From our first night sharing drinks and appetizers with the festival team to our final brunch with members of the board, it was clear that the Heartland Film Festival truly celebrates filmmakers. We could not have been more honored to have Off the Floor included amongst so many great films. In its 23rd year, Heartland takes place in Indianapolis, Indiana, which we were thrilled to discover has a rabid independent film audience. It was amazing to have such smart and engaged folks coming out to see the film!
As soon as we arrived we headed to a Filmmaker welcome party. We instantly connected with so many people who share our dreams and goals. We got to meet in person the dynamic duo of Amy Pauszek and Julie Easton of Wonder Woman Productions who have been helping us get the word out about screenings. At the filmmaker lunch hosted by ShortsHD we talked distribution strategy with Italian natives Vincenzo Cosentino (Handy) and Paolo Zucca (Referee) and learned the backstory behind Nils Bergendal’s short (German Shepherd) from his subject and friend David Paul. On a bus ride we met Christian Jensen whose film White Earth was truly inspiring. At the gala screening of Jason Reitman’s new film Men, Women, and Children at the Indianapolis Museum of Art we sat with Richie Mehta who won the grand prize later in the weekend for his film Siddharth. We swapped great eatery recommendations in Los Angeles with Johnny Ma and Sarah Stallard (Grand Canal) at the awards ceremony after party. And every day we always somehow ran into Stuart Lowry, Tim Irwin, Greg Sorvig, Hannah Lindgren and the rest of the team behind the festival who were never too busy to wave hello.
Our first “dinner” after the welcome party. Bacon poles! So appropriate for our movie and caused the entire Heartland team to come over and check it out!
Greg Sorvig, PR genius and overall awesome guy! Great meeting and hanging out with you all weekend!
Christian’s film White Earth is a short doc that blew us away. His award was well deserved.
We also had a chance to head up to Indy Pole Fitness North and meet Melissa. Their pole studio is beautiful and we loved that she put boards with sharpies up at the top of the pole so you can sign when you’ve mastered climbing that high.
Thanks Melissa from Indy Pole Fitness for showing us your studio!
On our final day, we took some time to walk around the 100 Acre park (at the recommendation of Festival Volunteer Dolly) and experience the beautiful fall foliage.
Katie and Matt checking out the beautiful Fall Foliage of Indianapolis! Thanks Dolly for the tip!
We are still in awe that we got be a part of such a great event. The films that Heartland programmed this year were incredibly inspiring to us as filmmakers and we’re figuring out how we can plan to return as soon as possible.
We’re still glowing from our incredible weekend at the Big Bear Lake International Film Festival! First off, could there be a better setting for a festival? Gorgeous Big Bear Lake with its cooler climate was a great reprieve from Los Angeles and the stifling late summer heat. Fall was in the air, and it was downright delightful.
But really, it wasn’t the weather and location that made the festival, it was the community of filmmakers and film-lovers. We met a plethora of talented indie filmmakers, from fellow Chapman alumni Jacques Edeline and Oliver Maudlin with their feature film Split Gas to the folks behind Life Inside Out which premiered at Heartland Film Festival last year. Along with the filmmakers, the team behind the festival were also great company. We had the pleasure of getting to know board members Curtis Andersen and Rene Bordelon Andersen, who we discovered were also Chapman alums, as well as Alex Van Mecl the director of branding who introduced the special screening of the classic surf documentary Endless Summer. And we felt lucky every chance we could grab the attention of Executive Director Erica Tennyson. We’ll submit to any festival smart enough to have her at the helm. Thanks so much for including us, and we look forward to returning to enjoy the festival again next year.
The Village 3 theater was one of the best venues we’ve had our film play at!
Have to take a photo in front of the step and repeat!
Matt hugging a big (wooden) bear
Uh oh, Katie found the local Fudge!
Taken from the top of the hike we did on Sunday morning!
Up next, Heartland!
We had a spectacular night of painting, music, dance and film on Sunday in Malibu. This was more than just a screening, it was a celebration of all types of artistic talent. Held at Olandar, the home and creative haven of Carla and Leigh McCloskey, it was the perfect venue for a late summer screening.
Through his art, Leigh has transformed Olandar into a visual soup for the artistic soul. We started the evening touring the Hieroglyph of the Human Soul, his studio. After experiencing the beautiful imagery of Leigh’s art, Jagged performed in the garden. There’s nothing like seeing dancers perform to live music, and we were lucky to have Paul Anthony Romero and Brock Summers provide musical accompaniment on piano and sax. Topping off the evening was the screening of the film and a lively Q&A. Truly a screening we won’t forget!
Special thanks to our friend Brett Lupfer for the photos. Can you believe he’s never photographed pole dance before? We couldn’t either.
Co-Directors Matt & Katie Celia and producer Sean Barney taking it all in.
“Art is not a product it is an approach to living.” ~ Leigh J McCloskey
Audience in anticipation!
Jessica Anderson-Gwin and Anika Haldorsen
Jessica Anderson-Gwin, Venus Morales, and Kristin McKnight.