Indy Shorts seth rogen taking care
A still from Taking Care, courtesy of Indy Shorts

The seventh annual Indy Shorts International Film Festival has announced the 2024 lineup, and it includes “Taking Care” from Seth Rogen and “Facing the Falls” executive produced by Hillary and Chelsea Clinton.

The Academy Award qualifying festival, presented this year by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, will take place from July 23-28 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Tickets go on sale on Thursday.

“Facing the Falls” follows international disability advocate Cara Elizabeth Yar Khan who is deep in the throes of an aggressive, fatal muscle-wasting disease and no longer able to walk unassisted. She ventures out on a daring, 12-day expedition through the Grand Canyon. 

“Taking Care” tells the story of Lauren Miller Rogen and Seth Rogen’s courtship and marriage as their families face the complexities and heartbreak of Lauren’s mother’s advancing early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. 

“With an unprecedented number of short film submissions this year, our job to wade through and make final selections for the festival was not a simple task,” said artistic director Greg Sorvig. “I’m confident attendees will be impressed with the variety, quality and creativity of the shorts on display in the 34 curated themed programs.”

See the full lineup below, courtesy of Indy Shorts, and get information about tickets here.

Also Read: See De-Aged Teenage Tom Hanks and Robin Wright in Here Trailer (Video)

See the Full Indy Shorts 2024 Lineup Below

***World Premiere

**North American Premiere

*US Premiere

BIG DREAMS ​

Whether it’s being a performer or a superhero, nothing can stop these amazing people from achieving their dreams.

**Bat Boy | 2023 | United States | Aaron Lemle | North American Premiere | A young man on the autism spectrum is obsessed with bats. When the bats near his house go missing, he enlists the help of a jaded biologist to help him find out what happened.

Comedy Against the Odds | 2024 | United States | Suzanne Luna | Midwest Premiere | Ten-year-old Austin Eletto has Autism. He’s also an aspiring stand-up comic. This short documentary spotlights the struggle of growing up with labels, and how Austin uses comedy to embrace and overcome them.

My Name Is Annabel | 2023 | United Kingdom | Ida Joglar | Indiana Premiere | Annabel Hernandez, a charismatic performer with Down syndrome, tells her own story in this unique documentary portrait that starts by asking “what movie would you make?” 

Written in the Stars | 2023 | Ireland | Vincent Gallagher | Indiana Premiere | Sean, a nine-year-old neurodivergent boy, faces a multitude of challenges when he decides to audition for the community play in this inspiring tale about defying the odds and overcoming one’s limitations. 

CHANGEMAKERS

Be inspired by these spirited subjects making positive change in our world.

Daughters of Malawi | 2023 | United Kingdom | Camille Nock, James Dartnall | Indiana Premiere | Four young Malawian women are stepping out to overcome everyday challenges of female inequality, living their own lives and in doing so empowering others. 

***Facing the Falls | 2023 | United States | Celia Aniskovich | World Premiere | International disability advocate Cara Elizabeth Yar Khan, deep in the throes of an aggressive, fatal muscle-wasting disease and no longer able to walk unassisted, ventures out on a daring, 12-day expedition through the Grand Canyon. “Facing the Falls” is a story of fear, adrenaline, ambition, determination, hubris, courage, and perseverance against the odds. Executive producers include Hillary Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, and Sam Pollard.

The Quilters | 2024 | United States | Jenifer McShane | Midwest Premiere | “The Quilters” follows a men’s quilting group inside a maximum security prison as they create personalized quilts for local foster children. Through this process and the relationships forged we witness the power of art to restore an individual’s view of themselves and others.  

Indy Shorts 2024
Courtesy of Indy Shorts

COME TOGETHER

Stories of discovery, community and persevering through this world together.

*Carnaval | 2023 | Canada | Justine Martin | U.S. Premiere | Once a year, people from different marginalized communities meet together in the woods to delve into the art of circus and have this discipline become a common way to express themselves, away from the city. 

**Cycling Without Age | 2024 | United States | Isaac Seigel-Boettner | North American Premiere | John uses his pedal-powered rickshaw to give adventures to people who have lost the ability to get outside themselves. This is a story about the power of feeling wind in your hair, no matter where you are on life’s journey. 

If You’re Happy | 2023 | United Kingdom | Phoebe Arnstein | Midwest Premiere | A woman struggles with the pressures of motherhood and uses a childish game at a local baby group to vent her fury, sparking an unexpected chain reaction. 

Old Lesbians | 2023 | United Kingdom | Meghan McDonough | Indiana Premiere | For the last quarter century, Houston native Arden Eversmeyer journeyed across the country to record hundreds of oral “herstories” with a mostly invisible population that is rapidly disappearing. Old Lesbians honors Arden’s legacy by animating the resilient, joyful voices she preserved in the Old Lesbian Oral Herstory Project. 

COMEDY

Get ready to laugh in this wild collection of comedic shorts!

Bad Driver | 2024 | United States | Antonia Grilikhes-Lasky | Indiana Premiere | A woman gets into a parked car. 

Cantata | 2023 | Ireland | Dave Fox | Midwest Premiere | Darren needs help. His fears are manifesting in the most unusual way—through opera. He visits his therapist to find a solution and discovers that sometimes restoring harmony is just about facing the music. 

Catherine & Michael | 2023 | United States | Kathy Fusco | Indiana Premiere | When an unhappily married couple takes a weekend trip to the gorgeous country home of their attractive, successful—and most frustratingly—happily married friends, they discover an unusual method for reigniting their spark. Starring Molly Ringwald, Peter Grosz, Sipiwe Moyo, and Zack Robidas.

***The Day Keeper | 2024 | United States | Mark Kiefer | World Premiere | A comedy mockumentary about a lighthouse keeper who struggles to keep his own inner light shining. 

Gut Punch | 2023 | United States | Jon Ryan Sugimoto | Midwest Premiere | Darkness swells below the floorboards of a bodega as three store dwellers have a heated argument over politics, pills and semantics.  

Jane Austen’s Period Drama | 2023 | United States | Steve Pinder (Greist) | Indiana Premiere | England, 1813. In the middle of a long-awaited marriage proposal, Miss Estrogenia Talbot gets her period. Her suitor, Mr. Dickley, mistakes the blood for an injury, and it soon becomes clear that his expensive education has missed a spot. 

JOE | 2024 | United States | Greg Furman | Midwest Premiere | The insidious origin story of how history’s most hated character, Grandpa Joe from “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory,” became the lazy freeloader we know today. 

***Knead | 2024 | United States | Timothy Michael Cooper | World Premiere | In 1963, Olive’s husband takes her (and her homemade pastries) for granted—until a ship full of slug-like aliens crash-lands nearby. Suddenly, everyone on earth knows their life’s true purpose…except Olive, what will she be possessed to do? 

***Night Session | 2024 | United States | Ballard C. Boyd | World Premiere | When a burglar unexpectedly runs into a homeowner during a theft, the robbery morphs into a makeshift therapy session, with the burglar helping the homeowner process his impending divorce—while the homeowner still helps to rob his own home. Starring Richard Kind.

COMING OF AGE

Defining moments that will change the lives of these adolescent protagonists forever.

Caught on Tape | 2023 | United States | Alexander Jeffery, Chris Alan Evans | Indiana Premiere | When Finn can’t get a word out in front of his high school crush, his playground pals convince him that watching a porno tape will solve all his problems. 

Ebb & Flow | 2023 | Lebanon, Qatar, United States | Nay Tabbara | Midwest Premiere | Determined to have her first kiss, Loulwa defies her tumultuous world in search of normalcy. As she braves through Beirut in Pursuit of her sexual awakening, she finds herself taking an instant leap into adulthood when her world erupts into a redefined “normal.” 

Essex Girls | 2023 | United Kingdom | Yero Timi-Biu | Midwest Premiere | After an incident at her high school shunts her into the orbit of the only other Black girl in her year, “Essex Girl” Bisola is plunged into a journey of discovering a whole new side of herself. 

Not Afraid | 2023 | United States | Mikaela Bruce | Midwest Premiere | After a long period of absence Olivia is eager to return to her high school basketball team. When unresolved emotions result in her expulsion, she can no longer ignore the painful memories beginning to resurface. 

Muna | 2023 | United Kingdom | Warda Mohamed | Midwest Premiere | A film about teenage dreams, dislocated grief and unexpected connection, following a British-Somali teen navigating a confusing mourning period for a family member she never met. 

**Tomorrow | 2024 | Spain | Estefania Ortiz | North American Premiere | In 1994, two brothers are enjoying the summer that will change everything: the youngest, Lucas, is starting school and will have to accept that his older brother, Bruno, who has Down’s syndrome, will not take part on this new adventure. 

We Met at Camp | 2023 | United States | MC Plaschke | Midwest Premiere | A young girl, confused about her sexuality, scrambles when a lie she told her bunkmates grows out of control at her summer camp.  

DARK COMEDY

Prepare yourself for this electic collection that spans topical satire to murderous reunions!

Atomic Chicken | 2023 | France | Thibault Ermeneux, Lucie Lyfoung, Solène Polet, Capucine Prat, Morgane Siriex, Anna Uglova | Midwest Premiere | A chicken coop set up at the foot of a nuclear power plant sees its daily life turned upside down by a series of comic, cartoon-style mutations. 

Bibi’s Dog is Dead | 2024 | Canada | Shervin Kermani | Midwest Premiere | Bibi’s dog is dead. But Bibi’s ex is alive. She should call him, right? 

The Clogging | 2023 | United States | Eric Larson | Indiana Premiere | A man must do the unthinkable after he clogs the only toilet at a party. 

Goodbye Jeremy | 2024 | United States | Josh Covitt | Indiana Premiere | A horror comedy about four friends who gather to say goodbye to a loved one…and prevent the apocalypse 

**The Nun Slayer | 2023 | United Kingdom | Ben Bovington-Key | North American Premiere | After new evidence proves his innocence, the wife of a notorious serial killer must come to terms with the fact that her husband is not the psychotic killer she fell in love with. 

Princeton’s In The Mix | 2024 | United States of America | Jonathan DiMaio | Midwest Premiere | All is not well in prim and proper Beth Simpson’s exclusive enclave of wealthy, tech industry parents: her high school senior Teddy, despite being a talented pianist, is struggling during the pressurized college admissions process—he can’t break 1200 on the SAT.

When Beth learns that Teddy can get extra time on the all-important test if he’s injured, her heart leaps at the thought of a high score and entrance into an elite, cloistered university. Darkness overwhelms her maternal instincts, and she decides to do whatever it takes to get the standardized testing outcome she wants. 

Roger is a Serial Killer | 2024 | United States | Don Swaynos | Midwest Premiere | A podcaster implicates her step-father in a series of unsolved murders, which makes for a compelling show but an awkward Christmas dinner. 

FINDING YOURSELF

Celebrate stories of identity, purpose and place.

ALOK | 2024 | United States | Alex Hedison | Indiana Premiere | Filmmaker Alex Hedison delivers a compelling portrait of her friend, Alok Vaid-Menon, the internationally acclaimed, non-binary, author, poet, comedian, and public speaker. Executive produced by Jodie Foster.

Break/Fix | 2023 | United States | Amanda Pinto | Indiana Premiere | Under the influence of anesthesia while receiving plastic surgery, Lily meets a grandmother she never knew who helps her think differently about her heritage. 

Far West | 2023 | United States | Stephen Michael Simon | Midwest Premiere | Drained by the fast-paced urban lifestyle, New York City artist Lala makes a bold decision to uproot herself and seek solace in the untamed landscapes somewhere far west. 

Matthew Modine’s I Am What You Imagine | 2023 | United States | Adam Rackoff | Midwest Premiere | Matthew Modine’s new experimental short film, “I Am What You Imagine,” is a sensual exploration of the unexplainable. Featuring the voice talents of Ruby Modine and long-time Kubrick collaborator Leon Vitali (in his final performance), the short uses sound, music, and expressionistic imagery to take viewers on a journey of the heart and mind. 

My Tomato Heart | 2023 | Canada | Benoît Le Rouzès Ménard  | Indiana Premiere | Madeleine is forced to quit her position at the neighborhood grocery store. Except that her job is her whole life; her colleagues, her only family. The quinquagenarian spends her last days of work fighting to save what is near and dear to her heart… 

Roses | 2023 | United Kingdom | Coral Knights | Indiana Premiere | Rosa unexpectedly finds herself spending an evening out alone as her daughter throws an 18th birthday party in their house. Wasting time in her small Cornish town, she spies a woman she has met once before – and is drawn to her. 

Resonancia  | 2024 | Mexico | James Choi  | Midwest Premiere | When avocados appear, we are in a fertile time of new beginnings and adventures on both the conscious and unconscious level. Our dreams may become more vivid and direct, while our waking life brings new encounters and opportunities that inspire us to act. 

SILHOUETTE  | 2023 | France | Alexis LAFUENTE ; Marc FOREST ; Antoni NICOLAI ; Elliot DREUILLE ; Baptiste GUEUSQUIN ; Chloé STRICHER | Indiana Premiere | Silhouette tells the story of Claire, a young woman who has just moved to a big city. She soon finds her body gradually disappearing.” 

HIGH SCHOOL FILM COMPETITION

Support the creativity of young student filmmakers!

Alphabet Soup | 2023 | United States | Nico Eagan & James Lee | Indiana Premiere | A teenage boy goes on a journey from apathy to empathy regarding his sister’s depression. 

***a moment lost | 2023 | Canada | Cole Joliat | World Premiere | As her mother grapples with dementia, Emily sets out to revive her mom’s lost memories, discovering the power of resilience, family, and love.  

Asfixia | 2023 | United States | Luciano Alzate | Midwest Premiere | A failed writer (Harrison) and his son (Silvan) are stuck in their home after an apocalypse. Tensions rise as Silvan vies for freedom while Harrison forces him to write. 

Beethoven Vs The Bird | 2023 | United States | Chase Olivera | Midwest Premiere | A crazed bird must fight the great classical composer, Ludwig Van Beethoven, for the copyright to it’s birdsong!  

*Crafting Currents | 2024 | Canada | Jason Cheng | U.S. Premiere | Crafting Currents documents the creation of a Salish Harbour Canoe, crafted by Coast Salish Master Carver John Marston (Qap’u’luq) from the Stz’uminus First Nations of Vancouver Island. 

The Lake in the Sky | 2024 | United States | Caleb Reese Paul | Indiana Premiere | An isolated teenager explores the past, his late father, and unstable memory through the use of celluloid on his 16th birthday. 

Mammon | 2024 | Spain | Nicole Cáceres | Midwest Premiere | Watch out for your greed. 

Nix’s Symphony | 2024 | Canada | Karina Loerchner | Indiana Premiere | Overwhelmed with self-doubt, a spirited young musician and inventor discovers abilities she never knew she had when she unexpectedly finds herself thrown into the role of continuing a remarkable legacy. 

Please Call Me… | 2023 | China | Rui Wang | Midwest Premiere | In my cultural tradition, names are bestowed as precious gifts by our parents. Nevertheless, as I traversed the path of my upbringing, I found myself harboring reservations about the names bestowed upon me… 

***Purgatown | 2024 | United States | Evan Short | World Premiere | A man washes up on the beach in an abandoned town with no memories to his name. In trying to rediscover his past, he learns about the nature of life and death. 

Scissor Artist | 2024 | United States | George Kirianov | Indiana Premiere | Alex Colt, a barber from Kazakhstan, shares his journey to success in the US. From challenges to triumphs, his passion and determination led to international recognition. 

Sterling | 2023 | United States | Gunnar Sizemore | Midwest Premiere | “Sterling” follows Clancy (Malcolm Goodwin), an amateur radio host who decides to play his jazz hero Sterling Hutch’s (Lester Purry) final recorded single on air. However, Clancy comes to find that what exists on the record isn’t music. 

Symptoms of Greed | 2023 | United States | Angelo Visser | Midwest Premiere | A simple, tidy man finds a romantic relationship with a barista in a coffee shop. After becoming jealous watching her interactions and feeling embarrassed that he is low on money, he makes a dangerous choice that will only spiral his romance out of his control. 

You Look So Pretty | 2024 | Unites States | Anna Tuason | Midwest Premiere | Instead of putting on makeup to enhance her appearance, a teenage girl applies products to physicalize her internal battles. How differently would one be treated if invisible battles could be seen on the skin?  

HORROR

Prepare for chills and kills with these genre-spanning shorts!

*Be Right Back | 2023 | Spain | Lucas Paulino, Gabe Ibañez | U.S. Premiere | Maria, a seven-year-old girl, is left alone at home while her mother goes out to shop for dinner. The time alone extends into the night. When someone knocks at the door, Maria doubts whether it is her mother or not. 

Dark Mommy | 2023 | United States | Courtney Eck | Indiana Premiere | Ben is the only night shift 911 operator in a small town. His bubble of self-isolation is only ever punctured by drunks or prank calling kids, but tonight Dark Mommy has her own intentions for Ben…and the rest of the town. 

La Croix | 2023 | France | Joris Fleurot | Indiana Premiere | Jade, a young graphic designer lacking inspiration, finds herself confronted with strange phenomena following a forbidden ritual practiced with her best friend Julie. Overwhelmed by events and her client on the phone, she collides with someone on the road. Jade flees the scene.

NUBES (Marshmallows) | 2023 | Spain | Edu Escudero | Midwest Premiere | After his father dies, Noe goes to his house to pick up the suit he will be buried in. Upon arrival, she discovers something that will confront her with the greatest dilemma a daughter can imagine: protect or reveal the secret her father was hiding. 

Robbie Ain’t Right No More | 2023 | United States | Kyle Perritt | Indiana Premiere | A young girl’s brother returns from war with a most disturbing souvenir. 

Room Tone | 2023 | United States | Michael Gabriele | Indiana Premiere | When a sound guy’s attempt to capture “room tone” is constantly thwarted by the noisy antics of his coworkers, he takes extreme measures to achieve silence. 

Voyager | 2023 | Spain | Pablo Pagan | Indiana Premiere | When a shy, socially anxious night janitor, cleaning up after Barcelona’s affluent party crowd, discovers a mysterious drug that lets her shed the boundaries of her physical self, she breaks out of her isolation and opens herself up to the people she desires… but her newly gained freedom comes at a heavy price. 

INDIANA SPOTLIGHT 1

Explore the vibrant storytelling and compelling stories made by filmmakers with Indiana ties.

***Bike Story | 2024 | United States | Rocky Walls | World Premiere | When a bike shop owner and a filmmaker discover four vintage bicycles tucked away like time capsules in a dark corner of an old building, they take on the challenge of bringing them into the present while exploring the gripping nostalgia of bikes in the past. 

***From; To | 2023 | United States | Lee Durham | World Premiere | A subtle, poetic exploration of the filmmaker’s healing relationship with her grandfather, and their shared sense of home. 

¡HAWTHORNE! an indy west side story | 2024 | United States | Josh Chitwood | For over a century, Hawthorne has been a place where neighbors become friends. Nestled in the heart of the great west side, is a diverse portrait of people connected to the past and finding community in the present. 

***Heat + Meat | 2023 | United States | Joe Vella | World Premiere | “Heat + Meat” is a documentary about Neal Brown, a three-time James Beard Award Nominee and his recent passion for cooking over an open flame. Having run many successful restaurants, he finds joy in the simplicity of cooking for a few friends around a fire. 

***Housecats | 2023 | United States | Zac Cooper | World Premiere | A mother and daughter hide on their bathroom floor from uninvited guests, where they soon begin processing a recent grief. 

***The Invisible Crown | 2024 | United States | Amelia Kramer | World Premiere | “The Invisible Crown” follows Endometriosis warrior Hannah Lindgren as she wrestles with medical trauma, processes complex emotions, and explores methods of healing mind and body. 

***Little Liberty | 2024 | United States | Will Wertz, Kolton Dallas | World Premiere | “Little Liberty” is a little peek into Tim’s little Statue of Liberty Museum. 

Marionnettiste | 2023 | United States | Brandon Walsh | See behind the scenes when Los Angeles’ Bob Baker Marionette Theater comes to life. Told from the perspective of the marionettes that perform front and center, Marionettiste embodies the stories of performers and artists working in this intriguing craft. 

Physical Matters | 2024 | United States | Kurtis Bowersock | Married, marine scientists get the job of a lifetime; to dissect a freshly deceased whale. Issues that exist between them seep in and the gift this whale has to offer might be to science and matters of the heart. 

INDIANA SPOTLIGHT 2  

Explore the vibrant storytelling and compelling stories made by filmmakers with Indiana ties.

***The Art of Loss | 2024 | United States | Kathy Bruner | World Premiere | Laura Stevenson, an artist and professor, processes the grief of miscarriage by making art. She and her husband Eric unpack the pain that is rarely discussed publicly. 

Daniel | 2024 | United States | Alex Rodgers | This is a film about Daniel. A man, his hobbies, and his impact on the community of Indianapolis 

***Places We Knew | 2023 | Japan, United Kingdom | Oliver William Staton | World Premiere | A young Japanese American returns to his childhood home in Japan and reunites with his estranged mother and uncle. As he navigates the challenges of reconnecting with his family, he faces a difficult decision. 

Sack Race With Knives: The Curious Art of Kevin Titzer | 2023 | United States | Jordan Barclay  | Indiana Premiere | Join sculpture artist Kevin Titzer on a race against time as he creates a monumental art installation, captured by documentary filmmaker Jordan Barclay in a mesmerizing journey of gathering materials and meticulous assembly. 

Samuel Plato: Preserving a Legacy | 2023 | United States | Elise Masters | As the first African-American architect in Indiana, Samuel Plato overcame the racial restrictions of the early 20th century. Preserving Plato’s deteriorating buildings is crucial to remembering his legacy. 

Saving Superman | 2024 | United States | Adam Oppenheim & Samuel-Ali Mirpoorian | When a local man with autism known as the town hero faces eviction, the community comes together when he needs saving. 

Stargazing | 2023 | United States | Ethan Gill | This music video is a culmination of research around the life of Elizabeth Breckenridge (1843-1910) who lived and worked as a paid domestic service for in the home of Indiana University’s first president for over 50 years. Explore Breckenridge’s life through poetry, prose, and musical performance. 

THE SUGARMAN | 2024 | United States | Michael Husain | Midwest Premiere |  The free-spirited Olympic Gold Medalist boxer Sugar Ray Seales loses his eyesight and career until finding the surgeon who can give him one last shot. 

KIDS PROGRAM

Embark on a fun journey of family-friendly films!

COQUILLE | 2023 | France | Justine AUBERT, Cassandra BOUTON, Grégoire CALLIES,  Maud CHESNEAU, Anna DANTON, Loic GIRAULT, Gatien PEYRUDE, Justine RAUX | Indiana Premiere | In a French rocky inlet, Bernard, a small and selfish hermit crab loses his shell. He will has to face dangers of the beach to find an other one. In the company of a weird little crab which helps protecting him, both will lives multiples adventures that will befriend them.  

Fiego and the Magic Fish | 2024 | Belgium | Joe Murray | Midwest Premiere | An Italian fisherman catches a magic fish and is granted wishes to give his wife the “good life” A reimagining of the German tale A Fisherman’s Wife. 

***Gruff | 2024 | United States | Julian Curi | World Premiere | A super spy risks life and limb around the world for applause from her gruff Dad, but learns the hard way: not everyone shows love the same. 

Lola | 2024 | United States | Grace Hanna | Midwest Premiere | A thirteen-year-old science prodigy is on a mission to cure her grandmother’s dementia by traveling inside her grandma’s mind to save one precious memory they have together. 

LUKi & the Lights | 2023 | United States | Toby Cochran | Indiana Premiere | LUKi, a charming and upbeat robot known for living life to the fullest, confront a life-altering ALS diagnosis. 

The Mayfly | 2023 | United States | Sue Perrotto | Midwest Premiere | The Mayfly is an animated short film about the brief life of Megalyn Mayfly that touches upon the essence of life, passion and defiance of societal norms. ​

THE SWINEHERD  | 2023 | Denmark | Magnus Igland MØLLER, Peter SMITH | Indiana Premiere | Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Swineherd” as you have never seen it before! In this entirely goofy and funny version of H.C. Andersen’s famous fairy tale “The Swineherd”, we meet the young swineherd who sits and looks after the king’s pigs.  

Vroom Vroom | 2024 | United States | Alec Deland | Indiana Premiere | A romantic kid acts on his plan to evade his babysitter and commandeers his parents’ sports car to take his crush out on a cruise. A Family-genre, Non-spoken-language-bound film.

The Queenʻs Flowers | 2024 | United States | Ciara Leinaʻala Lacy | Midwest Premiere | A magical take on a true story, “The Queen’s Flowers” is an animated short adventure for kids that follows Emma, a Native Hawaiian girl in 1915 Honolulu, as she makes a special gift for the last monarch of Hawai`i, Queen Lili`uokalani. 

LEGACY 

Profound stories of legacy, tradition and heritage across cultures and generations.

The Hongfu Hotel | 2024 | United States | Tian Xu | Midwest Premiere | A son reunites with his father on the eve of their family hotel’s demolition and is asked to bid farewell to the lingering spirits of the hotel’s past guests.

How to Sue the Klan | 2024 | United States | John Beder | Indiana Premiere | America’s first hate group, the Ku Klux Klan, dealt out hatred and violence for over a century without penalty – until five Black women and a young Black civil rights lawyer finally forced them to pay for their crimes. The strength of these women and the groundbreaking 1982 civil case set forth by their attorney established a legal precedent that paved the road for today’s fight against organized hate. 

*Sarcelles, Nord | 2023 | France | Samuel Berrebi | U.S. Premiere | On Rosh Hashanah, the new year of the Hebrew calendar, Isaac realizes that he has lost a fish head, essential for prayer. However, everything is already closed and he has only a few hours left before he is reunited with his mother. Isaac has no choice if he doesn’t want to disappoint her, he must find one and at any cost! 

**When There Are No  Words | 2024 | United States, Colombia | Gabriella Canal | North American Premiere | When her grandfather loses his voice to cancer, filmmaker Gabriella Canal captures the personal journey before and after his procedure, revealing a portrait of grief and resilience as her family’s patriarch loses what once defined him. 

LET’S BE HONEST

Embrace unfiltered honesty and perspectives across this thought-provoking collection.

***Are WE Beautiful?  | 2024 | United States | Tiarra Smith  | World Premiere | Are WE Beautiful?” is an exploration of the way societal views affect the Black self-image. Told through a series of interviews with real New Yorkers of different ages, and gender expressions exploring and discussing the titular question: are we beautiful? 

BITE | 2024 | United States, Canada | Jorey Worb | Midwest Premiere | A woman who loses her identity to PTSD sets out to regain her identity by overcoming her trauma. Based on the writer/director’s personal experience. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, noun: a disability due to a psychological reaction occurring after experiencing a highly stressing event (such as physical violence, or an assault) that is usually characterized by depression, anxiety, dissociation, flashbacks, recurrent nightmares, and avoidance of reminders of the event. abbreviation PTSD. 

***Goose | 2024 | United States | Ethan Edwards | World Premiere | A young author is confronted by a friend from college who feels that they have been copy-and-pasted into the writer’s soon to be published debut. ​

Merci, Poppy | 2023 | United States | Hanna Gray Organschi | Midwest Premiere | A scrappy assistant reaches her breaking point when her charismatic filmmaker boss blows off her request for a promotion. 

Pillow Talk | 2023 | United States |  Mathilde Hauducoeur  | Midwest Premiere | When Margot unsuccessfully reenacts moves from her self defense class with her boyfriend, fear rears its ugly head and she imagines the worst about her best friend Cami’s one night stand. Together, the two women process their experiences with the intimacy that only female friendship has. 

Ruthless Blade | 2023 | China | Bo Zhang | Midwest Premiere | A cat imagines himself as a white tiger swordsman fighting its archenemy in the dream, only to discover unexpected ties and buried emotions as the feline fantasy unfolds. 

Sopa Fria | 2023 | Portugal, France | Marta Monteiro | Midwest Premiere | A woman victim of domestic violence looks back at the years when she was married, recalling how difficult it was to stay afloat. 

LOVE & ROMANCE

Witness love’s twists and turns in this mix of missed and made connections.

BOUSSA ( The Kiss) | 2023 | Algeria, France, Qatar | Azedine KASRI | Midwest Premiere | Meriem and Reda are two Algerian lovers, who have still not managed to exchange a kiss. This simple desire will turn into a real obstacle course. The remaining question is: are they going to make it? 

Broken Hearts | 2023 | United Kingdom | Julie Magnaudet | Indiana Premiere | A young woman, desperate for connection and a regular at the Broken Hearts Hospital, finds herself prescribed a love-cynical rebound. 

Chauncey | 2023 | United States | Daniel Rashid | Indiana Premiere | Zoe is afraid to introduce her new boyfriend to her old stuffed animal, Chauncey. 

Love in the Time of Migration | 2024 | United States, Guatemala | Erin Semine Kökdil, Chelsea Good Abbas | Indiana Premiere | Ronny and Suly are in love. The only problem is that Ronny is in the US, while Suly is in Guatemala. “Love in the Time of Migration” illustrates the modern day romance between two individuals from a community deeply impacted by migration, and asks the question: Can love conquer all? 

Somewhere in between | 2023 | France, Egypt | Dahlia Nemlich | Indiana Premiere | Facing their imminent separation, Elias and Christiane dive into their memories for one final goodbye. 

Unhinged | 2023 | Ireland | Zoë Brennan Whitmore | Midwest Premiere | Following a recent sighting of her office crush on a dating app on the eve of his leaving party, an overthinking millennial searches for reassurance that her feelings are reciprocated before it’s too late. 

MUSIC

Experience the intersection of music and storytelling.

All Things Metal | 2024 | United States | Motoki Otsuka | Midwest Premiere | Three brothers operate a metal forge together, crafting heirloom Iron-work. After hours, they play in a heavy metal band that reflects a unique approach to life and art. Their creative impulses come from a unique childhood marked by a shared disability.  

***ARMEA | 2024 | Fiji  | Letila Mitchell | World Premiere | Through music and dance, Rotuman artists work with their elders to create new ceremonies and renew and revitalize stories of land and ocean. 

À toi les oreilles | 2024 | Canada | Alexandre Isabelle | Midwest Premiere | While the townsfolk are celebrating the village’s anniversary parade, Étienne tries the impossible: to show them how beautiful his family’s cacophony really is. 

Clodagh | 2024 | Ireland, United Kingdom | Portia A. Buckley | Indiana Premiere | A lonely priest’s housekeeper encounters a young girl of exceptional talent. 

Instruments of a Beating Heart | 2024 | Japan | Ema Ryan Yamazaki | Midwest Premiere | First graders in a Tokyo elementary school face a challenge for the final semester: performing “Ode to Joy” at the ceremony for the incoming first graders. Ayame, who often struggles to keep up, is determined to play a major part. 

NATURE & CONSERVATION

Artistic and thought-provoking approaches to major issues facing our world today.

A Symphony of Tiny Lights | 2024 | United States | Dominic Gill and Nadia Gill | Indiana Premiere | After witnessing the 1971 oil spill in San Francisco Bay, John Francis is determined to travel across America on foot–and in silence. 

Broken Wings | 2023 | Indonesia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates | Jorik Dozy, Sil van der Woerd | Indiana Premiere | The untold story of bird poaching in Southeast Asia. Forests are emptied on a massive scale, threatening more than 1,500 bird species with extinction. Yet almost nobody knows about it. 

Dream to Cure Water | 2024 | Slovenia | Ciril Jazbec | Midwest Premiere | As Peru’s glaciers vanish, two remote mountain communities merge tradition and science, battling climate change’s impact to preserve water sources and ensure sustainable livelihoods. 

The Last Ranger | 2024 | South Africa, United States | Cindy Lee (producer below is primary contact) | Indiana Premiere | When young Litha is introduced to the magic of a game reserve by the last remaining ranger, they are ambushed by poachers. In the ensuing battle to save the rhinos, Litha discovers a terrible secret.  

Sandcastles | 2024 | United States, Singapore | Carin Jin-Yi Leong | Midwest Premiere | As Singapore reclaims land to expand urban development, a town bearing its name on the other side of the world lies buried under sand. 

OSCAR® SHORTS

Watch a curated selection of recent Oscar®-recognized short films under the stars at Newfields!

The Barber of Little Rock | 2023 | United States | John Hoffman, Christine Turner | “The Barber of Little Rock” explores the racial wealth gap in America through the story of People Trust, a homegrown community bank in Little Rock, Arkansas, working to uplift a community that has been largely excluded from the financial engines that create wealth. World premiere and Jenni Berebitsky Legacy Award Winner at Indy Shorts 2023 and was nominated for an Academy Award. 

The Last Repair Shop | 2023 | United States | Ben Proudfoot, Kris Bowers | Indiana Premiere | In a nondescript warehouse in the heart of Los Angeles, a dwindling handful of devoted craftspeople maintain over 80,000 student musical instruments, the largest remaining workshop in America of its kind. Meet four unforgettable characters whose broken-and-repaired lives have been dedicated to bringing so much more than music to the schoolchildren of the recording capital of the world. 2024 Academy Award winner from multi-time alumnus and 2023 Pioneering Spirit Award Winner Ben Proudfoot.

Ninety-five Senses | 2023 | USA | Jerusha Hess, Jared Hess | An ode to the body’s five senses, delivered by a death-row inmate with little time left to enjoy them. Tim Blake Nelson and a diverse team of animators from Latin America and the U.S. bring to life this bittersweet tale of regret and redemption, from visionary duo Jerusha and Jared Hess. Official Selection at the 2023 Indy Shorts and 2024 Academy Award nominee. 

OVERCOMING

Documentaries from around the world featuring profound stories of strength through adversity.

A Divine Journey | 2023 | United States, Malawi | Annette M. King | Midwest Premiere | “A Divine Journey” profiles a Rwandan refugee, Divine Mugisha, striving to overcome the hardships of living at a refugee camp all her life. The story follows her heroic journey as she sets out to study psychology to better mental health in her refugee community in Malawi.  

A Family Portrait, Queens | 2023 | United Kingdom | Billy Silva | Midwest Premiere | A glimpse into the life of a recent widow juggling work, homeschooling three sons, and financial struggles. Through her boys’ resiliency and the special bond the family shares, she rediscovers a sense of optimism and joy. 

Note of Defiance | 2023 | Ukraine, United Kingdom | Brian Henderson | Indiana Premiere | A ballet dancer and a violinist use their art as a means of cultural survival and defiance amid continuing upheaval in Kharkiv, Ukraine. 

***Taking Care | 2023 | United States | James Keach | World Premiere | The story of Lauren Miller Rogen and Seth Rogen’s courtship and marriage as their families face the complexities and heartbreak of Lauren’s mother’s advancing early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Through intimate interviews and supporting footage of their entertainment industry friends and colleagues, the film sheds warmth and light on Alzheimer’s through storytelling, celebrity comedy, medical insights and abiding love. 

PERSPECTIVES

Unique points of view to enlighten, surprise, or empathize.

Alarms | 2024 | France | Nicolas Panay | Pierre is diligently overseeing the completion of the tumultuous construction site under his responsibility. An eco-district is due to arise from this bustling construction site. But for now, Pierre is ensuring that progress doesn’t come at the cost of safety. 

**Just Kids | 2024 | United Kingdom, Italy | Alessandro Riconda | North American Premiere | Alisha is tired of being the only girl on the rugby pitch, but after clashing with yet another boy unwilling to lose to her, she realizes how important it is for her to keep playing. 

Smoke | 2023 | United States | Joshua Gallas | Indiana Premiere | A firefighter returns home after the most difficult shift of his life.  

Veo Veo A Family | 2023 | United States | Laura Kosann | Midwest Premiere | A Latina nanny and an upper class Manhattan Mother challenge the definition of family with a profound bond; one that is suddenly tested by a reminder of the nanny’s past family tragedy. 

The White Rabbit | 2024 | United State | Michael Marantz | Midwest Premiere | Rachel and Travis, a couple from Brooklyn, move with their kids to a quiet New Jersey neighborhood, hoping for serenity. Instead, they find themselves living next to a mobster whose daughter owns a white rabbit. After an unusual murder, Rachel is driven to extreme actions to protect her family. 

Wouldn’t Make It Any Other Way | 2024 | United States | Hao Zhou | Indiana Premiere | Having built a colorful, queer life in Iowa, an aspiring costume designer visits their island homeland, Guam, to make costumes for a children’s theatre and reconnect with distant parents. 

QUIRKY TALES

Witness eclectic, wild and surprising live-action short films.

Border Hopper | 2023 | United States, Spain, Argentina | Nico Casavecchia | Indiana Premiere | When a Latinx filmmaker is offered a dream job abroad, she discovers a supernatural way to navigate the U.S. immigration system and get the coveted travel permit she needs. But what seems like a magic solution soon shows unexpected consequences. 

The Candy Lady | 2023 | United States | Monique Morton Derouselle | Indiana Premiere | A neighborhood candy lady’s normal day goes awry when she awakens an antique magical typewriter, that brings her short stories to life. Chaos ensues as the The Candy Lady, her nephew, and her handy man encounter the characters that jumped off the page into the real world. 

Crust | 2023 | Germany | Jens Kevin Georg | Midwest Premiere | Twelve-year-old Fabi has to finally prove himself as part of the family – by getting his first scar. 

Ham | 2023 | United Kingdom | Fiona Hampton | Indiana Premiere | A dark comedy with a magical twist, “Ham” explores motherhood, friendship, and what it means to be an adult. 

Jellyfish and Lobster | 2023 | United Kingdom | Yasmin Afifi | Indiana Premiere | Brought together serendipitously in a moment of mischief, two elderly care home residents form an unlikely relationship when they make an enchanted discovery. 

WAVERING | 2023 | France | Fanny Chesnel | Midwest Premiere | A toilet seat is thrown into the river, drifting through La Seine. From Paris to Le Havre, two bin collectors, a couple in crisis and three children passionate about fishing magnet will try to stop it…

SCI-FI & ALTERNATE REALITIES

Dive into captivating domains with these mind-bending narratives, dystopian futures, and alternate realities.

*The Call | 2023 | United Kingdom | Riffy Ahmed | U.S. Premiere | During a difficult visit to her single immigrant mother, Athena discovers that what she thought was age-related mental decline is in fact an inherited magical gift. 

***Corn | 2023 | Egypt | Youssef Mahmoud | World Premiere | The journey of fear and struggle of “Kernel K-500”. Who rebels against the cruelty of apartheid and the condescending perception of his kind. Moments before his salvation, the unforeseen unfolds. 

*Leaf | 2023 | Netherlands | Thom Lunshof | U.S. Premiere | “Leaf” tells the story of Nora and her son Sil who set out to find one of the last green habitats in a future parched Earth. But when Sil undergoes a strange physical change during their journey through the merciless heat, Nora’s fear grows of what they will find on the other side of the desert.  

The replacement | 2023 | Spain | Alberto Ortega | Midwest Premiere | The fourth technological revolution is already underway and the new robotic workers are taking over our jobs. At only 45 years old, Nicolas has already been replaced and is unable to adapt to his premature retirement. To help him, he is visited by ANN, an emotional bot that will put his violent survival instinct to the test. 

***Sardinia | 2024 | United States, Poland | Paul Kowalski | World Premiere | A serious man tries to avoid catching a deadly laughing plague in a growingly polarized and dystopian society. 

Sincopat | 2023 | Spain | Pol Diggler | Ona is about to launch the latest technological revolution into the market: a device that allows listening to music directly inside the brain. 

SELF-CARE

Stories of self-discovery, health, well-being and moving forward.

Can | 2024 | United States | Kailee McGee | Midwest Premiere | Filmmaker Kailee McGee reexamines her relationship with reality, art, and self while battling breast cancer. She turns to the only way she knows how to heal — creating a version of her journey for the big screen. 

The Cockroach | 2024 | United States  | Mary Pat Bentel | Midwest Premiere | After a body altering accident, a woman must find a way forward in her new reality. 

**The Journey Of Self | 2023 | United Kingdom | Evie Golding | North American Premiere | Set in one room, spanning over the course of one year, the traumatic inner turmoil of one young women is exposed though the lens of therapy. As she questions her sense of self and belonging in the world. 

**I’m Perfectly Fine | 2023 | Netherlands, Belgium | Dario van Vree | North American Premiere | When illustrator Maya suffers a burnout, she is faced with her deepest fear: she can no longer be perfect. In a personal quest, through much trial and error, she learns how to be ‘good enough’ instead. 

Vlog | 2024 | United States | Yvonne Strahovski | Midwest Premiere | Our heroine juggles her chaotic #momlife and blossoming Mommy social media Vlog. Walking the line between her real self and her social media self.  Her and her husband get a surprise – she is pregnant. Again. With baby #3.

They’re both overjoyed but the juggle becomes more of a struggle when morning sickness, constant nausea and fatigue set in. On one particularly difficult morning her son grabs her phone as she is attempting to record her Vlog. The very real, raw and not so perfect mom moment is accidentally uploaded to her channel in all the chaos. The next morning when she realizes what happened, she is mortified. How her followers react, may just be her biggest surprise yet. 

SPORTS

Celebrate the world of sports across these powerful documentaries.

***In The Paint | 2024 | United States | Jonathan Cipiti | World Premiere | “In The Paint” is a story about mentorship, hard work, and encouragement following the journey of coach Justin Fatica as he coaches a boys’ basketball team impacting the players lives on and off the court. In The Paint shows how a broken world filled with division, racism, and fatherlessness can be restored to fullness and life through mentorship, brotherhood, encouragement, and loving others. 

Let Them Play | 2024 | United States | Palmer Morse | Midwest Premiere | With the help of his coach, a young baseball player works through and reflects on the effects of bullying by previous coaches and peers. Told from the perspectives of coach, parent, and player, Let Them Play explores the intricate and affirming aspects of positive coaching that can support children both on and off the field. 

The Smart Diver | 2023 | United States | Vivian Ip | Midwest Premiere | An intimate dive into the life of Eleanor Smart, from conquering heights and personal demons to training new talents of tomorrow, as she makes an indelible mark in the world on her terms. 

Through The Storm | 2024 | United States | Charles Frank | Indiana Premiere | “Through the Storm” follows the 2023 season of the Red Lake Nation (Ojibwe) high school football team. Despite dwindling interest and a two-decade-long losing record, a determined coach and group of young athletes fight to keep their football program alive. 

We Clap for Airballs | 2024 | United States | Sai Selvarajan | Indiana Premiere | “We Clap For Airballs” is a layered documentary – visually, expressively, and thematically—where the basketball court is a safe space for queer and trans BIPOC people to play, feel seen, and valued by one another. With Swish, healing in community happens on the blacktop.

SPOTLIGHT: BALL STATE UNIVERSITY RADIANCE CINEMA

Check out the brand new shorts from Ball State University’s Radiance Cinema!

***Chemistry | 2024 | United States | Courtney Simmons | World Premiere | A classic enemies-to-lovers story about two college women. There is only one thing that stands in the way, one is the other’s tutor. 

***Cliché | 2024 | United States of America | Elizabeth Shepard | World Premiere | Prisoner acts out his slasher screenplay to ensure its believability. Loser and Superhero find themselves part of the finale as Prisoner leads them through his kills, explaining his visions, and tries to decide which one will be his final girl.

***Coming Out For Real | 2024 | United States | Meghan Sandifer | World Premiere | “Coming Out For Real” follows Sophie as she navigates the challenge of coming out to her family with the support of her best friend, Jackie. Through humor and heartfelt moments, Sophie finds the courage to embrace her true self. 

***Halle and Eliza’s Promtastic Adventure | 2024 | United States | Logan Browning | World Premiere | Teenagers Halle and Eliza must sneak off to their High School Prom after running into trouble. Don’t worry… hijinks ensue.  

***HIVENET | 2024 | United States | Robert Lee | World Premiere | In a world where digital connection is everything, Rayzr must race against the clock to reconnect. 

***Leftovers | 2024 | United States | Elizabeth Reed | World Premiere | During a 1950s barbecue, newlywed Barbra “accidentally” murders her husband. Upon learning about the tragedy, her best friends gather around her and hide the evidence from both the men at the party and Nancy, the detective’s wife. 

***LISTEN | 2024 | United States | Matthew Barton | World Premiere | A young woman begins to uncover the mystery of a cassette tape left by her estranged father, causing her to question the sanity of her father and face the dark forces that lie outside our world. 

***One Week | 2024 | United States | Wyatt Long  | World Premiere | Nathan discovers he has a tumor and must go throw the struggles within himself and discover a new meaning of life.  

SPOTLIGHT: CHILDREN’S RESILIENCE

Witness the incredible resilience and unwavering spirit of children as they overcome challenges and find strength in unexpected places. Presented in partnership with Shine Global.

1 UP | 2023 | United Kingdom | Greg Francis | Midwest Premiere | While dealing with the loss of his father, 15-year-old Andrew struggles to support his grieving mother through her emotional turmoil-and as his world slowly begins to fracture, he searches for guidance and connection through his late father’s record collection. 

A Short Film About Kids | 2023 | Palestine | Ibrahim Handal | Indiana Premiere | Four kids from the refugee camp in Bethlehem decide to visit the sea for the first time in their life. 

Makayla’s Voice: A Letter to the World | 2023 | United States | Julio Palacio | Indiana Premiere | In the heartwarming short documentary, “Makayla’s Voice: A Letter to the World”, we are introduced to a remarkable young girl whose spirit and determination defy all expectations. Makayla, a teenage girl, has spent her life grappling with a rare form of autism that rendered her essentially nonverbal. However, her parents, filled with unwavering belief in their daughter’s potential, embarked on a transformative journey to discover the true depth of Makayla’s inner world. 

Unibrow | 2023 | Canada | Nedda Sarshar | Indiana Premiere | An Irani-Canadian girl is forced to rethink her relationship with her unibrow and her Irani heritage, when she is forced to make friends with the new girl from Iran. 

SPOTLIGHT: FESTIVAL FORMULA

Celebrating their 10-year anniversary, Festival Formula helps filmmakers navigate the worldwide festival circuit through trusted insight and strategy. This co-curated selection of client films features an impressive range of genre and story.

***11:01 | 2024 | United Kingdom, Greece | Jimi Drosinos | World Premiere | A former dancer returns to her hometown, encountering an unexpected heartwarming connection with a girl who has Down syndrome. 

Cruel Sea | 2023 | Norway | Tobias Bye | Midwest Premiere | Way up north, out at sea, Skjalg and Storm try to make a living. Their patience is tested after not catching anything in their net, again. Storm longs back to shore, but there’s something more beguiling below the surface of the sea, he comes to realize. 

*If Not Now, When? | 2023 | United Kingdom | Nick Tree | U.S. Premiere | Ruth will stop at nothing to realise the possibilities of time-travel. Shunned online and discredited by her peers, when she becomes the subject of a documentary it soon transpires that a darker reality is at the core of her obsession. 

**Family Portrait of the Black Earth | 2024 | Bulgaria | Ivan Popov-Zaeka | North American Premiere | After undergoing cancer surgery an old lady is desperate to find a replacement for her missing breast and entrusts her husband with the task. In the ensuing funny camaraderie wholesomeness breeds love and hope. 

The Hearts of Bwindi | 2023 | Uganda, United Kingdom | Charli Doherty | Indiana Premiere | The Hearts of Bwindi is a poetic celebration of the remarkable biodiversity of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda, and the tireless dedication of the people who unite to protect it. 

**Wolf | 2024 | United Kingdom | Chris Blaine, Ben Blaine | North American Premiere | When Brian and Sammy, best friends since high school, meet up for their yearly Halloween night of trick or treating, Sammy needs to accept that growing up means the future of their friendship might look a little different for them. 

SPOTLIGHT: INDIANA HUMANITIES UNEARTHED COHORT

The premiere of “Unearthed” short films from Indiana Humanities encourage Hoosiers to discover and discuss their relationships with the natural world.

***Finding Our Sense Of Place In Madison County | 2024 | United States | James E. Moriarty | World Premiere | The landscape in Indiana plays a significant role in the identity of Hoosiers, especially the twenty-mile stretch of the White River that flows through Madison County. Its beautiful geography has a rich history, with many people using it to connect with nature and for spiritual reflection.

For centuries, individuals have utilized this Indiana landscape to contemplate and commune with the natural world, positively impacting their psychological and spiritual well-being and bolstering their mental health and happiness. The communities who created these revered locations have established a lasting sense of place, ensuring that Indiana residents will always feel a connection to this region in Madison County. The film was made possible by a grant from the Indiana Humanities.   

***Grown In Gary | 2024 | United States | Raymar Brunson | World Premiere | A classic Hoosier story of farms, faith, friends, and community…told with a Calumet twist! “Grown In Gary” documents a growing movement in Northwest Indiana.

***Launching the Lagoon | 2024 | United States | Jessica Renslow | World Premiere | Nestled in Gary, Indiana’s Marquette Park, the Lagoon Outlook Garden (LOG), is a sensory experience for people of all ages and abilities. “Launching the Lagoon” highlights this community project to showcase how private-public partnerships that source ideas from their citizens can become places of refuge and restoration. 

Regenerate Indiana: Land and People Made Whole | 2024 | United States | Trace Engbrecht | “Regenerate Indiana: Land and People Made Whole” explores the interconnectedness of land and people through the perspectives of incarcerated college students at Moreau College (MCI), an undergraduate degree program of Holy Cross College situated in Westville Correctional Facility. 

***ROOT BLACK | 2024 | United States | Man | World Premiere | A poetic documentary weaves through times to explore the relationship between African Americans and the natural world by highlighting our agrarian heritage rife with both beauty and pain. 

***Symbiotic Hum | 2024 | United States | Jessica Dunn & Landon Caldwell | World Premiere | Symbiotic Hum (dir. Dunn & Caldwell) is an audiovisual poem that celebrates Indiana’s native biodiversity. Through animation, soundscapes, poetry, and macro/microscope videography, the film takes audiences on an enchanting exploration of the natural world from new perspectives. 

***Worm Land | 2024 | United States | Will Wertz | World Premiere | In Worm Land, farmer Keith Miller champions sustainable agriculture, embracing no-till practices and advocating for nightcrawlers – not the little wigglers. As he faces retirement, he reflects on a lifetime dedicated to the land. 

SPOTLIGHT: THE NEW YORKER

Known for showcasing short docs that offer uncommon perspectives on global issues, the latest slate of short films from The New Yorker spark curiosity via The Screening Room.

Denial | 2023 | United States | Paul Moakley | Indiana Premiere | Arizona’s republican Chairman, Bill Gates, lived in relative obscurity until Trump contested the 2020 election results. In a short documentary with unprecedented access, we follow Gates through a fight to uphold the integrity of the vote, setting the stakes for the future of democracy. 

Frank | 2023 | United States | David Gauvey Herbert | Midwest Premiere | At 99 years old, Frank Lucianna is America’s oldest practicing attorney. He’s now preparing for his final criminal trial. 

IT’S OKAY | 2024 | United States | David France | Midwest Premiere | As hate and violence grow around the globe, Drag Story Hour has emerged as a way to promote reading and acceptance among kids. We step into the experience of two young brothers in this quiet exploration of a deafening subject. 

Proof of Concept | 2023 | United States | Max Cohn and Ellie Sachs | Indiana Premiere | An aspiring auteur tries coaxing her dad and uncle into financing her first short film but winds up raising more questions than dollars. 

Public Defender | 2024 | United States | Andrea Kalin | Midwest Premiere | What happens when a liberal public defender represents right-wing January 6th rioters? “Public Defender” takes on America’s epidemic of division and misinformation with humanity and comic relief, showing how to restore trust and accountability one conversation at a time. 

To Be Invisible | 2023 | United States | Myah Overstreet | Indiana Premiere | For over three years, Alexis and Kellie have demanded the return of their children. With the help of a former social worker turned parent advocate, Alexis and Kellie fight to reunite with their children after they were removed from their homes. 

SUMMER VIBES

Indulge in the sun-soaked spirit of summer with this collection of shorts!

And The Ocean Agreed | 2023 | Australia | Tanya Modini | Midwest Premiere | Vina is fading away, lost to dementia, but on a rare outing to the ocean, she finds herself and a chance for freedom. 

Back Home | 2023 | France, Algeria, Germany | Nasser Bessalah | Midwest Premiere | In a small village in North Algeria, Nouria meets Abdel, a French young man who lives and works there. After a lost bet, they both ride their moped along the Mediterranean coast, expecting to get on the boat that will take them back to France. 

***Cabaret Spectacular | 2024 | United States | Thomas Meyer | World Premiere | At a vibrant resort, a fussy bachelor in the twilight of his life fumbles his way through poker tournaments and eccentric tropical nights in a relentless quest for love. 

Martin Shapes | 2024 | United States | Brian Olliver | Midwest Premiere | Surfboard shaper Josh Martin navigates a complicated path towards mastery and self-acceptance. 

Palestine Islands | 2023 | France | Nour Ben Salem & Julien Menanteau | Indiana Premiere | Maha, 12, is part of the last generation of Palestinian refugees from the Balata camp. Following a faintness from her blind grandfather, she imagines a crazy project: to make him believe that the wall of separation has fallen and that a return to his native land is possible. With the help of her friends from the camp, the young girl imagines a funny trip for him… 

TELLING OUR STORIES

Witness diverse viewpoints across these artistic and deeply personal stories.

A Home on Every Floor | 2023 | Norway | Signe Rosenlund-Hauglid | Indiana Premiere | Poet Hanna Asefaw grew up in a municipal flat in Oslo with her Eritrean family in the late 90s. Through an electrifying spoken word performance, she visits her childhood universe reimagined in miniature, and reflects on community, diversity and belonging-and the political indifference that broke it apart. 

Bearing Witness: A Name & A Voice | 2023 | United States | Dina Rudick | Midwest Premiere | Bearing Witness: A Name & A Voice explores the ‘who’ behind the ‘who-what-when-where-why’ of the media through four intersecting portraits of newspaper journalists and the stories that haunt them. 

The Brown Dog | 2024 | United States | Jamie-James Medina | Midwest Premiere | A night watchman (voiced by Michel K. Williams) clocks into a lonely security booth and spends his nights composing endless security logs to stay awake. But as daylight approaches, he is haunted by a mysterious brown dog. Executive produced by Steve Buscemi.

Hindsight | 2024 | Ukraine, United States | Max Rykov | Midwest Premiere | A visual meditation on the memories of two young Ukrainians emerging from the fall of the Iron Curtain. Hindsight looks at the fragility of our roots, the impermanence of our cultures, and the transience of our freedom through the lens of a VHS camera in the late 1990s. 

Hoteling | 2024 | United States | Ryan Buffa | Midwest Premiere | In a desperate bid for stability and reunification, 13-year-old Eli must navigate his stay in a hotel by the Department of Family and Children Services while awaiting placement in a foster home and rely on his guardian, Matt, to overcome his trauma and learning disabilities as he prepares for a visit with his younger brother Isaiah. 

THE HUMAN SPIRIT

Watch the indomitable strength of the human spirit across these extraordinary stories!

Anuja | 2024 | India, United States | Adam J. Graves | Midwest Premiere | When a precocious nine-year-old orphan who works in a back-alley garment factory is offered a rare chance to attend boarding school, she faces a choice that will determine the fate of her future and her family. 

Deep in My Heart is a Song | 2024 | United States | Jonathan Pickett | Indiana Premiere | An aging country musician who’s struggling to make ends meet receives an offer for an unusual private gig. Based on the life of cowboy singer Johnny Bencomo, who plays himself in the film. 

***Edge of Space | 2024 | United States, Switzerland | Jean de Meuron | World Premiere | Set in 1961 during the height of the space race between the US and Soviet Union, an ambitious USAF test pilot is recruited by NASA for a daring suborbital mission in a X-15 hypersonic rocket-powered aircraft with astronomical implications. 

Motorcycle Mary | 2024 | United States | Haley Watson | Midwest Premiere | In the 1950s, Mary McGee found her sense of freedom when she became the first American woman to race motorcycles. Mary’s pioneering journey of conquering sexism and her own fears paved the way for the next chapter in motorsports. 

The Rebel Girls | 2024 | United States | Felicia D Henderson | Indiana Premiere | “The Rebel Girls” is the true story of the 1960s fight for Civil Rights through the eyes of the girls who reinvigorated the struggling movement through the power of magical thinking, friendship, faith, and fortitude. 

THE ICE CREAM MAN

Attend the World Premiere of this epic short film based on the story of Ersnt Cahn.

***The Ice Cream Man | 2024 | United States, The Netherlands | Robert Moniot | World Premiere | Shortly after the Nazi invasion of the Netherlands, a popular Jewish ice cream parlor owner, Ernst Cahn, finds himself targeted by the infamous “Butcher of Lyon,” Klaus Barbie. As his world crumbles, “The Ice Cream Man” faces a terrible choice…a choice that will reverberate throughout the country.  

THE UNEXPECTED

Expect the unexpected in these journeys of intrigue, surprise and revelations.

Bright White Light | 2024 | Finland | Henna Välkky and Eesu Lehtola | Indiana Premiere | “Bright White Light” explores near-death experiences through real audio recordings, unveiling the boundaries of life and the mysteries of the afterlife. 

*Chuff Chuff Chuff | 2024 | Taiwan, Macao | Chao Koi Wang | U.S. Premiere | The Hong Kong young man woke up. He found his home transformed into a train car. He felt like he was still dreaming. But the woman who spoke Mandarin said this was not his dream. 

guts | 2023 | United States | Margaux Susi | Midwest Premiere | Desperate for help, a woman in recovery asks an unlikely stranger on a dinner date. 

Jedo’s Dead | 2023 | United States | Sara Nimeh | Indiana Premiere | When a young middle eastern girl finds her grandfather dead, she is forced to grapple with the earthly rituals and spiritual loose ends of loss. 

The Masterpiece | 2024 | Spain | Álex Lora Cercos | Indiana Premiere | Leo and Diana, a rich couple, bring a broken TV to a recycle point. They meet Salif and his son, two scrap dealers. Diana asks them to come to their house to get more objects. Once there, Leo looks at them collecting objects with mistrust, until they see the scrap dealers have something they want. 

The Meaningless Daydreams of Augie & Celeste | 2024 | Australia | Pernell Marsden | U.S. Premiere | Two best friends embark on a high-stakes game of imagination, which takes an unforeseeable turn and threatens to jeopardise their relationship. 

***The Seagull (but like, not Chekhov) | 2024 | United States | Devon Wycoff | World Premiere | A patient struggles to see why an obvious pattern in his life is being perpetuated.  

SYNCOPE | 2023 | Switzerland | Linus von Stumberg | Indiana Premiere | After Whim makes it through the unconventional audition for the dance piece “SYNCOPE,” that turns out to be a live threatening spectacle. The dancers have to dance for their lives. 

Main Image: A still from “Taking Care” courtesy of Indy Shorts