This article appears in the December 2011 issue of LouisvilleMagazine. To subscribe, please visit loumag.com.
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Heightchew, 33, founded the organization five years ago with partners Ryan Daly and George Parker. They held their first event, a screening of 16-millimeter shorts, on the back patio of the Nachbar in Germantown. Since then, the group has shown independent and experimental films at any location willing to host them, including 21c’s rooftop and the Speed Art Museum. Dreamland, located in what used to be Wayside Christian Mission’s chapel, is the group’s first permanent home. There are church pews for seating and classic movie guides where hymnals used to be. “It’s strange to think about how many NA and AA meetings have been held in this room,” Heightchew says.
The cinephile fell in love with movies after watching the 1982 horror flick Creepshow at the age of four. “At my birthday parties, we always watched movies,” she says. “Even then, I loved to discuss movies and see peoples’ reactions to them.” While studying humanities at the University of Louisville, Heightchew headed the Film Liberation Unit, a group dedicated to showing experimental films. She worked at Wild and Woolly Video after graduation. “I understand what audiences in Louisville like because I’ve seen what they rent,” she says. “This is a big cult-film town. People like zombie films and political and social documentaries. People aren’t passive about films. They get excited about films and sharing them.”