nobody movie_Documentary Series Lights Up Indiana’s Waterways – 89.3 WFPL News Louisville

From Wabash to Ohio, Hoosiers throughout history have built their livelihoods and cultures around rivers.

That’s why Indiana Humanities, an Indianapolis-based nonprofit, is spotlighting the state’s waterways with a documentary series.

“We felt it was important to tell these stories so that people could see themselves represented in the film, their communities represented,” said Jackie Rodriguez, the group’s communications manager. “And then also raise awareness of important issues that our environment is currently facing, that our waterways are currently facing.”

The group is hosting free screenings of six original short films about Hoosiers’ relationship with rivers and the creatures that live in them. The tour will stop in Corydon on Wednesday evening where some of the filmmakers will be taking questions from viewers.

The films feature stories from across the state, including a couple from southern Indiana.

Katelyn Calhoun’s documentary Hellbender in the Blue details efforts to reintroduce North America’s largest salamander to the Blue River, which flows through Crawford, Harrison and Washington counties.

“They’re kind of slimy and ugly, and it’s wonderful,” Calhoun said. “I’m a huge fan. And I have an affinity for making a seemingly unlovable thing loveable when it comes to my films.”

The Hellbender salamander can grow to over two feet in length. They are found in decreasing numbers throughout the eastern United States. In Indiana they are threatened with extinction.

Calhoun said the people working to restore the Hellbender population are as much the stars of the documentary as the slimy creatures themselves.

“It’s based a bit on Purdue, but there are people in Indianapolis working on it,” Calhoun said. “There are people in Evansville, there are people in Fort Wayne who just help raise these animals in the zoo so they can then release them into the Blue River. Although it’s really only found in the Blue River at the moment, people everywhere are trying to bring it [up] to their previous numbers.”

The Net Makers, directed by Hannah Lindgren, features two traditional fishing net makers in southern Indiana. One of the test persons has spent his whole life in the craft, another is active in the fifth generation of his family.

The men use their creations to catch fish in the White and Wabash rivers, which they then sell in their community. Lindgren said the documentary is about their relationship with the craft and the changes they’ve seen in the environment throughout their careers.

“It’s really a dying art,” Lindgren said. “These men put these hoop nets together by hand, sometimes with thousands upon thousands of individual knots.”

Lindgren said she has a special emotional connection to the subject because her grandfather is from southern Indiana. He died during filming.

“So I really just felt related to those men, and they reminded me of him so much,” Lindgren said. “It was particularly poignant for me, but I just felt like her story needed to be told. Nobody really knew this craft and they are some of the last people doing it.”

The Corydon show is one of the original nine scheduled stops on the Indiana Waterways tour, but organizers have since extended the series through the summer.

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