Presented by Heartland Film, Indy Shorts International Film Festival showcases short films created by storytellers from all over the globe. This July 26-29 marks the first Indy Short’s festival and includes categories such as short film finalists, official selections, Indiana spotlight program and a high school competition. Along with the festival, viewers can attend panels and workshops to learn more about filmmaking and what happens the behind the scenes on set. To learn more about the event and how to purchase tickets, visit Heartland’s info page here.
Name: Hannah West
Hometown: New Palestine, Indiana
Tell me a little about yourself?
I am a 22 year old filmmaker working here in Indianapolis. I graduated from IUPUI with a degree in Media Arts and Science in May. I’m a storyteller at heart and it is something I’ve always known I wanted to do. I started making films in early childhood and have never stopped. I’ve come from having my brother star in films I shot in our living room, to shooting documentary films about Indiana and the great Hoosiers that live here.
What is your favorite thing about creating a film?
It’s a very special experience to have the privilege to tell another person’s story. As a documentary filmmaker, you get the opportunity to work with people on real issues. It’s great to work with others to inspire change.
Tell me about your film “Reversal.”
“Reversal” is a film that focuses on the life of Indiana native, Ian Pomfret. Ian is a local MMA Fighter and has had to fight his way to the top (both figuratively…and literally). The film shows him preparing for the fight of his life, while also delving into his personal life and struggles. Ian’s story is that of perseverance. He is a testament to what we can all overcome.
Where did the inspiration for your film come from? Why choose to tell Ian’s story?
Last year, I finished a film titled “Not In Vain,” which was also lucky enough to be included in the 2017 Heartland Film Festival. “Not In Vain” focused on Indiana’s opioid crisis and some of the families it has affected. In that film, you meet Jake and Aaron, both young men in their early twenties, who lost their lives to this terrible epidemic. Ian and I grew up in the same hometown and went to the same high school.
If you had asked me then, I never would have guessed that Ian was struggling with addiction problems of his own. Ian’s story needs to be told because it’s proof there is light at the end of the tunnel. This is something people can recover from. Also, it’s important people understand that addiction and the unfortunate circumstances that come with it can happen to anyone. Ian is a phenomenal young man who was able to overcome so much to get to where he is now. People need to hear his story.
What does it mean to you that your film is a part of the first Indy Shorts Film Festival?
Indy Shorts is giving Ian and I a platform to share his story, which means a lot to both of us. Also, it’s such an honor to be included with so many talented filmmakers and great films. I’m feeling incredibly lucky to have this opportunity. We’re both really excited.
What’s in the future for you?
I plan on continuing to make films that delve into the issues we’re facing in our world today. We’re living in a time that is constantly moving and changing. We need to take the time to slow down and hear the stories of those around us, and I hope to help make that happen.