2016 Festival Information
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Emerging Programmer Apprenticeship

2016 Emerging Programmer Appretinces

Adelynn Martin
School: Allison Traditional Magnet Middle School
Top 3: The Martian, Sound of Music, Princess Bride
Instagram: @___Addy_

Programmer's Statement: When I was four, I started taking pictures of animals and nature. That is what eventually got me interested in film. I wanted to be able to capture movement. During my fourth grade year, I started writing short stories. At the same time, I began to develop an interest in filming and creating short videos. I am fascinated with film because it is entertaining, and I love to focus on allusion and symbols. YouTube also keeps me inspired, I love watching ordinary people create amazing pieces of work.

Andrew Kivett
School: Trinity Academy
Top 3: Back to the Future, Part 2, Short Term 12, Saving Private Ryan
Instagram/Twitter: @andrew_kivett

Programmer's Statement: I grew up around cameras, and have always been fascinated with putting videos together. At the age of twelve, I wrote my first script and put together a nine minute short film. Ever since then, I have continued to write and produce my own short films, upgrading from flip cameras to a DSLR and experimenting with different filming techniques and setting up scenes. Film has always fascinated me, because of the stories they tell and the emotion that they can convey. I think it is an amazing and unique form of art. Whenever I watch films, I pay close attention to camera angles, sound design, and lighting. I try to use them as a tool to improve my own work.

Blaise Webster
School: The Independent School
Top 3: Rocky, The Empire Strikes Back, 2001: A Space Odyssey
Twitter: @BlaiseWebster
Instagram: @DARTH_DRAGULUS28
Youtube: Webproductions28

Programmer's Statement: I can pinpoint my fascination with film to my grandmother filming family events, while I was growing up. I remember being in complete awe at the idea of preserving a moment of time by means of pushing a round red button. By the time I had reached the age of ten, I was making shorts. Since then, I have improved my craft, and have hopes to continue it as a profession.

Caleb Milby
School: Rose Hill High School
Top 3: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Inception, Castaway
Instagram: @themilbz

Programmer's Statement: I have always had a fascination with film. Once I started to learn more about how films work and how they are put together, it has only fascinated me more. I have experience working on both sides of the camera. I started making short films with my brothers, when I was three or four years old when we would reenact scenes from our favorite films and I am currently working on a web series. I have had the opportunity to act on several films and commercials and have been pursuing a career in film and/or television. I enjoy discussing films with my friends and other actors whenever I get the chance.

Camiela Bacha
School: Bishop Carroll Catholic High School
Top 3: Whiplash, Moulin Rouge, A Time To Kill

Programmer's Statement: I have acquired a passion for photography and filmmaking. I love all types of film, but my favorite genres are mysteries and action. I like to study the camera angles and the importance music plays in forming the tension and intensity in a film. I love discussing films, I have just watched with my family and friends. I have made many short videos for class projects and I have recently starting working on a script for a short film.

Erika Pettibone
School: Independently Educated
Top 3: Wayne's World, Mr. Nobody, Almost Famous

Programmer's Statement: When I was younger I used to make short skits with my friends, we would plan them, film them and edit them. I believe that a really good film, or one that speaks to you, can have a bigger impact on your life than you think. Some can even change your life forever. My appreciation for filmmaking was initiated by the fun I had while making videos and skits with friends, as well as my fondness for writing and my taste for films. Sometimes a movie that’s telling a great story can pave a path for a great idea.

Kate Gondwe
School: Wichita Collegiate School
Top 3: Moonrise Kingdom, Jane Erye (Fukunaga),  Lost in Translation
Twitter: @kategondwee
Instagram: @kategondwe

Programmer's Statement: I’ve had interest for filmmaking ever since I got my hands on a camera and saw the magic of filmmaking. I found that filmmaking was the best way to express myself. I aspire to be a director for narrative and documentary films, as well as being a producer and screenwriter. I want to empower people and plan to help others, as well as make movies for the rest of my life. I’ve worked on several film projects and was recently listed as one of the directors on Directed by Women website.

Madison Hayes
School: Brooks Middle School
Top 3: Singing in the Rain, Grease, Meet Me in St. Louis

Programmer's Statement: One of my favorite things to do is to watch movies as a family and then discuss them. I am  fascinated with films and wonder how the writers get their ideas and storylines. I like to discuss why the writing is so important for a good film. Music, costumes, set design and acting is such a great inspiration to me because I want to be part of film. I am interested in working as an actor or a costume designer. I am looking forward to meeting people in the filmmaking business including actors, directors, writers, designers and musicians.

Micah Streeter
School: Rose Hill High School
Top 3: Taxi Driver, Rushmore, Inglorious Bastards

Programmer's Statement: I love film and when people ask me what kind of films I like, I always reply — Good ones. I love the experience of watching a great film, whether it’s Martin Scorsese’s The Age of Innocence, or Federico Fellini’s Night’s of Cabiria, or Noah Baumbach’s The Squid and The Whale, or Jean-Luc Godard’s Vivre Sa Vie, or Brian De Palma’s Blow Out. The fact that I always wanted to be a filmmaker is pretty valid, but the reasons for this passion are to me divine, God-given. I’m an artist and film is to me, the ultimate art form. The world is far too wonderful and horrible not to make films about it.

Morgan Nesbitt
School: Wichita Southeast High School
Top 3: The Diary of a Teenage Girl, We Need To Talk About Kevin, and Kill Your Darlings
Instagram: @Maybe.Lefay

Programmer's Statement: Movies for me, began as an escape, and became a passion. The way an actor can can bring so many emotions to the surface, portraying another human being, and invoking emotional responses from others is so beautiful to me. Movies tell stories and we will never run out of stories. Movies embrace humanity and express creativity. Nothing lights a fire in my soul like film does. The film industry is where I'm finding myself, and where I dream of getting lost.

Peter Daood
School: The Independent School
Top 3: Band of Robbers, The Rookie, Ender's Game
Instagram: @peterdoit

Programmer's Statement: My interest in film has allowed me great opportunities within my school and this year, I was offered to help lead the Middle School into a school news broadcast project. I now work with one other student and the High School broadcast journalism teacher to create newscasts that are posted 1-2 times a month. I have really enjoyed watching films at home. My dad makes us watch movies he liked when he was a kid. I cannot find a way to describe my fascination with film but what I am most impressed by are the films that I set as a goal for myself to outdo in the future.

Satchel Owens
School: Wichita East High School
Top 3: King’s Speech, The Green Mile, Metropolis

Programmer's Statement: I’ve always found film to be an interesting medium for presenting stories and information, mostly because of just how complex the process of making one is. When people work on a film, there are a lot of components that go into it. I have a particular respect for independent films. The people who make indie films have more integrity because they don’t necessarily expect to get a whole lot of commercial success and they make films anyway because they just want to share their stories. I also have a special interest in animated movies, such as Metropolis (2001), Persepolis, Inside Out, Coraline, and nearly anything by Hayao Miyazaki.

Shaemus Cowan
School: St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School
Top 3: Rocky, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Happy Gilmore
Instagram: @shae.c4

Programmer's Statement: My love for filmmaking started when I was in 5th grade. My older brother would work on video projects for school and I was would follow him and his friends around just to watch them film. Today, I have taken filmmaking into my own hands and started the first ever film class at my school. We meet after school and do video projects for the principal. I am particularly fascinated with film editing, I think it is amazing what you can do with editing a film, and I love to discuss the special effects used in a film.

Trenton Tabor
School: Wichita Northwest High School
Top 3: Reservoir Dogs, Taxi Driver, The Big Lebowski
Twitter: @ttabor121800
Instagram: @Trentino_18
Snapchat: goldentrent

Programmer's Statement: I am interested in all aspects of filmmaking including acting and what goes on behind the camera, as well as what it takes to participate in and run a film festival. My experience in filmmaking has been making short films with family and friends. I have been slowly improving by observing my favorite directors and how they frame a shot. The main person I discuss movies with is my dad. He has really kept my interest sparked in movies. If I ever want to go see something not in the mainstream, he is always up for it. My fascination for film has been burning for a long time. I have always loved movies and want to learn as much as I can about movies, about the way they are made and presented to the audience.

2016 Expanded Emerging Programmer Apprentinceship

For the 4th year, TFA presents the Emerging Programmer Apprenticeship Program, offering Wichita area students a unique opportunity to learn about the cinematic arts.

Expanded for 2016, the EPA Program now extends beyond the curation of the Tallgrass Film Festival, and will provide selected students a comprehensive look at filmmaking, affording these young people the opportunity to connect with industry professionals across all facets of the industry, and preparing them for a career in the international medium of visual storytelling. Fifteen students will be selected to participate.

"After watching hundreds of student made shorts over the years, I learned to look for what looked good, what stories worked in a short period of time, and all that you can accomplish as a student," said longtime EPA member Mariah Hall, a senior at Andover Central High School. "It gave me encouragement to keep making my own films and go to film school. EPA taught me about festivals, reviewing, and I wouldn't be going to Chapman University in the fall to study film without the help of the Tallgrass Film Festival."

Eligibility: To qualify for the Emerging Filmmaker Apprenticeship, you must be a Wichita-area (within driving distance) middle or high school student, aged 12-18. Being an EPA requires a substantial commitment (approximately 75 hours which ecompasses all aspects of the program,) and students will be responsible for completing a certain percentage of hours.

Applications (including a reference) are due no later than April 25th. Dowload the application, information sheet and calendar here. Please contact info@tallgrassfilmfest.com with any questions. There is no cost to apply or participate.

New components to this year's program include an extensive look at the filmmaking industry as a whole. Students will spend several hours between May and December gaining broad knowledge from industry professionals, visiting filmmakers and TFA mentors.

  • Programming: Play an integral role in programming the 14th annual Tallgrass Film Festival, notably the Joel Fein Emerging Filmmaker Program (films made by those 18 and younger, Smallgrass: A Family Friendly Film Festival, and in-school screenings.
  • Jury Member: Be part of the film festival jury that awards the Best Emerging Filmmaker Short Film Award.
  • Essential Screening Series: A series of classic films with theoretical discussion to follow.
  • Filmmaking Workshops Series:  Local and Visiting filmmakers provide perspective on various aspects of the film industry.
  • Film Criticism Series: Local and national film critics discuss the art of film criticism.
  • Field Trips: Visit local filmmaking institutions and important cinema landmarks.
  • Mentorship: Talllgrass' Senior Programmers will mentor students through public speaking tutorials,  including film introductions and filmmaker Q&A’s at the festival and Smallgrass.
  • Exclusive Networking: Exclusive interactions with the members of the Tallgrass Filmmaker Advisory Board, all alumni filmmakers and visiting festival filmmakers.
  • Scholarships: EPA’s will be offered scholarships for Tallgrass Filmmaker Labs including the annual 24­Hour Film Race and Project Nano.
  • Festival Access: You will receive an Emerging Programmer Apprentice Pass for the festival, plus one TALLPass for a parent or guardian.

The Emerging Programmer Apprentecship is supported in part by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.