A Columbus duo-directed mini-documentary featuring local residents talking about racial justice will be part of the prestigious Indianapolis Heartland Film Festival which opens Thursday.
The 37-minute production, “Crossroads Stories,” will premiere in person at 7:15 pm Saturday at Living Room Theaters, 745 E. Ninth St., Suite 810, Indianapolis, according to festival staff. And it will also air at 5:15 p.m. Wednesday at the Kan-Kan Cinema and Brewery, 1258 Windsor St., Indianapolis. Virtual screenings are available anytime during the festival from Thursday to October 17, according to writer and producer Alyse Tucker Bounds.
Tucker Bounds is originally from Columbus and lives in Indianapolis. She worked with Columbus director Ryan Furr on the project.
Furr, of Ryan Furr Creative, called the recognition “pretty crazy”.
Tucker Bounds acknowledged much the same for the self-funded project which then won support from the Bartholomew County African American Fund for its presentation at the Amplify Columbus Film Festival in May.
“Honestly, I’m really, really excited,” said Tucker Bounds. “I didn’t expect him to come in, to be honest. I just said, ‘I’m going to go.’ “
Furr called it “something we weren’t really expecting.”
The film is up for two awards, according to the local duo – the Indiana Spotlight Award and the Social Justice Award.
Tucker Bounds said festival leaders liked the heavy Hoosier angle of the film, as well as the social justice aspect.
This is Tucker Bounds’ first filming in theaters, although Furr has experience in video production. But his other job was commercial efforts.
The Heartland nonprofit is particularly noteworthy because, since its inception in 1992, it has awarded more than $ 3.5 million in prizes to independent filmmakers – the highest total amount awarded by a film festival in North America, according to its organizers.
“When there’s a movie like this,” Furr said, “it’s usually more like a passion project (yours).”
The film features interviews with six residents of Black Columbus highlighting the racial disparities that exist in what is often referred to as “small town America.”
And he includes a delicate balance in his examination of racism, in part via Tucker Bounds’ own father, Al Tucker.
“Most people assume certain things about black people,” her father said on camera. “And most black people assume certain things about black people.”
Tucker Bounds and Furr believe their work could easily continue across an entire Crossroads Stories series focusing on small communities nationwide on a national platform like Netflix.
“With this now on our resume, if you will, I hope to continue to make as many connections as possible,” said Tucker Bounds. “Netflix is sort of the next best thing that can happen, although I don’t necessarily expect it. I’m just trying to reach out to the right people to hopefully make it happen.
“With that traction, it became a possibility.”