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Filmmaker Advisory Board

Every year, TFA gathers a group of alumni filmmakers from the previous year's festival to join the Filmmaker Advisory Board. This group of individuals possesses years of professional experience in the film industry, insight into the craft of filmmaking and all made very impactful visits to Wichita with their films.

The filmmakers help us to amplify our regional filmmaking community, as well as improve the festival experience for both the audience and the visiting filmmakers while expanding the Tallgrass reach beyond our region. Their input and participation helps to shape the Tallgrass Film Festival experience for years to come.

At the 2017 Tallgrass Film Festival, these filmmakers will participate in a special educational programming celebrating Tallgrass' 15th anniversary and Wichita's entrepreneurial spirit.

Meet the Filmmakers

Ryland Aldrich

Producer, Folk Hero & Funny Guy; producer Do You Dream in Color (TFF 2015)

Ryland Aldrich is an independent film producer. His first feature as producer Enter the Dangerous Mind premiered at SXSW 2013. Ryland also produced the feature documentary Do You Dream in Color? about blind teens directed by Abigail Fuller & Sarah Ivy that premiered in 2015 and will be released in 2017 by Uncork'd Entertainment. Ryland next produced Jeff Grace's Folk Hero & Funny Guy.hat film premiered at the Tribeca Film Fest in 2016 and went on to play over 16 film festivals including.In 2017 Ryland's latest narrative feature L.A. Times will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. Ryland is currently in post-production on director Erik Anders Lang's Be The Ball, a feature documentary exploring the connection between golf and the mind. Ryland also covers the festival circuit as Festivals Editor for ScreenAnarchy.com, a website that features the leading voices in global cinema. Ryland is based in Los Angeles and can be found on twitter at @RylandAldrich.

Dorie Barton

Writer/ Director, Girl Flu

Writer/Director Dorie Barton makes her feature film debut with Girl Flu. She has spent many years as a story consultant with filmmakers from up-and-coming writers to industry veterans. As a professional actor, she has been seen in countless television shows from daytime drama to mutli-cam sitcoms and major motion pictures such as Down with Love opposite Ewan MacGregor and Bobcat Goldthwait’s God Bless America. She graduated from the California Institute of the Arts with a degree in theater and remains a proud member of the Evidence Room Theater Company in Los Angeles.

Jamie Boyle

Producer/Cinematographer/Editor, Jackson

Jamie Boyle is a filmmaker based in Brooklyn, New York. She was the Editor, Producer and Cinematographer of Jackson, which premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival in 2016 and has won over a dozen Grand Jury Awards for Best Documentary. She was the Associate Editor and Production Manager on E-­Team, which won the Cinematography Award at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for two News and Documentary Emmys. In 2016, she edited a variety of projects for the American Civil Liberties Union and Pardon Snowden campaign. She has edited for numerous leading digital media companies and non-profit organizations. She taught at the Bronx Documentary Center and as a guest lecturer at Columbia University in Producing for Documentary. Current projects include, Capturing Vera; a verite feature documentary following three female environmental activists across the United States and a short documentary in collaboration with the American Civil Liberties Union focusing The Hyde Amendment.

Beth Dewey

Writer/Director, Erasing Eden

Beth Dewey makes films about complicated women and the female experience.  She got her start working for B movie legend Roger Corman and went on to earn three Emmy nominations for picture editing.  Erasing Eden, her third feature, proves that modern women aren’t damsels in distress.  Also carrying that message is Pimp Girl, Beth's next feature project in development with writer Justo Diaz.

Beth is currently directing a new TV series for Lifetime.

Jeff Grace

Writer/Director, Folk Hero & Funny Guy

Jeff Grace is a comedian, actor, writer, and director, who started his career on the stages of Second City and ImprovOlympic in Chicago.  He was hired to write for IFC’s The Henry Rollins Show after producers saw him perform stand-up at The Improv in Hollywood.  From there, he co-founded comedy group The Vacationeers who made over forty short films together.  One of the shorts Jeff wrote, Google Maps, became a viral internet sensation, with over ten million views. As an actor, you may have seen Jeff opposite Jon Hamm on the Emmy Award-winning Mad Men in addition his roles on How I Met Your MotherCastleiCarly, Fresh Off The Boat, No Ordinary Family and Still The King.  Jeff has produced and starred in two award-winning feature films, The Scenesters and It’s A Disaster (with David Cross, Julia Stiles and America Ferrera).  His first feature film as a writer/director – Folk Hero & Funny Guy – premiered at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festiva.  Jeff just shot a pilot for the E! Network, Glam Squad, and is finishing post-production on his first one-hour stand-up comedy special that will air later in 2016. You can keep up with Jeff at www.jeffgrace.com or @jeffgrace on Twitter/Instagram

Noah Lang

Producer, Diverge, Here Alone; Producer Band of Robbers, Beyond Glory (2015) Sunbelt Express (2014)

Noah is a filmmaker and independent producer based in Brooklyn, NY. He was a member of the inaugural Dogfish Accelerator through which he co-founded Young Gunner Films. ​His films have screened at dozens of festivals including Tribeca, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Sitges, Champs-Élysées, Charlotte, Tallgrass, Traverse City, Woods Hole, Napa Valley, and many more.

He has produced and/or directed campaigns for clients such as Infiniti, Chase, Knob Creek, the Michelin Guide, OnStar, Dior and Uniqlo.In 2016, he co-founded The Hexagon Initiative & Hexagon Studios as a turnkey production company and creative community for validated production creatives of all disciplines. He recently co-produced the dramatic thriller THE STRANGE ONES which will premiere in 2017. He's currently producing a feature length documentary with the directing duo Kidshow.

Johnny Ma

Writer/Director, Old Stone

Johnny was born as Nan Ma, in Shanghai, China, and immigrated to Toronto at age of ten. Graduating from Columbia University’s M.F.A. in the Directing / Screenwriting film program, Johnny's first feature film Old Stone premiered at the 2016 Berlinale International Film Festival and won the Best Canadian First Feature award at 2016 Toronto International Film Festival. Old Stone screened at the 2016 Talgrass Film Festival and won the outstanding male performance award for actor Chen Gang.

Alex Megaro

Producer/Editor, Driftwood

When Alex was 8 years old, his father showed him Alien on Valentine’s Day so he could see a movie “with red in it.” Now he’s a filmmaker. He works on a freelance basis as a director, editor, writer, and producer. He recently directed the award-winning short A Pious Man and also produced/edited the feature film Driftwood, winner of the Grand Jury Prize for narrative feature at the 2016 Slamdance Film Festival and official Stubbornly Independent selection at Tallgrass 2016.

David Ninh

Community Outreach/Crowd Funding, Growing Up Coy

David Ninh is the Film & Arts Media Relations Specialist at Kickstarter where he works with creators, filmmakers and artists on amplifying their projects and campaigns through press and community outreach engagement. In addition, he is also the Publicity Manager for Still Point Pictures, where he leads press for their social issue LGBT documentaries, including transgender youth rights film Growing Up Coy (screened at Tallgrass Film Festival in 2016 and streamed exclusively on Netflix) and Broken Heart Land (ITVS Co-Production that aired on WORLD Channel's America ReFramed). Previously, he was a publicist at the Film Society of Lincoln Center where he worked on press outreach for their year-round programming and renowned annual festivals like the New York Film Festival and New Directors/New Films and special events like their annual Chaplin Awards Gala. David began his career in Dallas working as an entertainment and style reporter for The Dallas Morning News and is a graduate of Southern Methodist University. He lives in Brooklyn, New York. 

Alicia Slimmer

Writer/Director, Creedmoria

Alicia Slimmer is an award winning independent filmmaker whose debut feature film, Creedmoria, recently took home the Industry Choice Award at Dances with Films Festival in L.A., the same night she won Audience Favorite at the Brooklyn Film Festival. The film made its world premiere at Cinequest Film Festival, in March 2016 where it took home the Jury Prize for Best Narrative Feature Film Comedy. The Hollywood Reporter says it “boasts an exuberant comic vitality that keeps the viewer engaged.” Creedmoria is a film Slimmer produced and wrote, borrowing many elements from her own life growing up in Queens, NY, in the 1980s. The Village Voice called it “a timeless lark: a rollicking, touching family yarn…Slimmer’s undying faith in these characters' lovability gets under your skin and the movie stays warm and endearing throughout.”

Her previous short film, My First Car, premiered at Dances with Films Festival in LA and won Best Comedy at the 24th Annual New School Invitational Film Show. Slimmer is a member of two prestigious groups of women filmmakers: NYWIFT and Film Fatales. Her indie approach has been highlighted in The Wall Street Journal online, The Hollywood Reporter, Examiner.com, Crain’s and Indiewire, and countless blogs and podcasts. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband Clifton Leaf, a magazine editor and author, and their daughter.

Levi Smock

Producer, Delinquent

Missouri-native Levi Smock is a veteran of the US Navy, where he served four years as a fireman. Levi is an alumnus of both The American Film Institute’s writing and producing MFA programs. He has produced music videos, commercials, and over 200 web series. His most recent feature films include School Spirits and Hope Springs Eternal and Delinquent, which won the Stubbornly Independent Gala award at the 2016 Tallgrass Film Festival.

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