The 28th annual Heartland International Film Festival celebrated opening night Thursday evening. Filmmakers from around the world gathered at Newfields in Indianapolis.

Every year the festival gives people the opportunity to not only watch a variety of films, but also interact with filmmakers.

Beth White, executive director of Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee, was one of the people who attended the opening night. White believes the Heartland International Film Festival has helped the city of Indianapolis grow. 

“It’s really a wonderful cosmopolitan, diverse city with lots of opportunity for arts and culture and different ethnicities and that’s what makes the city so great,” White said. 

The 11-day festival features more than 100 independent films, 200 visiting filmmakers and 300 film screenings. 

Nelson Wass was one of the filmmarkers at the festival  supporting his new film “Koko: A Red Dog”. Wass was excited to be there, but he was still trying to recover from his long trip from Australia. 

“I’m absolutely shattered, but I’m thrilled to be here,” Wass said.  “I love, love, love the audiences from Indianapolis.”

The 11-day festival will continue throughout Indianapolis until Oct. 20. To see the featured films, tickets can be purchased at any Festival theater box office. 

For more information regarding the films, and upcoming Festival events, visit Heartlandfilm.org