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The Independent Critic

Kelsey Steuer, Michele Lorbieski Anderson, Candice Hope Baggett, and Ali Lemberg
Danielle Wolter Nolan, Kate Nolan
35 Mins.

 "Live Adventurously" Shines at 2017 Heartland Film Festival 
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If there's a short film in the 2017 Heartland Film Festival's blocks of Indiana films that truly celebrates both what it means to be from Indiana and also fully embraces what it means to be a Heartland film, it's likely this delightfully entertaining and inspiring short doc co-written/directed by Danielle Wolter Nolan and Kate Nolan that will leave you smiling from ear-to-ear and reflecting back trying to remember the last time you'd really done something you'd never done before. 

The film follows four women, strangers to one another when their adventure begins, who were chosen winners of a four-day back country adventure. While you may be picturing something along the lines of "Survivor: Indiana," the truth is that Live Adventurously is one of the 2017 Heartland Film Festival's most pleasant surprises, a 35-minute film that affirms life, sisterhood, living adventurously and stretching yourself beyond anything you've ever dreamed possible. 

Winner of Best Documentary at the Alhambra Theatre Film Festival in Evansville, Live Adventurously both immersed me in its experiences while also reflecting on my own life adventures as a longtime road warrior with over 5,000 miles of wheelchair traveling to my name since I first hit the road in 1989. 

These four women inspire. They are strong and intelligent and enter this 2016 adventure sponsored by DNK Presents with an openness of mind, body and spirit that is simply a joy to watch unfold. Kelsey Steuer, Michele Lorbieski Anderson, Candice Hope Baggett, and Ali Lemberg may have entered this process as complete strangers but one gets the sense that after a mere four days they've become lifelong friends. 

Cue the James Taylor music.

While it seems inevitable in this type of film that you pick a "favorite" participant, the simple truth is that would be an impossible task here as each participant brings something unique to the table and the Nolans do a stellar job of balancing the film to spotlight each woman, her story and her experience. 

Intentionally created to showcase everyday women experiencing extraordinary adventures and, as well, to shine a spotlight on the adventure potential of Indiana, Live Adventurously succeeds wildly and leaves you admiring these women and the adventures they don't just survive but thrive. 

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic