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Three Award-Worthy Gems at the IMA

Our guest blogger today is Lisa Trifone, Festival Managing Director at Indy Film Fest.

For the uninitiated, some of what is celebrated during the Academy Awards can seem like a whole bunch of hoopla for films no one has ever heard of. But like a day at the flea market, the Oscars are about finding the gems in an otherwise uninspiring landscape, about seeing filmmakers at the top of their craft, films that push the edges of cinematic achievement.

This year, the Indy Film Fest has teamed with the IMA to present three of the diamonds unearthed this year, thanks to the Oscar nominations. A documentary, an animated feature film, and a foreign language film create a line-up of movie-going that would beat any day wandering the booths at an antique mall.

Hell and Back Again

Still from "Hell and Back Again," 2011.

After The Hurt Locker swept the awards season in 2010, the appetite for war films might’ve waned a bit. But this 2011 Sundance Film Festival selection revisits the impact of war on our lives in a more personal, tangible way than maybe any film to date has. The story of one soldier who goes to war and comes home a changed man – physically and mentally – achieves an intimacy that won’t soon leave the viewer.

Chico & Rita

Still from "Chico & Rita," 2010.

Although it’s an animated feature film, this lush, Latin love story is no Pixar playground romp. Having screened at festivals in Toronto, Barcelona and Chicago, the film follows a musician and a singer whose talents bring them together and may ultimately lead them apart. A captivating sight for the eyes and an audio adventure for the ears, Chico & Rita is animation all grown up.

Bullhead

Still from "Bullhead," 2011.

One of five foreign language films competing for Oscar gold, Bullhead is a gritty tale imported from Belgium. It’s not the gun or drug trade at the center of this dark but impressive film, but the cattle industry, where one small farmer struggles to make an honest living. When he’s approached to make an unscrupulous deal, a series of events unfold that will have far-reaching consequences.

Dozens (hundreds!) of films are theatrically released in a calendar year, and the Academy Awards elevate those that are truly an accomplishment in filmmaking. Featuring these nominees in Indianapolis is a chance to experience firsthand the diverse slate of films that are vying for an Oscar with an audience of fellow film lovers.

Tickets are available to each of the three films individually, but we recommend you take advantage of the day and pick up a three-film ticket for just $20. It’s the perfect way to prepare for the big event on Sunday night, which, we humbly suggest, is best enjoyed at the Indy Film Fest’s annual viewing party.

Filed under: Film, Public Programs, The Toby

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