Heartland Film Festival ready for hybrid run


The Heartland International Film Festival got a view of what hybrid model of drive-in and virtual screenings would look like during its Indy Shorts International Film Festival in July.

ND HEARTLAND FILM 0908 Sorvig pic

“Having Indy Shorts in July helped the team iron out logistical details to focus more on programming this time around,” Heartland Film Festival Artistic Director Greg Sorvig said. “The Heartland International Film Festival is bigger on all fronts, so it gave us the experience and confidence that we could plan and implement a successful event come fall. We’re fortunate to work with Conner Prairie and in an expanded capacity with Tibbs Drive-in to make it all happen.”

The 29th annual festival, which runs Oct. 8-18, will have three nights of screenings at Conner Prairie (Oct. 12-14) in Fishers, with the rest of in-person screenings at Tibbs, 480 S. Tibbs, Indianapolis. The Indy Shorts in-person screenings were exclusively at Tibbs.

Heartland is among the first festivals to offer hybrid-events films, featuring both drive-in and virtual titles for centerpiece and closing night.

“The world has been through a lot this year and I was really hoping for fun-event bookends to open and close the festival at the Tibbs Drive-In,” Sorvig said. “We were fortunate to lock in two comedies in ‘Eat Wheaties!’ starring Tony Hale (U.S. premiere) for opening, and ‘Blithe Spirit’ starring Dan Stevens, Isla Fisher, Leslie Mann and Judi Dench for closing. Additionally, we hand-picked three unique nights for our pop-up drive in partnership with Conner Prairie, and I’m looking forward to crowd reactions.”

Sorvig, a Carmel resident, said the first night of Heartland features two documentaries up for grand prizes in ‘Can You Hear My Voice?” and “River City Drumbeat,” followed by the world premieres of two music films, beginning with “Best Summer Ever” (originally slated for SXSW) and “Linda and the Mockingbirds” starring Linda Ronstadt. The festival finishes its third night at Conner Prairie with an Alfred Hitchcock and Jimmy Stewart double feature of “Rear Window” and “Vertigo.”

Among the Indiana Spotlight films is Anderson-based filmmaker Luke A. Renner’s “What Lies Inside.”

For the full film lineup, drive-in schedule, fest passes and ticket details, visit HeartlandFilmFestival.org.