Indianapolis’ Heartland Film organization has long been known for their Heartland Film Festival which takes place every October, but now they’ve included another special event to add to their repertoire. Cultural Journey: India will take film buffs on, well, a journey, through the national, social and artistic nuances that make up this colorful country. Over four days at the Indiana Historical Society, from Aug. 17-20, this event will showcase films, music, food and even a gala, bicycle tour, yoga class and VIP reception honoring special guests all the way from India. Below, find all the need-to-know-happenings for each day of this unique, cultural celebration.
Thursday, Aug. 17
Starting at 6:30 on Thursday night, a kick-off event will be held at the Indiana Historical Society where a screening of “You Are My Sunday”, a dramedy about the struggles of a group of thirty-something friends with soccer on their mind. Laugh along with them as they navigate the bustling streets of Mumbai seeking a quiet place to play their favorite sport. Thursday night will also include a Bollywood dance performance punctuated by tasting plates from a plethora of local Indian restaurants. This extravaganza will also feature an open bar; tickets are $75 which includes a seat at the screening and food.
Friday, Aug. 18
Friday afternoon at 1pm will see a screening of the 2014 Heartland Film Festival Grand Prize Winner for Best Narrative Feature for just $20. “Siddharth” tells the story of a tormented, albeit determined, father who sets off on a cross-country journey to find his missing son who mysteriously disappeared. The journey takes him outside of his home city of Delhi through Punjab and all the way to Mumbai with little to his name but a will to bring his son back home. The headlining event will come later in the evening at 6:30pm with a showing of the award-winning Priyanka Chopra drama entitled “Ventilator”. A traditional gala will accompany this screening featuring dance performances, more Indian food from local restaurants and an open bar. Tickets are $150 per attendee.
Saturday, Aug. 19
Starting early on Saturday at 10am, ticket holders can choose between a toured bike ride along the Cultural Trail through downtown or an instructor-led yoga class on the stunning Indianapolis Canal Walk, all this prior to a boxed lunch and a screening of “Doctor Rakhmabai”, a harrowing tale about the first practicing female doctor, activist and pioneer of gender equality in colonial India. $30 tickets include the adventure experience, lunch and film while $20 screening-only tickets are also available. The main event of the night starts at 6:30pm with “A Suitable Girl”. This documentary tackles the traditions of arranged marriages in India through the lens of three women over the course of four years. Their individual careers, friends and families all intertwine as they navigate modern-day life with this ancient tradition at the center. Following the film, there will be a Q&A with the co-directors as well as an after-party and dessert reception featuring a DJ and open bar. All-inclusive tickets are available for just $30.
Sunday, Aug. 20
At 1pm on Sunday, for only $20, attendees can take in “A Billion Colour Story” at the Historical Society. This film, shot entirely in black and white, shows Hari, a wise, witty and sensitive child moving to a new neighborhood in the massive metropolis that is Mumbai. His mother and father comes from two different religious worlds, one a Muslim, the other Hindu. Hari must come face-to-face with intolerance as they begin life in their new home. The closing night screening will take place at 4pm, where for $20, fans can witness “Hotel Salvation”, highlighting traditional Hindu philosophy through humor and storytelling. A 77-year-old man and his son spend the night at a hotel dedicated solely to those ready to find salvation in this powerful, award-winning film.
It’s not everyday that Indianapolis residents get the chance to take in a culture as complex and intriguing as those found in the vast country of India, so be sure take advantage of this affordable, informative and simply moving event. And keep a look out for the Heartland Film Festival taking place this fall from Oct. 12-22 throughout Indianapolis.