Short documentaries about rural and urban life will premiere in Indiana in 2020

Staff Report

INDIANAPOLIS—Films exploring urban and rural identities in Indiana today will premiere in early 2020 at historic theaters and other locations across the state.

The short documentaries, funded by Indiana Humanities, build on the organization’s INseparable initiative, which encourages Hoosiers to explore real and perceived differences across urban, suburban and rural boundaries.

From January through March, the documentaries will be featured on the INseparable Film Tour, with stops in Angola, Bloomington, Fort Wayne, Franklin, Gary, Indianapolis, Lebanon, Richmond, Rushville and Valparaiso.

Among the films’ subjects are a dance instructor in Gary dealing with disinvestment in arts education, a rural community newspaper in Wayne County filling the gap caused by media consolidation, and a southern Indiana composting business that hires ex-offenders to transform the land and their lives.

“We hope these films spark meaningful conversations about the ways in which the futures of urban, rural and suburban Hoosiers are linked and what might be preventing us from working together,” said Leah Nahmias, director of programs and community engagement at Indiana Humanities. 

The featured filmmakers are Dan Rybicky and Ryan Gleeson of Chicago’s Kartemquin Films, Emmy nominee Pat Wisniewski and Tom Desch, Bloomington-based duo Mitch Teplitsky and Gabriel Lantz, and Chad Perdue.

After the INseparable Film Tour, the films will be available to stream online. A trailer is now available to watch at

Stops on the INseparable Film Tour:

Thursday, Jan. 15 | 6:30 p.m.

Duesenberg Recital Hall at the Center for the Arts 1709 Chapel Drive, Valparaiso

Register to attend for free at

Thursday, Jan. 23 | 6:30 p.m.

Rushville Princess Theater 330 N Main St., Rushville

Register to attend for free at

Thursday, Jan. 30 | 6:30 p.m.

Lebanon 7 1600 N. Lebanon St., Lebanon

Register to attend for free at

Wednesday, Feb. 5 | 7 p.m.

Moving Image Archives Screening Room (Wells 048) 1320 E 10th St., Bloomington

Register to attend for free at

Thursday, Feb. 6 | 6:30 p.m.

The Historic Artcraft Theatre 57 N Main St., Franklin

Register to attend for free at

Wednesday, Feb. 12 | 6:30 p.m.

Allen County Public Library 900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne

Register to attend for free at

Thursday, Feb. 20 | 6:30 p.m.

Brokaw Movie House 200 N. Public Square, Angola

Register to attend for free at

Wednesday, Feb. 26 | 6:30 p.m.

Indianapolis Art Center 820 East 67th St., Indianapolis

Buy $5 tickets at

Friday, March 6 | 6:30 p.m.

Bergland Auditorium, IU Northwest 3400 Broadway, Gary

Register to attend for free at

Thursday, March 12 | 6:30 p.m.

Richmond Art Museum 305 Hub Etchison Parkway, Richmond

Register to attend for free at

A special family-friendly screening of “Larry from Gary” will be offered Saturday, March 7, at IU Northwest’s Bergland Auditorium. Register to attend for free at

The filmmakers and their films:

“The Earthkeepers” by Mitch Teplitsky and Gabriel Lantz: Follows a southern Indiana couple who decide to leave academia to start a composting business — employing ex-offenders along the way. Now they’re on a mission to avert a looming waste crisis in Indiana, and beyond.

“From Sundown to Sunrise” by Pat Wisniewski and Tom Desch:  Traces one man’s journey from sundown to sunrise as he and his family integrate an all-white Indiana town in 1968. By breaking the color barrier, they also helped transform the town and place it on a trajectory of inclusion.

“Hometown Media” by Ryan Gleeson: Follows a week in the life of a small-town newspaper in Wayne County, Ind., for a look at how rural journalism is practiced today and why it matters.

“Larry from Gary” by Dan Rybicky: Chronicles the trials and triumphs of celebrated dance instructor Larry Brewer and his talented student performers at a nationally recognized arts school in Gary, which was recently closed as part of the restructuring of the city’s public schools. 

“Raised in Contrast” by Chad Perdue: Looks at the experiences of mixed-race and non-white Hoosiers who live in rural and suburban communities. is a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Share This Post