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Emerging Programmer Apprenticeship

"I think this program is unique in our country. It is a very rare opportunity for kids to get involved in the REAL film world. We had real responsibilities, like introducing films, and hosting Q&A sessions, and we became comfortable talking about films with people other than our peers." - Peter Daood, The Independent School

The Program

In 2017, TFA will offer it's 5th year of the Emerging Programmer Apprenticeship Program, offering Wichita area students a unique opportunity to learn about the cinematic arts.

The EPA Program provides selected students a comprehensive look at filmmaking, affording young people the opportunity to connect with industry professionals across all facets of the industry, and preparing them for a career in the international medium of visual storytelling.

The 2016 program was supported by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts. Participants included students from Allison Traditional Magnet School, Trinity Academy, The Independent School, Rose Hill High School, Bishop Carroll Catholic High School, Wichita Collegiate School, Brooks Middle School, Wichita Southeast High School, Wichita East High School, St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School, Wichita Northwest High School.

The Curriculum

Students will spend several hours between May and December gaining broad knowledge from industry professionals, visiting filmmakers and TFA mentors.

  • Programming: Play an integral role in programming the 14th annual Tallgrass Film Festival, notably the Joel Fein Emerging Filmmaker Program (films made by those 18 and younger, Smallgrass: A Family Friendly Film Festival, and in-school screenings.
  • Production: Students will be tasked to write, edit and produce a short film as group for their final project.
  • Jury Member: Be part of the film festival jury that awards the Best Emerging Filmmaker Short Film Award.
  • Essential Screening Series: A series of classic films with theoretical discussion to follow.
  • Filmmaking Workshops Series:  Local and Visiting filmmakers provide perspective on various aspects of the film industry.
  • Film Criticism Series: Local and national film critics discuss the art of film criticism.
  • Field Trips: Visit local filmmaking institutions and important cinema landmarks.
  • Mentorship: Talllgrass' Senior Programmers will mentor students through public speaking tutorials,  including film introductions and filmmaker Q&A’s at the festival and Smallgrass.
  • Exclusive Networking: Exclusive interactions with the members of the Tallgrass Filmmaker Advisory Board, all alumni filmmakers and visiting festival filmmakers.
  • Scholarships: EPA’s will be offered scholarships for Tallgrass Filmmaker Labs including the annual 24­Hour Film Race.
  • Festival Access: You will receive an Emerging Programmer Apprentice Pass for the festival, plus one TALLPass for a parent or guardian

The Requirements

To qualify for the Emerging Filmmaker Apprenticeship, you must be a Wichita-area (within driving distance) middle or high school student, aged 12-18. Being an EPA requires a substantial commitment (approximately 75 hours which ecompasses all aspects of the program,) and students will be responsible for completing a certain percentage of hours.

Applicaions for this year's program will be accepted in Spring 2017. There is no cost to apply or participate.