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Tallgrass News

January, 2014

Happy New Year from the Tallgrass Film Association!

We've got some incredible events planned throughout the year with some wonderful community partners, so look for more information to come soon. See below for a list of save-the-dates and get ready to Cowboy Up as we spend 2014 paying homage to the classic genre of Spaghetti Westerns.

We'd also like to congratulate 2013 Tallgrass official selections CUTIE AND THE BOXER, 20 FEET FROM STARDOM and THE HUNT on their Academy Award nominations. See you at the movies!

Fist Full of Fives: A Progressive Movie Screening & Happy Hour

Celebrate Art Day of Giving with a tip o' the hat to Wichita at FIST FULL OF FIVES - a progressive movie screening and happy hour - on Friday, February 28th from 5:30-7:30 pm.

Pony up your donation of $15 to TFA for the official Tallgrass button* to catch a progressive screening of the classic western WICHITA (1955) and belly up at The Monarch, The Anchor and Public to whet your whistle with $1.50 draws of craft beer from local breweries River City Brewery, Wichita Brewing Company and Walnut River Brewery. A complimentary stagecoach will transport you (courtesy of Spot's Party Bus) and you'll enjoy some Wild West hijinx (courtesy of Old Cowtown Museum.)

Click here to make your charitable donation and pick up your Tallgrass button at the door of any of the participating establishments starting at 5:00 pm on Friday, February 28th. (Buttons may be available for purchase at the door, but advanced purchase is recommended as quantities are limited.)

The film will screen twice, and to watch it in its entirety, begin at the Monarch at 5:30 or 6:30 pm; catch the stagecoach to the Anchor for the next act and then to the Public where the film concludes. The stagecoach returns to the Monarch at the conclusion of the event. Each bar will serve a signature local craft beer draw for $1.50/pint as well as food specials.

The event is sponsored by House of Schwan, Howerton + White, Spot's Party Bus, Old Cowtown Museum and The Bar's Open.

Happy trails!

*Only those who've purchased the official button will receive the beer specials.

About WICHITA (1955), "Gateway to the West...Doorway to Hell"

Directed by Jacques Tourneur and starring Joel McCrea, Vera Miles and Lloyd Bridges, WICHITA tells the story of former buffalo hunter and entrepreneur Wyatt Earp who arrives in the lawless cattle town of Wichita, Kansas. His skill as a gun-fighter make him a perfect candidate for Marshal but he refuses the job until he feels morally obligated to bring law and order to this wild town. The film won a Golden Globe award for Best Outdoor Drama. (This movie was shot on location in Santa Clarita, CA.)  

About Art Day of Giving

Wichita ArtDOG is a 24-hour online fundraising event created to rally community support for local arts organizations. This unique one-day fundraiser is a project of the Wichita Community Foundation (WCF), with help from its partners, The Arts Council and the Knight Foundation. The event will be on Friday, Feb. 28, 2014, from midnight to midnight.

Tallgrass Talk: It's All About the Coen's

On Saturday, March 1st, TFA Co-Programming Director Nick Pope will lead a discussion all about the brothers Coen. The Tallgrass Talk is free, but attendees must RSVP to info@tallgrassfilmfest.com.

Please note: The excact time will be announced as soon as possible; the talk will be scheduled around the Wichita State Men's Basketball game. The Talk will take place at House of Schwan (3636 N. Comotara.) Click here to read more about it.

Save-The-Dates (Details forthcoming!)

March 7: Tallgrass Film Festival Road Show, Junction City (C.L. Hoover Opera House)

March 26: TFA & Wichita Symphony Orchestra present a Special Screening (Orpheum)

April 11: Tallgrass Film Association 2nd annual Fundraiser (Abode Venue)

May 7: TFA & Music Theatre Wichita present a Special Screening (Orpheum)

June 13: TFA & Wichita Art Museum present a Special Screening (WAM)

June 21/22: TFA & CreativeRush present 3rd annual Down to the Wire: 24 Hour Film Race

August 16: 4th annual Dudegrass: A Lebowski Extravaganza (Northrock Lanes)

October 15-19: 12th annual Tallgrass Film Festival

December 2013 e-News

2013 was a banner year for the Tallgrass Film Association! More than 15,000 attendees enjoyed TFA events including a screening of the documentary SOMM paired with a wine tasting at Botanica, the Bond-themed fundraiser Shaken Not Stirred, the 2nd annual Down to the Wire: 24 Hour Film Race, the 3rd annual Lebowski extravaganza Dudegrass, the 11th annual film festival and the special screening of the Independent Spirit Award-nominated documentary AFTER TILLER – to name just a few.

TFA would like to extend an enormous thank you to everyone who bough a ticket, participated in a Filmmakers Lab, became a member, donated their time or gave through sponsorship this year. Your continued support allows us to  to bring the best independent cinema from around the world to Wichita, and to create shared experiences for our community around the international medium of film.  

Stay tuned for some fantastic events coming your way in 2014. We wish everyone a happy holiday season and best wishes for a Stubbornly Independent New Year!

Help Tallgrass Win A Spot in Superbowl XLVIII

Click here to vote for Tallgrass Film Association to win a :15 second spot during Superbowl XLVIII courtesy of FOX Kansas. Voting ends on January 6th. Help us kickoff our 12th season in a big way!

Last Minute Gift Ideas for Your Favorite Cinephile – There’s One in Every Family

  • Membership Has Its Privileges
    Gift the movie lover in your life a Tallgrass Film Association membership for just $35 for one year or $60 for two years. Along with a snazzy membership card, they’ll receive discounts on select TFA events in 2014, 2 GA admission tickets to the festival, discounted rate for the all-access TALLPass and festival GA tickets, exclusive invites to VIP events and most importantly, these bragging rights, “I support the world’s most Stubbornly Independent Film Festival.”
  • Pulp Fiction: The Complete Story of Quentin Tarantino’s Masterpiece
    Sure, it’s made several holiday gift lists from the likes of the New York Times and Entertainment Weekly, but we know you were just waiting for our ringing endorsement! Written by Wichita-native and Flavorwire.com Film Editor Jason Bailey, this beautiful book will satisfy anyone’s inner film geek. Available online and at Watermark Books.

Submit Your Film to the 12th annual Tallgrass Film Festival

Submissions are now being accepted for the 12th annual Tallgrass Film Festival, taking place October 15-19, 2014 in and around downtown Wichita. Click here for all of the details and remember, Emerging Student Filmmakers (18 and younger) and Kansas filmmakers are eligible to submit for free.

‘Tis The Season to Support Indie Filmmakers

There’s not much we love more than our alumni filmmakers and helping support the films they brought to Wichita so that the rest of the world has a chance to see them, as well as their new projects. We’d like to big a big shout out to Denny Tedesco, Director of THE WRECKING CREW - a Tallgrass favorite that reached its kickstarter goal - and nearly 8 years after playing the festival circuit will receive distribution. Denny’s is a Stubbornly Independent success story, and here are a few more films - important stories that should be preserved - that you can consider supporting as well:

  • Help HER AIM IS TRUE Reach the World
    From Director Karen Whitehead, HER AIM IS TRUE played to packed audiences at the Wichita Art Museum during the 11th annual Tallgrass Film Festival. The film brings together musicians and rock photographers in an inspiring and unforgettable journey revealing unlikely rock 'n' roll photographer, Jini Dellaccio who visualized punk before it had a name and embodied indie before it was cool. An anthem for individual creativity, the film celebrates a legacy lost and found as it traces Dellaccio's ingenuity, spirit and style through participants in a gritty music subculture that like, Dellaccio, would set the bar for their descendants. Click for more information and to donate to the campaign that will let this inspirational film reach many more audiences.
  • People Should Know About DANGEROUS: KAY BOYLE
    From Director Kelley Baker, aka The Angry Filmmaker and friend of the festival, comes a feature length documentary profiling the life and work of writer and political activist Kay Boyle, once dubbed “the most dangerous woman in America.” Boyle has lived a life that most of us can only dream about.  She has witnessed almost every major event of the 20th Century, and written about it.  Throughout all of this she found the time to have 3 husbands, and 6 children. And she had a creative output that would put most of us to shame.  She was truly a “liberated”woman long before the term was ever coined.  In an era when the heroes of American culture are athletes, actors and rock stars, all of whom are celebrated chiefly for their staggering salaries, Kay Boyle is as rare a bird as any of those listed on the endangered species list. Help bring her story to screen.

November e-News: After Tiller, Select Festival Films Now Available on VOD, Alumni Filmmakers Crowdfunding Campaings

TFA Presents a Special Screening of AFTER TILLER with Filmmakers & Panel

On Wednesday, November 20 at 7:30 pm at the Orpheum Theatre, Tallgrass presents a screening of the acclaimed documentary AFTER TILLER with Co-Directors Martha Shane and Lana Wilson. The film will also be followed by a panel discussion with guests Dr. Julie Burkhart of South Wind's Women's Center and Dr. Scott Stringfield of Choices Medical Clinic.

"We made AFTER TILLER to shed more light, rather than more heat, on this issue," said directors Martha Shane and Lana Wilson. "We are thrilled to have the opportunity to share the film with the community in Wichita, and hope that it will be a valuable contribution to their ongoing dialogue."

Thourough security measures will be in place and Wichita audiences should not hesitate to attend this thought-provoking and compelling film that documents one side of such a complex and divisive issue. Tickets are available online now. Advanced purchse is recommended. Click here to read more about the film.

Check Out These 2012 & 2013 Official Selections From The Comfort of Your Couch

LOST AND FOUND: Based on the best-selling book by OLIVER JEFFERS, this multi-award winning film, tells the unforgettable story of a little boy who one day finds a penguin on his doorstep.  Although at first unsure what to do, the boy becomes determined to help the penguin find his way back home…even if that means rowing all the way to the South Pole! Buy in stores or on Amazon.

THINGS I DON'T UNDERSTAND: The critically acclaimed and award winning NYC indie valentine produced by Lee Gillentine & written-directed by David Spaltro has been burning through the festival circuit with over 40 official selections (including Tallgrass where it was a 2012 Stubbornly Independent nominee), 12 Best Features, 5 Audience Awards and dozens of acting honors. Download or stream the film for just $4.99.

FAITH IN DESTINY: A 2012 Stubbornly Independent nominee from James Choi, the film is a stylized neo-noir about Killian and his lover Mary, and the strange circumstances involving a mysterious woman named Faith, who stands in their way of being together. A metaphor for the choices and coincidences in life that make up your destiny.Truly independent, this feature was produced on a $4000 budget with a crew of one! Check it out on Vimeo-On Demand.

SHOTGUN WEDDING: After a mishap involving a shotgun derails Robert's impending wedding, his scheming mother will do anything to get the nuptials back on track, even if it means conspiring with her ex-husband or abducting the maid of honor. The film is Directed by Wichita-native Danny Roew and is availabe on Netflix, iTunes, XBox and Amazon.


Support Alumni Filmmakers' Crowdfunding Campaigns

From the filmmakers behind the 2011 Audience Award winner THE SELLING, comes DIANI & DEVINE MEET THE APOCALYPSE: the ultimate comedy-duo-on-the-road-at-the-end-of-the-world movie. Click here to contribute to their Kickstarter campaign.

Wichita, you loved THE WRECKING CREW (2008 Audience Award winner) so much it has screened here three times! Now it's time to share it with the rest of the world. The award-winning music documentary is raising money for music licensing costs so that it can finally acheive a much-deserved release. Click here to support Denny Tedesco's goal today.

Cinema About Town - Save the Date:

11/21: A FISH CALLED WANDA, 7:00 pm at the Orpheum
12/19: IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, 7:00 pm at the Orpheum

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Tallgrass!

Hey Wichita - the 11th annual Tallgrass Film Festival is landing right here in ICT in just four days!

The festival will screen more than 180 films from 32 films around the world, and will host 25+ visting filmmakers from all over the country, plus many local and regional guests. The festival includes feature films, short film programs, filmmaker lab workshops, gala events and more. Check out the Film Guide now or pick up a copy of the Official Festival Program at the box office starting on Monday.

Buying Tickets

The festival offers General Admission tickets to most shows (except Galas), and the VIP TALLPass that allows the bearer admission to all festival GA films, Galas, Filmmaker Labs and VIP Events.

All tickets and passes are available online or at the physical box office beginning on Monday, October 12th from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Click for box office hours & location.

Galas: Movie and a Party

The following Gala events include a film screening, Q&A with filmmaker or special guest, and after-party with live music, food and open bar. (Locals will tell you, Tallgrass is almost as well known for its epic parties as it is for its movies!) All Gala tickets are $25.

Opening Night Gala, sponsored by Rick & Monica Nutt: THE LIFE AND CRIMES OF DORIS PAYNE, with Co-Director Matthew Pond. Followed by the Opening Gala Party at Botanica. Live music from Virgin Mary Satellite, open bar/food. (Wednesday at 7:30, Scottish Rite)

Centerpiece Gala, sponsored by Steve Anderson: PULP FICTION: THE MAKING OF AN INDIE MASTERPIECE, PULP FICTION on 35 mm, with Casting Director Ronnie Yeskel and Music Supervisor Karyn Rachtman. Q&A moderated by Flavorwire Film Editor and Wichita-native Jason Bailey. Followed by the Centerpiece Gala Party at Abode Venue with live music from Seven Nation Army, open bar/food. (Friday, 7:00 pm, Orpheum)

Vimeo Stubbornly Independent Gala: FAVOR with Star Blayne Weaver. The winning 2013 Down to the Wire: 24 Hour Film Race UNMASKED precedes the film. Followed by the Stubbornly Independent Gala Party at 125 N. Market with live music from The Boomers, open bar/food. (Saturday, 7:30 pm, Scottish)

Closing Night Gala, sponsored by Heroes Sports Bar & Grill: FAR OUT ISN'T FAR ENOUGH: THE TOMI UNGERER STORY, with Director Brad Bernstein. Includes presentation of Vimeo Audience Awards. Followed by the Closing Night Party at the Scottish Rite with live music from Metro Jazz Orchestra, open bar/food. (Sunday, 7:00 pm, Orpheum)

Festival Highlights

This year's festival includes many Special Film Collections including Free Friday Films (offered for students/teachers/seniors with valid ID), Grasscendo music-themed films, LGBT-themed films, and more. Plus, be sure to check out:

Greengrass Environmental Films, sponsored by the Ulrich Museum of Art and Backwoods Wichita. All Greengrass films will screen at the CAC Theatre on the Wichita State University campus and are free and open to the public. Films take place on Thursday at 7:30 pm (MORE THAN HONEY) and Friday at 1:15 and 3:15 (TINY: A STORY ABOUT LIVING SMALL and BRINGING IT HOME, both with Directors in attendance.)

The Ulrich Museum of Art also offers a Greengrass Picnic lunch and paper airplane toss on Friday at 12:00 pm, preceding the afternoon films. The picnic is also free and open to the public.

Smallgrass family-friendly films screen at Exploration Place on Saturday beginning at 11:00 am. Smallgrass includes two short film programs and the animated feature film FROM UP ON POPPY HILL, as well as educational activities. Tickets must be purchased at Exploration Place day of show only. General Admission for all ages is $7 ($5 for EP & TFA members; TALLPass holders free) and includes access to all three film programs and museum exhibits.

Are you interested in learning more about the filmmaking? Three Filmmaker Lab Workshops will be offered throughout the weekend and filmmakers of all skill level are encouraged to attend. Workshops are taught by experienced film professionals and are $10 GA/$8 for students/teachers/seniors/TFA members and complimentary for TALLPass holders. Space is limited.

TFA Programmer's Give Their Picks

The Tallgrass Film Festival Programming Committee is made up of more than 30 Wichitans from all walks of life, who spend the better part of a year watching over 800 submissions. To help you compile your own list, we asked a cross-section of our festival programmers to share their "can't-miss" picks at #tallgrass11. *Denotes filmmaker/guest scheduled to attend.

Name: Tina
Age: 47
Occupation:  Advertising Account Executive
Years as Programmer:  6
Stubbornly Independent means: Going against the grain

Name: Nick
Age: 33
Occupation:  Design Engineer
Years as a Programmer:  11
Top 3 films you should NOT miss: BLUE CAPRICE*, I WILL BE MURDERED, PULP FICTION on 35 mm*
Stubbornly Independent means: never looking back.  

Name: Gretchen
Age: 40's
Occupation: Technical Writer/Marketing
Years as a Programmer: 7
Stubbornly Independent means:  Our Stubbornly Independent Films and Filmmakers embody that – don't miss: FAVOR, FOREV, HOW TO MAKE MOVIES AT HOME, LOST ON PURPOSE, SAKE-BOMB, THIS IS WHERE WE LIVE, WORM

Name: Vaughn
Age: 28
Occupation: Internet Personality
Years as Programmer: 6
Stubbornly Independent means: Filmmaking without the subjugation of money, for better or worse.

Name: Shan
Age: 45-55
Occupation:  International Education Advisor
Years as a Programmer:  11
Stubbornly Independent means:  Seeing the bigger picture.


See you at the movies!

September 2013, e-News

Six Weeks Until Tallgrass Takes Off - Book your TALLPass Now For A First Class Experience

The 11th annual Tallgras Film Festival is just weeks away! Tallgrass provides a communal venues for movie-lovers, influentials and culture vultures to experience films from around the world, connect with filmmakers and fellow citizens of the world and fly high at some of Wichita's coolest spots. Book your VIP TALLPASS today and enjoy ALL of these perks over 4+ days for just $195:

  • Access to all festival general admission films (100+)
  • Access to all Festival Galas including film with guest, and after-party with open bar/food/entertainment (4)
  • Access to all VIP Events with open bar/food/entertainment (3)
  • Access to VIP Filmmaker Lounge (Th-Sat: 9a - 5p, Sun: 12-5p) for food/open bar/entertainment & amenities (4 days)
  • Access to Filmmaker Lab Workshops (2)

Sneak Peek at Six #Tallgrass11 Official Selections

We've given our social media followers a sneak peek at some of the films that will be featured at the 11th annual Tallgrass Film Festival. Check our facebook page every Friday for new announcements! Coming soon: Smallgrass, & Stubbornly Independent Selections.

  • DARKNESS (Dir. Leif Jonker, USA, 1993)
  • I DECLARE WAR (Dir. Jason Lapeyre, Robert Wilson, Canada, 2012)
  • GOD LOVES UGANDA (Dir. Roger Ross Williams, USA, 2013)
  • KAUWBOY (Dir. Boudewijn Koole, Netherlands, 2012) *screening on 35mm at the Orpheum
  • MORE THAN HONEY (Dir. Markus Imhoof, Switzerland/Germany/Austria, 2012)

Click here to watch trailers!

BIRTH OF THE LIVING DEAD, World Premiered at 2012 Tallgrass Film Fest, Gets Theatrical Release

We're pleased to announce that BIRTH OF THE LIVING DEAD, from Filmmakers Rob Kuhns and Esther Cassidy, which had its world premiere at the 10th annual Tallgrass Film Festival and took the Golden Strands Programming Award for Best Documentary, is getting a theatrical release (click for dates!)

In 1968 a young college drop-out named George A. Romero directed “Night of the Living Dead,” a low budget horror film that shocked the world, became an icon of the counterculture, and spawned a zombie industry worth billions of dollars that continues to this day... Read more about the film.

And the filmmakers have this to say about their experience at Tallgrass:

We had the pleasure of having the world premiere of “Birth of the Living Dead” at the Tallgrass Film Festival last year.  I can’t imagine a better place to premiere our film.  The audience, programmers and staff are incredibly smart, engaged and fiercely devoted to independent filmmaking.  Thank you, Tallgrass, for a wonderful experience.

Congrats to Rob & Esther!

Banff Mountain Film Festival Returns to Orpheum Sept. 10

The Banff Mountain Film Festival returns to Wichita on Tuesday, September 10th at the Orpheum Theatre at 7:00 pm. The event is presented by Backwoods Wichita, also a proud sponsor of the Tallgrass Film Festival.

Tickets are $15 and are available at the Backwoods store (1900 N. Rock Rd., Ste. 108) or at the door.

Come check out extreme filmmaking at it's finest! And make sure to sign up for the TALLPass giveaway!

Save the Date:

9/22: New Volunteer Meeting (Location TBA, check volunteer facebook page for more info)

9/28: Team Tallgrass will be participating in the Wagonmaster's Downtown Chili Cookoff. Come taste our "Alien Chili!"

10/4: Members + Sponsors:  Coming Attractions Party at the Kansas Aviation Museum. Information will be mailed to you soon!

10/6: All Volunteer Meeting (Location TBA, check volunteer facebook page for more info)

August 2013 e-News

Tallgrass Filmmakers Lab & CreativeRush: 2nd annual Down to the Wire: 24 Hour Film Race, Presented by Bombardier Learjet

For the second year in a row, Tallgrass Filmmakers Lab and CreativeRush unite for DOWN TO THE WIRE: A 24 HOUR FILM RACE, presented by Bombardier Learjet, The race takes place this weekend, August 9-11 and teams have 24 hours to write, produce, shoot and edit a short film that is six minutes or less. All films are required to include four pre-selected elements. Click here to register now.

The weekend kicks off with a Producer’s meeting on Friday, August 9 at Mindfire Academy (4031 E. Harry) at 6:00 pm. Each team may then begin the process of creating their film, which must be turned no later than 7:00 pm to the Tallgrass Film Association office (212 N. Market) on Saturday, August 10. A curated team of Tallgrass Film Association programmers and CreativeRush advisors will screen each film and select the top ten.

Attend the Top 10 Showcase on Sunday Night at the Orpheum

The top 10 films  will then be showcased at the Orpheum Theatre at 7:00 pm on Sunday, August 11th. The showcase is open to the public (GA tickets: $8). A VIP Panel of judges (Kevin Keplar, Lonny Quattlebaum and Carol Hughes) will live critique each film and the choose the winners. The winning film receives a $1,000 filmmaking grant from Vimeo and a Gala screening at the 11th annual Tallgrass Film Festival. The audience wil also vote on an Audience Choice Award whose teams wins 2 nights at the Hotel At Waterwalk - the official hotel of Tallgrass - and VIP TALLPasses to the festival.

DTTW is presented by Bombarider Learjet, with additional support from Vimeo, the Orpheum Theatre,  Mindfire Academy, KMUWMonster Energy Drink and popchips.

Follow the teams in action over the weekend on twitter with the official hashtag: #DTTW


popchips &TFA Stacking Chips High To Ante Up The #DTTW Competition 

Participating filmmaking teams will be given another opportunity to win, by showcasing how popchips come to their rescue when it comes down to crunch time over the weekend as they write, produce and edit an original 6-minute short film. Teams will receive a limited supply of popchips and then must tweet photos of popchips fueling their filmmaking fire to @popchips with the hashtags #crunchtime and #DTTW between 7 pm on Friday, August 9 and 7 pm on Sunday, August 11. The most creative photograph (keep it PG-13 folks!) will win 2 VIP TALLPasses to the 11th annual Tallgrass Film Festival in October and a month's supply of popchips.


Abide at the 3rd Annual DUDEGRASS - Next Weekend at Northrock Lanes

TFA's 3rd annual DUDEGRASS - A Big Lebowski Extravaganza -  takes place on Saturday, August 17 from 5:00 - 9:00 pm at Northrock Lanes (3232 N. Rock).

The evening features unlimited bowling/shoe rental, movie screening with quote-a-long, White Russian specials, a Bathrobe Runway Show, a Costume Contest, The Big LeBINGO, and The Dude's Pop Up Shop by Bluebird Arthouse - it's a nihilist celebration that really ties the room together, man. 

Tickets are $15 and $13 for TFA members and are available online or at the door.

Dudegrass is sponsored by Northrock Lanes, Stella Artois, 107.3 The Brew and KMUW.


July 2013 e-News

Vote for Tallgrass as One of the Coolest Fests!

Your very own Tallgrass Film Fest has been nominated as one of the Coolest Film Festivals by MovieMaker Magazine. Please take a minute and click here to vote! Voting ends on Monday and remember, just 3 months until the 11th annual Tallgrass International Film Festival (Oct. 16-20)!

Catch the Indie Hit STOKER This Weekend at the Orpheum Theatre

The Orpheum presents three screenings of STOKER, Friday and Saturday at 8:00 pm and Sunday at 2:00 pm. Tickets are $7 at the door. After India’s (Mia Wasikowska’s) father dies in an auto accident, her Uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode), who she never knew existed, comes to live with her and her emotionally unstable mother Evelyn (Nicole Kidman). Soon after his arrival, she comes to suspect this mysterious, charming man has ulterior motives, but instead of feeling outrage or horror, this friendless girl becomes increasingly infatuated with him. 

Calling All Documentarians for This Weeekend's American Indian Festival Film Contest

The Mid-America All-Indian Center is launching the first-ever American Indian Festival Film Contest this weekend. Tallgrass Filmmakers Lab is a media partner for the event. Filmmakers of all ages are invited to create a documentary-style film that best captures the spirit and excitement of the 3rd annual American Indian Festival, July 13-14 at Century II Expo Hall. The first-place award is a $500 cash prize. Entry forms and contest rules are posted online at TheIndianCenter.org. Click here for more information.

Catch Tallgrass Favorite DO IT AGAIN this weekend on KPTS

KPTS presents Tallgrass favorite DO IT AGAIN, by filmmaker Geoff Edgers, this Saturday, July 13 at 9:00 pm on Channel 8. The film premiered at the 2010 Tallgrass Film Festival and Edger's made a special return to Wichita in early 2011 to present an encore presentation. "DO IT AGAIN is a movie about extreme fandom, mid-life crisis, the joy of making music, and the madness of the Davies brothers. Geoff Edgers is compelling. (Tom Perrotta, author of Election, Little Children).” Edgers is now the star and host of Edge of America on the Travel Channel and serves on the Tallgrass Filmmaker Advisory Board.

Tallgrass & CreativeRush Present Down to the Wire: 24 Hour Film Race, Filmmaking Workshops

On August 9-10, the second annual Down to the Wire: 24 Film Race takes place in Wichita, presented by Tallgrass Filmmakers Lab and CreativeRush and sponsored by Bombarider Learjet. Teams have 24 hours to complete a 6 minute short film using elements randomly, pre-selected elements. Click here to see last year's films and here to register for this year's race and buy tickets to the Top Ten Showcase on Sunday, July 11.

CreativeRush will also present three pre-DTTW workshops for those interested in learning more about the race and the process of filmmaking. The first, a Q&A session, takes place this Saturday, July 13 at 10:00 am at The Labor Party (216 N. Mosely.) A second Q&A session takes place on July 18 at 7:00 pm at the Labor Party, and a third Production Workshop will be held on July 27 at 1:00 pm at Mindfire Academy (3805 E. Harry.) All workshops are free.

Save The Date for The Dude's Return to Wichita, Submit Your Original Dude Fan Art for T-Shirt Contest

TFA presents DUDEGRASS THREE on Saturday, August 17th at Northrock Lanes (3232 N. Rock Rd.) Click here for more info and here to buy tickets.

Tallgrass has teamed with Bluebird Arthouse for our first-ever DUDEART T-shirt contest. Lebowski fans, artists, citizens of the world are invited to submit their original Lebowski-inspired artwork for a chance to win $400 worth of cool prizes! Click here for rules, regs and more info.

June 2013 e-News

Smallgrass Continues Through Thursday, with a Special Appearance by Admiral Windwagon Smith

SMALLGRASS family-friendly film programming from the Tallgrass Film Festival continues at Riverfest Wednesday and Thursday.

With your Riverfest button, you'll get a special $5 admission to Exploration Place’s exhibits and while you’re there, enjoy SMALLGRASS - a program of specially curated short movies for the young and young at heart - from the archives of the Tallgrass Film Association.

Screenings take place on at 11:00 am and 2:00 pm in the Kemper Auditorium. The Admiral Windwagon Smith will attend on Thursday for both screenings.

For more information visit exploration.org. Additional support provided by KPTS, with special thanks to Jim and Shari Hand.


Groove with Tunes + Tallgrass on the Terrace at WAM on Friday June, 14

On Friday June14,  WAM and the Tallgrass Film Association join forces for a hip night to celebrate summer and inaugurate the museum’s new outdoor terrace. Bring your beach chairs and blankets and hang loose for an evening of summer fun. Admission is FREE.

At 7 pm groove to the tunes of Kansas City group Sundog Surf Band, who’ll set the tone with their “reverb-drippin’, guitar-driven, surf-inspired instrumental rock.”

Feast at local food trucks including The Flying Stove, BS Sandwich Press, Hopperoni Express and Cake Face Bake Shop , who'll be parked at the curb selling their gourmet fare. Beer and wine will be available for purchase. The 1966 cult surfing classic THE ENDLESS SUMMER, follows after dusk around 9:00 pm.

Click here to read more about THE ENDLESS SUMMER's Wichita connection and to watch the trailer.

The event is generously supported by the Bombardier Learjet Employees Care Fund and Bob and Martha Buford. LivingSound and KMUW are event sponsors.


  • July 13-14, American Indian Festival Film Contest: The Mid-America All-Indian Center is launching the first-ever American Indian Festival Film Contest. The Tallgrass Filmmakers Lab is a media partner for the event. Filmmakers of all ages are invited to create a documentary-style film that best captures the spirit and excitement of the 3rd annual American Indian Festival, July 13-14 at Century II Expo Hall. The first place award is a $500 cash prize. Click here for more information.


  • August 9-11, Down to the Wire: 24 Hour Film Race with $1,000 Prize

For the second year in a row, Tallgrass Filmmakers Lab and CreativeRush unite for DOWN TO THE WIRE: 24 HOUR FILM RACE.  The winning film/filmmakers receive a $1,000 filmmaking grant from Vimeo.

Teams have 24 hours to write, produce, shoot and edit a short film that is six minutes or less. All films are required to include four pre-selected elements including a theme, a prop, a location and a line of dialogue, which are randomly selected at the beginning of the race.

Sponsors to-date include Vimeo, the Orpheum Theatre,  Mindfire Academy and Monster Energy Drink.

Register online now:  $100 per team; $70 for teams containing a student or TFA member (with valid ID.) For a full description of rules and regulations visit creativerush.org.


  • August 17, 3rd Annual Dudegrass: A Big Lebowski Extravaganza: Save the date for the 3rd annual DUDEGRASS from 5:00 - 9:00 pm at Northrock Lanes (3232 N. Rock) - a nihilist celebration that really ties the room together, man. The evening features unlimited bowling/shoe rental, movie screening, White Russian specials, a bathrobe runway show and The Big LeBINGO. Tickets are $15/$13 for TFA members. More info coming sooon...


April 2013, e-News

A Flight of Film Awaits You at the 11th Annual Tallgrass Film Festival

We’re excited to reveal our new artwork, created by the exceptionally talented minds at Howerton + White, and our theme for this year’s festival: flight. Flight is of course a nod to our city’s long history with the aviation industry, and the unexpected journey’s that independent film takes us on year after year.

Speaking of journeys, our Programming team is  crisscrossing the globe in 2013 to scout out the best of the best for the 11th annual film festival. We’ve been to the Gothenburg Film Festival (Sweden), New Directors/New Films Festival (NYC), and will soon head to the Wisconsin Film Festival, the Nashville Film Festival and the Seattle International Film Festival to find great movies for Wichita audiences. Stay tuned for more!

Project Nano Short Film Workshop with James Choi Set to Roll This Weekend

Tallgrass alumnus James Choi (MADE IN CHINA, JOINT BODY, FAITH IN DESTINY) returns to Wichita at the end of the week to lead Project Nano, a four-day short filmmaking workshop. The class takes place from April 12 – April 15 at the Digital Arts Studio at CityArts  and on location throughout the city. Students will learn the art of independent filmmaking from pre-production through post-production, through the lens of  accomplished filmmaker and instructor, Choi.

Project Nano is open to filmmakers of all ages, with all levels of experience, who want to learn and practice the craft of filmmaking. The end result of Project Nano will include a completed short film, and more importantly, a group of students who will be possess the knowledge to go out and continue making films. Only a few spots remain – click here for more information and to register.

Special Screening of Acclaimed 7 CAJAS With Director Juan Carlos Mangelia April 20

"genre-film bliss … The storytelling confidence, unaffected acting, and, above all, a heightened grasp of plotting and logistics on display in 7 Boxes is astonishing." – Twitch

"a wild and cunningly plotted chase movie … rollicking entertainment" – Variety

On Saturday, April 20th, Tallgrass Film Association presents 7 CAJAS (7 Boxes) at 7:30 pm at the Orpheum Theatre. The film’s co-Director Juan Carlos Maneglia will attend the screening and participate in a Q&A after the film. Tickets are $10 General Admission/$8 for students/teachers, seniors, military and TFA members with valid ID. Buy online or at the door. The screening is sponsored by Kansas Paraguay Partners, the Orpheum Theatre, KMUW and Tom, Kathleen and Chris Wren.


Grade: A "'The Fast and the Furious' with wheelbarrows, Paraguayan action-thriller-romance hybrid '7 Boxes' is a rollicking good time at the movies that offers breathtaking action and suspense, humor and appealing characters all in one visually flashy package"Indiewire

 “…better [than 'Slumdog Millionaire']; it's got a better sense of real place, of action, of pacing … the same vibe from 'Reservoir Dogs' or 'El Mariachi' or 'Primer' …” - MSN

Shaken Not Stirred Martini Competition A Smashing Affair

Thank  you to everyone who came out to support the Tallgrass Film Association at Shaken Not Stirred: A 007 Affair. TFA’s first-ever fundraising event was a resounding success and we’re fairly certain a good time (a very good time) was had by all! (Check out the photos in our facebook galleries here.)

We’d also like to take this opportunity to thank our event Chairs, James Woods & Carol Hughes, all of the businesses and organizations who donated to our Prizes Galore wheel and the participating bars who created incredibly creative concoctions with Leopold Brothers Small Batch Distillery vodka and gin: Heroes, Mort’s, Larkspur, Public at the Brickyard, The Anchor, Taste & See, and The Monarch, whose winning martini will be served at the 11th annual festival in October. The event would not have been possible without our sponsors: Howerton + White, FIAT of Wichita, B98FM, Abode Venue, Larkspur Bistro, Aces Estate Winery, and The Humidor East. Get your game faces on, because plans are already underway for 2014’s event!

(If you purchased a ticket to Shaken Not Stirred that included a complimentary membership, your cards will be mailed out in the coming weeks. A list of all current members will be onhand at the upcoming screening of 7 CAJAS so that you may purchase discounted tickets if you have not yet received your card.)

Tallgrass Alumni Making Headlines

TFA’s first Stubbornly Independent winning film THE KITCHEN will be available on DVD/VOD tomorrow! The film will also be available on iTunes and Amazon. Congratulations to Director Ishai Setton and the cast and crew of the film.

Also available on iTunes and VOD is another 2012 Tallgrass favorite THE STORY OF LUKE.  We were honored to screen the film with Director Alonso Mayo and star Lou Taylor Pucci in attendance. Rent or own these incredible indie films today!

Alumnus Christopher Metzler (PLAGUES & PLEASURES ON THE SALTON SEA, EVERYDAY SUNSHINE: THE STORY OF FISHBONE) is embarking on another documentary adventure in RODENTS OF UNUSUAL SIZE. As if the name isn’t enough to pique our interest, check out their kickstarter page to learn more about this intriguing film and how you can help.

March, 2013 e-News

Free TALLGRASS FILMMAKER LAB This Saturday Explores the Work of Paul Thomas Anderson

TFA presents Cigarettes & Coffee: The Films of Paul Thomas Anderson, this Saturday from 2 – 5 pm at the House of Schwan (3636 N. Comotara). The workshop is free, though advanced RSVP is required, to amber@tallgrassfilmfest.com.

Led by Co-Director of Programming Nick Pope, the class will examine the work of the acclaimed director through clips and commentary. After only six feature films and over a dozen Oscar nominations, Paul Thomas Anderson has become one of the most celebrated filmmakers of the last 20 years. With running themes of isolation and strained family relationships to filmmaking techniques such as the long-take, this workshop will examine how, in an age of remakes and sequels, PTA remains a fresh and challenging auteur.

SHAKEN NOT STIRRED Includes Martinis, Movies & Membership

TFA presents, Shaken Not Stirred, on March 27 from 6:30 to 9:30 pm at Abode Venue. The evening serves as a fundraiser for the organization and includes a martini competition featuring mixologists from some of Wichita’s favorite watering-holes: The Anchor, Heroes Sports Bar & Grill, Larkspur, The Monarch, Mort’s, Public and Taste & See. Each will create a signature “shaken not stirred” martini with spirits sponsored by Leopold Brothers small batch distillery. The affair also includes a Cigar Lounge sponsored by Humidor East, food by Larkspur, and of course live-action entertainment featuring Bond – with a twist. Casual dress, Bond-attire welcome.

Tickets are $77 and quantity is limited. Buy online by clicking here, or call 316.303.9292 to reserve your tickets via phone. Tickets also include a complimentary 2013 membership to the Tallgrass Film Association ($35 value. Cards may be picked up at event. Non-transferrable.) Click here to see all the exciting benefits of TFA membership.

Many thanks to the following Special Agents:  Leopold Brothers Small Batch Distillery, FIAT of Wichita, Abode Venue, Aces Estate Winery, B98 FMHowerton + White, Larkspur and The Humidor East.

Critically-Acclaimed Documentary WEST OF MEMPHIS Comes to the Orpheum

TFA is a proud media partner of the Orpheum Theatre’s presentation of WEST OF MEMPHIS, which screens Friday March 22nd,  Saturday March 23rd, and Sunday March 24th at 8 pm on 35 mm film. Tickets are $7 at the door.

From director Amy Berg, in collaboration with first time Producers Damien Echols and Lorri Davis along with filmmakers Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh comes WEST OF MEMPHIS, a powerful examination of a catastrophic failure of justice in Arkansas. The documentary tells the hitherto unknown story behind an extraordinary and desperate fight to bring the truth to light. Told and made by those who lived it, Berg's unprecedented access to the inner workings of the defense, allows the film to show the investigation, research and appeals process in a way that has never been seen before; revealing shocking and disturbing new information about a case that still haunts the American South

Halfgrass Bluegrass Festival To Feature Grasscendo Film Program

TFA is also a proud media partner of the 5th annual Halfgrass Bluegrass Festival, which takes place on Saturday, March 30 at Abode Venue. Tickets are $15, middle and high school students are $10 with ID and children under 12 are free.

Along with a jam sessions, glass blowers and a full day of live music presented on two stages, including Carrie Nation and the Speakeasy, the family-friendly festival will showcase the following Grasscendo music-themed films from past Tallgrass Film Festivals: NEVER MAKE IT HOME, THE LEGEND OF STUART MOSSMAN, WON’T LET THE ANGELS TAKE YOU AWAY and ELECTRIC REVOLUTION.


April 20: TFA Presents 7 CAJAS (more information coming soon)


February, 2013 e-News

Just A Handful of Tickets Remain for Thursday’s Cinema Alfredo Cask Ale + Artisan Cheese + Reservoir Dogs Pairing

This Thursday, February 14, TFA and The Anchor present a uniquely alternative Valentine’s Day event – featuring a Cask Ale and Cheese Pairing coupled with a screening of RESERVOIR DOGS (1992)– a film Empire Magazine calls the greatest independent film ever made.

What says romance like sharing a botched diamond heist, signature Tallgrass Brewing Company craft beer and a cinematically-inspired artisan cheese plate – featuring blonde, blue, brown, orange, pink and white varieties – while Quentin Tarantino’s Directorial debut sets an unconventional backdrop for the most sentimental of holidays?

Tickets are $25.64 (includes tax, not tip) and admission includes a one-of-a-kind pint of Tallgrass Brewing Co. Cask Ale, artisan cheese plate, logo pint glass, film screening, food, beer and wine specials, and of course, a night to remember. Tickets are available online (with no surcharge.)

Eventbrite - Cinema Alfredo: Cask Ale + Cheese Pairing + Reservoir Dogs

Shocking! Positively Shocking! Save The Date for Shaken Not Stirred

Save the Date for TFA’s first-ever fundraising event, Shaken Not Stirred, coming Wednesday, March 27 at Abode Venue. The event will feature a martini competition, open bar, food, live entertainment, cigar bar, starlets, villains, and Bond. James Bond.

Ticket information, participating mixologists and more details coming soon…

Sponsored by Leopold Brothers Small Batch Distillery, FIAT of Wichita, Abode Venue, Aces Estate Winery, B98 FM, Larkspur, Howerton + White and The Humidor.

Call for Short Screenplays for PROJECT NANO Open Until March 1st

Screenwriters, are you looking to have your work produced? TFA is holding an open call for short screenplays for this spring’s Project Nano Workshop, a five-week film production class where students will learn the process of moviemaking from script to screen under the mentorship of working industry professionals to create a 6-minute short film.

The screenplay competition is open to screenwriters from all around the world and the final script will be selected by the workshop’s instructors and be produced by the film class. The screenwriter(s) will retain sole writing credit of the produced film. Screenplays may be submitted by clicking here, and will be accepted until March 1. The winning screenwriter(s) will be notified by March 15, 2013.  Screenplays must be six pages or less. Submission fee is $10 for up to 3 screenplays per writer. (Visit the TFA website for official rules and fine print.)

ACES California Wine Antes Up For Tallgrass 11

TFA is pleased to announce a new partnership with ACES California Wine - the official wine of the 11th annual Tallgrass Film Festival. During the film festival and throughout the year at many of our events, we’ll proudly be serving ACES California Chardonnay, Cabernet and Merlot varietals.  

“ACES Wine is very happy with our new relationship with House of Schwan. We mirror Barry Schwan’s philosophy about supporting the community and the local arts and are proud to be the official wine of the 2013 Tallgrass Film Festival. We offer the consumer an affordable everyday wine that will please even the most sophisticated palate,” said LeRoy Aday, Director of Operations, Napa Sonoma Trading Company.

The wines are currently available at most liquor stores throughout Wichita.

Save the date for these upcoming cinematic events:

MARCH 9: Tallgrass Filmmakers Lab: Cigarettes & Coffee: The Films of Paul Thomas Anderson

MARCH 22-24: West of Memphis, 8 pm at the Orpheum

MARCH 27: Shaken Not Stirred Fundraiser Event, 6:30 pm at Abode Venue

MARCH 30: Halfgrass Bluegrass Music Festival featuring Grasscendo films from past Tallgrass Film Festivals, starting at 12 pm at Abode Venue

January, 2013 e-News

Happy New Year!

We hope all of our Stubbornly Independent film fans enjoyed a happy and healthy holiday season and that 2013 will be a prosperous year for everyone. We have several events on the horizon this year, beginning in February with Cinema Alfredo, featuring a screening of the indie cult classic RESERVOIR DOGS accompanied by a Cask Ale + Cheese Pairing at The Anchor, a Shaken Not Stirred: A 007-themed affair, and a few Tallgrass Filmmakers Labs including Cigarettes & Coffee: The Films of Paul Thomas Anderson, Project Nano, a 5-week film production workshop and the return of Down to the Wire: A 24-Hour Film Race. All of this will be capped off with the 11th annual Tallgrass Film Festival, October 16-20, and yes, you read that correctly, we’re adding one more day!

We’ll have more information about all of the aforementioned events coming soon, but in the meantime, two great cinematic offerings are happening in ICT this month:

JAN. 12: THE HOUSE I LIVE IN, 2:00 pm, Murdock Theater, Free

TFA and several other organizations around town have teamed up to bring you a free screening of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize Winner THE HOUSE I LIVE IN.

Director Eugene Jarecki shifts his focus…to the War on Drugs in this documentary exploring the risks that prohibition poses to freedom, and the tragedy of addicts being treated as criminals. In the four decades since the War on Drugs commenced, over 45 millions of addicts have been arrested - and for each one jailed, another family is destroyed. Meanwhile, the prisons in America are growing overcrowded with non-violent criminals, and illegal drugs are still being sold in schoolyards. By examining just where it all went wrong, Jarecki reveals that a solution is possible if we can just find it in ourselves to be compassionate, and see past the decades of paranoia and propaganda. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

JAN. 17: THE BIG CHILL, 7:00 PM, Orpheum, $5

The Orpheum Film series kicks off their 2013 season with a 30th anniversary screening of THE BIG CHILL – but the coolest part, film buffs – it’s a 35 mm print that will be projected on their 1949 Carbon Arc Projectors!

JAN 25:  CHARLIE CHAPLIN IN BLUE JEANS, 8:00 PM, Century II Concert Hall, $20

Wichita Symphony presents a classical concert that goes horribly wrong when an annoying mime battles conductor Daniel Hege for control of the Orchestra. Then the mime unmasks to introduce two timeless Charlie Chaplin comedies, EASY STREET and THE IMMIGRANT, accompanied by terrific new symphonic scores by Grant Cooper.

There’s no better way to experience the art of Charlie Chaplin than the way his original audiences did – on the big screen with live musical accompaniment. And there’s no better person to introduce his artistry than Dan Kamin, who trained Robert Downey, Jr. for his Oscar-nominated performance as the comedian, and created Johnny Depp’s comedy moves for BENNY AND JOON. It’s an uproarious evening of comedy and music! Purchase tickets here.

Screenwriters Across the Globe: Call for Short Screenplays for PROJECT NANO Extended Through March 1

Screenwriters, are you looking to have your work produced? TFA is holding an open call for short screenplays for this spring’s Project Nano Workshop, a five-week film production class where students will learn the process of moviemaking from script to screen under the mentorship of working industry professionals to create a 6-minute short film.

The screenplay competition is open to screenwriters from all around the world and the final script will be selected by the workshop’s instructors and will be produced by the film class. The screenwriter(s) will retain sole writing credit of the produced film. Screenplays may be submitted by clicking here, and will be accepted until March 1. The winning screenwriter(s) will be notified by March 15, 2013.  Screenplays must be six pages or less. Submission fee is $10 for up to 3 screenplays per writer. (Click here for official rules and fine print.)

Closing Night Gala Film THE STANDBYS Now Available on DVD

Exciting news for everyone who attended the Closing Night Gala of the 10th annual Tallgrass Film Festival and fans of Music Theatre of Wichita. Director Stephanie Riggs writes to let us know that THE STANDBYS is now available as a DVD purchase or download. Bravo!

Save the date for these upcoming TFA events:

MARCH 14: Cinema Alfredo: Movie + Cask Ale + Cheese Pairing at The Anchor (more info coming soon!)

MARCH 9: Tallgrass Filmmakers Lab: Cigarettes & Coffee: The Films of Paul Thomas Anderson

MARCH 27: Shaken Not Stirred Fundraiser Event at Abode (more info coming soon!)