The theme of the 2021 Heartland International Film Festival is “Rewinding 30 years of Heartland Film.”
But 2021 might be the year Heartland Artistic Director Greg Sorvig remembers most.
“It’s a ‘pinch myself’ year,” Sorvig said.
The Carmel resident is in his 10th year working for the Indianapolis festival and fifth as artistic director. The festival runs from Oct. 7 to 17 with in-theater, outdoor and virtual screenings.
“There are big expectations with our 30th anniversary heading back to theaters,” Sorvig said. “We found we ended up locking in one of our biggest slates of big titles ever. Usually, we have a small handful of event films, opening and closing centerpiece. We have 14 big-event films. We are talking movies that have premiered at Telluride Film Festival and Toronto. We are going to be one of the first stops for these Oscar-contending films.”
One of the event films is “King Richard,” which premiered at Telluride and skipped Toronto. It is set for the anniversary gala at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 16 at Newfields in Indianapolis.
“The buzz is that Will Smith is one of the early frontrunners for best actor,” Sorvig said. “We locked that in as our anniversary gala screening. That is a film that is a great title that would represent not only the past, but the present and future of Heartland Film. We’re one of the first festivals to play this film and it’s a great celebration.”
Another film he was delighted to land was Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch,” with a huge cast that includes Benicio del Toro, Adrien Brody, Frances McDormand and Bill Murray. It will be shown at 7 p.m. Oct. 14 at Newfields.
“We’ve sneak previewed a handful of Oscar contenders over the years, but not to this capacity where we are a full-fledged Oscar stop along the lines of some the premier festival stops on the fall circuit,” Sorvig said. “We’re excited to be coming into our own for our 30th anniversary. We have a true slate of indie films as well and Indiana Spotlight films.”
For more, visit heartlandfilm.org/festival.