INseparable Films

Indiana Humanities funded five short films exploring how Hoosiers experience and grapple with urban, suburban and rural divides.

Watch the Films
INseparable Films

In 2019, five award-winning Indiana filmmakers were chosen by Indiana Humanities to create short documentaries examining the ways Hoosiers experience urban and rural identities today. The films—about a dance instructor in Gary dealing with the city’s disinvestment in arts education, about a rural community newspaper in Wayne County filling the gap caused by media consolidation, about a southern Indiana composting business that hires the formerly incarcerated to transform the land and their lives—complicate our ideas about who lives in Indiana and what they’re up to.

Featured filmmakers include 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.


by Mitch Teplitsky and Gabriel Lantz

In southern Indiana, a married couple 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.


Mitch Teplitski (pictured left) is a producer, based in Bloomington, Indiana since 2017, after spending most of his life in New York City, with long stints in Peru (the country, not the Indiana town), where he made several documentaries. He was marketing director at Lincoln Center and studied marketing at University of Pennsylvania. Gabriel Lantz (pictured right) is a producer/director/editor and Emmy-nominated videographer for television, documentaries and branded content. His credits include projects for PBS/WTIU, MTV an educational video about climate change in China and a documentary-in-progress about yoga pioneer Amrit Desai.


by Pat Wisniewski and Tom Desch

Trace 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.


Pat Wisniewski (producer, pictured left) is a former steelworker from Chicago’s South Side and a two-time Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker. Her previous films include The Lively One, Shifting Sands and Everglades of the North, which appeared on PBS. Tom Desch (producer/director, pictured right) was raised among the cornfields of Herscher, Illinois (population 1,600) and credits his upbringing in this rural community on the fringe of Chicago’s influence as the inspiration for his films, including the Emmy-nominated An American Home and Everglades of the North, that take a look at our relationship with our natural and built environments. Pat is based in Valparaiso and Tom lives in Chicago.


by Ryan Gleeson

Follow a week in the life of a small-town newspaper in Wayne County, Indiana, for a look at how rural journalism is practiced today and why it matters.


Ryan Gleeson is a documentary filmmaker based in Chicago. Born in Richmond, raised in punk rock, and moved to tell stories of people from the Heartland, Ryan found his home at Kartemquin Films and has spent the last eight years there helping craft stories about real people in and around the Midwest. He served as co-editor on Atlanta Documentary Film Fest’s Jury Award-winning Raising Bertie, post-production supervisor on Oscar-nominated films Minding the GapAbacus, and Edith + Eddie, as well as editor and post-production supervisor on many other documentary features, shorts, non-fiction television and special featurettes. In 2016, Ryan was selected by Sundance Documentary Lab as a contributing Editor Fellow for 2019 Peabody Award nominee Whose Streets?, an intimate look at the community of Ferguson, Missouri following the death of Mike Brown at the hands of the Ferguson police. In his spare time, Ryan runs a pop-up pizza restaurant from his living room, a practice he describes as quicker to develop and make than long-form documentary.  



by Dan Rybicky

A dedicated dance teacher continues working with and inspiring his current and former students even after learning the nationally recognized arts high school in Gary, Indiana where he has taught for decades is being closed by the state.


Dan Rybicky is a Gary, Indiana-based award-winning filmmaker and professor who produced and co-directed ITVS/Kartemquin Films’ critically-acclaimed feature documentary Almost There, which was shot on location in Northwest Indiana and screened at festivals around the world before being distributed theatrically, digitally, and on public television in 2016. Dan’s most recent short documentary about health care Accident, MD received a favorable review in The New Yorker before being broadcast nationally on PBS/Independent Lens in January 2019 and premiering online in February as a Vimeo Staff Pick. Dan received his BA at Vassar College and his MFA at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts before beginning to work with and consult in various production capacities for Martin Scorsese, John Sayles, and John Leguizamo. Dan was recently a consulting producer on The Area, which premiered in April 2018 at the Full Frame Documentary Festival, and Dan is currently producing Genius of a Different Hue, a new feature documentary about the history of black advertising in development with Kartemquin Films.


by Chad Perdue

A look at the experiences of mixed-race and non-white Hoosiers who live in rural and suburban communities.  


As principal of DevLab Creative, Chad Perdue spends most of his days giving clients the digital tools to meet their business and organizational goals. The company’s primary focus is professional video production, website design and development, and social media campaign strategy and execution. Chad views each client’s needs as a chance to tell their unique story. With a degree in film and video and the inquisitive mind of an anthropologist, documenting diverse cultural perspectives is something Chad has often considered. While Raised In Contrast is his first short film, the opportunity from Indiana Humanities allowed him to exercise his creative mind and explore these often sensitive topics to help bring some context to the state of our society with hopes that real understanding may take place.


Contact Kristen Fuhs Wells,  Vice President at