Heartland Film Festival

MovieMaker Magazine Top 50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry FeeOct. 16-25 – 10 days of entertaining films that do more than just entertain.

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. Heartland showcases more than 130 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 Heartland Film Festival has earned the special designation of being a qualifying festival for the Annual Academy Awards® within the Short Films 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.

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 Traders Point, 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. A great place to meet and mingle with filmmakers, the pavilion will also serve alcohol, including Sun King beer (the exclusive beer of the Heartland Film Festival) and wine.
  • Opening Weekend Premiere Screenings and Parties: The Festival’s first weekend will be highlighted by titles making their big screen debut in Indianapolis. Tickets for these special event screenings will give attendees access to the film plus a red carpet after-party with filmmakers and talent at the Premiere Pavilion at AMC Traders Point.
  • 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 Traders Point capped off with a closing night screening and party at the Premiere Pavilion.
  • 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.

Key Dates

  • Friday, Oct. 16: Opening night screening 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 Traders Point. 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 and after party at AMC Traders Point. Closing night sponsored by The David and Betty Klapper Family Foundation.