Tallgrass Film Association

Host to the largest independent film festival in the state of Kansas, as well as year round programming helping foster the community’s appreciation for the art of film.

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Our Mission

Tallgrass Film Association fosters an appreciation of the cinematic arts by creating shared experiences around the international medium of film.

Our Purpose

Tallgrass Film Association entertains, educates, and inspires audiences in the Wichita community and beyond by showcasing the best of independent films from around the world through an annual 5-day film festival, year-round special screenings, filmmaking competitions and filmmaker labs. We strive to preserve the cultural tradition of film as a communal adventure. Movies bring us together: they entertain, spark conversation, build community and forge new relationships.

Tallgrass Film Association Team

Melanie Addington is wearing a flower shirt and red sweater and smiling at camera
Melanie Addington, Executive Director

melanie [at] tallgrassfilm.org

Gray Rodriguez, Director of Marketing

gray [at] tallgrassfilm.org

Film Festival Team

Andre Seward

Programming Director

Hannah Bothner

Shorts Programmer & Filmmaker Relations

Arietta Austin

Hospitality Manager

Thane Chastain

Education & Outreach Manager

Brian Gray

Beverage Manager

Tom Mittlestadt

Events & Logistics Manager

Hugo Phan

Box Office Coordinator

Delilah Reed

Q&A Coordinator

Naythan Smith

Technology Coordinator

Board of Directors

  • Adam Gunnels, Board President
  • Jeanette Clement, Vice President
  • Holly Dyer, Past President
  • Kathy Siebert, Treasurer
  • Bob Nugent, Secretary
  • Joe Robertson
  • Dick Honeyman
  • Jovana Johnson
  • Mark Janzen
  • Lisa Tatum
  • Alicia Sanchez
  • Anna Heustis
  • Denise Sherman
  • Jane Schlapp
  • Janice Van Sickle
  • Don Wright
  • Lester Rowe
  • Veronica Seberger
  • Emily Bonavia (Emeritus)
  • Floyd Gruver (Emeritus)
  • Ann Keefer (Emeritus)

"Wouldn't It Be Great If..."

Wichita, Kansas had a film festival?

TFA, a 501(c)(3) arts organization was founded in 2003 by Timothy Gruver. Timothy was a Wichita Native who studied filmmaking at Brigham Young University (often sneaking into Sundance Film Festival parties to mingle with the stars) before moving to Los Angeles for his first job with Dreamworks Animation, followed by Outfest and the Los Angeles Film Festival.

Tim returned to Wichita in 2002 to found the Wichita Association for Motion Picture Arts (later named the Tallgrass Film Association). Tim believed Wichita could be the next Telluride — obvious geographical issues aside — and created the city’s first annual Tallgrass Film Festival, held in October 2003.

Tim amassed a dedicated board of directors and volunteers, many of whom remain with the organization today.

Tragically, Tim passed away suddenly at the age of 33, just prior to the third festival. The board, staff and community united, determined that the show must go on.

Since then, the festival has expanded to a 5-day format and TFA’s year round programming has increased to include screenings, special events, a traveling road show and educational programming. TFA emphasizes community partnerships and regularly collaborates with the Music Theatre Wichita, Wichita Art Museum, Botanica, Ulrich Museum of Art, Exploration Place, Sedgwick County Historical Museum, Orpheum Theatre, CityArts and Wichita Symphony Orchestra to name just a few, as well as tens of other non-profit organizations throughout the region.

In January 2003, Gruver told the Wichita Eagle, on founding TFA,  “I want it to be done for the love of film, for the audience.” We think he’d be proud.


Check out our event photos on our Facebook gallery.

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