Last night was the kickoff of the 2015 Indy Film Fest here in Indianapolis, Indiana. For the last 12 years, Indy Film Fest has been a July tradition for film fans and local creators in the Indianapolis area. With more than 100 films packed into 10 days, this year’s festival is well on its way to being a massive success.
To my deep regret, my only previous experience with Indy Film Fest was last year’s opening night screening of I Origins. At the time, I was working third shift and my schedule didn’t allow much leeway to experience the festival.
This year I’m working normal hours and have resolved to experience as much as I can of the festival and document it right here on ObsessiveViewer.com.
Indy Film Fest takes place over 10 days in July and features a multitude of independent films, several of which have ties to Indiana. The festival takes place primarily at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, splitting screenings between the DeBoest Theater (which I’ve yet to experience) and the gorgeous Toby Theater (which was the subject of one of my first posts on Obsessive Viewer). Other screenings are also located at the IMAX Theater at the Indiana State Museum.
The opening night film was Leslye Headland’s Sleeping With Other People starring Jason Sudeikis and Alison Brie as one night stand virginity swappers who reconnect several years later. My review of the movie will be posted tomorrow. For now, I want to talk about the atmosphere and energy that was present during opening night of Indy Film Fest.
Within 20 minutes of arriving at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, I regretted not planning ahead by buying an All-Access Pass and taking a full week off from work. The excitement of celebrating film and filmmakers was palpable. I made a mental to attend next year’s Festival properly and fired off a quick tweet as the President of Indy Film Fest took the stage.
After President of Indy Film Fest Jason Roemer welcomed us to the festival and thanked all of the volunteers and sponsors, he handed the microphone to Executive Director of the Indy Film Fest board Craig Mince. Mince reminded us of the after party following the film and also highlighted some of the events taking place during the Festival. He introduced Sleeping With Other People with what felt like his sincere opinion. Both men spoke so highly and eloquently about the festival and the power of film that their passion permeated through the audience.
I’ve been @IndyFilmFest for all of 20 mins & I’m already planning on buying an all-access pass for next year & covering the whole thing.
— Matt Hurt (@ObsessiveViewer) July 16, 2015
The After Party
Following the movie there was an after party with food provided by Duos and Just Pop In! as well as a bar with soda, water, wine and Sunking beer. Everyone attending opening night received a ticket for a free drink. The majority of audience members migrated into the after party (in a large, well lit room resembling a ball room) down the hall from the Toby.
The energy from the screening carried over into the after party seamlessly. Everyone spoke in excited tones about the movie and the festival itself. I attended the event by myself. As you may expect given that I am a blogger and podcaster, my social skills in environments in which I know no one is a little lacking.
Fortunately, as I was sitting down to make notes on my tablet about the movie for my review (because that’s the kind of person I am at social events), a Festival goer struck up a conversation. Takisha is a stay-at-home mom who goes to Indy Film Fest every year as her only vacation each year. She eats lunch at the IMA between screenings and tries to see as many of the films as she can.
While Takisha and I were talking, two festival-goers approached us and offered to give us their drink tickets as they weren’t going to use them. We talked with Karen and Robin for a while. From them, I learned about Indy Film Fest’s yearly Kickstarter campaign. By backing the Kickstarter campaign, they were given swag like shirts and that’s how they got their All-Access Passes. They told me the Film Fest usually announces its Kickstarter around May. I made a mental note of that.
As the after party raged on I met and spoke with Craig Mince, congratulating him and the staff of a successful opening night. I invited him to be on the podcast after the Festival concludes and look forward to making that happen.
Overall, 2015’s Indy Film Fest got off to a great start. Even though I wish I would have had the forethought to lock down an All-Access Pass and take time off from work to truly experience everything the Festival has to offer, I very much plan to see as much of the festival this year as my schedule and budget will allow. I will cover what I see here.
Indy Film Fest is currently running through July 25th, 2015 (click here for the schedule). Individual tickets are available for $10 and there is a 10-ticket bundle for $80. The closing night tickets are available for $25. You can find more information at IndyFilmFest.org. There are also several year-round events they host, which you can find here.