It’s been a year of big changes for the Louisville Film Society. The organization moved west to the Portland neighborhood’s warehouse district back in February, where a boutique cinema is in the works. And their signature event, the annual Flyover Film Festival, has partnered with IdeaFestival to become IF Film, an affiliate event running concurrently with the main fest.
Seven feature films and six shorts will screen at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, the Muhammad Ali Center and Slugger Field, September 30-October 4. Tickets and festival passes are sold separately from IdeaFestival passes.
Affiliating with IdeaFestival will bring Louisville Film Society’s curated independent film selection to the attention of the 15,000 or so attendees of the main event, which also partners with cultural programs like IF Music (which includes the Louisville Music Awards) and Thrivals, an IF track for young adults.
“If it were just the Louisville audience, we would be able to make it a success. But to reach out to reach out to these individuals who are visiting IdeaFest, who are technologists, artists, musicians, educators, community activists, we’re really going t be able to expand our reach and draw in more people. That was what we were looking to do,” said IF Film producer Soozie Eastman.
Like Flyover before it, IF Film draws from features and shorts currently making the rounds of, and even winning awards in, the international independent film festival circuit. Usually some Louisville- or Kentucky-based films make the cut, but highlighting local film isn’t the curators’ only goal.
“What it’s really about is bringing festival darlings to Louisville,” said Eastman. “For the individual that can’t leave Louisville and go to Sundance, to Tribeca, to South by Southwest, who are the award winners, what is on the minds of individuals who love indie film across the country? That’s what we’re trying to bring to Louisville.”
Here’s a look at this year’s lineup:
“Trouble Dolls” – dramedy
September 30, Kentucky Center’s Bomhard Theatre (7:30 p.m.) – filmmaker Q&A to follow
“Trouble Dolls” tells the story of two codependent roommates who flee New York for the promise of sunshine in Los Angeles where their friendship is tested by a chance at fame, a fortune teller and an amorous wealthy aunt. Co-directed by and co-starring Jennifer Prediger and Louisville native Jess Weixler.
“There’s going to be an element of supporting our Louisville native, and coming out for our opening night and saying, let’s cheer on this girl who’s now in ‘The Good Wife’ and doing great things with her career,” said Eastman.
“Mudbloods” – documentary
October 1, Muhammad Ali Center (6:30 p.m.)
Transforming Harry Potter’s fictional competition into a physically demanding, real-life sport, Quidditch has secured its place as one of the fastest growing collegiate club sports today. “Mudbloods” follows the resilient underdogs of the UCLA Quidditch team as they make their way to the Fifth Annual Quidditch World Cup in New York City.
“Animals” – drama (adult themes and content)
October 1, Muhammad Ali Center (6:30 p.m.)
Bobbie and Jude are a young couple living in their broken-down car parked alongside Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo. Their days are a continuous ritual of theft and scoring until they must confront the difficult truth of their relationship after one of them is hospitalized. Directed by Collin Schiffli.
“This is a very gritty, dark film,” said Eastman. “It’s not so much going to be a huge smash nationwide, but that really speaks to that indie film lover. It’s not going to be shown on local television stations. It’s a darker story.”
“Stray Dog” – documentary
October 2, Kentucky Center’s Bomhard Theatre (6:30 p.m.)
With Ron “Stray Dog” Hall as our guide, we experience the restlessness of ex-warriors as he tries to make peace with what he can’t change and weathers the incomprehension of those who have never been to war. Anchored by his small dogs and big bikes, “Stray Dog” seeks to strike a balance between his commitment to his family, neighbors, biker brotherhood, and fellow veterans. Directed by Debra Granik.
“Something, Anything” – drama
October 2, Kentucky Center’s Bomhard Theatre (6:30 p.m.) – filmmaker Q&A to follow
Filmed in Kentucky. When a tragedy shatters her plans for domestic bliss, a seemingly typical Southern newlywed gradually transforms into a spiritual seeker, quietly threatening the closest relationships around her. Directed by Paul Harrill.
“An Honest Liar” – documentary
October 3, Kentucky Center’s Bomhard Theatre (6:30 p.m.) – filmmaker Q&A to follow
A documentary by Justin Weinstein and Tyler Measom on the life and career of the renowned stage magician turned scientific skeptic of the paranormal, James Randi.
Eastman says this documentary from the team that made 2011’s “Being Elmo” is “probably going to be one of the biggest hits” to emerge from the festival.
“It is a very slick comprehensive, palatable documentary. That appeals to the masses,” she said.
IF Film Shorts Program
October 3, Kentucky Center’s Bomhard Theatre (9 p.m.) – filmmaker Q&A to follow
Two of each: drama, documentary, animation
“Produce” – drama
October 4, Slugger Field (8 p.m.) – filmmaker Q&A to follow
Filmed in Louisville. A self-destructive former pro ball player is given a serious lesson in living life with courage when he befriends a grocery store clerk with Down syndrome. Directed by Chris Dowling. Co-starring Louisville native David DeSanctis. Benefit for local Down syndrome advocacy agencies.
Eastman thinks this film will be “our local darling.”
“We love things that come out of Louisville,” she said.