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Tallgrass Film Festival Reveals New Logo & Festival Artwork

The Tallgrass Film Association unveils a new logo and identity for the Tallgrass International Film Festival Presented by Consolidated EquitiesTrust, which will debut this year, during the 16th edition of the popular film festival (October17-21). The new logo was developed by TFA’s partners at creative agency Howerton &White.

While rolling out the new logo, the Tallgrass Film Association will retain the previous logo as well. “We intend to expand the Association's activities outside of the Festival and felt that it was important for the Festival itself to have a logo that was current, unique, and readily identifiable,” said Executive Director Paul Melroy. “Howerton-White did a terrificjob in creating this logo. It presents just the right image for our brand.”

The logo was unveiled at Central Standard Brewing as the Tallgrass International FilmFestival kicked off its all-access TALLPass sale for this year’s “Sweet 16” edition of the fest.

Passes to the festival can be purchased through the Tallgrass website at tallgrassfilm.org for a limited time at the discounted price of $175, which grants passholders entry to the entire festival, which includes five days of films, parties, panels, and VIP lounge access.

Filmmakers still have time to submit their films for consideration for Tallgrass through FilmFreeway or Withoutabox. The late deadline for film submissions is June 15, with the extended (and final) deadline one month away, on July 6.


“Tallgrass is constantly striving to outdo itself. From the programming, to the parties, to the top notch hospitality, whatever it takes to get back to Tallgrass--I’m there.” - Skye Borgman, Director, Forever "B". 

Tallgrass Is Now Accepting Submissions for the 2018 Festival

Tallgrass Film Association (TFA) announces the call for submissions for the 16th annual Tallgrass Film Festival, October 17-21, 2018 in and around downtown Wichita, Kansas. Tallgrass has been included in MovieMaker Magazine’s annual “50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee” for the last three years.

Films should be submitted through FilmFreeway or Withoutabox.

Deadlines & Important Dates: 

  • January 2, 2018: Submissions Open
  • April 1, 2018: Earlybird Deadline
  • May 1, 2018: Regular Deadline
  • June 15, 2018: Late Deadline
  • July 6, 2018: Extended Deadline
  • October 5, 2018 - Notification date
  • October 17 – 21, 2018: Festival date



  • Early Bird Deadline: $40/$30 student
  • Regular Deadline: $50/$40 student
  • Late Deadline:  $100/$75 student
  • Extended Deadline: $125/$100 student


  • Early Bird Deadline: $15
  • Regular Deadline: $25
  • Late Deadline: $50
  • Extended Deadline: $75

Awards & Prizes:

Tallgrass Film Festival will grant cash awards in the following categories:

  • Audience Award Winning Documentary Feature: $2,500
  • Audience Award Winning Narrative Feature: $2,500
  • Stubbornly Independent Gala Winner: $5,000, as well as a gala screening and one-of-a-kind Tallgrass tap handle
  • Audience Award Winning Short Documentary Film: $1,000
  • Audience Award Winning Short Narrative Film: $1,000
  • DOX Spotlight: $1,500, as well as a Spotlight screening and an award
  • Best Kansas Filmmaker Documentary Short Film: $500
  • Best Kansas Filmmaker Narrative Short Film: $500

Non-cash special recognition awards include: 

  • Golden Strands Awards (awarded by Tallgrass Programming Directors) for Outstanding Documentary, Narrative Feature, Short Films and more
  • Best Emerging Filmmaker Short Film

Rules & Terms:

  • Films must have been completed after January 2017. Some exceptions will be considered for non-domestic releases.
  • Online screeners from secure sources are preferred. Include screener link and password in your submission.
  • 2 submission preview copies of the film are required if you are submitting on disc media (DVD).
  • Press kit is optional - electronic only, please
  • A Wichita premiere is required. World and US Premieres are not required, however premieres (especially Kansas premieres) are preferred and premiere status may be one of the factors considered when determining a film's inclusion in the Festival.
  • The festival does not screen films available on VOD or any online streaming portal at the time of the festival. However, the festival reserves the right to make exceptions to this rule.
  • All films in a language other than English must be subtitled in English for festival presentation.
  • The festival will consider work-in-progress, films with temporary soundtracks, digital outputs, and work that did not originate on film. Filmmakers must deliver final format (as indicated) for Festival screening. No exceptions will be permitted.
  • Fees are waived for any Kansas and Emerging Filmmakers under their respective categories with proper identification and qualifications.
  • Emerging Filmmaker films MUST be works written, directed, and shot by high school age students – 18-YEARS OLD AND YOUNGER. This category is not for university or college filmmakers. Adult supervision is limited to advisory capacity. Emerging filmmakers must submit a valid high school identification (student id, school record, passport, drivers license or official identification that includes date of birth) to receive the fee waiver and to be eligible for this category. Please provide this in your submission or in a separate email to submit@tallgrassfilmfest.com.
  • For each major cast/crew Kansas connection, please include name, job title, and Kansas connection city. Please provide this in your submission or in a separate email to submit@tallgrassfilmfest.com. Kansas Filmmaker films are eligible for festival prizes, if the film is accepted as an “in competition” screening in the festival.

Screening/Presentation Terms of Agreement: 

  • Tallgrass Film Festival is hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival for promotional purposes.
  • The individual or corporation submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening, and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations.
  • The individual or corporation submitting the film shall indemnify and hold harmless Tallgrass Film Festival from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.
  • Should your film be accepted, we ask permission to keep a copy of the film for our festival library. This request is voluntary and is not conditional. The copy of the film in the TFF library will not be used for profit. Should we consider re-screening the film for a public paid event, we will notify individuals or corporations representing the film for permission and conditions.
  • Packaging - ship your media in a bubble-pack envelope whenever possible. If you must use a fiber pack, please wrap the media with protective material. The festival is not responsible for damage to tapes incurred in shipping.
  • Costs and labeling - all shipping costs to and from Wichita must be borne by the sender. All discs must indicate title, shipper's name, and FilmFreeway tracking number.
  • International entries - all entries from outside the US should be sent Airmail Registered or by a parcel express service. We cannot accept entries shipped via air-freight if customs and delivery fees have not been paid.

2017 Festival Award Winners

Best Kansas & Emerging Filmmaker Awards

  • Best Emerging Student Award Documentary: Yellow, Director Rowyn Mottershead
  • Best Emerging Student Award - Narrative: Reverse, Director Andrew Kivett
  • Best Kansas Short Film Award - Documentary:  Dragtivists, Director, Savannah Rodgers
  • Best Kansas Short Film Award -Narrative: Rabbits, Director Patrick Clement

Golden Strands Programming Awards

  • Outstanding Cinematography:  Seat 25, CInematographer Joe Kaufman
  • Outstanding Screenplay: Lucky, Screenwriters Logan Sparks & Drago Sumonja
  • Best Editing: 20 Weeks, Editor David Hopper
  • Outstanding Film Animation: Two Trains Runnin’
  • Outstanding Rising Star: Simone Baker, Gook
  • Outstanding Male Actor: Christopher Marquette, I Hate the Man in the Basement
  • Outstanding Female Actor: Simone Nortman, For the Birds
  • Outstanding Ensemble Cast:  Badsville, Ian McLaren, Benjamin Barrett, Tamara Duarte, Emilio Rivera, Robert Knepper
  • Outstanding Courage in Filmmaking: City of Joy, Director, Madeleine Gavin
  • Excellence in the Art of Filmmaking: Black Cop, Director, Cory Bowles
  • Venus Award for the Teddie Barlow Outstanding Female Filmmaker: Skye Borgman, Forever ‘B’
  • Outstanding First Feature: Whose Streets?, Directors,  Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis
  • Outstanding Documentary Short Film: Edith + Eddie, Director, Laura Checkoway
  • Outstanding Narrative Short Film: Real Artist, Director,  Cameo Wood
  • Outstanding Documentary Feature:  For Ahkeem, Directors,  Jeremy S. Levin, Landon Van Soest
  • Outstanding Narrative Feature: Gook, Director Justin Chon

Audience Awards

  • Audience Award Winning Short ($1,000 Cash Prize): GAME, Director, Jeannie Donohoe
  • Audience Award for Award Winning Feature Documentary ($2,500 Cash Prize):  BIG SONIA, Directors, Leah Warshawski, Todd Soliday
  • Audience Award for Award Winning Feature Narrative ($2,500 Cash Prize): BOMB CITY, Director Jameson Brooks

Tallgrass Film Fest Adds DOX Spotlight

TFA is proud to announce the creation of the DOX Spotlight Section which will debut during the 15th edition of the Tallgrass Film Festival Presented by Consolidated Equities Trust. TFA also announced the first jury members of the newly created section, which will be comprised of feature-length documentaries directed by women. The program is sponsored by The Greteman Group.

"Our agency’s all about storytelling. Amazing stories will rise out of this new, women-director documentary competition," said Sonia Greteman, President and Creative Director of Greteman Group. "Our sponsorship signals our belief in amplifying women’s voices. And ensuring more people hear them."

The three women that will comprise the jury for the Tallgrass Film Festival’s inaugural DOX Spotlight competition will be the Seattle International Film Festival’s Interim Artistic Director Beth Barrett, Women Make Movies Executive Director Deborah Zimmerman, and award-winning documentary filmmaker Maisie Crow. (Read more below.)

The Women's Media Center recently reported that over the last 10 years, only 20% of behind-the-camera Oscar nominations (directing, writing, editing, etc.) have been bestowed to women. When examining the highest-grossing films since 2007, only 4% of the top 1,000 titles were directed by women.

However, Tallgrass Film AssociationCreative Director, Lela Meadow-Conner noted that every year, many of the Tallgrass Film Festival's timely and challenging films have been made by women, particularly in the realm of documentary filmmaking. Meadow-Conner said, “These filmmakers often take tough subject matter and utilize their strong voices to make films that tell essential stories from thoughtful perspectives.” TFA Executive Director Marci Hawks is equally enthusiastic about the program, "We look forward to the DoXX Spotlight bringing much warranted attention to women filmmakers from around the globe.”

To be eligible for the DOX Spotlight, films must be women-directed, feature- length documentaries (male/female co-directing teams are not eligible) and not have any traditional distribution deal (theatrical or VOD) at the time of the film festival in October. These selections are not bound by budget or country of origin. Finalists will be selected by the Tallgrass Film Festival Programming Committee and will then be reviewed by the 3-woman jury of industry professionals and filmmakers.

Similar to Tallgrass’s celebrated Stubbornly Independent competition, the top film, as selected by the jury, will screen as part of an evening spotlight during the festival with a post-screening Q&A and special honors to the filmmaker(s). All other finalists will be screened in regular competition at the festival, as well.

Filmmakers may submit their films via Withoutabox or Film Freeway. All members of Film Fatales may submit their feature or short documentaries free of charge.


This organization received funding for general operational support from the City of Wichita