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April 26 -- May 4: The International Film Festival of Indianapolis!

This is going to be big, it's going to be important, and IndyBuzz will be devoting a lot of attention to it. In the meantime, check out this article from the Indianapolis Star:

December 10, 2005
"International film fest grows"

The Indianapolis International Film Festival will expand to four venues and run for nine days next year, from April 26 to May 4. The first festival at United Artists Circle Centre Theatre in 2004 included 16 shorts and five features in competition, and drew about 2,400 people. Fifty films from around the world were shown at the 2005 festival in April at Hollywood Bar & Filmworks, and attendance rose about 25 percent. For its third year, the festival has locked up the Eastern United States premiere of "Jewboy," an Australian film that will first be shown at the Sundance Film Festival; the Indiana premiere of the South African film "U-Carmen eKhayelitsha," a modern-day interpretation of Bizet's "Carmen"; and "Shanghai Dreams," director Xiaoshuai Wang's Jury Prize winner at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival.
The deadline for entries is Jan. 14. Festival director Brian Owens will announce the full slate of films in competition in March. There currently are movies from 31 countries and six continents in competition.
In 2006, films will be shown at Hollywood Bar & Filmworks (April 26-30), the Indiana Historical Society (April 26-27), the Indianapolis Museum of Art (April 26-30) and Landmark's Keystone Art Cinema & Indie Lounge (April 28-May 4).
Early-bird passports (all-access passes) are available by calling (317) 513-9379 between noon and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The passport is $75 if purchased by Dec. 30. After Dec. 30, passports are $85. For guaranteed delivery before Christmas, orders should be placed by Dec. 19.



Sundance favorite “Kinky Boots” among eight films announced.
Indianapolis, IN – In the first of four line-up announcements, the Indianapolis International Film Festival (IIFF) has confirmed eight premiere films to screen in the out-of-competition Premieres Program. Premiere films are studio films showing for the first time in Indiana, the Midwest, the Eastern United States, or the US. The Festival opens on Wednesday, April 26, and films conclude on Thursday, May 4. The Awards Ceremony and Closing Night Party will be held on Friday, May 5.

For 2006, the IIFF received 298 films for consideration from 50 nations. These numbers represent an increase of 204% over 2005. The line-up of short films in competition will be announced on February 15. Feature films in competition will be announced February 28. The remaining ten premiere films will be announced on March 15.

Festival films screen in several programs, including: African Planet, American Independents, films of Australia & the Pacific, East Asian Celebration, European Directions, Nuevo Latino Cinema, and films of South Asia & the Middle East. In addition, there will be a special focus on Real Cinema (Documentaries) Animation, and Sports-themed films.

All films will be shown in at least two of four venues. The venues include the Indiana Historical Society, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Hollywood Bar & Filmworks, and the new Landmark Keystone Art Cinema & Indie Lounge, located in the Fashion Mall at Keystone at the Crossing.

All-Access passes are $85 and allow an individual admission to as many as 45 films, plus the Opening & Closing Night Receptions. Passes are limited in number available now at the IIFF website (www.indyfilmfest.org). Individual tickets for films and events go on sale April 13, 2006 at various box office locations around the city, and on the website or by phone at 317-513-9379. A complete schedule will be available on or after March 15, 2006.

The first eight Premiere Films for the 2006 Indianapolis International Film Festival are:The Heart of the Game. Directed by Ward Serrill. USA. Runtime: 102 minutes. Documentary. Courtesy Miramax Films.
The Heart of the Game is the inspirational story of Bill Resler, a University of Washington professor who, despite his lack of experience, becomes the coach of Seattle’s Roosevelt High School girls’ basketball team. Shot over seven years, the film depicts Resler’s unusual coaching style, and how it inspires his athletes to succeed. His most talented athlete is possibly his most troubled. The daughter of a cash-strapped family, Darnellia Russell has a sharp tongue and
quick temper which tends to get her in trouble. When an unplanned pregnancy threatens her eligibility as a player, Resler proves himself to be more than a coach, but an excellent mentor. The Heart of the Game had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and is making its Midwestern Premiere at the IIFF.

Iron Island. Directed by Mohammad Rasoulof. Iran. Runtime: 90 minutes. Drama. In Farsi with English subtitles. Courtesy Kino International.
The titular Iron Island is a huge rusting tanker off the Iranian coast in which dozens of homeless families have found shelter and formed a community. The head of the ship, Captain Nemat tries to balance finding jobs, oil, food and even husbands for the poor and struggling families. He controls the “residence” with absolute power which comes to violent crisis when two young lovers attempt to defy his authority and from the increasing pressure of business interests seeking to seize the ship and evict the residents. Iron Island had its world premiere at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival and makes its Indiana Premiere with the IIFF. Exclusive to the Indianapolis International Film Festival.

Jewboy. Directed by Tony Krawitz. Australia. Runtime: 52 minutes. Drama. Courtesy Fortissimo Films.
Yuri Kovner, son of a Rabbi, is 23 when his father’s death triggers his return to the Chasidic community of Sydney. Jewboy is a film about a young man searching for his place in the world, his family and his faith. Jewboy won the Australian Academy Awards for Best Cinematography, Best Short Screenplay, and Best Short Film, and makes its Eastern U.S. Premiere at the IIFF, after having its North American premiere at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival.

The King. Directed by James Marsh. USA / United Kingdom. Runtime: 105 minutes. Drama. Courtesy THINKfilm.
A troubled navy veteran (Gael Garcia Bernal – Y Tu Mama Tambien, The Motorcycle Diaries) makes contact with a Corpus Christi minister he assumes to be his father (Oscar-winner, William Hurt – Kiss of the Spider Woman, A History of Violence). The preacher rebuts the sailor’s attempts to re-connect, sending the two on a collision course of wills. The King had its world premiere at the London International Film Festival and is making its Eastern U.S. Premiere with the IIFF.

Kinky Boots. Directed by Julian Jarrold. United Kingdom. Runtime: 107 minutes. Comedy. Courtesy Miramax Films.
Nominated for three British Independent Film Awards, Kinky Boots is the archetypal British film of an individual in trouble, who comes up with a unique solution to his economic woes. Charlie Price (Joel Edgerton – Star Wars – Episode III: Revenge of the Sith) inherits his father’s struggling shoe factory. Seeking a way to revive his family’s business, he finds inspiration in Lola (Chiwetel Ejiofor – Dirty Pretty Things, Four Brothers), a sassy drag performer who formulates a plan to design and market women’s shoes and erotic boots in men’s sizes. Fans of The Full Monty and Calendar Girls will love this high-heeled comedy, and the BBC says “Ejiofor takes you beneath Lola’s sequins and delivers one of the best performances of the year. Don’t miss it.” Kinky Boots just had its U.S. Premiere at Sundance, and makes its Indiana Premiere with IIFF.

Look Both Ways. Directed by Sarah Watt. Australia. Runtime: 100 minutes. Drama. Courtesy Kino International.
A stunning feature film debut, Look Both Ways is the story of Meryl, an illustrator who meets Nick, a photographer diagnosed with cancer. The circumstances of their meeting – they both witness a fatal train crash – eventually begins to affect their tentative relationship, but introduces us to a cast of vivid and unique supporting characters. Combining elements of existential meditation and romantic comedy seems truly unusual, but Watt’s deft direction earned Look Both Ways a stunning four Australian Academy Awards – Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actor. Look Both Ways also won the Discovery Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, and makes its Indiana Premiere with the IIFF.

Shanghai Dreams. Directed by Xiaoshuai Wang. China. Runtime: 123 minutes. Drama. In Mandarin with English subtitles. Courtesy Fortissimo Films.
Following up the international success he had with Beijing Bicycle, Wang won the Prix du Jury at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival for this delicate story of a family in crisis. The film opens in 1983, as China begins discarding the legacy of the Cultural Revolution. In the 1960’s Wu Zemin and his family left Shanghai and moved to the rural West as a part the China’s national campaign to industrialize the region. Now, he wants to move the family back to the city he loves. However, his wife is firmly entrenched in her job as a doctor, and his teenage daughter has fallen in love with a local factory worker. Based on the director’s life, Shanghai Dreams makes its Eastern US Premiere at the Indianapolis International Film Festival.

U-Carmen eKhayelitsha. Directed by Mark Dornford-May. South Africa. Runtime: 120 Minutes. In Xhosa with English subtitles.U-Carmen eKhayelitsha (roughly translated: “Carmen in Khayelitsha”) took home the Golden Bear at the 2005 Berlin Film Festival – beating out Academy Award-nominee Hotel Rwanda and Golden Globe-winner Paradise Now. This unique piece of filmmaking takes Bizet’s classic Carmen, translates it into Xhosa (one of South Africa’s eleven official languages) and puts it right on the streets of Khayelitsha – one of South Africa’s poorest townships. Pauline Malefane’s stunning performance leads the way in this invigorating take on a timeless classic imbued with the rhythms and colors of South African life. U-Carmen eKhayelitsha makes its Indiana Premiere and will show for only the third time on American screens at the IIFF.

Festival SponsorsBorders Books, Music and More, Starbucks Coffee, Larry Ladig Photography and Video, The Indiana Historical Society, 92.3 FM – WTTS, Kenra, ElstaQP. Sponsorships are still available to interested businesses. Restaurants and Bars may participate in our first Hospitality Guide to be a part of the Official Festival Program.

Indianapolis International Film Festival

The mission of the Indianapolis International Film Festival is to present films that inform, enlighten, and educate the community by providing a vivid reflection of the rich cultural diversity of Indianapolis and the world beyond our doors.
For more information, email info@indyfilmfest.org or call 317-513-9379 between Noon and 5 P.M., Monday through Friday.

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