The 16th Annual Tallgrass Film Festival announces its 2018 Stubbornly Independent & DOXX Award Contenders
The 16th Annual Tallgrass International Film Festival presented by Consolidated Equities Trust (October 18-22) today announced the films that will compete this year in Tallgrass’s Stubbornly Independent and DOXX Spotlight competitions.
The five finalists in the Stubbornly Independent competition include; H.P. Mendoza’s BITTER MELON, Will McFadden’s DOUBTING THOMAS, Sara Radle’s ELEVEN HUNDRED TO LUBBOCK, Adam Cushman’s THE MAESTRO, and Nitzan Mager & Shanchar Langlevm’s A SCIENTIST’S GUIDE TO LIVING AND DYING.
This year’s DOXX Spotlight finalists include; Marion Lipschutz & Rose Rosenblatt’s BEI BEI, Lis Bartlett’s LIGHT IN THE WATER, and Sahra Mani’s A THOUSAND GIRLS LIKE ME. The DOXX Spotlight Competition is sponsored by Greteman Group.
Regarding the Stubbornly Independent hopefuls, Tallgrass Film Festival’s Programing Director Nick Pope said, “It’s hard to imagine five stories that could be more different and unique in comparison to the others within the same group. And that is one of the great things about this competition, as year-after-year it demonstrates to our Wichita audiences that oftentimes a limited filmmaking budget only increases the odds that the creativity and accomplishment in making these films will be that much greater.”
Gretchen Mitchell, Tallgrass’s co-Director of Programming, was equally enthusiastic about this year’s DOXX Competition finalists, saying, “Our second year presenting the DOXX Competition has once again succeeded in giving us the opportunity to highlight the great work being done by female documentarians and their unique perspective on finding fascinating stories needing to be told, and then having the the skill and vision to explore those issues and real life from a woman’s perspective,"
This year marks the 7th 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 director Cory Bowles (BLACK COP), Graham Fine (The Film Sales Company) and Carroll Gelderman (Cinetic Media)
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 20. 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.
The 2018 Tallgrass FF Stubbornly Independent Finalists
Director: H.P. Mendoza
Country: USA, Running Time: 96 min
When a Filipino-American family reunites for a Christmas party, the holiday takes a dark turn when they conspire to murder the abusive bully of the family.
Director: Will McFadden
Country: USA, Running Time: 80 min
After a white couple inexplicably gives birth to a black child, the purest bonds of trust, friendship, and love are put to the ultimate test.
ELEVEN HUNDRED TO LUBBOCK
Director: Sara Radle
Country: USA, Running Time: 99 min
A group of unlikely friends pay tribute to their recently deceased loved one by relay-running his ashes across the country.
Director: Adam Cushman
Country: USA, Running Time: 97 min
After the Second World War, budding film composer Jerry Herst moves to Hollywood to study with infamous master teacher Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco.
A SCIENTIST'S GUIDE TO LIVING AND DYING
Directors: Nitzan Mager & Shachar Langlevm
Country: USA, Running Time: 77 min
Obsessed with finding answers in her groundbreaking genetic research, a young scientist is thrown into free-fall when she becomes pregnant with her dead husband’s child and is suddenly confronted by the unknowable — absorbed into a realm of mystical female consciousness both terrifying and transcendent.
The 2018 Stubbornly Independent Competition Jurors
Cory Bowles is a multidisciplinary artist from Nova Scotia, Canada. Most known for “Cory” in the TV series TRAILER PARK BOYS, he currently serves as a director, receiving a nomination for the 2016 DGC award for Outstanding Direction in a Comedy Series. As principal choreographer and director of the companies Verve Mwendo Dance, and Black Rabbit Entertainment, he has created over 70 works/choreographies for stage and film - his work reflecting his fascination to racial identity, social and cultural structures. After making a number of award winning short films, his first feature film BLACK COP (2017) premiered at the Toronto International Film festival, was a special presentation by The Historic Black Police Precinct in Miami Florida. and went on to earn Best Canadian Feature at the 2017 Vancouver International Film Festival, Best Narrative Feature at the St. Louis International Film Festival and a Canadian Screen Award (John Dunning Discovery Prize), The Screen Nova Scotia Sward for Best Feature.
Graham Fine is Manager of Acquisitions at The Film Sales Company, where he focuses on discovering new talent and projects, strategizing festival play, and aiding the Sales team in strategizing and closing deals. The Company is unrelenting in securing distribution for independently produced narrative and documentary features, with over 200 titles sold since 2002 to a diverse group of domestic and foreign buyers.
Carroll Gelderman works in the sales division at Cinetic Media, a film and media advisory firm with expertise in raising and structuring independent film finance, North American and international sales, talent management and corporate advisory services. Since joining the company in 2015, Carroll has been involved in the sales of notable festival titles CITY OF GHOSTS, STRONG ISLAND, KEEP THE CHANGE, WASTED, JIM AND ANDY, and recent Sundance 2018 hits SCIENCE FAIR, RBG, THE SENTENCE, and WE THE ANIMALS. She also facilitated the domestic festival roll outs of such titles as OBIT, EN EL SEPTIMO DIA, and Brett Morgen's JANE.
The 2018 Tallgrass FF DOXX Finalists
Directors: Marion Lipschutz & Rose Rosenblatt
Country: USA, Running Time: 76 min
A legal and political drama with two extraordinary women at its center: one, a Chinese immigrant charged with first degree murder and the other, a successful white collar lawyer who unwittingly finds herself defending a woman against legally unprecedented charges.
LIGHT IN THE WATER
Director: Lis Bartlett
Country: USA, Running Time: 75 min
The story of West Hollywood Aquatics, the first openly gay swim team and water polo club.
A THOUSAND GIRLS LIKE ME
Director: Sahra Mani
Countries: France/Afghanistan, Running Time: 81 min
When a 23-year-old Afghan woman, Khatera, confronts the will of her family and the traditions of her country to seek justice for years of sexual abuse from her father, she sheds light on the faulty Afghan judicial system and the women it rarely protects.
The 2018 DOXX Competition Jurors
Robin Berghaus has directed, produced, filmed and edited more than 100 short documentaries, commercials, and educational videos. Her debut feature documentary STUMPED has garnered multiple awards and honors, including the 2017 DOXX Spotlight Competition. She is a recipient of grants from LEF Foundation, Austin Film Society, Frameline and Women in Film Dallas. Her work has been exhibited at the British Film Institute, Palm Springs International Film Festival, Frameline, and as part of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s Science on Screen series. Robin is a speaker and panelist for festivals, universities, high schools and organizations. She serves as a film envoy for American Film Showcase, a cultural diplomacy program of the U.S. State Department.
Rebecca Celli is the Director of Sales, Marketing + Acquisitions at cutting-edge documentary distributor Cargo Film and Releasing. In the past year, she's worked on films including Joe Berlinger's INTENT TO DESTROY (Tribeca, IDFA), Netizens (Tribeca), CHASING TRANE (TIFF), BECOMING WHO I WAS (MoMA DocFortnight, Berlinale). Rebecca also programs film series, advises festivals and writes criticism about the intersection between documentary, digital art and the body for journals like the Colorado Independent, Precog, and Duplex Magazine.
Lisa Tawil is the Vice President of Marketing and Communications at ITVS, where she is responsible for marketing, communications, creative services, engagement, and distribution of ITVS documentaries. In this role, Lisa has overseen four years of audience growth for the award-winning series Independent Lens and launched Independent Lens's first digital-content channel, Indie Lens Storycast. She was also instrumental in developing and leading ITVS’ strategy which gained institutional recognition with the Peabody Institutional Award in 2017 and the Governor’s Award awarded at the Creative Arts Emmys by the Television Academy Board of Governors in 2017. Under her leadership the marketing and creative teams were recognized by Promax, Golden Trailers, Telly's, and the NAMIC Emma's for excellence and multicultural marketing. Lisa has sat on the judging panels for top industry marketing awards such as Emmys, the Mark Awards, and the Webby’s. She is a member of Women in Cable Television (WICT), Women in Film, Promax, and National Association of Multi-Ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC).