INDIANAPOLIS – If you spend most of your Friday nights at the movie theater, we’re sure you love the idea of a film festival: several days of stuffing your face with popcorn and getting lost into the lives of characters.
You might want to block off your calendar Oct. 20-30 as the 25th annual Heartland Film Festival will show independent films in theaters across Indianapolis for 11 days straight (is it too late to call off of work?).
In light of the festival, we’ve got 6 must-see films at this year’s event.
1. “From the Ashes: Evansville Purple Aces”
In December 1977 a plane carrying members of the University of Evansville's men's basketball team crashed 90 seconds after takeoff killing 29 people onboard.
The world premiere of “From the Ashes: Evansville Purple Aces” reflects on the moment the community learned of the news and looks at the effort to rebuild school’s basketball program in the wake of the tragedy. The films plays Oct. 27 at AMC Castleton Square 14 and will show again at AMC Showplace Traders Point.
Indianapolis musician Rory Feek wrote and directed the Heartland Film Festival's closing night feature, “Josephine.” The film tells the story of a young farmer’s wife who poses as a Confederate soldier in hopes of finding her missing husband.
Feek and additional cast are scheduled to attend the screening on Oct. 30 at AMC Castleton Square 14. The closing night party will take place at Premiere Pavilion.
3. "Night School"
Director Andrew Cohn follows adult learning students on their journey to earn a high school diploma. The film, shot in Indianapolis, dives into many of the student’s individual dreams and goals as well as their challenges of daily life.
“Nigh School” debuts Oct. 25 at Pike Performing Arts Center and will later play at AMC Showplace Traders Point 12 and AMC Castleton Square 14.
4. "Reenginering Sam"
Former IndyCar driver Sam Schmidt was paralyzed in a crash more than a decade ago and lost all ability to complete daily activities like eating and brushing his own teeth. Although the accident took him away from the race track for several years, a group of automotive engineers led him back to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway after they built him a special vehicle.
The film looks at Schmidt’s day-to-day life and a close up look into groundbreaking adaptive technologies. The world premiere of “Reenginerring Sam” will show Oct. 23 at AMC Castleton Square 14 and later show at AMC Showplace Traders Point 12.
5. "The Book of Love"
After tragedy strikes Henry, he meets Maisie, a homeless teen who wants to build a raft to sail across the Atlantic in hopes of finding her lost father. Together they help one another rebuild their lives.
“The Book of Love” will show Oct. 20 at Scottish Rite Cathedral. The opening night party will follow the screening. Actress Jessica Biel, Producer Michelle Purple and Actor Richard Robichaux are scheduled to attend.
6. "Winter Thaw"
Staring legendary actor John Rhys-Davies, “Winter Thaw” follows the life of a villager who often reflects on painful memories. After he is visited by a wandering pilgrim, he believes his life will end soon and quickly tries to make amends with family and neighbors.
This film is inspired by the self-titled short story and directed by Adam Thomas Anderegg. The world premiere of “Winter Thaw” plays Oct. 22 at AMC Castleton Square 14 and later show at AMC Showplace Traders Point 12.