Indiana's Heartland, Indy Shorts festivals becoming path to the Oscars for filmmakers

Posted at 5:30 PM, Mar 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-08 13:31:09-05

INDIANAPOLIS — As the envelopes are opened at the 95th Academy Awards, the staff at Indianapolis' Heartland Film Festival will be watching closely.

Several films that played at Heartland's 2022 events are up for some of the movie industry's top honors.

"We have filmmakers coming here from all over the world, for Indy Shorts in July and Heartland in October, and as the nominations are announced it's very rewarding to see their hard work pay off", said Greg Sorvig. He's the Programming Director for Heartland Film, which saw more than a thousand submissions for their festivals a year ago. And it's a number that continues to grow.

"The Whale", starring Brendan Fraser, is nominated for Best Picture. Fraser has earned his first Oscar nomination for Best Actor.

The film was the Closing Night presentation at Heartland last fall, playing to a sold out audience in Indianapolis.

Fraser, who was born in Indianapolis, has already earned a multitude of awards for his performance. He seems to be the favorite to win the Oscar on Sunday.

A pair of prize winners from last summer's "Indy Shorts" festival qualified for Oscars consideration with their wins here. "Stranger at the Gate" (Documentary) and "an Irish Goodbye" (comedy) are both among the 15 short films nominated for Academy Awards.

Greg says that short filmmakers continue to find Indy as a destination for awards potential.

2023's calendar will see Indy Shorts returning July 18-23. And the 32nd Heartland International Film Festival from October 5-15.