Carmel graduate leads festival for fellow film lovers


By Joseph Knoop



Carmel graduate Craig Mince is looking forward to another successful year for the Indianapolis International Film Festival, now in his fourth year directing the event.

Mince has also directed the Indianapolis IMAX Theater since 2009, and he said growing up in Carmel served as one launching point for his love of film.

The original Carmel Theatre, closed and razed in 1984, was where Mince first saw films like Raiders of the Lost Ark, helping to spark a fascination with the medium.

“I remember going to that theater all the time,” Mince said. “That’s where the whole ‘film as an experience’ thing took off and kind of where my love for movies started.”

With Carmel’s relatively recent move into hosting arts events and incubating arts businesses, it’s been interesting to see the parallel between Mince’s life and his city’s fascination with art, Mince said.

Mince became involved in the Indianapolis International Film Festival after former member Brian Owens stepped down. He was initially looking to fill a programming role when he joined the all-volunteer organization, but he eventually took on the directorial role and his helped to shape its current vision.

This festival will feature filmmakers from more than 50 countries.

“This year’s entire lineup is absolutely amazing,” he said. “There are awe-inspiring documentaries that will shake you to the core and lighthearted romantic comedies. Because we don’t have a niche audience that we speak to, there’s a theme that organically comes from the movies being made. This year’s theme is ‘coming of age.’”

Mince said that the one of the festival’s main draws is the ability to see rare films that won’t be publicly available for months or even years.

“These are films that will never pass through Indy theatrically,” he said. “Arthouse films, with the dynamic of distribution, will fly under the radar. It’s a really neat way to see these movies with like-minded individuals, and a fun opportunity to interact with the filmmakers. A big chunk of the filmmakers that made these films come to Indy to see the audience’s reaction.”

The Indy Film Fest recently achieved its Kickstarter fundraising goal of $8,000, which helps to create even more opportunities for fans and creators to rub elbows by funding hotel rooms for the filmmakers.

The festival runs July 17 through 26.

For more information visit

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