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Call for 20th Film Festival Submissions Opens!

Tallgrass Film Association (TFA) announces the call for submissions for the 20th annual Tallgrass Film Festival, September 28th-October 2nd, 2022 in and around downtown Wichita, Kansas. 

In addition to showcasing the best of independent cinema from around the globe, including documentary, narrative, world cinema, animation, LGBTIA+, retrospective and premiering films, the 20th annual Tallgrass Film Festival is specifically seeking films to feature in the following special programs and spotlights:

  • Gordon Parks Award for Black Excellence in Filmmaking – Feature-length film with no traditional distribution deal at the time of the festival. Open to films of any production budget from any country from any genre with a director that self-identifies as Black, African-American or part of the African-Diaspora.
  • Vortex Animation, Experimental, and VR short films – This is for all animation, experimental, hybrid or virtual reality projects. 
  • Murmurations – The Murmurations category is open to short and feature films that meet the following requirements: fifty percent of production is based in Spain OR writer, director, or producer is based in Spain; the original voice is in Spanish or one of the co-official languages of Spain (Basque, Catalan, Aranese, and Valencian); and subtitled in the English language.
  • Female Filmmaker Spotlight – Feature films directed by women (Changed from DOXX category to all features)
  • Stubbornly Independent Films: domestic, narrative features made for under $750,000 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 (19 and younger) may submit for free – see below for official rules

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

    • Stubbornly Independent: $5,000 and one-of-a-kind Tallgrass tap handle
    • Female Filmmaker Spotlight: $5,000 and award
    •  Gordon Parks Award for Black Excellence in Filmmaking: $5,000, $15,000 value Panavision Camera Rental and an award.
    • Best Kansas Filmmaker Documentary Short Film: $500
    • Best Kansas Filmmaker Narrative Short Film: $500
    • Best Emerging Documentary and Narrative Short: $500
    • Best Narrative and Documentary Short: $500
    • Best Narrative and Documentary Feature: $500
    • Best Vortex Short: $250
    • Best Murmurations Film: $250
    • Audience Award-Winning Documentary & Narrative Feature: $2,500
    • Audience Award-Winning Narrative and Documentary Short: $1000

Non-cash special recognition awards include:

  • Golden Strands Awards (awarded by Tallgrass Programming Directors) for Outstanding Documentary and Fiction Feature, Acting and more
  • Best Emerging Filmmaker Short Film
  • EDA Awards Renews for Year Two: The Alliance of Women Film Journalists’ EDA Awards recognize the amazing work done by and about women–both in front and behind the camera. AWFJ presents EDA Awards at year’s end and throughout the year at selected film festivals. The EDAs are named in honor of AWFJ founder Jennifer Merin’s mother, Eda Reiss Merin, a stage, film and television actress whose career spanned more than 60 years. A dedicated foot soldier in the industry, Eda was one of the founders of AFTRA and a long-standing Member of AMPAS. EDA is also an acronym for Excellent Dynamic Activism, qualities shared by Eda Reiss Merin, AWFJ members and those honored with EDA Awards.

“The addition of the animation, experimental, or virtual reality category (Vortex) and the Spanish cinema (Murmurations) category will broaden the range of our film program and further enrich the festival experience. I’m looking forward to the first edition of these new categories along with the longstanding submission categories. I cannot wait to see the submissions and the final selection this fall,” Andre Seward, Programming Director, said. 



Films should be submitted through FilmFreeway. Full submission details are available on the same page.



Early Bird: March 11, 2022

Regular: May 14, 2022

Late: June 11, 2022

Extended: July 2, 2022



(Gold Members on FilmFreeway have discounted rates, details available on the submission page): 



Early Bird Deadline:  Standard – $45 | Student – $36

Regular Deadline:  Standard -$55 | Student – $44

Late Deadline: Standard –  $100 | Student – $80

Extended Deadline: Standard – $130 | Student – $104



Early Bird Deadline:  Standard – $15 | Student – $12

Regular Deadline: Standard – $30 | Student – $24

Late Deadline: Standard – $50 | Student – $40

Extended Deadline: Standard – $80 | Student – $64

How do I submit my film?

To submit a film, please visit our FilmFreeway page and follow official submission instructions. 

Submissions from Kansas filmmakers for the Kansas Filmmaker Category, Gordon Parks, and Emerging Filmmakers for the Emerging Filmmaker Program will not require a submission fee except for the extended deadline. However, filmmakers must submit a valid Kansas address or a copy of a school ID, respectively, in order to submit for free (No ID requirement for Gordon Parks Category). Students may submit feature films at a discounted rate with a valid copy of a school ID to qualify for a reduced fee, failure to include a valid student ID will result in the submission being considered incomplete.