“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.”
Fort Wayne’s annual Hobnobben film festival celebrated its sixth year at the Embassy theatre in Fort Wayne over the weekend. Members of the Fort Wayne community showed their support for independent filmmaking by attending the festival, enjoying the wide selection of submissions from filmmakers around the world, as well as panel discussions, live events, and more.
“I think what separates Hobnobben from other film festivals is that we really do strive for diversity and inclusivity in the stories that we highlight in our festival. So, we try to showcase films that you wouldn’t see on any mainstream media”, said Christi Hille, one of the co-chairs of the festival.
Christi Hille has been involved with Hobnobben since its first year. She started out bartending the first event, then volunteered with the hospitality and marketing teams, eventually working her way to become one of the three co-chairs of Hobnobben film festival. Hille highlighted the importance of supporting independent films and filmmakers in the Fort Wayne community.
“This year we had one hundred and five films were submitted to the festival, most of those were shorts in some way shape or form, and those are the types of films you can’t see streaming on Netflix or turning the channel, but there’s a lot that you can do in five minutes to tell a story and you wouldn’t know it unless you had access to a festival like this that happens to be in Fort Wayne, and it’s a really unique opportunity.”
When asked what her favorite film out of the festival line up was, she had trouble deciding, but did describe a few submissions that stood out to her, as well as the “love love” block, a block of time dedicated to romance films.
“It’s so difficult for me to choose a favorite film of the festival because we watch all of the film submissions and as a committee, we decide which ones make it into the festival after our program team watches all of them and rates them to begin with. So, I think of all of them as my true loves and I’m so passionate about each of them, but I do have a couple favorites. Six Angry Women is well-done. It’s a lovely documentary feature that investigates a crime that took place in New Zealand and that was unsolved for years, while also highlighting the rise of feminism in New Zealand and safety on campus issues. It’s a really well-done film. I also did enjoy the “love love” block. It has a bunch of little romantic vignettes and features that are cute and sweet. So, romance stories that again, you’re not really seeing on mainstream media, lots of queer representation in them, lots of different types of relationships that we can form, some meet cutes and all that kind of jazz too.”
You can stream the films from this event at hobnobben.org
For more information on Hobnobben film festival visit hobnobben.org.
H2H has the perfect accessories to add comfort and style to any interior with modern flair. Home décor is a great gift for your work-from-home family and friends who are beginning to get stir crazy and needing something liven up their space. Whether it’s a private office, a tiny corner of the living room, or in my case, a windowless walk-in closet, a soy candle from Calyan Wax Co. will transform the dreariest spaces into a luxurious study. My favorite scent is Apples + Maple Bourbon, but House to Home also stocks Aspen + Fog, Home + Holiday, and Oakmoss + Amber. Candles make great supplementing gifts, too. A Calyan Wax Co. candle, a bottle of wine, and a soft fleece blanket make for a relaxing evening at home.
The Nurses’ Nursery is an online business started by two intensive care unit nurses in Fort Wayne with a passion for gardening. Orders can be made via their Facebook and their new website. The Nurses offer a variety of house plants, ranging from those that require little indirect light to those that are tropical, needing bright direct light. For a first-time house plant owner, I would recommend going with a jade pothos. They are relatively low maintenance, requiring indirect light and can even grow under standard fluorescent lights. Follow the Nurses’ Nursery social media accounts for holiday discounts and plant care tips.
If you’re picking up a house plant from The Nurses’ Nursery, be sure to also visit Honey Plant boutique, as well. Not only do they also offer a wide assortment of house plants in their boutique and online, they also carry a diverse selection of pots and containers. Many of these ceramic pieces are made by Indiana artists, such as Sarah Thompson owner of Sarahmics. Honey Plant owners Cassandra and Logan Braman are always friendly and helpful in choosing the correct plant and type and size of container for your plant’s needs, too. For those whose thumbs are more black than green, Honey Plant also designs plant art from mosses and dried flowers. This option is a step up from fake plants, but doesn’t require the same maintenance as living plants.
Before you even reach the door, you’ll catch a whiff of that universal “old book smell” drafting through your COVID-19 mask. The shelves of Hyde Brothers Booksellers are stacked floor to ceiling, housing over 150,000 books. Browse the selection, and you’ll find new reads and plenty of classics. For socially distant shopping, the bookstore will host its Midnight Sale this year in two sessions, lasting two hours each, on Saturday, Dec. 19. This extravaganza requires a ticket to participate, and you can reserve one for free via Eventbrite. On this special night, you will receive a 20 percent discount on your entire purchase and a gift if you wear your pajamas! If you are not able to make the sale, you can also shop the online book packages, which are specially curated with the help of the staff. Buyers can fill out a preference form based on their desired genre and previously enjoyed books. Can you imagine, getting The Sam Hyde Family Package, and everyone getting their book on Christmas Eve, reading and sipping hot cocoa? #goals.
I don’t know about you guys, but I am a gift wrap snob. While most often gift wrap is ripped to smithereens, I aim to use gift wrap that will cause the receiver to pause at its glory and appreciate the artwork that goes into it. Fancy & Staple not only carries gift wrap, bags, stickers, and tags for a myriad of occasions, but also has an eclectic supply of goods from creators—both local and all over the world. Follow Fancy & Staple on Instagram and stay tuned for updates regarding their upcoming toy store, Hopscotch House. It’s all the fun and wonder that can be found in Fancy & Staple, but for your favorite littles!
CWOW’s Wide Silk Rainbow bracelet is an awesome group gift. Friendship bracelets are timeless, and it is an extra reminder of your love when you can’t be near. These bracelets are small, but meaningful, like work done by the ladies of CWOW, a shop and nonprofit that specializes in empowering female entrepreneurs all over the world to use their creative and artistic talents to support their families and communities. Each bracelet is handmade by a Guatemalan artisan, so no two are exactly the same. Along with the Friendship bracelets, CWOW features a wide variety of sustainably sourced gifts for men and women alike, including clothing, accessories, home décor, baking kits, coffee, and essential oils! Visit their shop downtown next to J.K. O’Donnell’s Irish Pub or browse their selection online.
Steamed buns aren’t the only thing Coney Island is peddling. While you’re taking a break from the many hours of shopping, grab a couple of Coney dogs—sauce and cheese only for me. Then walk over to the Coney Island Gift Shop next door. This tiny shop is full of Coney Island inspired apparel, but the gift that takes the cake is the Coney Island dress socks. What better way to wear your local pride than with this iconic Fort Wayne restaurant keeping your feet cozy all winter long?
At some point this year, most of us have yearned for nights out with our friends, but instead, have settled for nights stuck at home to stay safe. But thanks to Camp Craft DIY Cocktails available at The Find, you can learn how to make artisanal cocktails yourself—no professional bartender required. While the cocktail kits require three days for the alcohol of your choice to infuse into the ingredients, at least you know there won’t be a long line to pour yourself a glass! You can get two uses from the ingredients included in each pack. Cocktails come in four flavors: Hot Toddy, Hibiscus Ginger Lemon, Sage and Turmeric, and Pineapple Jalapeno. While you’re at the Find, be sure to shop around, too. They carry a wide range of goods ideal for homebodies and kitchen aficionados. You can transform your house into a high-end restaurant!
Old Fort Tee Co. is an online shop that makes tees in Fort Wayne and for Fort Wayne. Not only do these shirts make a great gift for locals, but even more so for your out-of-town relatives who may not be able to visit this year. My Nana is a snowbird. Usually, she’ll spend the spring and summer months here, and then leave for Florida as it gets chillier. Lucky her, right? Of course, this year has been different, for all the obvious reasons and for her safety, she hasn’t visited. So why not send a little piece of Fort Wayne her way?
As cabin fever rises during the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m sure you’ve already exhausted your typical hobbies. But thankfully, a small business owner downtown is creating fun ways to keep you busy and help you create something extra special for your loved ones this holiday season—or share the gift of crafting with others. The Hedge, a fine art print shop studio on Broadway, has created Workshop at Home kits, which make great gifts for craft-lovers ages 10 and up. Each craft is highly useful and appeals to adults, too, like a faux leather mini clutch or a linoleum print. The Hedge’s owner, Julie Wall, includes all of the necessary items for each craft in the kit, as well as instructions and notes about where additional supplies may be obtained. While you’re visiting The Hedge, check out their great selection of locally made items and gifts with city spirit, like Fort Wayne ornaments!
That’s all for now, folks. But there are so many more places to shop local in the Fort Wayne region, so if you do venture out to do some holiday shopping, consider visiting a new small business.
Supporting local businesses will always be the gift that keeps on giving in our local economy. Keep in mind, during this holiday season, many of our Fort Wayne merchants are offering gift cards, online shopping, and curbside pickup and delivery options, too. (See a full list of local deals and discounts here!)
Stay safe, and be merry!
Editor’s note: This story was produced in partnership with Input Fort Wayne and originally published on that digital magazine. This collaboration features the work of PFW students and provides a positive outlook on what pulses through the cities in the area, promoting inspirational stories that spark conversations and help us break new ground into the future and promote better communities.
High school athletes are struggling to find their fit to play at the next level.
“As a coach, it has been a tough year to see how hard my athletes work while witnessing their struggles to get seen in hopes to continue their soccer careers due to the pandemic,” said Mike Friendt, head coach of North Metro Girls u18 team.
With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the world, one thing that has drastically changed is the recruiting process for collegiate athletics, specifically soccer players.
The NCAA announced at the beginning of the pandemic they were implementing a ‘dead period.’ This is a time when there are no visits, scouting, camps, or evaluation of prospects.
As the pandemic continues to be an issue, the dead period continues to get extended, leaving future prospects working against the clock.
Traditionally, in the recruiting world of collegiate soccer, coaches are able to see future prospects at camps hosted by the school or at the prospect’s games. This would happen during the prospect’s junior and/or senior year of high school.
When a college coach becomes impressed by a player’s abilities on the field, they will then continue their interest over phone calls, emails, and texts. The communication and interest lead to the coach having the player come to campus so they can show the player what the school has to offer and have them meet the team.
Schools around the country have faced major budget cuts due to the lack of competition and other COVID-19 related changes.
Due to the “COVID year” collegiate institutions have been left with less scholarship money available to give to the athletes currently in the NCAA, which results in an additional year of competition available to the collegiate athletes that had one of their eligibility seasons canceled or drastically altered due to the pandemic.
In cases where the athlete is on a scholarship and chooses to accept the extra fifth year, the athletic program will sponsor the athlete with money that would traditionally go to an incoming freshman. This impacts the incoming recruiting prospects because it leaves less money and scholarships available than in a traditional year.
The head coach of the Purdue University Fort Wayne soccer team, Jason Burr, mentioned that typically coaches only anticipate a player staying for four years and allocate money as if that’s the case.
High-school senior and soccer player Bella Grandbois was planning to attend California Baptist University, but she said that due to the “COVID year” the program offered one of their seniors money for the extra year that would have potentially gone to her.
“I had always known the recruiting process would be challenging but never expected it to be the way it is now,” she said.
Bella’s teammate, Sydney Johnson, is also facing challenges in the recruitment process this year.
“It has definitely been hard, especially because most of the scholarship money depended on how much was left due to the pandemic and not how much we deserved based on our play like it would be in a more traditional situation.”