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Indy Shorts International Film Festival Announces Largest Slate of Short Films

Academy Award®-Qualifying Indy Shorts International Film Festival Announces Largest Slate of Short Films Showcased at Indoor, Outdoor and Virtual Screenings

Academy Award®-Qualifying Indy Shorts International Film Festival Announces Largest Slate of Short Films Showcased at Indoor, Outdoor and Virtual Screenings


Heartland Film announced the lineup of 201 independent short films – 22 World Premieres and 19 U.S. Premieres – included in the 4th Indy Shorts International Film Festival, July, 20-25, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. In an effort to accommodate different viewing preferences, the 6-day festival is offering 3 different ways to experience the Academy Award®-Qualifying Festival with indoor, outdoor, and virtual viewing options. Festival fans can watch all 201 shorts featured in 33 themed programs virtually, attend outdoor (picnic-style) screenings at the Indianapolis Art Center (820 E 67th St, Indianapolis, IN 46220) and IndyFringe (719 E St Clair St, Indianapolis, IN 46202), or experience the festival inside at the luxurious new Living Room Theaters at the Bottleworks District (745 E 9th St Suite 810, Indianapolis, IN 46202). 
“Indy Shorts is now a qualifying festival for all three short film categories at the annual Academy Awards®. This designation, partnered with our remarkable track record of 7 Oscar® wins and 29 nominations, resulted in 3,300 short film submissions – the most in Indy Shorts history,” said Artistic Director Greg Sorvig. “The influx of quality film submissions made it easy for us to nearly double the amount of films compared to just a year ago.”
Many festival favorite programs have expanded. Last year’s breakout hit program Heartland Horror has doubled into two programs and a celebration of local films will be showcased across three Indiana Spotlight programs across all three in-person venues. The pandemic has also opened the door to an entirely new program called “It’s Been a Year,” which showcases hopeful and cathartic stories inspired by the challenges of 2020. 
This year’s festival theme, A Short Escape, invites audiences to escape into the wonderful world of short films. 
“After the year we’ve all had, we could all use a getaway, and I can’t think of a better way to do that than by attending the Indy Shorts International Film Festival,” said Heartland Film President Craig Prater. “You can physically and mentally retreat as you enjoy world-class short films while lounging in the gardens of IndyFringe and the Indianapolis Art Center, exploring the glamorous new Bottleworks District, or relaxing in your own backyard for a true staycation. With world class shorts included in a wide variety of themed programs like Sci-Fi, Animals, Sports!, Comedy, Horror, Portraits and Indiana Spotlight, there is A Short Escape for everyone!”
· Academy Award Nominee Ben Proudfoot in the “Spotlight: Oscar®-Nominated Breakwater Studios” Program - Indy Shorts will feature an entire program featuring the illuminating, humanist stories of the Oscar-nominated Breakwater Studios, a world leader in short form documentaries. 2021 Academy Award® nominee “A Concerto is a Conversation” will be featured alongside “The Silent Pulse of the Universe” (World Premiere), “The First Report” (World Premiere), “The Beauty President,” “The Unchosen One,” and “The Queen of Basketball.”
· Will Ferrell and William Jackson Harper (The Good Place) are featured in the film “David,” included in the “Well, This is Awkward” program.
· Noah Reid (Schitt's Creek) stars in the U.S. Premiere film “The Archivists,” included in the “Expressions” program.
· Academy Award® nominee Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal) and Letitia Wright (Black Panther) are among the narrators in the film “Lines,” featured in the “Expressions” program.
· Jane Goodall appears in the film "Pant Hoot," featured in the “Animals” program.
· Diana Lin (The Farewell) stars in the film “Lonely Blue Night,” featured in the “It's Only Customary” program.
· Emmanuel Carter (Noggin Knows) stars in the film “The Last House,” featured in the “Horror 2: Strange and Unusual" and "Indiana Spotlight 2" programs. 
· Golden Globe® and Emmy® Award winner Ben Whishaw (No Time To Die) stars in the film “Miss Fortunate,” featured in the “Comedy” program.
Earlier this year, six shorts showcased at the Indy Shorts International Film Festival were nominated for the 2021 Academy Awards®, with the Indy Shorts 2020 Animated Finalist “If Anything Happens I Love You” (Netflix Original) taking home the Academy Award® for Best Animated Short Film. Indy Shorts is honored to have the Oscar®-winning co-director/writer, Michael Govier, as an Indy Shorts 2021 jury member. Joining Govier on Indy Shorts juries are five fellow directors and an executive producer behind other 2021 Academy Award nominees: Anders Hammer (“Do Not Split”), Farah Nabulsi (“The Present”), Sheila Nevins (“Hunger Ward”), Doug Roland (“Feeling Through”), and Tomer Shushan (“White Eye”). The full jury list can be found at
These jury members will help select this year’s top winners. Filmmakers competing for Grand Prizes in the Narrative, Documentary, and Animated categories will also win Academy Award® qualification in addition to $5,000 cash prizes. Since 1991, Heartland Film has presented $3.5 million in cash prizes – the largest total amount awarded by any film festival in North America. This year, Indy Shorts will present more than $32,000 in cash prizes.
For the fourth year in a row, Indy Shorts has the honor of partnering with the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge, which gives filmmakers—with and without disabilities—the opportunity to collaborate to tell unique stories that showcase disability in its many forms, along with the opportunity to win amazing prizes. Heartland Film is a proud partner and showcases the winners of the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge in the program, “Unique Stories: Celebrating EDFC & Disability.”
The full shorts film lineup, in-person schedule, fest passes, and ticket details can be found below or at
*Heartland Film members receive 20% off all ticketing options
VIP Fest Pass | $129 | Access to all virtual screenings + one ticket to each in-person screening
Duo Fest Pass | $169 | Access to all virtual screenings + two ticket to each in-person screening
Virtual Fest Pass | $89 | Access to all virtual screenings
Virtual Household Fest Pass | $109 | Access to all virtual screenings for multiple viewers
Virtual Only 5 Pack | $49
Individual Virtual | $11
Living Room Theaters | $13
IndyFringe | $13
Indianapolis Art Center | $15
*Attendees who choose to escape to the Outdoor Screenings will receive FREE HotBox Pizza and an Indy Shorts Picnic Blanket.
Friday, July 23, 2021 | Indianapolis Art Center
Sponsored by HotBox Pizza and Sun King Brewery
Awards Winners | 6:30 PM
Indiana Spotlight 1 | 8:45 PM
Saturday, July 24, 2021 | IndyFringe
Indiana Spotlight 2 | 9 PM
Wednesday, July 21, 2021
It’s Been a Year | 7 PM
Thursday, July 22, 2021
Indiana Spotlight 3 | 7 PM
Comedy | 9 PM
Horror 1: Splatter | 9 PM
Friday, July 23, 2021
Expressions | 5 PM
Sci-Fi | 7 PM
Horror 2: Strange & Unusual | 9 PM
Saturday, July 24, 2021
Animals | 5 PM
Spotlight: Oscar®-Nominated Breakwater Studios | 7 PM
Well, This is Awkward | 9 PM
Sunday, July 25, 2021
Sports! | 5 PM
The Fight for Justice | 7 PM
Portraits | 9 PM
High School Film Competition | Horror 1: Splatter |Horror 2: Strange and Unusual | Comedy | Sci-Fi | Indiana Spotlight 1 | Indiana Spotlight 2 | Indiana Spotlight 3 | Reunited | Roots, Reconnected | Relationships | Expressions | Our Changing World | The Fight for Justice | Sports! | The American Dream | Healing | Generations | Well, This is Awkward | Spotlight: Oscar-Nominated Breakwater Studios | It’s Been a Year + Animated Shorts | Finding Yourself | Portraits | Past/Present | Sense of Place | Animals | Crossing Over | Youth Impact | Looking for Home | Journeys | It’s Only Customary | Unique Stories: Celebrating EDFC & Disability | Award Winners |
Film Title | Country of Production | Director(s) | Premiere Status
Beautiful (USA, China) Director: Mulan Fu
The Better Angels (Australia) Director: Michael Cusack (U.S. Premiere)
Blue Fear (France) Directors: Marie Jacotey, Lola Halifa-Legrand
Coffin (France) Directors: Yuanqing CAI, Nathan CRABOT, Houzhi HUANG, Mikolaj JANIW, Mandimby LEBON, Théo TRAN NGOC
Darwin’s Notebook (Switzerland) Director: Georges Schwizgebel(U.S. Premiere)
Department of Injustice (USA) Director: Travis Wood
Forever (USA) Director: Mitch McGlocklin
The Fourfold (Canada) Director: Alisi Telengut
Homebird (UK) Director: Ewa Smyk (World Premiere)
The Home Office (USA) Director: Dani Bowman (In partnership with the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge)
In The Future (USA) Director: Kelly Gallagher (World Premiere)
Izzy's Demons (USA) Director: Gregory Garay
KKUM (USA, South Korea) Director: KIM Kang-min
Launch(USA) Director: Leah Shore
Lifeblood (Australia) Director: Nicholas Tory (U.S. Premiere)
Lines (UK) Director: Claire Fleming
Love Is Just a Death Away (Czech Republic) Director: Bára Anna Stejskalová
Migrants (France) Directors: Hugo Caby, Antoine Dupriez, Aubin Kubiak, Lucas Lermytte, Zoé Devise
Mon ami qui brille dans la nuit (My friend who shines in the night) (France) Directors: Grégoire DE BERNOUIS, Jawed BOUDAOUD, Simon CADILHAC, Hélène LEDEVIN
Mum is pouring rain (France) Director: Hugo de Faucompret
Navozande, the musician (France) Director: Reza Riahi
Nuevo Rico (USA, Puerto Rico) Director: Kristian Mercado Figueroa
O Black Hole! (UK) Director: Renee Zhan
Oxygen (Belgium) Directors: Rocky Grispen, Violette Belzer
Paco (Austria/Mexico) Directors: Susanna Ruttnig, Stefan Tantana (U.S. Premiere)
Souvenir Souvenir (France) Director: Bastien Dubois
TIO (Mexico) Director: Juan J Medina (U.S. Premiere)
The Torture Letters (USA) Director: Laurence Ralph
Wayback (Spain) Director: Carlos Salgado (U.S. Premiere)
A Concerto is a Conversation (USA) Directors: Ben Proudfoot, Kris Bowers
Águilas (USA) Directors: Kristy Guevara-Flanagan, Maite Zubiaurre
Aguilucho: Dance of the Harpy Eagle (USA, Panama) Director Daniel Byers
Ale Libre (USA) Director: Maya Cueva
Arctic Summer (USA, Canada) Directors: Daniel Fradin, Kyle Rosenbluth
The Beauty President (USA) Director: Whitney Skauge
Blood On Our Side (Mexico) Directors: Rodrigo Hernandez, Elpida Nikou
CYCLES(USA) Director: Jonathan Barenboim
death. everything. nothing. (USA) Director: LeRhonda Manigault-Bryant
E14 (UK) Director: Peiman Zekavat
Faraway (Canada) Director: Aziz Zoromba
The Felling of Colston (UK) Director: Arthur Cauty
The First Report (USA) Director: Ben Proudfoot (World Premiere)
Full Picture (USA) Director: Jacob Reed
Golden Age Karate (USA) Director: Sindha Agha
H.A.G.S. (Have A Good Summer) (USA) Director: Sean Wang
The Heart Still Hums (USA) Directors: Savanah Leaf, Taylor Russell
How to Fall in Love in a Pandemic (Ireland) Director: Michael-David McKernan
Joe Buffalo (Canada) Director: Amar Chebib
Just Being Here(USA) Director: Matteo Moretti
Keep Calling (UK) Director: Liam Saint-Pierre
KEIARA(USA) Director: Floyd Russ
Learning to Drown (USA) Director: Ben Knight
Life, Unexpected (USA) Director: Guy Nattiv
Little Berlin (France, Germany, UK) Director: Kate McMullen
The Little Tea Shop (USA) Directors: Matteo Servente, Molly J. Wexler
Miss Alma Thomas: A Life in Color (USA) Director: Cheri Gaulke
Mr. Wild (USA) Director: Caleb Wild
NANDO (Brazil, USA, Chile) Director: Alec Cutter
Nay Nay Too Bomb (USA) Director: Marie Alyse Rodriguez (U.S. Premiere) (In partnership with the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge)
October 27th, 2020 (USA) Director: Hannah Price (World Premiere)
Of Memory and Debris (Venezuela, France, Canada) Director: Rodrigo Michelangeli
Pant Hoot (USA) Director: Richard Reens
The Queen of Basketball (USA) Director: Ben Proudfoot
R.I.P. T-Shirts (USA) Directors: David Heilbroner, Kate Davis
Rachel (USA) Director: Zen Pace
Rebyrth (USA) Director: Cydney Tuck (U.S. Premiere)
Red Horizon (USA) Director: T.C. Johnstone
Red Taxi (Hong Kong) Director: Anonymous
RESIST: The Resistance Revival Chorus (USA) Director: Susan O'Brien
Say His Name: Five Days for George Floyd (USA) Director: Cy Dodson
Seabird(UK) Director: Conor Ferris (U.S. Premiere)
Seahorse (Germany) Director: Nele Dehnenkamp
She Carries On (USA) Directors: Isaac Fowler, Tim Morris
Shelter(USA) Director: Smriti Mundhra
The Silent Pulse of the Universe (USA) Director: Ben Proudfoot (World Premiere)
Since you arrived, my heart stopped belonging to me (USA) Director: Erin Semine Kökdil
Slim Pickins (USA) Director: Justin Jeffers
Snowy (USA) Directors: Kaitlyn Schwalje, Alex Wolf Lewis
Still Processing (Canada) Director: Sophy Romvari
Street Reporter (USA) Director: Laura Waters Hinson (World Premiere)
Supermalo (USA) Director: Matt Seger
Team Meryland (USA) Director: Gabriel Gaurano
Through Our Eyes: Shelter (USA) Director: Smriti Mundhra (World Premiere) - Sesame Workshop and HBO Max
The Unchosen One (USA) Director: Ben Proudfoot
Virtually Free (USA) Director: André Robert Lee
When We Were Bullies (USA) Director: Jay Rosenblatt
Who Fights For You? (USA) Director: Maddie Stambler
Wonderfully Made (USA) Director: Benita Ozoude
Your Street (Switzerland) Director: Güzin Kar (U.S. Premiere)
Narrative Short
54 / The Blind Turtle and the Endless Sea (Greece) Director: Isabella Margara
The Affected (Norway) Director: Rikke Gregersen
Al-Sit (Sudan, Qatar) Director: Suzannah Mirghani
Anita (India, USA) Director: Sushma Khadepaun
Apart, Together(USA) Director: Olivia Hang Zhou (U.S. Premiere)
The Archivists (Canada) Director: Igor Drljača (U.S. Premiere)
Are You Still There? (USA) Directors: Rayka Zehtabchi, Sam Davis
Aria (UK) Director: Christopher Poole
At Last (USA) Director: Lorena Gordon
Axe to the Face(USA) Director: Andrew Moorehead
Bad Furniture (USA) Director: Randall Maxwell
BJ's Mobile Gift Shop (USA) Director: Jason Park
BÖREK (Occupied Palestine, Israel) Director: Eli Rezik (World Premiere)
Brief Survey (USA) Director: Dava Whisenant
Bruiser (USA) Director: Miles Warren
Chai (USA) Director: Arshum Rouhanian (World Premiere)
Cherry Lemonade (USA) Director: Aisha Ford
Chuj Boys of Summer (USA, Guatemala) Director: Max Walker-Silverman
Close Ties to Home Country (USA) Director: Akanksha Cruczynski
Cuttlefish (USA) Director: Alexandra Geller (U.S. Premiere)
David (USA), Director: Zach Woods
Devek (Israel) Director: Uriya Hertz
Dinner (Vietnam) Director: Linh Tran
Dọlápọ̀ Is Fine (UK) Director: Ethosheia Hylton
Don't Freak Out (USA) Director: Casimir Nozkowski (World Premiere)
Don’t Go Tellin’ Your Momma (USA) Directors: Jason Sondock, Simon Davis
Dwarfo-psychosis (USA) Maria DiDomenico (In partnership with the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge)
Empiric(Romania) Director: Ioana Țurcan (World Premiere)
enough. (USA) Director: Caleb Slain
The Everlasting Club (UK) Director: Joy Wilkinson (World Premiere)
Eye Exam (UK) Director: Aislinn Clarke
The Familiars (Australia) Director: Millicent Malcolm
Fempire (USA) Director: Honora Talbott(World Premiere)
The Following Year (Spain) Director: Miguel Campaña
Forgive Your Father (Canada) Director: Moises Velasquez (U.S. Premiere)
Frayed Roots (Lebanon) Director: Nay Tabbara
Gym Patriot (UK) Director: Slobodan Karajlovic
Heartland (USA) Director: Jahmil Eady
Her Dance (Israel) Director: Bar Cohen
I am afraid to forget your face (Egypt, Belgium, France, Qatar) Director: Sameh Alaa
The Journey (Canada) Director: Ève Saint-Louis
Lakutshon' Ilanga (When the Sun Sets) (South Africa, United States) Director Phumi Morare
The Last Day of Patriarchy (Czech Republic, Slovenia, France) Director: Olmo Omerzu (World Premiere)
The Last Ferry from Grass Island (USA, Hong Kong) Director: Linhan Zhang
Learning Tagalog With Kayla (USA) Director: Kayla Abuda Galang
Leylak (USA) Directors: Scott Aharoni, Dennis Latos
Like the Ones I Used to Know (Canada) Director: Annie St-Pierre
Liza Anonymous (USA) Director: Aubrey Smyth
London Arabia (UK) Director: Daniel Jewel
Lonely Blue Night (USA)Director: Johnson Cheng
Magnolia Bloom (USA) Director: Tayo Amos
Marlon Brando(Netherlands) Director: Vincent Tilanus
Mass Ave (USA) Director: Omar Kamara (World Premiere)
Miss Fortunate(UK) Director: Ella Jones
The Mohel (Canada) Director: Charles Wahl
Mountain Cat (Mongolia, UK) Director: Lkhagvadulam Purev-Ochir
The name of the son (Argentina) Director: Martina Matzkin
Navel Gazers (USA) Director: Kimmy Gatewood
Photo Op (USA) Director: Dava Whisenant
Pick Up (USA) Director: Clare Cooney
Plaisir (USA) Director: Molly Gillis
Play It Safe (UK) Director: Mitch Kalisa
PLEASE HOLD (USA) Director: KD Dávila
The Price of Cheap Rent (USA) Directors: Amina Sutton, Maya Tanaka
Pops (UK) Director: Lewis Rose (World Premiere)
Raspberry (USA) Director: Julian Doan
Rock A Bye Baby (USA) Director: Monique Sorgen
Silento (Colombia) Director: Esteban Garcia Vernaza
Social Fitness (USA) Director: Anna Pakman (In partnership with the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge)
Someone's In Here (USA) Director: Ben Kitnick
stay awake (USA) Director: Colton Patrick Walter
The Speech (USA) Director: Haohao Yan
Strasbourg 1518 (UK) Director: Jonathan Glazer
Stuffed(UK) Director: Theo Rhys
SWIPE (USA) Director: Anthony Sneed
The Thing That Ate the Birds (England) Directors: Sophie Mair, Dan Gitsham
Triangle (UK, Hungary) Director: Péter Engelmann (U.S. Premiere)
Umbilical (UK, Greece) Director: Elpida Stathatou (U.S. Premiere)
We're not animals (France) Director: Noé Debré
When The Tar Leaks Red (UK) Director: Dominic Stewart (U.S. Premiere)
White Wedding (USA) Director: Melody C. Roscher
Who We Are (USA) Director: Alexis Sallee
WILDMAN (USA) Director: Will Brittain (World Premiere)
Witness (Iran) Director: Ali Asgari
Woodland Cemetery (The Netherlands, Sweden) Director: Niels Bourgonje
Indiana Spotlight
38th & Postmodernism (USA) Directors: Daniel Arthur Jacobson, Jared Thompson (World Premiere)
The Aviators: A Father/Son Story (USA) Director: Jeffrey Ogden
The Bladesmith (USA) Director: Drew Dayton
Brown Sugar (USA) Director: Nifemi Adejumobi
A City of Stories (USA) Director: Tim Taylor
Cutters (USA) Director: Matt Dillman
Duality Derby (USA) Directors: Mark Miller, Dave Franzese
The Last House (USA) Director: Mike James
The Long Run: Wes Doty's New Life (USA) Director: C. Thomas Lewis
More Than Corn (USA) Director: Rocky Walls
MTXE: Mental Toughness Xtra Effort (USA) Director: Emmanuel Terrell
Rebel Bells (USA) Directors: Anne Colton; Michelle Yates
The Rope Warrior (USA) Directors: Andrew Bourne, Daniel Feldman
Rosie's Rescue (USA) Director: Terry Weston Marsh
Time to Heal (USA) Director: Tucker Gragg
High School Film Competition (HSFC) (South Korea) Director: Kun Kim (World Premiere)
5 Years from Water (USA) Director: Thao Nguyen (HSFC Documentary Winner)
Beth (UK) Director: Ava Bounds (U.S. Premiere) (HSFC Narrative Winner)
The Humanity Test (USA) Directors: Samuel Mitchell, Lily Kaplan
Girl Scout Cookies (USA) Director: Alex Dashwood
No Human Being is Illegal (USA) Samuel Villagra-Stanton(World Premiere) (HSFC Documentary Winner)
Pinned Down (USA) Director: Angela Kwak (World Premiere)
POWER OUTAGE (Estonia) Director: Katariina Koemets (U.S. Premiere)
Running the Empire (Australia) Director:Hugo Long (World Premiere)
Sophie and Jacob (Canada) Director: Max Shoham (HSFC Animated Winner)
All of the films, description, and tickets and more can be found at
About Heartland Film, Inc.
Heartland Film is a nonprofit arts organization that runs the 11-day Heartland International Film Festival in October, the Academy Award®-Qualifying Indy Shorts International Film Festival in July, the Truly Moving Picture Award and other year-round programs. Based in Indianapolis, Indiana, Heartland Film was founded in 1991 with the mission to curate, promote and celebrate thoughtful and engaging films from diverse perspectives. Over the years, Heartland Film has presented $3.5 million in cash prize – the largest total amount awarded by any film festival in North America – presented 200+ studio films with the Truly Moving Picture Award, and showcased more than 1,800 feature and short films, including seven Oscar®-winning titles. The 30th Anniversary of the Heartland International Film Festival is running October 7-17, 2021. For more information, visit


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