Entering its ninth year, Indie Grits has exceeded all reasonable expectations for a film festival in a modest Southern city. If you live in an apartment near Columbia, SC you don’t want to miss it.
Last April, an estimated 12,000 people flocked to the Nickelodeon Theatre’s annual smorgasbord of cutting-edge movies, music and art. Twice named one of the Top 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World according to MovieMaker magazine, the 2015 outing will feature 74 films culled from 400 entries, a number that has increased by 100 each of the past two years. Indie Grits now plays host to a robust film competition, a growing visual arts wing and the budding video game conference Indie Bits — not to mention related music, food, tech and puppetry elements filling out the festival’s increasingly diverse calendar.
Indie Grits Film Festival returns to Columbia Wednesday through Sunday.
- What: Indie Grits
- Where: Nickelodeon Theatre and other downtown locations
- When: Wednesday, April 15-Sunday, April 19
- More Info: indiegrits.com
This year’s Indie Grits is replete with new and exciting possibilities. For the first time hinging its curation on an overarching theme, the festival is greatly expanding its art programming: A Future Perfect exhibition at Tapp’s Arts Center will explore the topic.
Nine local and national artists will place work in venues throughout downtown. In addition, eight resident artists will come to Columbia and assemble projects.
Wrapped up with this theme is Indie Grits’ continued focus on community — highlighting local artists while also bringing in inspirational outsiders. This intersection is most apparent in the music. Columbia bands The Prairie Willows and The Restoration will, respectively, provide tunes for the Spork in Hand Puppet Slam and The Weekly Revue, a traveling comedy show and symposium for interesting speakers. Girded by the outlandish space rock of Charlotte’s Hectorina and the mercurial charisma of Brooklyn’s Helado Negro, Wednesday’s Opening Night Party will also feature a cadre of local buskers, a nod to one of this year’s films. Fork & Spoon Records will celebrate five years in business with a Thursday party at the Music Farm, assembling a lineup of Columbia expats (the combustible Elvis Depressedly), regional favorites (the darkly quirky Bombadil) and local mainstays (the brutally clever Can’t Kids). Saturday’s massive Hip-Hop Family Day will seek to empower the city’s oft-unheralded scene with help from some high-profile talent.
But while this is the busiest Indie Grits has ever been, it isn’t the longest. After three 10-day events, the festival returns to its old five-day duration.