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'Bloomington' Flaunts Its Indiana Connections

This year, Bloomington's Pride Film Festival will be screening a movie with close ties to Indiana. Fittingly enough, it's called Bloomington.

In Part One of WFIU's film fest preview, Abby Henkel of the Steering Committee spoke about how the committee chose Bloomington and the other films to be included in the festival. They decided to make writer and director Fernanda Cardoso's movie the feature film on the festival's opening night.

A Familiar Story

Bloomington is the story of a former child star, Jackie Kirk. Jackie moves to the Midwest to attend college and ends up falling in love with her psychology professor, Catherine Stark. A romance ensues. Trouble comes when Stark's job security seems to be at risk, and Kirk must weigh the possibility of returning to a life in Hollywood.

This 'hot-for-teacher' premise may sound familiar to fans of LGBT films. Connections are being drawn by critics to the 2006 film Loving Annabelle, for example. But Cardoso doesn't think the two movies are all that similar.

"I heard of Loving Annabelle after I had begun writing Bloomington," Cardoso explains. "It did scare me a little bit to be compared to that movie – that's such a huge amazing movie. But upon actually watching Loving Annabelle, I thought, 'I'll be fine.'"

Back Home In Indiana

Bloomington's connection to Indiana goes deeper than just the title. The movie was shot entirely in Carmel and Columbus in April of 2009, thanks to a suggestion from the film's producer, Indiana native and Indiana University alum Jason Shumway. (But no, production never took place in Bloomington itself.)

The film has already been viewed by many Hoosiers. It played at the Indianapolis LGBT Film Festival in November 2010, where Cardoso won the annual award for Best Director.

Comments From The Peanut Gallery

Despite the setting of her film, Cardoso's visit to Bloomington-for an appearance at her film's screening-will be her first time in town. She'll be conducting a Q&A after the screening of Bloomington on Thursday night.

After attending many festival events like this, she's developed a tough skin. "The first festival we did I think was Frameline, in San Fransisco back in June. I think that was the toughest audience," she recalls. "I've learned to anticipate certain moments in the movie, just to see what people are going to think."

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