New Format and Premiere Pavilion Highlight Exciting Changes for the 2015 Heartland Film Festival


Oct. 16-25 event to offer new red carpet premiere parties, additional opportunities for fans to see award-winning films and to meet filmmakers

Coming off its two best-attended years in 2013 and 2014, the Heartland Film Festival–Indiana’s largest and longest-running celebration of independent film–has positioned itself for additional growth in 2015 with an updated, attendee-friendly schedule and added hospitality features. More parties and events, red carpet premieres and an added Sunday of award-winning film screenings headline changes announced for the 24th annual event, set to run Oct. 16-25, 2015.

“As a mission-driven organization nearing its 25th anniversary, Heartland Film must find ways to stay relevant and exciting without losing sight of inspiring filmmakers and audiences,” said Heartland Film Board Chairman Gary Cohen. “Highlighted by the new Premiere Pavilion at Traders Point, these new updates are all designed with our mission in mind, and will resonate with attendees, sponsors and donors–new and old alike. We have an excellent team and all the right pieces in place to take the Heartland Film Festival to the next level.”

Changes 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.

Full film lineup, schedule and event details will be announced at the 2015 Heartland Film Festival Announcement Party, set to take place on Thursday, Sept. 17 at The Athenaeum. Visit for ongoing Heartland Film Festival updates.

Learn more about the Festival changes, Summer Rewind and more in The Indianapolis Star’s feature story “With eye on growth, Heartland film festival alters format”




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