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Heartland Film presents 4-day cultural event

Get a sense of what India is all about, all while staying right here in Indianapolis!

Today on Indy Style, learn about the culture and the heritage through the power of film and community. Craig Prater, President, Heartland Film, and Neelu Sondhi, Chairman of Cultural Journey: India with Heartland Film, tell us more:Heartland Film to host four-day experience celebrating the culture, cuisine, and cinema of India from August 17-20 at the Indiana Historical Society

Heartland Film is excited to announce the full schedule of events coming to Cultural Journey: India, presented by Lilly. The four-day celebration will include a lavish Bollywood themed Opening Night Extravaganza, a Traditional Indian Gala complete with an authentic Indian Welcome Ceremony, and a bike ride and yoga along the Indianapolis Cultural Trail. Other highlights include traditional dance performances, ethnic food from local Indian restaurants, VIP receptions, Q&As with visiting filmmakers, after-parties, and screenings of seven films from India. This event is made possible by the The Margot L. and Robert S. Eccles Fund, a fund of Central Indiana Community Foundation.

To experience all the excitement the Cultural Journey has to offer, attendees are invited to purchase an exclusive Cultural Journey: India VIP Pass. With a $500 Cultural Journey: India VIP Pass, attendees will have access to:

  • One ticket to all seven events & screenings throughout the Cultural Journey
  • A VIP reception before the Thursday Opening Night Extravaganza & Friday Traditional Indian Gala
  • Reserved seating at every screening throughout the Cultural Journey
  • Complimentary open bar access at the Opening Night Extravaganza, Traditional Indian Gala, and “A Suitable Girl” Screening & After-Party
  • Double the amount of purchased Cultural Journey raffle tickets

Special Guests

  • Neeta Bhushan, Consul General of India
  • “A Suitable Girl” Directors Sarita Khurana and Smriti Mundhra
  • “Ventilator” Producer, Dr. Madhu Chopra (Purple Pebble Productions)
  • Hannah Fisher, International Film Programmer
  • Therese Hayes, International Film Programmer

Venue InformationAll Cultural Journey events will be held at the Indiana Historical Society

  • Indiana Historical Society

    450 W Ohio St, Indianapolis, IN 46202

Cultural Journey: India Full ScheduleTo learn more about the films and events, visit Night Extravaganza & “You Are My Sunday” Screening

Thursday, Aug. 17 – 6:30 p.m. – Tickets $75

Kickoff Heartland Film’s Cultural Journey: India experience with a night of Bollywood-style dancing, authentic Indian food from local restaurants, and a screening of the film “You Are My Sunday,” a comedy-drama about five thirtysomething friends trying to find a place to play soccer away from their frustrations and the crowded bustle of Mumbai.“Siddharth” Screening

Friday, Aug. 18 – 1 p.m. – Tickets $20/$17 members

“Siddharth,” 2014 Heartland Film Festival Grand Prize Winner for Best Narrative Feature, is the story of an impoverished and anguished father, with few resources and virtually no experience of the world outside of Delhi, who bravely sets out for the Punjab, and Mumbai, in search of his only son who disappeared while working in a factory.Traditional Indian Gala & “Ventilator” Screening w/ Producer Dr. Madhu Chopra

Friday, Aug. 18 – 6:30 p.m. – Tickets $100 Early Bird Special

Join Heartland Film for the headlining event of the Cultural Journey: India weekend featuring traditional dance performances, authentic Indian food from local restaurants, and a screening of the film “Ventilator,” an award-winning drama from Priyanka Chopra’s production company Purple Pebble Pictures, about the lively Kamerkar family as they band together around a sick family member during the Ganesh Utsav festival.

Live Adventurously on the Cultural Trail & “Doctor Rakhmabai” Screening

Saturday, Aug. 19 – 10 AM – Tickets $30/$25 members

Choose either a bike ride along the Cultural Trail or yoga on the Indianapolis Canal Walk before a boxed lunch and screening of “Doctor Rakhmabai” – a film about India’s first practicing female doctor and pioneering activist who fought for gender equality in colonial India. $20 screening only tickets also available.“A Suitable Girl” Screening & After-party w/ Directors Sarita Khurana & Smriti Mundhra

Saturday, Aug. 19 – 6:30 p.m. – Tickets $30/$25 members

“A Suitable Girl” is a documentary that follows three women over the course of four years as they struggle with beloved family traditions, modern careers, their friends – married and unmarried – all while trying to make sense of their contemporary lives within the context of the ancient social contract of the arranged marriage. Directors Sarita Khurana and Smriti Mundhra will be in attendance for a Q&A and after party featuring a dessert reception and DJ.“A Billion Colour Story” Screening

Sunday, Aug. 20 – 1 p.m. – Tickets $20/$17 members

“A Billion Colour Story,” shot in stark black and white, is told through the eyes of Hari, a sensitive child wise beyond his years, as he moves with his progressive filmmaker parents – one Muslim, the other Hindu – to a different neighborhood in Mumbai only to be faced with intolerance and fundamentalism from their new neighbors and community.“Hotel Salvation” Closing Night Screening & Champagne Reception

Sunday, Aug. 20 – 4 p.m. – Tickets $20/$17 members

Cap off the Cultural Journey: India experience with “Hotel Salvation,” an award-winning film that humorously and respectfully illustrates the traditional Hindu philosophy of death and freedom from entrapment through the eyes of eccentric 77-year-old Dayanand Kumar and his son Rajiv when they check into a guest house in Varanasi specifically devoted to people who come to die and gain salvation.

Learn more about the Cultural Journey and view upcoming events at

About Heartland Film, Inc. 

Heartland Film is a nonprofit arts organization founded in 1991 with the mission to inspire filmmakers and audiences through the transformative power of film. Heartland Film is a curator and supporter of purposeful filmmaking, honoring a wide variety of cinema and awarding storytellers from all over the world. The films Heartland Film selects and exhibits – whether they inspire and uplift, educate and inform, or have the ability to shift audiences’ perspectives on the world – all have one thing in common: they are entertaining films that do more than just entertain. Every October, the Heartland Film Festival gives its moviegoers access to more than 150 visiting independent filmmakers from all over the world, right in the heart of the Midwest. Heartland Film Festival (Oct. 12-22, 2017) showcases more than 200 independent films over 11 days of red carpet premieres and events, parties and hundreds of film screenings across Indianapolis. The Heartland Film Festival has earned the special designation of being a qualifying festival for the Annual Academy Awards® within the Short Films category. Each year, the Heartland Film Festival awards more than $100,000 in cash prizes and presents its Festival Awards to top-judged submissions. Heartland Film has awarded more than $3 million to support indie filmmakers over the last 25 years. Beyond the Heartland Film Festival, Heartland Film honors theatrically-released films that align with its mission via the Truly Moving Picture Award, inspires the next generation of filmmakers via the Heartland Film Institute, and exhibits films across Indiana all year long via the Heartland Film Roadshow. To learn more, visit