With a revitalized downtown movement and an emerging art culture, Fort Wayne’s first official film festival could not be arriving at a better time. Named Hobnobben after the word for mixing together socially, the festival sets out to represent the eclectic and diverse tastes that the Midwest has to offer. Award-winning independents, low-budget features, documentaries, shorts, locally produced work — there’s a little bit of something for everyone!
Taking place from June 16th through the evening of the 19th, Hobnobben includes 29 different showings. The majority of the films will be shown at the Cinema Center, while others will be shown at the Parkview Physicians Group ArtsLab, the University of Saint Francis Arts Center, and the Arts United Center. Two separate showcases will highlight student work and productions from Indiana natives. There will be panels, discussions, and workshops for filmmakers, and that’s what makes the inaugural year so encouraging. The festival concludes in an awards ceremony on Saturday night in the ballroom of the USF Performing Arts Center. This is a festival that allows itself to be shaped and molded into whatever suits you best. Want to see 2015’s Palm d’Or winner from the lauded Cannes Film Festival? You’re in luck. Interested in seeing some television pilots? The hour-long Philo Fest at the ArtsLab is just for you.
You can plan your night around seeing a different film each day. For Thursday, I’d suggest Other People, a story starring SNL alum Molly Shannon in a role that’s been getting rave reviews. Pencil in your Friday night to attend Lo and Behold, Reveries of a Connected World by acclaimed documentarian Werner Herzog. Saturday has the weekend’s biggest crop to choose from, but I’d steer attendees towards Little Men. And as for Sunday, your best bet to cap off the festival is Hunt for the Wilderpeople. The impressive schedule can be found in full on Hobnobben’s website.
By keeping the festival centralized to the downtown area, Hobnobben hopes to draw in crowds from near and far not just to enjoy movies, but to really get out and explore the city. Fort Wayne has a lot to offer and the festival serves as a meeting point for residents to come together in an appreciation of the arts. So whether or not you’re a big movie buff doesn’t matter. Go see that foreign film that’s out of your comfort zone. Check out some of the fine work done by local students and filmmakers. Then afterwards, grab a bite to eat or stop in somewhere for a drink. True to its name, Hobnobben wants people to try new things and to go new places. It certainly seems to be off to a promising start.
Hobnobben Film Festival
June 16th-19th. Showtimes vary.
Cinema Center, Parkview Physicians Group ArtsLab, USF Performing Arts Center, & Arts United Center (Check the schedule for exact locations for each showing)