What you should see at Indy Film Fest

The winning films from Indy Film Fest



A dramedy about French teenagers who want to be West Coast gangstas, a psychological thriller about a U.S. Air Force veteran that takes place in rural Indiana, a documentary about policy brutality across the United States, and a documentary about a homeless camp in Indianapolis are among the winners of the 2016 Indy Film Fest awards, announced on July 16. In addition to screenings of all of the winning features and shorts at the Indianapolis Museum of Art on the last day of the festival, Sunday, July 24, starting at 11 a.m., audiences can catch all of the films at least one other time throughout the festival.

Film festival organizers also announced on July 16 that next year’s festival will take place from July 13 to 23, 2017, and that the festival would begin taking submissions on July 17. While the festival doesn’t typically have a theme in terms of the movies that are selected by the screening committee, organizers will work with the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library in Indianapolis as a partner for the 2017 festival. To mark the 10th anniversary of Vonnegut’s death, the museum will be promoting The Year of Vonnegut, and Indy Film Fest is encouraging filmmakers to submit movies about what it means to be human and a global citizen, in honor of the Hoosier author.

For each of the four categories, World Cinema, American Spectrum, Documentary, and Hoosier Lens, five jury members decided on the winners. Each of the categories had five different panelists weigh in on their favorites. In addition, the Grand Jury was made up of an additional five people, including local film critics and arts journalists, to select which film would take home the top prize.

Among the winning filmmakers in attendance at the ceremony, who received belt buckles and cash prizes, was Steve Timm, a DePauw University professor and writer of Reparation. That film was the first film made in Indiana to win the Indy Film Fest American Spectrum prize for a feature.

“This was a film 22 years in the making,” says Timm, who collaborated with director Kyle Ham to adapt Timm’s play into the film. “While it means a lot to be recognized all over the country, it means more to be recognized in my own backyard.” The film has also won awards at the Sedona Film Festival, Santa Fe Film Festival, and Breckenridge Film Festival.

Director and co-producer of Under the Bridge: The Criminalization of Homelessness, Don Sawyer, whose film won best Hoosier Lens feature, also accepted on behalf of his film. “I wanted to dispel the rumors about homeless people,” says Sawyer, adding that he believed that “people who live here, other Hoosiers, would not be cool with the way homeless people are being treated,” if they could see it for themselves.

The winner of the Hoosier Lens award for a short film, Brenton Oechsle, who directed the 3-minute film, Undertaker, also accepted his award.

“This film came out of a difficult time in my family’s life,” he says, adding that "sometimes the stories that you seek out are not as powerful as those who find you." He also dedicated the film to his cousin who had passed away.

Winners and show times are below; all films will be shown at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

World Cinema:

West Coast, France, directed by Benjamin Weill, 1 hour, 20 minutes. 
Four small-town French teenagers who idolize the lifestyle of West Coast gangsta rappers go on a journey after one of them learns he’ll be moving away from their “gang” to start school in a new town. Also the winner of the Grand Jury Prize.
Thursday, July 21 at 5 p.m.
Sunday, July 24 at 11 a.m.

Alles Wird Gut, Austria, directed by Patrick Vollrath, 30 minutes
An 8-year-old girl senses something isn’t right when her divorced father picks her up for the weekend.
Friday, July 22 at 6 p.m. (included in the “Crime & Crime Again” shorts block)
Sunday, July 24 at 11 a.m.


American Spectrum:
Reparation, USA, filmed in Indiana (Putnam County), directed by Kyle Ham, 1 hour, 45 minutes.
A stranger shows up on a veteran’s doorstep, forcing him to confront his past. Filmed entirely in Indiana.
Monday, July 18 at 9:15 p.m.
Thursday, July 21 at 12:45 p.m.
Sunday, July 24 at 1:45 p.m.

Mine, USA, directed by Nick Dixon, 13 minutes. 
A shepherd steps on a landmine and must decide how he can get away without detonating the device.
Thursday, July 21 at 12:45 p.m. (included in the “War Stories” shorts block)
Sunday, July 24 at 1:45 p.m.


Do Not Resist, USA, directed by Craig Atkinson, 1 hour 13 minutes 
The Tribeca Film Fest winner of best documentary offers an intense look at current events when it comes to police forces in the United States, including the aftermath of the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. and police trainings that feature the concept of “righteous violence.”
Saturday, July 23 at 1:15 p.m.
Sunday, July 24 at 4:30 p.m.

Bacon & God’s Wrath, Canada, directed by Sol Friedman, 9 minutes. 
A 90-year-old woman prepares to eat non-Kosher meat for the first time.
Wednesday, July 20 at 1:30 p.m. (included in the “Giggle Fits” shorts block)
Sunday, July 24 at 4:30 p.m.

Hoosier Lens (any film made in Indiana or made by filmmakers with a connection to the Hoosier state):
Under the Bridge: The Criminalization of Homelessness, USA, filmed in Indianapolis, directed by Don Sawyer, 1 hour 14 minutes. 
Filmmakers capture the daily life of the 60-70 residents of a beleaguered homeless camp in Indianapolis as city government and police threaten to force the people to leave the place they’ve come to know as home.
Tuesday, July 19 9:15 p.m.
Saturday, July 23 at 5 p.m.
Sunday, July 24 at noon

Undertaker, USA, directed by Brenton Oechsle, 3 minutes. 
A mortician deals with loss.
Wednesday, July 20 at 11 a.m. (included in the “Souled Out” shorts block)
Wednesday, July 20 at 7 p.m. (included in the “Special Hoosier Shorts Block”)
Sunday, July 24 at noon


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