Heartland Film Launches the Cultural Journey


Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis will become host to the country of India with film premieres, entertainment, food and beautiful Indian attire this August 17-20.

President of Heartland Film, Craig Prater, announced this week that the Heartland Film Festival will host a special program of film, entertainment, food and attire from India, set for August 17-20, 2017, at the Indiana Historical Society. The event is The Cultural Journey: India.

International programmer and film festival veteran, Hannah Fisher, Toronto, selected the Heartland Film Festival site after earlier locations in Dubai and Bangkok. “It seemed a natural location to me,” stated Fisher. “Our event is all about expressing the cultural arts from city to city and I’ve learned that Indianapolis is a fine promoter of the cultural arts. I also learned about Indianapolis’ Cultural Trail and the importance that Heartland Film Festival is now playing in the film industry. As one of the producers of a film from India, ‘Under the Same Sun,’ which played to sell-out crowds at the Heartland Film Festival in 2016, I know that the audiences at the film festival appreciate the art of film and appreciate different cultures.”

Fisher has worked on international film projects in Dubai, Bangkok, Vancouver, San Diego, Shanghai and Montreal, with special projects at the Ladak International Film Festival in India; Kerala International Film Festival in India; and Kolkata International in Kolkata, India. “We are honored that Ms. Fisher has agreed to bring her knowledge of the art of film from India to Heartland Film,” commented Prater.

Government officials from India in U.S. offices have been invited as special guests to help celebrate India’s Independence Day, which is August 15, 2017. Two of our honored guests will be Consul General of India, Neeta Bhushan, and previous Heartland Film Festival Grand Prize Winner, filmmaker Richie Mehta (“Siddharth,” 2014).

Members of the Cultural Event Committee are: Neelu Sondhi, Committee Chair; Arlene and Tom Grande, Honorary Chairs; Katrina and Frank Basile, Honorary Chairs; Teresa Sabatine, Indianapolis Film Commissioner; Raju Chinthala, Community Leader; Chris Gahl, Vice President of Marketing & Communications of Visit Indy; Leonard Hoops, President/CEO of Visit Indy; John Guy, Financial Advisor and Author; Therese Hayes, International Film Programmer / India; Gadi Boukai, Interfaith Council of Indianapolis; Anita Joshi, MD, Hindu Temple of Central Indianapolis; Kate Nolan, Co-founder of DNK Events; Leslie Donchetz, Heartland Film Volunteer; Amy Pauszek, Partner Wonder Woman Productions; Danielle Wolter Nolan, Co-Founder of DNK Events; Teresa Shaffer, Vice President of Fifth Third Bank; Heather Ross, Business Owner; Shilpee and Utpal Sinha; Theresa Burkhard; Nikki Gray; Jenn Moe; Harjeet Kaur; Lisamaria Burkhard; Sonia and Jimmy Barona; and Nandini Sundaram.

“Heartland Film Festival is honored to be selected to host this great event,” commented Heartland Film Board Chair Gary Cohen. “When Ms. Fisher said that the country represented would be India, we were thrilled. India is the world’s leading film production country.” As of 2013, in terms of annual film output, India ranks first, followed by the U.S. and China.

The Cultural Journey: India will feature a culturally inspired opening night event with Bollywood dancers and a world premiere film screening at the Indiana Historical Society. Over the four-day event, a collection of seven film premieres from India will be presented by the Heartland Film Festival. The event will also include special events, music, food, traditional attire and a special tour of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail. Event highlights include a Sunday brunch, a bicycle tour of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, yoga classes and a special VIP reception honoring special guests from India. The event is made possible by The Margot L. and Robert S. Eccles Fund, a fund of Central Indiana Community Foundation

For more information about ticket sales, sponsorship opportunities or how to be involved, contact the Heartland Film Festival offices by phone at (317) 464-9405, website at www.heartlandfilm.org/culturaljourney, or email cbeasley@heartlandfilm.org.


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