Heartland Film Festival Artistic Director Greg Sorvig wasn’t optimistic about conducting a film festival when events began to be canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“If you asked me back in March if you are going to be doing any festivals this year, let alone on the dates we have advertised, I would have been very doubtful,” Sorvig said. “We’ve persevered and I think the industry has really bounced back.”
The Carmel resident said the third Indy Shorts International Festival, run by Heartland Festival, will be held in a hybrid format July 21 to 26. A virtual format will allow film fans to watch all 18 programs featuring 128 selected short films at home.
There will be screenings at the Tibbs Drive-in Theater, 480 S Tibbs Ave., in Indianapolis, July 23-26.
“Our chief concern was safety and maintain quality from the audience’s and filmmakers’ perspective since we are an Oscar-qualifying film festival,” Sorvig said. “A lot of film festivals have thrown in the towel, but we’re moving forward.”
The four Tibbs screening nights, which start at 9:25 p.m., will feature two nights of Indiana Spotlight award winners.
“We want the hometown filmmakers to still get their moment so those films will play on the big screen at Tibbs,” he said.
The July 23 program at Tibbs is Indiana Spotlight 1. On July 24, there will be an Indiana Spotlight 2 program. A second program that night will feature Heartland Horror, a new category. Most of the award winners will be shown July 25. A comedy program will be held July 26.
“So, we’ll be going out with a laugh,” Sorvig said.
There are new $1,000 prizes for comedy and horror.
“Usually, prizes go to hard-hitting dramas. I love comedy so we wanted to throw them a bone, too,” Sorvig said.
Films are competing for more than $30,000 in cash prizes.
One of the four high school firms competing for the grand prize is “Whipped Cream Cake” by directors Raymond Mo and Minju Hong from Carmel High School.
For more, visit IndyShorts.org. The Heartland Film Festival is set for Oct. 8-18