Bloomington-based film company Pigasus Pictures will show two films, “Ms. White Light” and “The MisEducation of Bindu,” in the Heartland International Film Festival in Indianapolis this month.
“We all have this conception in Indiana that all the cool things happened on a coast, all the cool things happened somewhere else,” Pigasus Producer and COO John Armstrong said. “We’re trying to change that philosophy and prove things are happening right here in our backyard.”
Armstrong said Heartland is the biggest and best film festival in the region. The company’s first film, “The Good Catholic,” was unable to be shown there in 2017 due to scheduling conflicts.
“We’re just really excited to finally bring a film home to Heartland,” Armstrong said. “It’s a celebration of great things happening in Indiana.”
Armstrong said he hopes Pigasus will be a point of pride for Bloomington and make a name for Indiana filmmaking.
“We decided that we would center our work and our storytelling around stories that can take place in the state,” Armstrong said. “It’s all centered around doing film in a place where film doesn’t really happen.”
“Ms. White Light” will have a red carpet premiere at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater, according to a press release from Pigasus Pictures.
Armstrong said the red carpet premiere is an experience that does not happen often in Bloomington.
“It’s very exciting to celebrate that Monroe County, Bloomington connection by having an event like that at the theater,” Buskirk-Chumley associate director Rebecca Stanze said.
The red carpet premiere will be at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 17. There will be additional screenings Oct. 18, 19 and 20. Tickets can be bought at the Buskirk-Chumley box office or online at https://bctboxoffice.org/events/.
“The MisEducation of Bindu” will premiere at the Mill Valley Film Festival, presented by the California Film Institute on Oct. 9 in Larkspur, California, according to the festival’s website.
The film will then join “Ms. White Light” at the Heartland International Film Festival, according to the press release from Pigasus Pictures.
“'Ms. White Light' is a dark comedy and it centers around the end of life,” Armstrong said. “Most movies about death, they don’t have the real conversations.”
The film is about Lex Cordova, a counselor for the terminally ill played by Roberta Colindrez, who reexamines her decisions after interacting with free-spirited Valerie, played by two-time Emmy and Tony Award winner Judith Light, according to the press release.
“The film is both funny and touching, but the acting is superb,” Armstrong said.
Armstrong said “The MisEducation of Bindu” is a coming-of-age story of an Indian-American teenager. It was filmed in Indianapolis at Broad Ripple High School two weeks after the school closed.
“It’s hilarious, but it’s also very authentic and a little harsh at times,” Armstrong said.
Roo La La Productions and Pigasus Pictures co-produced this film, according to the press release.
Armstrong said the films will be available on Amazon and iTunes. Pigasus is looking for a distributor for the films, which will determine what other streaming services the two films will be available on.
English lecturer Owen Horton, who writes about contemporary films, said this kind of local representation in film is important because it validates communities.
“They get to see stories that they relate to personally and that are very specific to them, and communities get to then understand film as something that is not outside of their world,” Horton said.