The films are part of the Unearthed initiative, Indiana Humanities’ multiyear environmental theme, and feature stories from across the state told by Hoosiers highlighting their diverse relationships with water. From improving the health of the Blue River to support the hellbender salamander habitat to the fading art of net making, the films explore issues of access and conservation, as well as the unique cultures that spring up around Indiana’s waterways.
Watch Waterways Films
Waterways Film Project Screenings
Previous Screening Locations
- Thursday, March 31 | Featured filmmaker Q&A
New Harmony Atheneum | New Harmony
- Tuesday, April 5
Jefferson County Public Library | Madison
- Thursday, April 7
Taggart Amphitheatre (outdoor screening) | Indianapolis
- Tuesday, April 19 | Featured filmmaker Q&A
Fowler Theatre | Fowler
- Wednesday, April 20
Strand Theatre | Kendallville
- Friday, April 29 | Featured filmmaker Q&A
Marshall J. Gardner Center for the Arts | Gary
- Wednesday, May 11 | Featured filmmaker Q&A
Harrison County Arts | Corydon
- Tuesday, May 17
Studebaker 112 | South Bend
- Thursday, June 9
Vigo County Historical Museum | Terre Haute
- Thursday, June 16
Cinema Center | Fort Wayne
- Wednesday, June 22
IU East – Vivian Auditorium | Richmond
- Thursday, June 30
AMP @ 16 Tech | Indianapolis
About the Films
Cast Out gazes into the rippling waters which Indianapolis straddles. This short film reflects the seasonal cycles in the city. It explores conservational and consumptive fishing on the White River watershed. With stark black and white photography and a sparse linear narrative, it asks the audience to be present like the subjects it documents. As a fisherman cannot cast into the river to catch a fish from the sea, this film too plants itself on the banks of the midwestern waterways and waits.
Will Wertz is a film director and editor focusing on genuine and heartfelt stories that expose the human condition. His documentary work has been featured in the Huffington Post and Devour and at international film festivals while his advertisements have won Emmy and Addy awards.
Calumet: The Region’s River
Calumet: The Region’s River is a video journey into the industrialized heart of the Calumet watershed in Indiana, along the branches, canals, and wetlands of the Calumet River system. Gary artists Samuel Love and Raymar Brunson travel along the Calumet, exploring how the very heart of the watershed was turned into a barrier between classes and races – and the consequences for communities near the river today. Along the way they also introduce the people working to address the legacy of pollution and environmental racism, build connections to communities separated by the river, and increase public access to the water.
Samuel Love is the editor of The Gary Anthology (Belt, 2020). He is a social and civic practice artist who organizes public projects that connect communities to their cultural and ecological histories through publishing, multi-media installations, and performance. Past engagements include the Gary Poetry Project (2017), the Gary Nature Project (2018), the Lockport Poetry Project (2018), and the Carroll County Poetry Project (2019-20). He was a 2019-20 Indiana Arts Commission On Ramp fellow and Individual Advancement Program grant recipient.
Raymar Brunson is a 2016 graduate of Wirt/Emerson Visual and Performing Arts Academy. As an independent photographer and videographer his talents have been sought out by local musicians and artists, environmental groups, and regional publishers. He has documented the impact of coal pollution for the Sierra Club’s Indiana Beyond Coal campaign. A photo essay detailing young people’s everyday lives in Gary was published by Belt Magazine and featured in The Gary Anthology.
Land Val · ues
Land Val · ues artfully weaves the beauty of the land, a cast of memorable characters, and a community that honors tradition, values hard work, and respects the land. Showcasing the collective efforts of farmers, landowners, and stakeholders in the community, the film illustrates smart farming practices and smart environmental practices working together for the greater good of the community at large–cultivating continued economic and environmental success in the region and building a lasting legacy of stewardship of the land for generations to come.
Johnny Klemme grew up on a farm in West Central Indiana. From a young age, his parents taught him the value of our connection to water, earth, and agriculture. Through countless outdoor adventures, camping excursions, and river trips, he developed a strong kinship with mother nature. Johnny is a graduate of Purdue University and continues to pursue his passion for the great outdoors, land management, and agriculture within his professional career. When not in the office, he can typically be found on the creek or in the woods with his loved ones and four-legged friends.
Ben Massie is a life-long resident of West Central Indiana. Spending time outdoors has been a large part of his life since early childhood. As a young boy, Ben would venture afield with his dad who would instill the importance of and appreciation for our natural resources. This passion continued to grow over the years through countless adventures in nature. Today, Ben enjoys telling stories of these beautiful natural places through the art of filmmaking via his business, Flatland Films. When Ben is not behind a camera enjoying nature, he loves to spend time outdoors with his three young boys, sharing the same passion for these wild places that his father instilled in him over 30 years ago.
The Net Makers
In rural Southern Indiana, two men carry on the tradition of crafting hoopnets and commercially fishing in the White and Wabash Rivers. Despite the threat of invasive species, climate change impacts and the shifting dynamics of commercial fishing and social norms, Larry and Danny spend countless hours hand-tying thousands of knots to create the intricate hoopnets that have been used in the area since the Great Depression. While they take their own approaches to crafting their nets, both recognize the precarious state of this tradition, and hope that the culture of hoopnet making will be picked up by future generations before it becomes lost to time.
Hannah Lindgren is a documentary filmmaker and video content creator with more than a decade of visual storytelling experience. A native of Indianapolis and graduate of Ball State University, she owned her own video production company and later worked for Time, Inc. (now Meredith). Her most recent documentary short, 50 Little Birds, was produced in partnership with Tilt23 Studios where she works as a video editor and producer in addition to continuing freelance work.
Hellbender in the Blue
From New York to Appalachia, the two-foot-long Eastern hellbender salamander is an indicator species of our river health. The population has declined noticeably since the early 1980s. Taking place in the Blue River watershed of Southern Indiana, the short film Hellbender in the Blue shares the story of a state-wide effort of improving the environment for our slimy friend and the water for us all.
As a documentary filmmaker and owner of Teardrop Pictures, Katelyn Calhoun highlights stories that spark empathy towards people and the planet. In the past few years, Katelyn directed three short documentaries about Indiana residents’ connection with the natural world, Hellbender in the Blue (2021), Snag in the Plan (2019), and Braided with the Current (2018). Her goal is to represent Indiana on a national and international level as she creates non-fiction films about communities all over the world.
Girl Scout Troop #2715 is on a mission to help create their neighborhood’s first nature preserve, but they can’t do it alone. This short follows the troop as they explore, learn, and team up with others in their community to help save the land from development.
A Ball State University theater and communications graduate, Turner Fair has over 10 years’ experience working in film production. His creative approach is rooted in innovative, community-based storytelling meant to entertain and inform. Fair grew up in the nonprofit world. His grandparents co-founded the Near Eastside non-profit the Kheprw Institute which has helped the community for over 30 years. Now based in LA, he works as a producer on independent feature films for various networks and studios, but continues to be heavily involved in Indianapolis’s film scene.
Born and raised in Indianapolis, Anna Zanoni has been invested in the rising filmmaking scene here for some time now. Her work centers around themes of minority identity and magnifying everyday people with extraordinary spirits. Her goal is to continue to collaborate with those around Indy in order to capture the unique culture, personality, and issues of the area. She hopes to direct documentaries full-time soon, but for now she’s a development coordinator for unscripted TV shows based in L.A.
Explore our other programs
Unearthed is a multiyear thematic initiative from Indiana Humanities that encourages Hoosiers to explore how we shape the environment, and how the environment shapes us.Learn more
The Smithsonian’s Water/Ways exhibition is ready to make a splash in Indiana! The exhibit dives into water—an essential component of life on our planet, environmentally, culturally, and historically.Learn more