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Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues directed by Sacha Jenkins
Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues directed by Sacha Jenkins

The 31st Heartland International Film Festival (HIFF) taking place October 6-16, will showcase more than 115 feature films; and will open and close with two films with Indiana connections.

Director Sacha Jenkins’ “Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues,” from Apple Original Films, will open the festival on October 6. Louis Armstrong’s illustrious recording career began in Indiana back in 1923 when he traveled with King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band to Richmond’s Starr-Gennett Studio to record a 78rpm record of “Froggie Moore”/”Chimes Blues.”

HIFF will close with a special screening of “The Whale” from A24 and Darren Aronofsky on October 16, based on the play by Samuel D. Hunter starring Brendan Fraser. Fraser, who was born in Indianapolis, came to the HIFF in 2019 and was met with multiple standing ovations at a 20th anniversary screening of “The Mummy.”

This year’s theme is centered around a maze and attendees are invited to “Get lost in film.” with screenings at Newfields, Living Room Theaters, The Kan-Kan Cinema & Brasserie, Landmark Glendale 12, The Historic Artcraft Theatre and the Indianapolis Arts Center (outdoor picnic-style). All film selections will have in-person screenings and many of the films will also be available to view virtually.

This year the festival will screen a selection of titles that first debuted at the Cannes Film Festival that will all play in-person only once at The Kan-Kan Cinema & Brasserie. Films include “Aftersun” directed by Charlotte Wells; “Broker” directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda starring Song Kang-ho, who won best actor at Cannes; “Close” directed by Lukas Dhont, which was the Grand Prix winner at Cannes; “Corsage” directed by Marie Kreutzer, starring Vicki Krieps who won the Un Certain Regard Best Performance Prize as the Empress of Austria; and “R.M.N.” directed by Cristian Mungiu.

EVENT & SPECIAL PRESENTATION TITLES

OPENING NIGHT | “Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues”

Sacha Jenkins | USA | Special presentation of Apple Original Films | Indiana Premiere

“Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues” offers an intimate and revealing look at the world-changing musician, presented through a lens of archival footage and never-before-heard home recordings and personal conversations. This definitive documentary, directed by Sacha Jenkins, honors Armstrong’s legacy as a founding father of jazz, one of the first internationally known and beloved stars, and a cultural ambassador of the United States. The film shows how Armstrong’s own life spans the shift from the Civil War to the Civil Rights movement, and how he became a lightning rod figure in that turbulent era.

CENTERPIECE | “THE LOST KING”

Stephen Frears | United Kingdom | Special Presentation of IFC Films | Indiana Premiere

An amateur historian defies the stodgy academic establishment in her efforts to find King Richard III’s remains, which were lost for over 500 years.

CLOSING NIGHT | “THE WHALE”

Darren Aronofsky | USA | Special presentation of A24 | Indiana Premiere

From Darren Aronofsky comes “The Whale,” the story of a reclusive English teacher living with severe obesity who attempts to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter for one last chance at redemption. Starring Brendan Fraser and based on the acclaimed play by Samuel D. Hunter.

SHOWCASE EVENT | “Women Talking” | Sarah Polley | USA | Special Presentation of United Artists Releasing | Indiana Premiere

Based on the best-selling novel by Miriam Toews, “Women Talking” follows a group of women in an isolated religious colony as they struggle to reconcile their faith with a series of sexual assaults committed by the colony’s men.

CINEMA EVENT | “Empire of Light” | Sam Mendes | UK/USA | Special Presentation of Searchlight Pictures | Indiana Premiere

Set in an English seaside town in the early 1980s, EMPIRE OF LIGHT is a powerful and poignant story about human connection and the magic of cinema, from Academy Award®-winning director Sam Mendes. EMPIRE OF LIGHT features a stellar cast led by Academy Award® winner Olivia Colman (The Favourite, The Lost Daughter), BAFTA winner Micheal Ward (Blue Story, Top Boy) and Academy Award® winner Colin Firth (The King’s Speech, A Single Man). It also reunites Mendes with Academy Award® winning cinematographer Roger Deakins (1917, Skyfall).

LEGACY EVENT | “Till” | Chinonye Chukwu | USA | Special Presentation of United Artists Releasing | Indiana Premiere

“Till” is a profoundly emotional and cinematic film about the true story of Mamie Till Mobley’s relentless pursuit of justice for her14 year old son, Emmett Till, who, in 1955, was lynched while visiting his cousins in Mississippi. In Mamie’s poignant journey of grief turned to action, we see the universal power of another’s ability to change the world.

MARQUEE EVENT | “My Policeman” | Michael Grandage | UK | Special Presentation of Amazon Studios | Indiana Premiere

A tale of forbidden romance and changing social conventions, “My Policeman” follows the relationships between three people—policeman Tom (Harry Styles/Linus Roache), teacher Marion (Emma Corrin/Gina McKee) and museum curator Patrick (David Dawson/Rupert Everett)—and their emotional journey spanning decades.

WORLD EVENT | “Retrograde” | Matthew Heineman | Special Presentation of National Geographic Documentary Films| Indiana Premiere

“Retrograde” captures the final nine months of America’s twenty-year war in Afghanistan from multiple perspectives: one of the last US Special Forces units deployed there; a young Afghan general and his corps fighting to defend their homeland against all odds; and the civilians desperately attempting to flee as the country collapses and the Taliban take over. From rarely seen operational control rooms to the frontlines of battle to the chaotic Kabul airport during the final US withdrawal, this film offers a cinematic and historic window onto the end of America’s longest war, and the costs endured for those most intimately involved.

SPOTLIGHT EVENT | “Wildcat” | Melissa Lesh, Trevor Frost | Special Presentation of Amazon Studios

Back from war in Afghanistan, a young British soldier struggling with depression and PTSD finds a second chance in the Amazon rainforest when he meets an American scientist, and together they foster an orphaned baby ocelot.

“Aftersun” | Charlotte Wells | United Kingdom, USA | Special Presentation of A24 | Indiana Premiere

At a fading vacation resort, 11-year-old Sophie treasures rare time together with her loving and idealistic father, Calum (Paul Mescal). As a world of adolescence creeps into view, beyond her eye Calum struggles under the weight of life outside of fatherhood. Twenty years later, Sophie’s tender recollections of their last holiday become a powerful and heartrending portrait of their relationship, as she tries to reconcile the father she knew with the man she didn’t, in Charlotte Wells’ superb and searingly emotional debut film.

“Bad Axe” | David Siev | USA | Special Presentation of IFC Films | Indiana Premiere

BAD AXE captures a closely knit Asian-American family living in a rural Michigan community as they now fight to keep their American dream alive. As owners of a local prominent restaurant, they reckon with a global pandemic, racial tensions, and generational scars from Cambodia’s “killing fields.”

“Call Jane” | Phyllis Nagy | USA | Special Presentation of Roadside Attractions | Indiana Premiere

Chicago, 1968. As the city and the nation are poised on the brink of political upheaval, suburban housewife Joy (Elizabeth Banks) leads an ordinary life with her husband and daughter. When Joy’s pregnancy leads to a life-threatening heart condition, she must navigate an all-male medical establishment unwilling to terminate her pregnancy in order to save her life. Her journey for a solution leads her to Virginia (Sigourney Weaver), an independent visionary fiercely committed to women’s health, and Gwen (Wunmi Mosaku), an activist who dreams of a day when all women will have access to abortion, regardless of their ability to pay. Joy is so inspired by their work, she decides to join forces with them, putting every aspect of her life on the line. Inspired by true events, Nagy’s film captures the essence of late-Sixties social change via one woman’s quest to get a safe and legal abortion.

“Corsage” | Marie Kreutzer | Austria, Luxembourg, Germany | Special Presentation of IFC Films | Indiana Premiere

As her 40th birthday approaches, beautiful Empress Elisabeth of Austria is thrown into turmoil as she anticipates being considered an old woman.

“Close” | Lukas Dhont | Belgium, France, The Netherlands | Special Presentation of A24 | Indiana Premiere

Leo and Remi are two thirteen-year-old best friends, whose seemingly unbreakable bond is suddenly, tragically torn apart. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, Lukas Dhont’s second film is an emotionally transformative and unforgettable portrait of the intersection of friendship and love, identity and independence, and heartbreak and healing.

“Four Samosas” | Ravi Kapoor | USA | Special Presentation of IFC Films | Indiana Premiere

Happy-go-lucky, underachieving, wanna-be rapper Vinny is dismayed to learn that his favorite ex-girlfriend Rina is planning to marry his smarmy arch-nemesis. Determined to disrupt the wedding as well as fund the dreams of his family and friends, he and his band of neighborhood pals concoct a plan to steal Rina’s dowry jewels from her father’s supermarket safe. But can this motley crew actually pull off a heist?

“Good Night Oppy” | Ryan White | USA | Special Presentation of Amazon Studios | Indiana Premiere

“Good Night Oppy” tells the inspirational true story of Opportunity, a rover that was sent to Mars for a 90-day mission but ended up surviving for 15 years. The film follows Opportunity’s groundbreaking journey on Mars and the remarkable bond forged between a robot and her humans millions of miles away.

“R.M.N.” | Cristian Mungiu | Belgium, France, Romania | Special Presentation of IFC Films | Indiana Premiere

A few days before Christmas, having quit his job in Germany, Matthias returns to his multi-ethnicTransylvanian village. He wishes to involve himself more in the education of his son, Rudi, left for too long in the care of his mother, Ana, and to rid the boy of the unresolved fears that have taken hold of him. He’s preoccupied with his old father, Otto, and also eager to see his ex-lover, Csilla. When a few new workers are hired at the small factory that Csilla manages, the peace of the community is disturbed, underlying fears grip the adults, and frustrations, conflicts and passions erupt through the thin veneer of apparent understanding and calm.

“The Return of Tanya Tucker” | Kathlyn Horan | USA | Special Presentation of Sony Pictures Classics | Indiana Premiere

Trailblazing, hell-raising country music legend Tanya Tucker defied the standards of how a woman in country music was supposed to behave. Decades after Tanya slipped from the spotlight, rising Americana music star Brandi Carlile takes it upon herself to write an entire album for her hero based on Tanya’s extraordinary life, spurring the greatest comeback in country music history. “The Return of Tanya Tucker” follows Tanya’s richly creative, utterly captivating, bumpy ride back to the top as Brandi encourages her to push past her fears to create a new sound and reach a new audience. The writing, the experimenting, and refining of this new music mixes with all that came before – using rare archival footage and photographs to delve into Tanya’s history, beginning in a single wide trailer in Seminole, Texas. Taking stock of the past while remaining vitally alive in the present and keeping an eye on the future, “The Return of Tanya Tucker” is a rousing exploration of an unexpected friendship built on the joy of a perfectly timed creative collaboration.

2022 Heartland International Film Festival Official Selection Lineup

DOCUMENTARY FEATURES

“A Decent Home” | Sara Terry | USA | Indiana Premiere

When housing on the lowest rung of the American dream is being devoured by the wealthiest of the wealthy, whose dream are we serving? A Decent Home addresses urgent issues of class and economic (im)mobility through the lives of mobile home park residents who can’t afford housing anywhere else.

“A House Made of Splinters” | Simon Lereng Wilmont | Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Ukraine | Midwest Premiere

In this war-worn and impoverished corner of Eastern Ukraine where addiction casts a long shadow, there sits a safe haven for children temporarily removed from their parents. “A House Made of Splinters” follows three kids awaiting their fate— will they go back or move on to a new home?— while a group of dedicated social workers create small moments of joy and respite from childhoods all but lost.

“Afghan Dreamers” | David Greenwald | Afghanistan, Dubai (UAE), USA | Indiana Premiere

Members of an all-girl robotics team from Afghanistan struggle to succeed in international competitions, while combating their male-dominated culture and the threat of Taliban rule.

“After Antarctica” | Tasha Van Zandt | USA | Indiana Premiere

A journey across both poles, “After Antarctica” follows legendary polar explorer Will Steger’s lifelong journey as an eyewitness to the greatest changes to the polar regions of our planet. After a lifetime of landmark expeditions across both poles, no one alive has seen more of the polar world.

“American Pain” | Darren Foster | United States of America | Midwest Premiere

American Pain traces the rise and fall of twin bodybuilders from Florida who become the kingpins of the largest oxycodone trafficking network in US history. This is the story of the greatest drug racket since the “cocaine cowboys” and the moment the opioid epidemic flipped into overdrive.

“An Accidental Life” | Henna Taylor | USA | Indiana Premiere

After surviving a near fatal climbing accident, speed climber Quinn Brett must not only rediscover how to use her body without the use of her legs, but also how to access the joy that is so central to her being.

“Anonymous Sister” | Jamie Boyle | USA | Indiana Premiere

When her loved ones succumb to unexplained illness, a young woman picks up the camera and ends up with a firsthand account of what will become the worst man-made epidemic in U.S. history. Directed by two-time Emmy winner Jamie Boyle, Anonymous Sister is a personal exposé of her family’s fall into opioid addiction.

“Be Our Guest” | Diane Tsai | USA | Midwest Premiere

A New Hampshire family and their four school-aged children open their home to strangers in recovery—a commitment that pushes both the family and their guests to face difficult decisions about community, independence, and the real nature of altruism.

“Being Michelle” | Atin Mehra | USA | Indiana Premiere

BEING MICHELLE follows the astounding journey of a deaf and disabled woman who survived incarceration under unimaginable circumstances by a system that refused to accommodate her needs as a deaf person with autism. Michelle’s trajectory changed when she met Kim Law, a blind volunteer life coach who teaches classes to people in prison. Today, outside of prison, Kim and Michelle are doing the difficult work of unraveling Michelle’s history, of telling the story of Michelle’s traumatic childhood and her adverse experiences in the criminal justice system. With the support of Kim, Michelle realizes her own voice and strength. Throughout the film Michelle’s artwork provides her own depiction of the trauma she survived as well as a means to her recovery.

“Boycott” | Julia Bacha | USA | Indiana Premiere

When a news publisher in Arkansas, an attorney in Arizona, and a speech therapist in Texas are told they must choose between their jobs and their political beliefs, they launch legal battles that expose an attack on freedom of speech across 33 states in America.

Boycott traces the impact of state legislation designed to penalize individuals and companies that choose to boycott Israel due to its human rights record. A legal thriller with “accidental plaintiffs” at the center of the story, Boycott is a bracing look at the far-reaching implications of anti-boycott legislation and an inspiring tale of everyday Americans standing up to protect our rights in an age of shifting politics and threats to freedom of speech.”

“Butterfly in the Sky” | Bradford Thomason, Brett Whitcomb | United States | Indiana Premiere

Butterfly in the Sky tells the story of the beloved PBS children’s series Reading Rainbow, its iconic host LeVar Burton, and the challenges its creators faced in cultivating a love of reading through television.

“Cat Daddies” | Mye Hoang | United States | Indiana Premiere

Man has found a new best friend in this heartwarming collective portrait of nine unique men whose lives have been proudly and forever changed by their love for cats.

“Chop & Steele” | Ben Steinbauer, Berndt Mader | USA | Midwest Premiere

From the award-winning filmmakers behind Winnebago Man, Chop & Steele is a feature length comedy documentary about childhood friends turned professional comedians, Nick Prueher and Joe Pickett, the founders of the Found Footage Festival. When Nick and Joe book their gag strongman routine on unsuspecting morning news shows, their pranks go viral and land them in federal court with a vengeful media conglomerate. The stress of the lawsuit and pressure to continue their pranks threatens their livelihood and tests their lifelong friendship. Will they learn their lesson and hang up the pranks for good? Or will they risk it all in the name of laughs?

“Crows are White” | Ahsen Nadeem | USA | Indiana Premiere

After decades of living a secret life, a filmmaker travels to a strict Japanese monastery in search of guidance but the only monk who will help him prefers ice cream and heavy metal over meditation. “Crows are White” is an exploration of truth, faith and love, from the top of a mountain to the bottom of a sundae.

“Finding Her Beat” | Dawn Mikkelson, Keri Pickett | USA and Japan | Midwest Premiere

For thousands of years women have been locked out of Taiko drumming. Not anymore. In the dead of a Minnesota winter, Asian drumming divas smash gender roles and redefine power on their own terms. FINDING HER BEAT dives into the rhythms and struggles that lead to an electrifying historic performance that changes everything.

“The Fire That Took Her” | Patricia E. Gillespie | USA | Midwest Premiere

Mother-of-two Judy Malinowski, then 31, was doused in petrol and set on fire by her crazed ex-boyfriend – and one of the first ever to testify from beyond the grave, at the trial for her own murder. A story that lives at the intersection of true crime and #MeToo, THE FIRE THAT TOOK HER goes deep inside a landmark case to ask a timely question: How much must women suffer in order to be believed?

“Girl Talk” | Lucia Small | USA | Midwest Premiere

GIRL TALK tells the timely story of five girls on a diverse, top-ranked Massachusetts high school competitive debate team. They are often talked over, under-represented and judged differently than their male counterparts, but each girl faces these challenges and shows us the value of speaking up and finding your true voice.

* “Half an American” | Bram Endedijk, Eric van den Berg | The Netherlands | U.S. Premiere

Well into their 70s, Cor nor Wanda from The Netherlands had a clue who their fathers were. They knew only one thing: he was a Black American soldier. In the twilight of their lives, DNA technology has advanced to the point that they can learn the truth about their ancestry.

“Hidden Letters” | Violet Feng, Co-Director Zhao Qing | China, USA, Norway | Indiana Premiere

Hidden Letters tells the story of two Chinese women trying to balance their lives as independent women in modern China while confronting the traditional identity that defines but also oppresses them. Connected through their love for Nushu—a centuries-old secret text shared amongst women—each of them transforms through a pivotal period of their lives and takes a step closer to becoming the individuals they know they can be.

“Home Is Somewhere Else” | Carlos Hagerman, Jorge Villalobos | Mexico, USA | Midwest Premiere

This 2D feature “animentary” features three personal stories about immigrant youth to highlight the complexities and challenges they face today. Voiced by the actual children and their families, the stories are woven together by spoken word poet José Eduardo Aguilar, also known as Lalo “El Deportee,” the film’s host and MC whose vibrant “Spanglish” breaks codes, switches standards, and pushes the viewer to decipher his poems.

“It Ain’t Over” | Sean Mullin | USA | Midwest Premiere

An intimate portrait of a misunderstood American icon, this emotional and uplifting documentary about Yogi Berra takes us beyond the caricatures and “Yogisms,” and into the heart of a sports legend whose unparalleled accomplishments on the baseball diamond were often overshadowed by his off-the-field persona.

“Juneteenth: Faith & Freedom” | Ya’Ke Smith | USA | Midwest Premiere

The film invites viewers into the story of Juneteenth through the eyes of a Black man learning about the holiday from the descendants of those it liberated, and how the struggle continues today. It’s a parable that shows how hope can be the greatest weapon against injustice.

“No Ordinary Campaign” | Chris Burke | USA | Indiana Premiere

Brian Wallach was diagnosed with ALS at 37. He and his wife’s fight to reclaim their future from a brutal disease has snowballed into a movement with resounding ramifications not only for the ALS community, but for millions of patients seeking to find their voice in our broken healthcare system.

“Objects” | Vincent Liota | United States | Midwest Premiere

A fifty-year-old clump of grass, a sweater that once belonged to a French actress, and a forty-year-old sugar egg have become emotional treasures for the unique characters in Vincent Liota’s endearing, entertaining, and existential film. An NPR correspondent, a literary author, and a graphic designer let us in on the secret life of the special objects they keep to preserve memories, conjure experiences, and find meaning in their lives.

“Of Medicine and Miracles” | Ross Kauffman | USA | Midwest Premiere

At age six, Emily Whitehead was diagnosed with leukemia and the lives of her and her parents were thrust into uncertainty. Of Medicine and Miracles details her family’s experience bouncing from hospital to hospital, trying to stay hopeful amidst hopelessness, and their fateful correspondence with a doctor whose research could hold the key to her survival.

“Outta The Muck” | Bhawin Suchak, Ira Mckinley | United States | Midwest Premiere

Family, football and history come to life in an intimate portrait of the Dean family, longtime residents of the historic town of Pahokee, Florida. As we take a journey back home, with filmmaker Ira McKinley, to the land of sugarcane, he reconnects with his niece Bridget and nephew Alvin and explores their shared family history that spans seven generations. Told through stories that transcend space and time, Outta The Muck presents an intimate portrait of a community that resists despair with love, remaining fiercely self-determined, while forging its own unique narrative of Black achievement.

“Paper City” | Adrian Francis | Australia, Japan | Midwest Premiere

On 10 March 1945, the US firebombed Tokyo, killing 100,000+ people. Unlike their loved ones, Hiroshi Hoshino, Michiko Kiyooka and Minoru Tsukiyama emerged alive. Now in their twilight years, they seek reparations for those who lost everything in the war, but the Japanese government seems reluctant to acknowledge the past.

“The Pez Outlaw” | Amy Bandlien Storkel, Bryan Storkel | United States, Austria

From the producers of The Legend of Cocaine Island comes a new fish-out-of-water documentary. Set in the glorious 1990s, the film follows the adventures of Steve Glew, a small-town Michigan man who heads to Eastern Europe in a dual effort to pull his family out of poverty and escape his boring job. Steve becomes the hero of his own adventure, smuggling the rarest of goods (Pez dispensers) into the U.S. and making millions in the process. Our firsthand storytellers will take the audience inside Steve’s head, to a world of fantasy, where he lives like James Bond and fights off an evil corporation who is set on destroying him. But is it all in his head? At its core, the film is designed to be fun and entertaining, but Steve’s story is also about family, true love, mental health, and ultimately, a man who defies expectations and finds his purpose.

** “Project Home: 3D Printing the Future” | Laura Waters Hinson | USA | World Premiere

Can 3D printed houses solve the global housing crisis? Tech entrepreneurs test the limits of this new construction method as families’ futures hang in the balance.

“The Quiet Epidemic” | Lindsay Keys, Winslow Crane-Murdoch | USA | Midwest Premiere

A diagnosis of Chronic Lyme disease lands patients in the middle of a contentious medical debate and sparks an explosive investigation dating back to 1975 that reveals why ticks, and the diseases they carry, have been allowed to spread globally.

“Ranger” | Austin James Peck | Kenya | Midwest Premiere

Ranger is a story about a rite of passage. Set within Kenya’s Maasai homeland, an intimate and contemporary story of self-discovery unfolds, as 12 women become East Africa’s first all-female anti-poaching unit. Upending the male-dominated, reliance upon military-style training to make a wildlife ranger, Virginia, Liz, Momina and Damaris instead undergo a year-long program of deep trauma-release and healing, triggering profound transformation within themselves and sending shockwaves through their communities.

“Refuge” | Erin Bernhardt, Din Blankenship | USA | Midwest Premiere

A leader in a white nationalist hate group finds healing from the people he once hated – a Muslim heart doctor and his town of refugees. REFUGE is a story about fear and love in the American South.

“Sam Now” | Reed Harkness | USA | Midwest Premiere

Filmed over an expanse of 25 years, two brothers go on a 2,000-mile road trip to solve a family mystery. Sam Harkness and his older half brother Reed employ their creative world of fiction filmmaking to dive headfirst into dealing with the issue at hand: Sam’s mom is missing.

“Scrap” | Stacey Tenenbaum | Canada | Indiana Premiere

Discover the vast and strangely beautiful places where things go to die and meet the people who collect, restore, and recycle the world’s scrap. SCRAP scratches beneath the flaking paint and rusting metal to reveal the beauty the beauty and pathos in the ugliness we leave behind.

** “SENTENCED” | Connor Martin, Mark Allen Johnson | USA | World Premiere

Too often, if a child is illiterate at the end of 3rd grade they will fall behind forever. By 9-years-old many children are already SENTENCED to the cycles of poverty, prison, and addiction that have devastated generations before them. Our story begins with a heartbreaking look at adults who never learned to read and ends with the children who still have a chance.

“Shouting Down Midnight” | Gretchen Stoeltje | USA | Indiana Premiere

Both cautionary tale and rallying cry, “Shouting Down Midnight” recounts how Texas State Senator Wendy Davis stood for 13 hours while she filibustered the 2013 anti-abortion bill SB5, galvanizing a new generation of activists in the struggle for reproductive freedom.

“Split At The Root” | Linda Goldstein Knowlton | USA | Midwest Premiere

Split at the Root follows the emotional journey of mothers separated from their children at the U.S. border and the grassroots initiative that, against all odds, reunites those families. When a Guatemalan mother seeking asylum was separated from her kids under the Zero Tolerance Policy, a Facebook post by a mom in Queens coalesced into a movement as thousands of like-minded women across the US refused to stand by quietly. Immigrant Families Together was born – a rapid response group committed to doing what the government couldn’t – or wouldn’t do: reunite parents with their children separated by the Zero Tolerance Policy.

“Strangers to Peace” | Noah DeBonis, Laura Angel Rengifo | Colombia, United States | Midwest Premiere

Three former child soldiers face retribution, anxiety, and danger as they attempt to rebuild their lives after fighting in Colombia’s bloody civil conflict. Strangers to Peace intimately captures the personal stories of Dayana, the market vendor navigating her new identity as a trans woman; Ricardo, the young father secretly clinging to his communist ideology; and Alexandra, the indigenous child soldier who left her family behind in the Amazon Jungle. Their stories are told through the lens of filmmaker Laura Angel, who herself was a victim of FARC violence.

“Unfinished Business” | Alison Klayman | USA | Midwest Premiere

In 1997, the National Basketball Association made history by establishing its women’s division, the WNBA. The New York Liberty was the first team to be created in this new league, its ranks bolstered by stars such as Rebecca Lobo and Kym Hampton. Although their first year saw massive success, they, along with other fiercely athletic and accomplished WNBA teams, have faced major obstacles ranging from homophobia to sexism in their path to legitimacy. These obstacles to both the Liberty and the WNBA as a whole are brought to a new light as the new team begins its 2021 season.

** “When My Sleeping Dragon Woke” | Chuck Schultz, Judah Lev Dickstein | USA | World Premiere

A little girl lives in a custodian apartment inside a New York Public Library, where her father stokes its coal furnace 24/7. Decades later, the actor Sharon Washington chooses the theater to write her modern-day fairytale filled with real and imagined dragons, family secrets, forgiveness, and a world of books.

HORROR FEATURES

** “Anacoreta” | Jeremy Schuetze | Canada | World Premiere

An actress heads on a mountain trip with her boyfriend to meet his friends for the first time. As they head out it becomes clear that he is filming his latest project, and he has more planned than they realize.

“Dawning” | Young Min Kim | USA | Midwest Premiere

A trauma therapist, Haejin Park, is forced to face her family’s darkest past after she returns to her childhood farm in the countryside to console her heartbroken younger sister. During Haejin’s visit, the family farm’s familiarity and haunting past begin to conjure up the trauma she had repressed for years in the forms of sleep paralysis, unexplainable nightmares, and disorienting memories. She heavily relies on prescribed medication to escape her experiences, but when her younger sister Soojin secretly trashes the medication, Haejin is forced to meet eye-to-eye with her past.

“FOLLOW HER” | Sylvia Caminer | USA | Indiana Premiere

A psycho-sexual thriller. Jess, a struggling actress and live-streamer, secretly films creepy interactions she encounters via online jobs. For her next episode, Tom hires her to write the ending of a screenplay. Upon receiving the script, Jess realizes she’s the main character and Tom’s not at all who he seems.

“Last Radio Call” | Isaac Rodriguez | USA | Indiana Premiere

On July 18th, 2018, Officer David Serling went missing inside the abandoned Yorktown Memorial Hospital. Using his recovered body cam footage, his wife attempts to piece together what happened to him on that terrifying night.

“Teine Sā- The Ancient Ones” | Matasila Freshwater, Mario Gaoa, Mario Faumui, Miki Magasiva, Vela Manusaute | New Zealand | Midwest Premiere

After centuries of slumber, the ‘Teine Sā’ –ancient spirit women of Polynesia– have been evoked to come into the world once again. Set in the modern day Pacific, ordinary women have encounters with these ancient spirit women who help them in their struggles and leave lessons in their wake.

INDIANA SPOTLIGHT FEATURES

“AAAMC Speaks, Teresa Hairston: The Unstoppable Game-Changer” | Ethan Gill, Haley Semian | USA

Dr. Teresa Hairston is founder of Gospel Today, Gospel Heritage Foundation, a songwriter, music director, and author. Dr. Hairston started in marketing at Savoy Records and later Benson Records. She supported chart-topping artists such as James Cleveland, Kirk Franklin, Rev. Run, Yolanda Adams, Albertina Walker and Hezekiah Walker, to name a few.

“Always, Lola” | Jeffrey Crane Graham | USA | Midwest Premiere

After popular high school senior Lola dies, her best friends reunite on their annual camping trip to honor her, only to discover murky secrets around her death that threaten to unhinge both her memory and their friend group.

** “Arab Indianapolis: A Hidden History” | Becky Fisher | United States | World Premiere

Join author Edward Curtis and other Arab Americans on their search for their roots in Indianapolis. Explore the first Arabic-speaking neighborhood, the 1920s founding of an Arab church, Arab American service in World War II, and the office of a little-known official at the Indiana Capitol, among other recent discoveries.

“The Best We’ve Got: The Carl Erskine Story” | Ted Green | USA

The last man standing of the Brooklyn Dodgers’ “Boys of Summer,” Carl Erskine is also one of the great human-rights champions of our time, particularly in the areas of diversity, alongside Jackie Robinson, and inclusion. “He is living a perfect game,” broadcaster Vin Scully said. This film shows how.

“The B1G Story: George Taliaferro” | Tucker Gragg, Kevin Weaver | USA

“The B1G Story: George Taliaferro” documents the life of football legend George Taliaferro, a pioneer whose sacrifices opened doors for generations of Black football players. The son of a steel worker in Gary, Indiana, George (1927-2018) earned regional recognition as a football prodigy for his ability to play seven positions with outrageous athleticism. But when George left the safety of his home community in 1945 to begin his college football career, he found himself unable to live in the dorms or eat in local restaurants. You know Jackie Robinson’s name. Jesse Owens’ too. See the film that adds George Taliaferro to the pantheon of athletes that broke racial barriers and influenced generations.

“The Country Club” | Fiona Robert | USA | Midwest Premiere

Worried about their father being laid off, two resourceful teenage girls hatch a plan to win the prize money of a junior golf tournament at a prestigious Hamptons country club. But once they encounter the quirky, wealthy patrons at the club, they are thrust on an adventure of mistaken identity, love and finding friendship in the most unlikely of people.

“Eat Your Catfish” | Adam Isenberg, Noah Amir Arjomand, Senem Tüzen | USA, Spain, Turkey

Kathryn’s ALS has left her paralyzed and her family’s relations in tatters, but she holds on to see her daughter’s wedding. With dark humor and extraordinary intimacy, this film probes the breakdown of a family’s bonds and of a woman’s will to live.

“It Happened One Weekend” | Zac Cooper | USA

Aaron and Julia get dumped on the same weekend. With nothing else to do, they spend the weekend walking around the city and talking about life. All this time together causes feelings to bubble to the surface. Do they explore these feelings, or let them pass?

“Made for this Moment: An Indiana Sports Corp Story” | Eric Maloney, Conrad Piccirillo | USA

Indiana Sports Corp has impacted the community through sports by hosting more than 500 national and international events since 1979. In 2021, they were faced with their biggest challenge when the NCAA selected Indianapolis to host the entire Men’s Basketball Championship. This documentary explores how Indiana Sports Corp, the city, the state, and thousands of community volunteers were made for this moment.

** “More Than Corn” | Rocky Walls | USA | World Premiere

Genesis and Eli, husband and wife farmers based in Noblesville, Indiana, share their journey to produce delicious, local food. While some may call it the ‘simple life,’ “More Than Corn” explores the challenges of starting and operating a produce farm in the Midwest.

“State of the Unity” | Nathaniel Paul Hoff, Jillian Speece, (Asst. Director) Dalton Misner | USA | Midwest Premiere

Is unity possible? This simple question launched the Brooklyn-based band The Bergamot on a quest to all 50 States to unite people with music, community, and collaboration. What began as a simple idea in the band’s touring vehicle, brought about a profound revelation. How do we reframe the way we perceive and understand unity? “”For it is not a shared narrative of a future, but a narrative of a shared future, that can unite us together”” says David Hooker Ph.D. How the duo connected people, with that exact vehicle they were sitting in, started a conversation that continues to this day. Join them in this timely 50,000-mile tour in human understanding, perseverance, and empathy that changed their lives forever.

NARRATIVE FEATURES

“1-800-HOT-NITE” | Nick Richey | USA | Indiana Premiere

When Tommy loses his family to a police raid, he escapes custody with his best friends. They embark on an urban odyssey packed with thieves, cops, snakes, fist-fights, a first kiss and phone sex. It’s their final night of childhood together. They just don’t know it yet…

“The Allnighter” | Aimee Graham | United States | Midwest Premiere

When an astrophysics student working towards his PhD loses priceless research to an auto theft, he makes a bargain with a woman at a local pawn shop in order to get it back. Seeking to resolve issues from the past, the woman drags him to the desert where the two unwittingly play integral roles in healing old wounds.

“A Stage of Twilight” | Sarah T. Schwab | United States | Midwest Premiere

“A Stage of Twilight” is a love story set in the final chapter of Cora and Barry’s lives. When Barry is confronted with a terminal diagnosis, he is compelled to make a decision that his wife cannot support. This end-of-life struggle is heightened further when Joey, a neighbor boy who acts as a surrogate son to the childless couple, reaches a critical crossroads for his own future. Both paths ask the question: whose right is it to make life’s inevitable impossible decisions when the impact will be felt by the people we love most?

“Art And Pep” | Mercedes Kane | USA | Indiana Premiere

Art and Pep are the owners of the iconic bar Sidetrack, Chicago. And they’re also civil rights leaders who have been fighting for LGBTQ+ equality for decades, their activism is the focus of their struggle to live and love freely.

“Because We’re Family” | Angela Stern, Christine Nyhart | USA | Midwest Premiere

While Dallas and Kourtney have been coping with their mother’s death for over a month, their youngest sibling, Belinda finally returns from Tibet in time to collectively witness their mother’s cremation. The three then return to their childhood home to live and grieve together for the holidays. Reunited under one roof to celebrate the Christmas holiday, the family realizes that some holiday traditions are just too difficult to digest.

“Bobcat Moretti” | Rob Margolies | USA | Midwest Premiere

An obese multiple sclerosis patient takes up his late Father’s sport of boxing to overcome personal tragedy and find inner peace. “Bobcat Moretti” was filmed over the course of ten months, during COVID-19, allowing our lead actor to lose 154-pounds and embody the role.

* “BUBBLE” | Aleksi Salmenperä | Finland | U.S. Premiere

Eveliina sees her mother kissing another woman. Fearing her parents’ separation, she decides to act. The measure of success in Evelina’s life is parents staying together. In her opinion, the best way to destroy the mother’s affair and bring the parents closer again is a troubled teenage daughter.

“Days of Daisy” | Alexander Jeffery | USA | Midwest Premiere

As her 40th birthday draws near, high school librarian Daisy feels societal pressure to settle down and start a family. When the art teacher at Daisy’s school abruptly quits mid-term, she teams up with a local photographer to give the students the art program they deserve.

“Dealing With Dad” | Tom Huang | USA | Indiana Premiere

MARGARET CHANG returns to her hometown along with her hapless brothers to deal with the depression of their antagonistic father, who’s actually nicer depressed than well. They wonder if they should even get him better as they struggle to find a solution, but end up reconnecting as a family in the process.

“Dear Zoe” | Gren Wells | USA | Midwest Premiere

A year after an unimaginable loss, teenage Tess pens a heartfelt letter to her dead little sister Zoe, reflecting on what was lost, her resistance to traveling down recovery road, and the surprising sources from which she gains love and support so that she can begin to get better.

* “Dr. Bird’s Advice For Sad Poets” | Yaniv Raz | USA | U.S. Premiere

In this magical realism mystery film, 16 year old James Whitman goes on a search for his missing sister with the help of his girlfriend and an imaginary pigeon psychotherapist, while attempting to overcome his anxiety disorder.

** “The Grotto” | Joanna Gleason | USA | World Premiere

When her fiancé dies unexpectedly, Alice Kendall inherits half ownership of The Grotto, a struggling desert nightclub where she discovers eccentric performers and a heartbreaking secret. As Christmas approaches, Alice is on the brink of a leap of faith as forces both seen and unseen beckon her toward her future.

“Hard Shell, Soft Shell” | Emma Benestan | France | Indiana Premiere

Loved-up oyster farmer Az thinks he’s made it. But when an elaborate proposal goes awry and his girlfriend Jess breaks his heart, Az is forced to confront his understanding of what happiness really looks like – both hers and his own.

“Juniper” | Katherine Dudas | USA | Midwest Premiere

MACK tries to spiritually connect with her deceased sister by escaping to her family’s cabin. Her seclusion is cut short when her bestie, ALEX, crashes, bringing her own friend, DYLAN, along with her. Tensions mount as Alex attempts to bond with Mack and Dylan’s true feelings for Alex being showing.

“Klondike” | Maryna Er Gorbach | Ukraine

July 2014. The story of an Ukrainian family living on the border of Ukraine and Russia that finds themselves at the center of an international air crash catastrophe. Sundance Film Festival: Directing Award Winner, World Dramatic Competition.

“Land of Gold” | Nardeep Khurmi | USA | Midwest Premiere

When truck driver Kiran hears pounding on a shipping container and finds a young Mexican-American girl inside, his already tumultuous life takes a drastic turn as he seeks to reunite her with her family.

“Lonely Voices” | Andrea Brusa, Marco Scotuzzi | Italy | Midwest Premiere

A family separated by circumstances finds unexpected celebrity comes at a fiery cost.

“Long Flat Balls ‘Broken Promises'” | Harald Zwart | Norway | Indiana Premiere

To win back the love of his life, a charming car mechanic and a gang of soccer-mad friends embark on a madcap journey to the lawless East Bloc to correct a mistake of his past, risking life and prison in an ingenious booze smuggling scheme.

“Me Little Me” | Elizabeth Ayiku | USA | Indiana Premiere

While in the early stages of recovery from an eating disorder, Mya finds herself especially alone. Stress rises to an all-time high, and cold reminders of her past begin knocking to find their way in while she struggles to find day-to-day happiness. In a humble and heartbreaking journey, Mya embodies just how complicated, tiring, and lonely it can be to feel just a little self-love.

** “The Moon & Back” | Leah Bleich | USA | World Premiere

One year after her father’s death, high school senior Lydia Gilbert feels completely lost… until she discovers something unexpected: “Space Chronicles,” the screenplay for a $200M+ space opera — written by her dad. Equipped with just a VHS camera and pocket change, Lydia decides to make this script a reality.

“Oliver & the Pool” | Arcadi Palerm-Artis | Mexico | Indiana Premiere

13-year-old Oliver comes home from the crematory and camps out poolside on a chaise lounge holding his father ashes and decides there’s no reason to move. Ever. Life swirls around him, revealing secrets and presenting new challenges – mourning, observing, learning to forgive, and falling in love.

“OUR (ALMOST COMPLETELY TRUE) STORY” | Don Scardino | USA

Mariette Hartley was nominated for 5 Emmy won 1, won 3 Clio’s, appeared on Broadway, in hundreds of TV series and in films like Ride the High Country and 1969. And who can forget those Polaroid commercials? Today she’s auditioning for people who have idea who she was… is. A friend suggests she try an online dating service and therein lies the tale.

“Our Father, the Devil” | Ellie Foumbi | USA | Midwest Premiere

Marie Cissé works as the head chef at a retirement home in small-town France. Her day-to-day life spent caring for residents and teasing a potential new romance is disrupted by the arrival of Father Patrick, an African priest whom she recognizes from a terrifying episode in her homeland. As he further endears himself to the residents and staff, Marie is forced to decide how best to deal with this reminder of her troubled past.

“Pinball: The Man Who Saved the Game” | Austin Bragg, Meredith Bragg | USA | Midwest Premiere

Writer Roger Sharpe has mastered one thing in life: pinball. But when a police raid destroys the only machines he can find in 1970s New York City, he learns the game is illegal. Roger reluctantly fights the ban while falling in love with a single mother. Inspired by true events.

“Playing Through” | Balbinka Korzeniowska | USA | Midwest Premiere

Late in her career, Ann Gregory, dubbed the “Queen of Negro Golf,” finds the courage to be the first woman of color to enter the USGA Women’s Amateur. She collides with Babs Whatling, a privileged white woman from the South who is searching for her own identity. This highly publicized match forever changes them and the game.

** “Rally Caps” | Lee Cipolla | USA | World Premiere

A young baseball player has his dreams of pitching for a Little League travel team derailed by a devastating injury on the field. After a long recovery process, he goes off to summer camp with his older brother where he befriends a deaf catcher and his sister. Based on their own experiences of living with a disability, they help him overcome his anxiety and fear of returning to the mound.

“Remember Me: The Mahalia Jackson Story” | Denise Dowse | USA | Indiana Premiere

Remember Me is a biopic on the life of Gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, her rise and challenges in the music industry, her unbreakable bond with Dr. Martin Luther King and her dramatic impact on the Civil Rights Movement.

“Remember This” | Jeff Hutchens, Derek Goldman | USA | Midwest Premiere

In a virtuoso solo performance, Academy Award nominee David Strathairn (Nomadland, Good Night, and Good Luck, Lincoln) portrays Jan Karski in this genre-defying true story of a reluctant World War II hero and Holocaust witness.

“The Road Dance” | Richie Adams | Scotland (UK) | Midwest Premiere

Life in the Scottish Hebrides is harsh. For the beautiful Kirsty, her love for Murdo and their dreams of America promise an escape. But the night before the young men go off to the Great War, tragedy is set in motion as villagers swirl and sup at a “road dance.”

“Róise & Frank” | Rachael Moriarty, Peter Murphy | Ireland

It is two years since Róise lost the love of her life, her husband Frank. She is now isolated in grief, cut off from family and community. The arrival of a mysterious dog, who seems intent on connecting with Róise, heralds huge change but is it for the better?

“Salma’s Home” | Hanadi Elyan | Jordan, USA | Indiana Premiere

Three Arab women living in modern-day Jordan must put their differences aside and work together in order to survive. Tangled in a family drama after Bakri dies, his ex-wife, new wife, and his adopted daughter navigate his inheritance, finding out that the only way forward is to try and make peace with each other.

** “Surprised by Oxford” | Ryan Whitaker | USA | World Premiere

Brilliant but emotionally guarded Carolyn Drake arrives in Oxford with the singular goal of attaining her PhD – but through a turbulent friendship with a charming young man, she begins to open herself up to mystery, vulnerability, and love.

“SWEET DISASTER” | Laura Lehmus | Germany | Indiana Premiere

In this heartwarming, genre-bending dramedy, Frida unexpectedly falls pregnant and Felix, the father of her child, breaks up with her to re-unite with his ex. Although some serious health problems caused by the later-in-life pregnancy force Frida to rest, she still tries to get Felix back, using absurd, exaggerated, and sometimes hilarious methods.

** “Waiting for the Light to Change” | Linh Tran | USA | World Premiere

Over the course of a week-long beachside getaway, Amy, having recently undergone dramatic weight loss, finds herself wrestling between loyalty to her best friend Kim and her attraction to Kim’s new boyfriend.

“Wake Up, Leonard” | Kat Mills Martin | USA | Indiana Premiere

“Wake Up, Leonard” is a feel-good movie about feeling bad…and failing to “stay on the vibe.” It’s the painfully funny story of a broken-hearted seeker’s quest for wellness. An improvised feature shot mid-pandemic, “Leonard” explores mental health, queer love, self-acceptance, and if it’s really a wonderful life?

“WHAT WE DO NEXT” | Stephen Belber | USA | Indiana Premiere

When Elsa Mercado (Michelle Veintimilla) is released from prison after serving 16 years for killing her father, New York City Councilwoman Sandy James (Karen Pittman) and corporate attorney Paul Jenkins (Corey Stoll) are forced to grapple with their involvement in the original crime. WHAT WE DO NEXT is a timely emotional thriller sitting at the intersection of race, class and criminal justice.

“The Wind and the Reckoning” | David L Cunningham | USA | Midwest Premiere

As leprosy infections spread throughout Hawai’i, the newly imposed colonial government orders all Native Hawaiians suspected of being infected banished permanently to the island of Moloka’i. But one Native Hawaiian ranching family refuses to be separated from each other and takes a stand against American Mercenaries rather than have their freedoms callously ripped away.

“You Resemble Me” | Dina Amer | USA, UK, Egypt | Midwest Premiere

Cultural and intergenerational trauma erupt in this story about two sisters on the outskirts of Paris. After the siblings are torn apart, the eldest, Hasna, struggles to find her identity, leading to a choice that shocks the world. Director Dina Amer takes on one of the darkest issues of our time and deconstructs it in an intimate story about family, love, sisterhood, and belonging.

EVENT TITLES & SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS

“Aftersun” | Charlotte Wells | United Kingdom, USA | Special Presentation of A24 | Indiana Premiere

At a fading vacation resort, 11-year-old Sophie treasures rare time together with her loving and idealistic father, Calum (Paul Mescal). As a world of adolescence creeps into view, beyond her eye Calum struggles under the weight of life outside of fatherhood. Twenty years later, Sophie’s tender recollections of their last holiday become a powerful and heartrending portrait of their relationship, as she tries to reconcile the father she knew with the man she didn’t, in Charlotte Wells’ superb and searingly emotional debut film.

“Bad Axe” | David Siev | USA | Special Presentation of IFC Films | Indiana Premiere

“Bad Axe” captures a closely knit Asian-American family living in a rural Michigan community as they now fight to keep their American dream alive. As owners of a local prominent restaurant, they reckon with a global pandemic, racial tensions, and generational scars from Cambodia’s “killing fields.”

“Call Jane” | Phyllis Nagy | USA | Special Presentation of Roadside Attractions | Indiana Premiere

Chicago, 1968. As the city and the nation are poised on the brink of political upheaval, suburban housewife Joy (Elizabeth Banks) leads an ordinary life with her husband and daughter. When Joy’s pregnancy leads to a life-threatening heart condition, she must navigate an all-male medical establishment unwilling to terminate her pregnancy in order to save her life. Her journey for a solution leads her to Virginia (Sigourney Weaver), an independent visionary fiercely committed to women’s health, and Gwen (Wunmi Mosaku), an activist who dreams of a day when all women will have access to abortion, regardless of their ability to pay. Joy is so inspired by their work, she decides to join forces with them, putting every aspect of her life on the line. Inspired by true events, Nagy’s film captures the essence of late-Sixties social change via one woman’s quest to get a safe and legal abortion.

“Corsage” | Marie Kreutzer | Austria, Luxembourg, Germany | Special presentation of IFC Films | Indiana Premiere

As her 40th birthday approaches, beautiful Empress Elisabeth of Austria is thrown into turmoil as she anticipates being considered an old woman.

“Close ” | Lukas Dhont | Belgium, France, The Netherlands | Special Presentation of A24 | Indiana Premiere

Leo and Remi are two thirteen-year-old best friends, whose seemingly unbreakable bond is suddenly, tragically torn apart. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, Lukas Dhont’s second film is an emotionally transformative and unforgettable portrait of the intersection of friendship and love, identity and independence, and heartbreak and healing.

Easterseals Disability Film Challenge (EDFC) Finalists

The Heartland International Film Festival is proud to once again partner with the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge to showcase the slate of 2022 Finalists and Winners.

“Empire of Light” | Sam Mendes | UK/US | Special Presentation of Searchlight Pictures | Indiana Premiere

Set in an English seaside town in the early 1980s, EMPIRE OF LIGHT is a powerful and poignant story about human connection and the magic of cinema, from Academy Award®-winning director Sam Mendes.EMPIRE OF LIGHT features a stellar cast led by Academy Award winner Olivia Colman (The Favourite, The Lost Daughter), BAFTA winner Micheal Ward (Blue Story, Top Boy) and Academy Award winner Colin Firth (The King’s Speech, A Single Man). It also reunites Mendes with Academy Award winning cinematographer Roger Deakins (1917, Skyfall).

“Hotel Transylvania” | Family Fun Day Screening

When monsters want to get away from it all, they go to Count Dracula’s (Adam Sandler) Hotel Transylvania, a lavish resort where they can be themselves without humans around to bother them. On one special weekend, Dracula invites creatures like the Invisible Man, the Mummy and others to celebrate the 118th birthday of his daughter, Mavis (Selena Gomez). However, an unforeseen complication unfolds when an ordinary human unwittingly crashes the party and falls in love with Mavis.

“Four Samosas” | Ravi Kapoor | USA | Special Presentation of IFC Films

Happy-go-lucky, underachieving, wanna-be rapper Vinny is dismayed to learn that his favorite ex-girlfriend Rina is planning to marry his smarmy arch-nemesis. Determined to disrupt the wedding as well as fund the dreams of his family and friends, he and his band of neighborhood pals concoct a plan to steal Rina’s dowry jewels from her father’s supermarket safe. But can this motley crew actually pull off a heist?

“Good Night Oppy” | Ryan White | USA | Special Presentation of Amazon Studios | Indiana Premiere

“Good Night Oppy” tells the inspirational true story of Opportunity, a rover that was sent to Mars for a 90-day mission but ended up surviving for 15 years. The film follows Opportunity’s groundbreaking journey on Mars and the remarkable bond forged between a robot and her humans millions of miles away.

Indy Shorts Winners 1

A selection of award winners from the 2022 Indy Shorts International Film Festival, including: “Ousmane,” “New Moon,” “North Star,” “Black Slide,” and “Stranger at the Gate.”

Indy Shorts Winners 2

A selection of award winners from the 2022 Indy Shorts International Film Festival, including: “Long Line of Ladies,” “A Prayer for My Mother,” “Bacon ‘N’ Laces,” “El Carrito,” “GONE,” and “An Irish Goodbye.”

Indy Shorts Winners 3

A selection of award winners from the 2022 Indy Shorts International Film Festival, including: “Pig,” “My Soul to Take,” “Groundhog Town,” “Night Watch,” “Conversations Between Shifts,” and “Night of the Living Dread.”

“The Lost King” | Stephen Frears | United Kingdom | Special Presentation of IFC Films | Indiana Premiere

An amateur historian defies the stodgy academic establishment in her efforts to find King Richard III’s remains, which were lost for over 500 years.

“Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues” | Sacha Jenkins | USA | Special Presentation of Apple Original Films | Indiana Premiere

“Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues” offers an intimate and revealing look at the world-changing musician, presented through a lens of archival footage and never-before-heard home recordings and personal conversations. This definitive documentary, directed by Sacha Jenkins, honors Armstrong’s legacy as a founding father of jazz, one of the first internationally known and beloved stars, and a cultural ambassador of the United States. The film shows how Armstrong’s own life spans the shift from the Civil War to the Civil Rights movement, and how he became a lightning rod figure in that turbulent era.

“My Policeman” | Michael Grandage | UK | Special Presentation Amazon Studios | Indiana Premiere

A tale of forbidden romance and changing social conventions, My Policeman follows the relationships between three people—policeman Tom (Harry Styles/Linus Roache), teacher Marion (Emma Corrin/Gina McKee) and museum curator Patrick (David Dawson/Rupert Everett)—and their emotional journey spanning decades.

“R.M.N.” | Cristian Mungiu | Belgium, France, Romania | Special Presentation of IFC Films

A few days before Christmas, having quit his job in Germany, Matthias returns to his multi-ethnic Transylvanian village. He wishes to involve himself more in the education of his son, Rudi, left for too long in the care of his mother, Ana, and to rid the boy of the unresolved fears that have taken hold of him. He’s preoccupied with his old father, Otto, and also eager to see his ex-lover, Csilla. When a few new workers are hired at the small factory that Csilla manages, the peace of the community is disturbed, underlying fears grip the adults, and frustrations, conflicts and passions erupt through the thin veneer of apparent understanding and calm.

“Retrograde” | Matthew Heineman | Special Presentation by National Geographic Documentary Films | Indiana Premiere

“Retrograde” captures the final nine months of America’s twenty-year war in Afghanistan from multiple perspectives: one of the last US Special Forces units deployed there; a young Afghan general and his corps fighting to defend their homeland against all odds; and the civilians desperately attempting to flee as the country collapses and the Taliban take over. From rarely seen operational control rooms to the frontlines of battle to the chaotic Kabul airport during the final US withdrawal, this film offers a cinematic and historic window onto the end of America’s longest war, and the costs endured for those most intimately involved.

“The Return of Tanya Tucker” | Kathlyn Horan | USA | Special Presentation of Sony Pictures Classics | Indiana Premiere

Trailblazing, hell-raising country music legend Tanya Tucker defied the standards of how a woman in country music was supposed to behave. Decades after Tanya slipped from the spotlight, rising Americana music star Brandi Carlile takes it upon herself to write an entire album for her hero based on Tanya’s extraordinary life, spurring the greatest comeback in country music history.

“Till” | Chinonye Chukwu | USA | Special Presentation of United Artists Releasing | Indiana Premiere

“Till” is a profoundly emotional and cinematic film about the true story of Mamie Till Mobley’s relentless pursuit of justice for her14 year old son, Emmett Till, who, in 1955, was lynched while visiting his cousins in Mississippi. In Mamie’s poignant journey of grief turned to action, we see the universal power of another’s ability to change the world.

“The Whale” | Darren Aronofsky | USA | Special Presentation of A24 | Indiana Premiere

From Darren Aronofsky comes “The Whale,” the story of a reclusive English teacher living with severe obesity who attempts to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter for one last chance at redemption. Starring Brendan Fraser and based on the acclaimed play by Samuel D. Hunter.

“Wildcat” | Melissa Lesh, Trevor Frost | Special Presentation of Amazon Studios | Indiana Premiere

Back from war in Afghanistan, a young British soldier struggling with depression and PTSD finds a second chance in the Amazon rainforest when he meets an American scientist, and together they foster an orphaned baby ocelot.

“Women Talking” | Sarah Polley | USA | Special Presentation of United Artists Releasing | Indiana Premiere

Based on the best-selling novel by Miriam Toews, Women Talking follows a group of women in an isolated religious colony as they struggle to reconcile their faith with a series of sexual assaults committed by the colony’s men.

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