Celebrating Diversity at Hobnobben Film Festival

By Brianna Datta

“Hobnobben is on its sixth annual festival which is absolutely amazing for Fort Wayne and the community. We continue to grow every single year. This year we received a record number of film submissions, so we love to see how this festival has evolved and changed from the beginning”, said Amanda Hille, co-chair of the Hobnobben film festival for the last three years.

Hille explained the significance of this event taking place in a town like Fort Wayne, extending the invitation for those unfamiliar with independent filmmaking to share their art and their perspective with the Northeast Indiana community.

“One thing we’re excited about with Hobnobben is that it is very much a Fort Wayne event. We accept films from high school all the way up to more professional type projects. We have several awards that emphasize the locality of Fort Wayne. So, this year we had a quarter of our films that were submitted that were tied to Indiana in some way, whether its being in Indiana or that they were Indiana-specific. So, we are excited to nurture and grow filmmaking in the Fort Wayne area because it is an important art form, where you can not only share your story but it’s a way to allow people from diverse groups and perspectives to showcase what they want to say in a succinct way. With this particular type of programming, we rely on the Fort Wayne community members to show up and participate in seeing films, we rely on community businesses and organizations to help sponsor Hobnobben, and this festival is really about bringing people together in an inclusive way to make sure that everyone is seen and heard and that we can really celebrate other perspectives which is so unique.”

Hille also highlighted the ways in which Hobnobben sets itself a part from other film festivals, describing how Hobnobben actively celebrates diversity beyond just the content of the film selections. Many of the films submissions selected were directed by women, and the Hobnobben festival itself was led by women. In addition to this, Hobnobben offers a special award, the Jen and Lynn award, to celebrate LGBTQIA representation in the films.

“For me, being a part of Hobnobben during my second year, one of my co-chairs said that there aren’t many festivals that are led by women it’s only, I believe, twenty-eight percent of festivals. So, for us to provide that understanding is so important. We have a new award called the Jen and Lynn award that is specifically to highlight and celebrate LGBTQAI films, and that’s one way to make sure that we are bringing representation to Fort Wayne. Forty percent of our films that were in this festival were directed by women-which is unheard of when you compare it to your mainstream Hollywood films.”

To stream the films from this event visit hobnobben.org

For more information on the Hobnobben film festival visit hobnobben.org

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