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“Local art-driven events like the Tallgrass Film Festival not only have a positive impact on Wichita’s economy but also add to the quality of life in this city.” - Robert Redford

15th annual Tallgrass Film Festival

Founded in 2003 by Wichita-native Tim Gruver, the Tallgrass Film Festival has presented thousands of films from around the world to Wichita-area audiences over the last 14 years. In 2015 and 2016, Tallgrass Film Festial was named one of MovieMaker Magazine's "Top 50 Festivals Worth the Entry Fee."

A hallmark of Wichita's cutural calendar, the 15th annual festival, presented by Consolidated Equities Trust, takes place October 18-22 in and around Downtown Wichita. In addition to short and feature films from around the world, the festival includes Filmmaker Labs, Roundtables, VIP receptions, Gala Parties and more.

Call for Submissions: 15th annual Tallgrass Film Festival

Tallgrass Film Association announces the call for submissions for the 15th annual Tallgrass Film Festival, October 18-22 in and around downtown Wichita, Kansas.

The largest independent film festival in the state of Kansas, the 2016 Tallgrass Film Festival has been included in MovieMaker Magazine’s annual “50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee” in 2015 and 2016.
In addition to showcasing the best of independent cinema from around the globe, including documentary, narrative, world cinema, animation, LGBT, retrospective and premiering films, the 15th annual Tallgrass Film Festival is specifically seeking films to feature in the following special program categories:

•    Grasscendo: music-themed films
•    Greengrass: environmentally-themed films
•    Spotlight on Women Filmmakers: films directed by women
•    Stubbornly Independent Films: domestic, narrative features made for under $500,000 USD with no traditional distribution
•    Timothy Gruver Spotlight on Kansas Filmmakers: Kansas filmmakers submit for free – see below for official rules
•    Joel Fein Emerging Filmmakers Program: short films from filmmakers 18 and younger may submit for free – see below for official rules. This category does not include university or college filmmakers.


  • March 15: Earlybird Deadline
  • April 19: Regular Deadline
  • May 24: Late Deadline
  • June 14: Extended Deadline


The festival grants $11,000 worth of cash awards and several non-cash special recognition awards.

Tallgrass Film Association 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
•    Audience Award Winning Short Film: $1,000

Non-cash special recognition awards include:
•    Golden Strands Awards (awarded by Tallgrass Programming Directors) for Outstanding Documentary and Fiction Feature, Acting, Cinematography and more
•    Best Kansas Filmmaker Short Film
•    Best Emerging Filmmaker Short Film

Emerging Student Filmmakers (high school & younger) and Kansas filmmakers sumbit for Free!

  • Kansas and Emerging Filmmakers submit for free under their respective categories.
  • 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 copy of his/her 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.
  • In order to receive fee waivers for Kansas filmmakers, Kansas filmmakers must submit a valid Kansas address, connection and identification respectively to receive the fee waiver. Kansas Filmmaker films are eligible for festival prizes, if the film is accepted as an “in competition” screening in the festival.

Submission Guidelines

  • Films must have been completed after December 2016. 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.

2016 Festival By The Numbers

  • 16,428 Total Festival Attendance
  • 1962 Total Films Submitted to the Tallgrass Film Festival
  • 335 Total Community Volunteers
  • 194 Total Films Screened at the Tallgrass Film Festival
  • 123 Participating Film Professionals
  • 68 number of local vendors & businesses invested in for goods & services
  • 33 Countries Represented in the festival lineup
  • 26 Volunteer Film Programmers
  • 24 Non-Profit Community Partners
  • 23 Downtown Festival Venues

Click here to visit the 2016 Film Festival website incuding lineup, special events, award winners, sponsors and visiting filmmakers.