This story is the fourth installment of a four-part series created in partnership with Hoodox. Indy Maven is proud to be a sponsor of Hoodox’s Women Filmmakers Collection, featuring films directed and/or produced by women.
Raised by a newspaper editor and former reporter in Lawrence Township, Indiana, Hannah Myers Lindgren was encouraged to explore storytelling since she was a child. As a sophomore in high school, Myers Lindgren took a video class where students were tasked with interviewing someone in their family. She interviewed her grandfather, a veteran helicopter pilot who fought in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. Witnessing the powerful impact his story made on viewers ignited the flame for her to keep pursuing the craft of documentary film.
“I wouldn’t be where I am today without my teacher [of that film class], Terri Nowak,” Myers Lindgren said. “Her encouragement gave me the confidence to pursue this as a career. We need more teachers like her to encourage women to become filmmakers.”
Around the same time as she took this class, Myers Lindgren began her involvement with Heartland Film Festival — an international film festival held annually in Indianapolis. In 2010, Lindgren interned with them, and has worked seasonally off and on since 2013. In 2020, her film “50 Little Birds” was in the Indy Shorts International Film Festival, presented by Heartland Film. In February of 2022, she began working with the festival part-time year-round, handling the social media aspects of the organization.
“It’s super fun and I love being part of such an amazing organization that has been a champion for the arts scene in Indianapolis for over 30 years,” Myers Lindgren gushed. “Helping fellow filmmakers promote their films while they’re screening in our city is really fulfilling. In addition, I could never have imagined as a teenager that I’d be watching my own film play at a Heartland Film festival.”
Apart from Heartland Film Festival, Hannah works full-time at Bayonet Media, an organization that creates a wide variety of content based here in central Indiana and around the globe.
A jack of all trades, Hannah Myers Lindgren has dipped her toes into telling stories of all kinds through film. While she doesn’t know if she’s found her “niche” yet, she knows she has a knack for approaching storytelling in a way that creates an empathetic connection between the viewer and the subject(s). As a woman in film, she hopes to one day tell stories that address issues related to women’s health and gender bias.
Her latest short film “The Net Makers” was grant-funded by Indiana Humanities as part of their Waterways film grant program. This is the second filmmaker grant Myers Lindgren has received by Indiana Humanities, another wonderful organization championing Hoosier storytelling. “The Net Makers” explores the precarity of fishing and net making in Southern Indiana in the face of great cultural and environmental change and how that is experienced in the lives of two fishermen, for whom net making and fishing is central to their personal and cultural identity. The film has since screened in six film festivals, including Indy Film Fest, where it won the Audience Choice Award for Documentary Short, as well as the Indy Shorts International Film Festival, Sidewalk Film Festival in Birmingham, and the Chesapeake Film Festival in Maryland.
Myers Lindgren is proud to be a Hoosier filmmaker — specifically an Indianapolis filmmaker.
“This city is full of crazy smart people who are full of vision and passionate about collaborating to create things,” she explained. “Here, no matter how much experience you have, you can bring an idea to the table and try something new. The spirit of collaboration and lifting each other up is something I haven’t seen in this field in other cities.”
In early 2021, this spirit of collaboration was exemplified when Myers Lindgren was approached by Hoodox, Indiana’s first and only streaming service featuring exclusively nonfiction, Indiana-focused content, asking whether she’d want to include any of her films on the streaming platform. She absolutely loved the idea of highlighting documentaries that share the stories of Hoosiers. Now, three of Myers Lindgren’s films — “Food First,” “White River: Perspectives,” and “50 Little Birds” are available for streaming on Hoodox. In addition, “The Net Makers” should be available on Hoodox soon.
“I think mainstream media gets a lot wrong about the Midwest, and about Indiana in particular,” Myers Lindgren explained. “Hoodox helps combat those stereotypes by presenting a huge swath of subject matters in the films they have included from across the state. Indiana is not a monolith; it’s diverse, complex, and interesting. I’m grateful that Hoodox celebrates that and uplifts the people who want to tell those stories by giving us such a great platform for our work.”
Audiences can support local filmmakers by watching their works, going to local film festivals, subscribing to Hoodox, paying attention to opportunities in our community like the Indiana Humanities film tour, and funding local filmmaker projects.
“Art is worth funding!” Myers Lindgren said.
Myers Lindgren’s rapid-fire picks:
Comfort film: “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of The Ring”
Favorite independent film: “Hunt for the Wilderpeople”
Anticipated 2022 release: “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”
Current favorite film: “Atonement” (favorite of all time!)
Filmmaker you admire: All of my coworkers at Bayonet Media and my former coworkers at Tilt23 studios.
Dream actor, director, or producer to work with: Cary Fukunaga
Favorite movie soundtrack: “Out of Africa”
Kylie Stine is a regular contributor to Indy Maven who shares Myers Lindgren’s passions for telling Hoosier stories and supporting the arts in Indianapolis.