Heartland Festival, Conner Prairie team up for screenings


During the Indy Shorts International Film Festival in July, the organizers presented a hybrid schedule of virtual and in-person screenings at Tibbs Drive-In Theatre.

It worked so well that Heartland International Film Festival Artistic Director Greg Sorvig said a similar concept will be used by Heartland with the addition of three nights of pop-up drive-in showings at Conner Prairie in Fishers. Heartland is scheduled two themed films each evening Oct. 12-14 at Conner Prairie’s parking lot during the Oct. 8-18 festival. The other evening shows will be held at Tibbs.


“The spotlight will either be on Conner Prairie or Tibbs,” Sorvig said.

Sorvig, a Carmel resident, said Heartland has discussed with Conner Prairie before about partnering.

“It was a great time for us to get together and talk about some real options for the fall,” Sorvig said. “This is a full partnership. It’s not just a venue we are using. The whole leadership team at Conner Prairie, the same as Heartland, is working with Conner Prairie. We see it as the beginning of a long-term partnership.”

Sorvig said there will likely be room for 200 cars per night.

“We’re looking to do a mix over three nights of films that are up for awards this year and some classic films that can get people out,” Sorvig said. “A lot of our attendees do come from Hamilton County. We have attendees from all over the central Indiana area and the state. It’s neat to partner with Conner Prairie, which has such a great following on the north side (of Indianapolis area) as well.”

The Heartland film schedule is slated to be released Sept. 17.

Even though theaters have reopened, Sorvig said it wasn’t clear that would be the case in October with all the changes during the pandemic.

“We erred on the side of caution and wanted to make sure everyone was safe,” he said. “We are going to have no actual sit-down inside screenings this year,” Sorvig said. “A good number of titles will be available at the drive-in and available virtually. There will be some films only available at the drive-in as well. It’s going to be a fun-event feel at some of these screenings as well.”

Sorvig said Indy Shorts sold more passes in July than it had in its first two years.

“We had huge attendance at Tibbs,” he said. “People want something to do. It was a great mix of our long-standing fans and new faces.”

For more, visit heartlandfilm.org.


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