A locally-owned theatre offers another outlet for filmmakers. The Kan-Kan Cinema and Brasserie is designed to provide a gathering place for creatives to see their works on screen. Louise Henderson is executive director of the Indianapolis Film Project, a partner organization that aims to enrich Indianapolis culture through independent film exhibition. She spoke with WFYI’s Terri Dee about the cinema’s connection to Kurt Vonnegut and its range of presentations for audiences.
WFYI Reporter Terri Dee: What was the motivation behind opening the Kan-Kan Cinema and what can the Indianapolis community expect?
Louise Henderson, executive director of the Indianapolis Film Project: The Kan-Kan Cinema was out of the need for a locally owned arthouse cinema, most cities across the country have one or more arthouse cinemas to show independently produced film. Indianapolis has not had that. So our founders, Tom and Ed Batiste and Sam and Ben Tufton joined forces, searched for the right property, found people and brought this dream to life.
What we are is a three screen art house cinema. Also in our building is the brasserie, which is a restaurant and bar. We have three screens. We show films daily, seven days a week. matinees on the weekends and we will eventually expand to matinees all through the week. We're showing all sorts of films that maybe came out of Sundance or Telluride or Berlin. These are films produced outside of the typical Hollywood studio industry and they're interesting local stories. There'll be documentaries. There are narrative films; like right now we're showing "The Card Counter" with Oscar Isaac. We're showing a film made by Saint Vincent and Carrie Brownstein, so it is a mix of things, but also a lot of special events.
We'll be hosting Heartland Film Festival in October, the LGBTQ festival in November in the Film Fest next year, and lots of other special events, local film premieres, film and conversation series. You really have to stay up to date on our website to see what we've got going on.
Dee: The name "Kan-Kan" really catches the ear. Is there a story behind the name of the cinema?
Henderson: Yes, it is. It is actually from Kurt Vonnegut's book "Cat's Cradle." The Kan-Kan is what calls people to their craft, which is the community where they are they are cognitively linked with others. So it's a bit of a nod to being the hometown of Kurt Vonnegut. It's an easy, catchy name. But we also want people to come and gather and find like-minded people who love the arts and creativity storytelling itself.
Dee: Perhaps there is a filmmaker that's listening to this interview right now and says, "Wow, I would really like to see my work shown at Kan-Kan cinema." Is that opportunity, a reality for that person?
Henderson: Oh, absolutely. Yes. We have several lined up already. I encourage any local filmmaker because we want to get to know all of them and help them in in the development of their career. They can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get right back to them and talk with them about what they'd like to do and how we can make it happen.
Dee: The cinema sounds like another asset to the Indianapolis community. Thank you for your time and sharing your information with us, Louise.
Henderson: Thank you. Wonderful to talk to you.