film otherwise complies with the Academy rules. The Festival has seen three Academy Award® winners come through Indianapolis in the past five years.

Record Cash Awarded to Filmmakers
Set to award more than $120,000 to independent filmmakers at the Oct. 24 Awards Ceremony at Old National Centre, Heartland Film will cross the $3 million mark awarded to independent filmmakers since the first Heartland Film Festival in 1992. This running total is the highest cash amount any domestic film festival has awarded to filmmakers.

New for 2015

New Start Day
Still 10 days of independent film across Indianapolis, opening night moves from its traditional Thursday to Friday, Oct. 16 at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Closing night will now take place on Sunday, Oct. 25 at AMC Showplace Traders Point 12.

Premiere Pavilion
Located outside AMC Showplace Traders Point 12, this all-new heated party area will be host to opening weekend red carpet premiere screenings along with other events throughout the week, including trivia and live music performances.

Awards Ceremony Moved to Second Saturday, Award-Winning Movies on Sunday
Set to be held on Saturday, Oct. 24 at the Egyptian Room at Old National Centre, the crown jewel of the Festival will honor independent filmmakers from all over the world and bestow more than $120,000 in cash prizes. All prize categories, including grand prizes, audience choice, best premieres, Indiana Spotlight and more, will be announced at this event with an after party to follow. Award-winning films will be played again Sunday, Oct. 25 at AMC Showplace Traders Point 12 capped off with a closing night screening and party at the Premiere Pavilion. ( Sponsored by The David and Betty Klapper Family Foundation)

Indiana Spotlight Competition
Added as a competition category for 2015, Indiana Spotlight aims to highlight the very best in Hoosier filmmaking across the spectrum of both feature and short films. A cash prize of $5,000 will be awarded to the top film at the Oct. 24 Awards Ceremony.

The complete 2015 Heartland Film Festival lineup, schedule of films and guide book is available to the public at Regular screening tickets are $11 at the box office and $9 when purchased online. Discount 12-packs of ticket vouchers are available for $90 at select Indianapolis-area Marsh Supermarket locations beginning Monday, Sept. 21.

Heartland Film is a nonprofit arts organization founded in 1991 with the mission to inspire filmmakers and audiences through the transformative power of film. Heartland Film is a curator and supporter of purposeful filmmaking, honoring a wide variety of cinema and awarding storytellers from all over the world. The films Heartland Film selects and exhibits – whether they inspire and uplift, educate and inform, or have the ability to shift audiences’ perspectives on the world – all have one thing in common: they are entertaining films that do more than just entertain.

Key Dates & Events

Friday, Oct. 16: Opening night screening of “Room” at Indianapolis Museum of Art. Opening night party at The Jazz Kitchen. Sponsored by The David and Betty Klapper Family Foundation.

Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 17-18: Premiere screenings and parties at AMC Showplace Traders Point 12. Regular screenings begin at AMC Traders Point and AMC Castleton Square 14.

Monday, Oct. 19: Regular screenings begin at the Festival’s third screening venue, the Theatre at the Wheeler Arts Community.

Saturday, Oct. 24: Awards Ceremony and after party at the Egyptian Room at Old National Centre. Sponsored by The David and Betty Klapper Family Foundation.

Sunday, Oct. 25: Award-winning films screen again at AMC Traders Point. Filmmakers’ Brunch at the Omni Severin Hotel (the exclusive hotel of the Heartland Film Festival). Closing night screening of “Coming Through the Rye” and after party at AMC Showplace Traders Point 12. Closing night sponsored by The David and Betty Klapper Family Foundation.