Announcing the 2017 Stubbornly Independent Selections!
Four films will compete this year in Tallgrass’s flagship Stubbornly Independent competition: Leena Pendharkar’s 20 WEEKS, Chris Hansen’s BLUR CIRCLE, Jameson Brooks’s BOMB CITY, and Dustin Cook’s I HATE THE MAN IN MY BASEMENT. Chosen from 98 eligible films, Tallgrass programmers spent more than 500 hours viewing and curating this year’s highly selective Stubbornly Independent program. (See more about the films & meet the jurors here.)
The Stubbornly Independent competition winner will be announced with the Tallgrass Film Festival’s lineup next month and will be featured as the Stubbornly Independent Gala Spotlight selection sponsored by Rick & Monica Nutt on Saturday, October 21. The winner will also receive the Jake Euker Stubbornly Independent Award and a $5,000 cash prize. The three runners up will be included as official selections in the festival and will be eligible for the Audience Award for Narrative Feature and $2,500 cash prize.
“This year’s selections feature stories and characters that are both timely and easily relatable, while delivering a unique and bold take, leading to films that feel anything but familiar,” said Tallgrass Film Festival’s Programing Director Nick Pope. “Ultimately these are films about redemption and self-discovery in a world that can be messy and unpredictable, but also rewarding and surprising. We’re honored to be showcasing these stories to Wichita audiences.”
This year marks the 6th year of the SI competition, where eligible films must be domestic narrative feature films made for $500,000 or less without traditional, theatrical, domestic distribution at the time of the festival screening. Finalists will be juried by a panel of industry professionals including Rebecca Celli (Cargo Films), Nancy Gerstman (Zeitgeist Films) and Jeffrey Winter (Film Collaborative.)
The Jake Euker Stubbornly Independent Award is named for a man who was just that. While a true film aficionado, beyond that, Jake was most likely Wichita's most knowledgeable film buff. He was also a friend and longtime supporter of the Festival, serving as everything from Programmer to Host to Trivia Master to the creator of Tallgrass' motto. The Stubbornly Independent award is given in his honor to an independent film or filmmaker who takes risks and isn't afraid to tell important stories, and does all of this within the ultra-low budget of $500,000 or less. Stubbornly Independent since 2003, the 15th annual Tallgrass Film Festival takes place October 18-22, 2017 in Wichita, Kansas.