FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) - The Hobnobben Film Festival is making its full return for its sixth year in Fort Wayne.
Traditionally held at The Cinema Center, the pandemic forged a partnership between the three day movie marathon, and The Embassy Theatre downtown — which allowed for social distancing.
Though much is the same for fans of the annual film festival, there are a few new changes.
“We have hit some record breaking numbers for the festival,” co-chair Amanda Hille told us, “with over 100 more films submitted through our viewing platform.”
In 2020, organizers urged filmmakers who didn’t live in the immediate area, not to attend the event, due to travel restrictions and covid-19 precautions.
This year, they’re expecting more than 30 filmmakers to attend, including one international guest.
Twenty five percent of the movies shown during the three day event were by Hoosiers or artists with Indiana connections.
“I’m really excited to get people together again so that we can share filmmaking, discuss films with audiences,” Hille shared. “Our festival is continuing to grow and our filmmakers genuinely love us.”
“It’s just great to see that we have a community who really wants to come in and share their knowledge, and share their experiences here in Fort Wayne,” she added.
Also new this year, is Hobnobben’s collaboration with the downtown event, Fright Night.
“We’ve got two blocks that are specifically dedicated to a little bit more on the spookier side of things, that we encourage people that are into thrillers, horrors, any kind of that genre,” Christi Hille, also a co-chair of the festival, told us.
Local writer and director Jake Ryan Baker’s short movie “Going Through It” was selected to show during the festival’s “Fright Night” block.
“The two things I really love about Hobnobben is: meeting fellow filmmakers,” he shared. “I love being able to network with people especially from the midwest — I’ve actually made lasting friendships from getting to participate in the festival before.”
“Also, going to a place where they’ve gathered all these films you wouldn’t normally see in other places,” he continued, “and just being able to sit and experience them is a really unique experience only film festivals can give you.”
Forty perent of the films showing were directed by women.
“Diversity and inclusivity (are) key tenets of our festival,” Christi Hille said.
Recognizing the high Burmese population in Fort Wayne, they also made efforts to attract the work of Myanmar director Thet Oo Maung, showcasing his film “The Rebel Artists of Burma”.
“This year, more than any other to my knowledge, we have more stories that are featuring people of color and their experiences,” Christi Hille explained. “Not only based in the US, but from a global perspective as well.”
Movies shown this weekend, also have the option of closed captioning for the hearing impaired.
Friday, opening night for the festival, will include filmmakers, catering from Copper Spoon, live performances from the Fort Wayne Dance Collective and a musician playing the score of his film.
Masks are strongly encouraged for the duration of the festival.
Money earned for the event goes towards expenses for the Cinema Center, a non-profit which provides the community access to independent, foreign, and art house films.
The Hobnobben Film Festival is at the Embassy Theatre from Oct. 15-17 -- tickets can be purchased at the box office.
New this year is the option to screen film blocks online from the festival start, to a full week after.
A full schedule of events and films is available on their websites here.