“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
- Tallgrass Announces Rose McGowan as 2017 Ad Astra Recipient
- Mark Your Calendars for DITCH FRIDAY!
- TFF Selects 3 Finalists for Inaugural DOX Competition
- Meet the DOX Filmmakers
- Announcing the 2017 Stubbornly Independent Selections!
- Meet the SI Jurors
- Reserve Your VIP TALLPass Now!
- Employee Appreciation Ticket Packages Now Available!
- Tallgrass Film Fest Adds DOX Spotlight
- DOX Jury
- 15th annual Tallgrass Film Festival
- Call for Submissions: 15th annual Tallgrass Film Festival
- Emerging Student Filmmakers (high school & younger) and Kansas filmmakers sumbit for Free!
- Submission Guidelines
- 2016 Festival By The Numbers
Tallgrass Announces Rose McGowan as 2017 Ad Astra Recipient
Actress, filmmaker, and outspoken social and political activist, Rose McGowan, will be this year’s recipient of the Ad Astra Award during the 15th edition of the Tallgrass International Film Festival Presented by Consolidated Equities Trust (October 18-22) in Wichita, Kansas.
Regarding McGowan’s selection as the Ad Astra honoree this year, Tallgrass’s Program Director Nick Pope said, “From her debut in THE DOOM GENERATION through films like JAWBREAKER, SCREAM and PLANET TERROR, Rose McGowan has been a major indie film icon that epitomizes the phrase ‘stubbornly independent.’ However, we have all learned that as dynamic as her onscreen presence was, it was barely scratching the surface of her filmmaking vision – as demonstrated by her directorial debut, DAWN. On top of that, her brave and uncompromising voice in Hollywood speaking out on the issues that female filmmakers, actors, and frankly, anyone, in the filmmaking community faces as they attempt to create art and make a living in what can oftentimes be a brutal and unforgiving industry, has made her a leading light in the world of film.”
Tallgrass will present the Ad Astra Award to Rose McGowan at the Scottish Rite Theater (332 E 1st St N) prior to a screening of her critically acclaimed short film, DAWN on Thursday, October 19 at 9:00PM. A Q&A will follow with McGowan moderated by film critic and host of The Canon, Amy Nicholson, and Festworks.com’s John Wildman. The special evening will conclude with a retro screening of PLANET TERROR at 9:45PM, including an introduction by McGowan.
Tallgrass will kick off its tribute to Rose McGowan prior to the festival with a free screening of SCREAM, on Final Friday, September 29th in Gallery Alley, following a reel of 2017 Coming Attractions festival trailers. Sponsored by J. Andrew & Liv + Work.
McGowan has been a dynamic and provocative presence on film and television for the past two decades. A favorite of the most iconoclastic directors, she has appeared in acclaimed films by Gregg Araki, Wes Craven, Brian De Palma, Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino. In 2014, her directorial debut, DAWN (2014) was nominated for the Short Film Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. McGowan made an indelible mark on the independent film scene with her iconic debut in Araki’s THE DOOM GENERATION (1995), which earned her a Spirit Award nomination for Best Debut Performance. She followed that success with Craven’s SCREAM (1996), which became one of the highest grossing films of the year, and launched a film franchise that arguably revived the horror genre. Additional strong performances in indie films included GOING ALL THE WAY (1997), SOUTHIE (1998), and JAWBREAKER (1999). McGowan also found great success on television, in Showtime's “The Killing Yard” (2001), Aaron Spelling’s popular series “Charmed,” (2002-2006), and “Nip/Tuck” (2009), among others.
McGowan returned to the big screen with a vengeance in the celebrated Grindhouse double-feature, including Rodriguez’s PLANET TERROR (2007) and Tarantino’s DEATH PROOF (2007). More recent appearances include CONAN THE BARBARIAN (2011), and television stints on both “Chosen” (2014) and “Once Upon a Time” (2013-2014). McGowan will next be seen in Jenna Marttison’s indie sci-fi thriller, THE SOUND.
The full lineup for the film festival will be announced on September 22. VIP TALLPasses for the Tallgrass Film Festival are available for purchase now with general admission tickets going on sale on September 22, coinciding with that announcement.
Mark Your Calendars for DITCH FRIDAY!
Your Ferris Bueller moment has arrived! Take a chance, ditch your day job and jump-start your long weekend at the 15th annual Tallgrass Film Festival where WE’VE done the work for YOU by curating a one-of-a-kind ICT day off, thanks to Quantum Credit Union.
For a limited time only, TFA is offering only 100 “Ditch Friday” passes for just $25 (a $55 savings.) Tickets go on sale in-person on Friday, September 23rd at Black & White Portrtait Day at Kacy Meinecke Photography (100 S. Market, Ste. 101) from 4:30-8:30pm and after that, will be available online until they sell out.
Enjoy a day of movies by choosing from several general admission screenings, enjoy a VIP Happy Hour in the Ditch Den, mingle with filmmakers and movie fans, experience Downtown ICT in a whole new way and cap it off with the Friday Night Gala Movie and After-Party at Union Station.
The Tallgrass Programming Committee selects festival movies especially for ICT. Made up of Wichitans just like you, they’ve sifted through more than 1,500 submissions from around the world to create the perfect movie playlist for you. The full lineup of films will be announced September 22nd.
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TFF Selects 3 Finalists for Inaugural DOX Competition
TFA announced the three films that will compete in its new DOX Spotlight Section, which will debut during the 15th edition of the Tallgrass Film Festival Presented by Consolidated Equities Trust. DOX Spotlight is sponsored by Greteman Group.
The female-helmed documentaries include Madeleine Gavin’s CITY OF JOY, Skye Borgman’s FOREVER 'B' and Robin Berghaus’ STUMPED. “Our hope is that this recognition helps to celebrate the women in the documentary trenches and inspire future female documentarians to record the accomplishments, the issues and real life from a woman’s perspective," said Gretchen Mitchell, Tallgrass co-director of programming.
Sonia Greteman, President and Creative Director of Greteman Group said, “Our agency’s all about storytelling. Amazing stories will rise out of this new, women-directed documentary competition, and our sponsorship signals our belief in amplifying women’s voices. And ensuring more people hear them."
Eligible films were women-directed, feature- length documentaries, not bound by budget or country, with no traditional distribution deal at the time of the film festival in October. Finalists were selected by the Tallgrass Film Festival programming committee and will be juried by a panel of three industry professionals including Beth Barrett (Artistic Director, Seattle International Film Festival), Maisie Crow (Documentary Filmmaker) and Debra Zimmerman (Women Make Movies.)
The winning film will be announced on September 22 along with the full festival lineup and will be showcased at the Dox Spotlight on the evening of Thursday, October 19th. All finalists will screen as official selections and all three films are eligible for the Audience Award for Best Documentary and a $2,500 cash prize.
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 below.)
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.
20 WEEKS is a romantic drama about love, science and how prenatal and genetic testing impacts everyday people. Against the backdrop of modern-day Los Angeles, the story follows Maya and Ronan’s journey – interweaving their past and present – after learning that their baby has a serious health issue at their 20-week scan. Inspired, in part, by writer/director Leena’s Pendharkar’s real life experiences with her second daughter, the film seeks to explore an intimate issue that isn’t often talked about.
BLUR CIRLCE is the story of Jill Temple, a single mother still grieving the loss of her young son after he disappeared two years ago. Unable to face the possibility that she has lost him forever, she pursues every lead and meets Burton Rose, a man with a mysterious past. The details of that past - and how Burton has responded to it - force Jill to look at her life in a completely new way.
Based on the true story of Brian Deneke, BOMB CITY is a crime-drama about the cultural aversion of teenage punks in a conservative Texas town. Their ongoing battle with a rival, more-affluent group of jocks, leads to a controversial hate crime that questions the morality of American justice
Lonely and isolated, Claude is still grieving the murder of his wife. When he's reluctantly coerced by his obnoxious co-worker to join him for some salsa lessons, Claude develops an unexpected crush on his instructor Kyra. Unfortunately, he’s not sure how to move forward with this budding romance since he still has an unconventional situation in his basement...
Gerstman is co-president and co-founder of Zeitgeist Films. She has worked in all aspects of film distribution and exhibition including a stint at Landmark Theatre Corp., the largest independent theatre chain in the US. She is in demand as a juror, panelist and commentator on issues related to independent and foreign language film and is Permanent Artist-in-Residence in the Master's Program in Media and Communication Arts at CCNY. She was born in Queens, New York.
Celli is the Director of Sales and Marketing at Cargo Film and Releasing, a cutting-edge, NY-based, documentary distribution and sales company. In the past year, she's represented docs that have premiered at major festivals like Sundance, SXSW, and the Berlinale and sold to HBO, Showtime, and National Geographic. On the side, Rebecca writes film and arts criticism -- she's been a fellow at the Telluride Film Festival and written for arts journals like the Colorado Independent, Precog, and Duplex Magazine. She is also a ping pong enthusiast.
Winter is drawn to championing independent film because of his love for the process by which good movies can effect positive change in our world today. His areas of specialty include niche distribution, niche marketing, and festival/non-theatrical/special events distribution. He spent several years handling grassroots marketing for L.A.’s two largest film festivals (the Los Angeles Film Festival and AFI FEST); a long tenure handling non-theatrical/festival/educational screenings for Wolfe Releasing (the world’s largest catalogue of LGBT films); and 11 years as a panel programmer/programming consultant for the Sundance Film Festival’s Digital Center (now called New Frontier). If “the medium is the message,” Jeffrey’s goal is to make sure the message gets heard.
Reserve Your VIP TALLPass Now!
Don't wait another minute to reserve your own VIP experience at the 15th annual Tallgrass Film Festival coming to you this October.
As you read this, a volunteer group of 30 movie-loving Wichitans are watching over 2,000 films and curating a custom playlist of the best movies from around the world for ICT audiences.
We've done all the work for you! Just scoop up your TALLPass and enjoy the movies, parties, panels, Q&A's, VIP Filmmaker Lounge and other special surprises at the 2017 Tallgrass Film Fest.
Employee Appreciation Ticket Packages Now Available!
TFA is pleased to offer discounted ticket packages for businesses and organizations who are interested in offering their employees or clients a variety of passes or general admission tickets to the 15th annual Tallgrass Film Festival, October 18-22, 2017.
Tallgrass Film Festival provides a unique entertainment option for Wichitans, showcases the city's revitalized downtown area and many of its cultural attractions and highlights its cultural vitality.
We are also happy to customize packages for you that may include any number of the following:
- ONE-DAY BINGE pass – Access to all films, gala party, and happy hour in the VIP Lounge (Saturday) $65
- DITCH FRIDAY Pass – Access to all films, gala party and happy hour in the DITCH DEN (Friday) $25
- General Admission Ticket – Access to any one film (Wednesday – Sunday) $10
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
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.
After an award-winning career as a photojournalist, Maisie Crow turned her attention to filmmaking. Her documentary, JACKSON has won awards at the Tallgrass International Film Festival, Indie Memphis, and the Oxford Film Festival. In 2014, her short film, The Last Clinic was nominated for a News and Documentary Emmy, and she was listed as one of PDN InMotion’s 20 Emerging Artists to Watch in Film and Video. In 2012, her multimedia project, Half - Lives: Chernobyl Workers Now won an Overseas Press Club award. In 2010, her short film A Life Alone was nominated for a News and Documentary Emmy. She has taught as an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. She recently worked as a director of photography on MTV's documentary series, True Life.
Debra Zimmerman has been the Executive Director of Women Make Movies, a non-profit NY based film organization that supports women filmmakers, since 1983. During her tenure it has grown into the largest distributor of films by and about women in the world. WMM’s internationally recognized Production Assistance Program has helped hundreds of women get their films made. Films from WMM programs have been nominated or won Academy Awards for the last eight years.
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.
- 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.