Like many organizations, Heartland Film had to pivot hard because of the COVID-19 threat. But they came up with a creative solution to present their Indy Shorts International Film Festival. Next week the event kicks off with socially distanced screenings mixing virtual and drive-in sessions.

The festival lineup features 128 films curated into 18 programs. Among the official selection, 8 films were produced by Ball State students and alumni. Those shorts will be presented as part of the festival’s annual Indiana Spotlight Competition which will be divided in two programs.

Discover the amazing work created by fellow Cardinals (listed below) and chirp for them as they compete for a cash prize of $1,500! How, you ask? The Indiana Spotlight programs will be available online on-demand during the festival (July 21-26), and will play at the Tibbs Drive-In in Indianapolis on specific dates. Q&A sessions with filmmakers will also be offered. Film info, tickets and fest passes can be found here.

 * * *

Indiana Spotlight 1 program

  • Tibbs Drive-in: Thursday, July 23, 9:25 PM
  • Available online July 24-26
  • Filmmaker online Q&A: Saturday, July 25, 7:00 PM

Crafting A Community

· Director: Cole Callahan (BSU ‘19 TCOM), Quentin Basnaw (BSU ’19 TCOM), Producer: Clayton Easton, producer (BSU ’20 TCOM), Executive Producer: Chris Flook (TCOM faculty).
· Won an IASB College Broadcasting Competition Award 2020 (2nd place, video in-depth category)
· Genre: Documentary Short
· Summary: With philanthropy and collaboration at the core, Indiana is in the midst of a craft beer surge, brewers crafting a community of their own.

Screenshot: Crafting A Community

Screenshot from “Crafting a Community”. Provided by Heartland Film.

For Rose

· Directors: Selena Webb (BSU ’19 TCOM), Samantha Essex (BSU ’20 TCOM)
· Won multiple awards at Ball State’s Frog Baby Film Festival
· Genre: Narrative Short
· Summary: A single mother decides to leave one final gift for her daughter after finding out she is sick.

Our Wetlands: Working to Protect Us

· Producer: Grant Michael (BSU ’09)
· Genre: Documentary Short
· Summary: Meet the people putting “soul manure” into restoring and maintaining Indiana’s wetlands, helping the Indianapolis community enjoy and protect these amazing natural areas.

Screenshot: Our Wetlands

Screenshot from “Our Wetlands”. Provided by Heartland Film.

No Limits Leadership Club

· Producer: Grant Michael (BSU ’09)
· Genre: Documentary Short
· Note: Out of competition special presentation
·  Summary: Meet the students and staff from the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired as they join Heartland Film in Indianapolis to learn from each other, break down barriers, and help make films more accessible for everyone.

Indiana Spotlight 2 program

  • Tibbs Drive-in: Friday, July 25 at 9:25 pm
  • Available online July 25-26
  • Filmmaker online Q&A: Sunday, July 26 at 7:00 PM

Black Unscripted

· Director: Rachel Hardy (BSU ’14 TCOM, Honors College)
· Genre: Documentary Short
· Summary: Told through the personal stories of five individuals, Black Unscripted is a fearless exploration of the way America’s need to define blackness has challenged the identity of an entire community.

The Mailing List

· Director: Talon Reed Cooper (BSU ’20 TCOM, Theatre Production Directing), Executive Producer: Benjamin Strack (TCOM faculty)
· Genre: Narrative Short
· Summary: An individualistic college student signs up for a campus club’s email list, intending to never see them again. Little does he know that its members will do whatever it takes to make him feel like part of the family.

Screenshot: The Mailing

Screenshot from “The Mailing”. Provided by Heartland Film.

50 Little Birds

· Director: Hannah Lindgren (BSU ’13 TCOM, Anthropology, Honors College)
· Genre: Documentary Short
· Summary: After coming to terms with his mental health struggles, Indiana-based folk artist Geoff Davis uses art and nature to find his way back to his purpose.


·  Director: Glenn Pratt (BSU ’10 TCOM)
·  Genre: Narrative Short
·  Summary: A man from the future visits a scientist and tells her she’ll invent time travel, if she can attract her future husband.

Related Stories

Julia Ricci: From Film Studies Student to Senior Programmer at Heartland Film
Cardinal Cinema and Resilience in Times of Crisis
IASB names Ball State “Television School of the Year”, bestows 17 awards upon CCIM students
Alicia Herder: From Ball State to Sundance