By Mark Ambrogi
At 76, Frank Basile is still doing more than his part as a patron of arts.
This time Basile has been called into service as the interim president of Heartland Film, an Indianapolis-based nonprofit that organizes the Heartland Film Festival.
“I enjoy the challenge,” Basile said. “I believe in the mission, so it was an opportune time to lend some assistance to the organization, and I’m looking forward to it frankly.”
The opening came about when Stuart Lowry resigned for personal reasons. Heartland Board Chairman Gary D. Cohen announced the appointment of Basile last month.
“Our board is very grateful both to Stuart for his significant contributions to our success, and to Frank, for his willingness to lead our efforts at this critical time,” Cohen stated.
Basile, a Carmel resident, is hoping the search for the new president will be concluded in six to nine months.
“Although, I recall as I was interim president at the Center for the Performing Arts, I was there for a year and two months,” Basile said. “So you just don’t know long it’s going to take at this moment.”
He said the temporary paid post is a full-time pursuit.
“I’ve been in the office each day since I took over, which was Dec. 16,” Basile said.
The Heartland Film Festival is preparing for its 25th anniversary this October. Basile said a huge gala is planned in conjunction with the event and the organization is trying to schedule celebrities to come in for the festival and gala. The festival is set from Oct. 21 to 30.
“Our goal is to move it even higher up in film festivals,” Basile said. “We’re looking for someone who has the connections and the background and the knowledge to move us to the next level.”
Basile, retired executive of the Gene B. Glick Company, also is on the board of Center for the Performing Arts, the Eiteljorg Museum and the Indiana Historical Society.
“As I did at the Center, I’m also going to participate in the search committee,” Basile said. “It’s so important to get the right person in that I want to have a hand in it.”
Basile has been a Heartland board member for one year.
“It’s good that I have board experience there, so I know something about the organization, which shortens the learning curve,” Basile said.