“Julia” the new documentary on celebrity chef Julia Child will open the 30th anniversary edition of the Heartland International Film Festival (HIFF), taking place October 7-17, across Indianapolis. The festival revealed the first slate of special event titles including closing night film “The Electrical Life of Louis Wain” on English artist Louis Wain, who rose to prominence at the end of the 19th century for his surreal cat paintings.
“We are incredibly fortunate to be returning to theaters with such an amazing selection of award contenders to celebrate 30 years of the Heartland International Film Festival,” said HIFF Artistic Director Greg Sorvig. “These powerful stories demand to be seen on-screen, and we are thrilled to debut these films to Indiana audiences safely this October; it will be the biggest celebration we’ve had in three decades!”
OPENING NIGHT – “JULIA” / DIRECTORS: JULIE COHEN AND BETSY WEST
“Julia” from Sony Pictures Classics and Directors Julie Cohen and Betsy West, the team behind 2019 Academy Award® nominee “RBG,” is the 30th HIFF Opening Night Event title. Using never-before-seen archival footage, personal photos, first-person narratives, and cutting-edge, mouth-watering food cinematography, the film traces Julia Child’s surprising path, from her struggles to create and publish the revolutionary “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” (1961) which has sold more than 2.5 million copies to date, to her empowering story of a woman who found fame in her 50s, and her calling as an unlikely television sensation.
CENTERPIECE – “THE HUMANS” / DIRECTOR: STEPHEN KARAM
“The Humans” from A24 and Director Stephen Karam is the 30th HIFF Centerpiece title. Based on Karam’s one-act play, this film adaptation marks his directorial debut and features an all-star cast of Beanie Feldstein, Jayne Houdyshell, Richard Jenkins, Amy Schumer, June Squibb, and Steven Yeun. Set inside a pre-war duplex in downtown Manhattan, “The Humans” follows the course of an evening in which the Blake family gathers to celebrate Thanksgiving. As darkness falls outside the crumbling building, mysterious things start to go bump in the night and family tensions reach a boiling point.
CLOSING NIGHT – “THE ELECTRICAL LIFE OF LOUIS WAIN” / DIRECTOR: WILL SHARPE
“The Electrical Life of Louis Wain” from Amazon Studios and Director Will Sharpe is the 30th HIFF Closing Night Event title, presented by the Betty and David Klapper Family Foundation. Benedict Cumberbatch and Claire Foye star in the film about English artist Louis Wain, who rises to prominence at the end of the 19th century for his surreal cat paintings.
SHOWCASE EVENT – “MASS” / DIRECTOR: FRAN KRANZ
“Mass” from Bleecker Street Media and Director Fran Kranz is the 30th HIFF Showcase Event title. Years after an unspeakable tragedy tore their lives apart, two sets of parents (Jason Isaacs and Martha Plimpton, Reed Birney and Ann Dowd) agree to talk privately in an attempt to move forward. In Fran Kranz’ writing and directing debut, he thoughtfully examines their journey of grief, anger and acceptance by coming face-to-face with the ones who have been left behind.
SPOTLIGHT EVENT – “BERGMAN ISLAND” / DIRECTOR: MIA HANSEN-LØVE
“Bergman Island” from IFC Films and Director Mia Hansen-Løve is the 30th HIFF Spotlight Event title. The film follows a couple of American filmmakers, Chris (Vicky Krieps) and Tony (Tim Roth), who retreat to the mythical Fårö island for the summer. In this wild, breathtaking landscape where Ingmar Bergman lived and shot his most celebrated pieces, they hope to find inspiration for their upcoming films. As days spent separately pass by, the fascination for the island operates on Chris and souvenirs of her first love resurface. Lines between reality and fiction will then progressively blur and tear our couple even more apart.
MUSIC EVENT – “JAGGED” / DIRECTOR: ALISON KLAYMAN
“Jagged” from HBO Documentary Films and Director Alison Klayman is the 30th HIFF Music Event title. 1995 was the year of Alanis Morissette. Her groundbreaking album “Jagged Little Pill” delivered a rawness and emotional honesty that resonated with millions. “Jagged” explores how Alanis came to be that empowered woman so many admire, and what happens when a 21-year-old becomes a worldwide phenomenon.
WORLD EVENT – “FLEE” / DIRECTOR: JONAS POHER RASMUSSEN
“Flee” from NEON and Director Jonas Poher Rasmussen is the 30th HIFF World Event title. “Flee” tells the story of Amin Nawabi as he grapples with a painful secret he has kept hidden for 20 years, one that threatens to derail the life he has built for himself and his soon to be husband. Recounted mostly through animation to director Jonas Poher Rasmussen, he tells for the first time the story of his extraordinary journey as a child refugee from Afghanistan.