2016 Festival Information
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Festival Awards

12th annual Tallgrass Film Festival Awards

Vimeo Audience Awards

Vimeo Audience Award Short ($500): FOOLS DAY, Dir. Cody Blue Snider
Runner Up: THE PHONE CALL, Dir. Mat Kirby

Vimeo Audience Award Documentary Feature ($1,000): KEEP ON KEEPIN' ON, Dir. Al Hicks
Runner Up: THE LIFE AND MIND OF MARK DEFRIEST, Dir. Gabriel London

Vimeo Audience Award Narrative Feature:($1,000): THE DAVID DANCE, Dir. Aprill Winney
Runner Up: A IS FOR ALEX, Dir. Alex Orr

Programming Awards

Best Emerging Filmmaker Short: LAUNDRY DAY, Dir. Michael Stevantoni

Best Kansas Short: GOOD CONDUCT, Dir. Patrick Rea

Golden Strand Awards

Golden Strand Special Recognition Award: Joe & Peggy Sarno (pictured at right)
Recognizing Joe & Peggy Sarno for their significant influence and contribution to the history of film.  (This award was designed by Glass Artist Claire Anderson and is a representation of a Paleolithic Era Venus de Lespugue.)

Golden Strands Documentary Awards

Outstanding Documentary for Cinematic Legacy: A LIFE IN DIRTY MOVIES, Dir. Wiktor Ericsson

Outstanding Documentary in Recognition of Social Action: SILENCED, Dir. James Spione

Outstanding Documentary: THE OVERNIGHTERS, Dir. Jesse Moss

Golden Strands Narrative Awards

Outstanding New Talent: John Diaz, FIVE STAR (pictured at right)

Outstanding Ensemble Cast: The Cast of LOVE LAND, Dir. Joshua Tate

Outstanding Cinematography: Sean Porter, KUMIKO: THE TREASURE HUNTER

Outstanding Narrative: MAN FROM RENO, Dir. David Boyle

Outstanding Narrative Short: THE PHONE CALL, Dir. Mat Kirby

Outstanding Documentary Short: I MARRIED MY FAMILY'S KILLER, Dir. Emily Kassie

Vimeo Audience Awards – Vote & Win!

Every vote counts, so let your voice be heard by vote for each and every “in competition” film at the festival.

The Vimeo Audience Awards will be given to the Tallgrass audience’s choice of favorite Narrative feature-length film ($1,000 cash prize,) Documentary feature-length film ($1,000 cash prize) and Short Film ($500 cash prize.) All cash prizes are furnished by Vimeo.

The Vimeo Audience Awards, as well as the Golden Strands, Best Kansas & Best Emerging Short Programming Awards will be announce on Sunday, October 20 preceding the Closing Night Gala screening.

Film Awards

Tallgrass offers several awards, given to official selections of the festival, as part of the Closing Night Gala. The Vimeo Audience Award films are voted on by our festival-goers and the juried awards are given by our Programming Committee.

Vimeo Audience/Cash Awards: Presented by Vimeo. Please remember to vote after each in-competition screening you attend.

  • Vimeo Award Winning Documentary Feature: $1,000
  • Vimeo Audience Award Winning Narrative Feature: $1,000
  • Vimeo Audience Award Winning Short Film: $500

Special recognition awards include:

  • Golden Strands Awards (awarded by Tallgrass Programming Directors) for Outstanding Documentary and Fiction Feature
  • Best Kansas Filmmaker Short Film chosen from the films featured in the Spotlight on Kansas Filmmakers
  • Best Emerging Filmmaker Short Film chosen from the films featured in the Joel Fein Emerging Filmmakers Program

Special Distinction Awards

  • Jake Euker Stubbornly Independent Award, Presented by Vimeo New in 2012, the Stubbornly Independent Award is given to an independent film & filmmaker who takes risks, isn't afraid to tell important stories, demonstrates immense creativity and does all this within the confines of low or ultra-low budgets. Most importantly the Stubbornly Independent award will be given to someone who inspires future generations of filmmakers and encourages them to follow their dreams. In addition to a one-of-a-kind commemorative tap handle statue, the winner receives $2,500 cash prize from Vimeo. Winner also receives waived entry to the Spring 2014 Cine Golden Eagle Awards.


  • Ad Astra Award: Tallgrass bestows the Ad Astra Award on an individual who has dedicated their life's work to the cinematic arts, from acting, to composing, to marketing, we recognize those individuals who have made a lasting impact on the industry. Past recipients include actor Elliott Gould, composer Rolfe Kent, actor Seymour Cassel, former MPAA Chairman Dan Glickman, voice over artist Don LaFontaine, actress Laura Lee Bahr, actress Cloris Leachman and festival founder Timothy Gruver.

2013 Vimeo Audience Awards - as voted on by the Tallgrass movie-goers:

Vimeo Audience Award Narrative Feature ($1,000): FOREV (d. James Leffler, Molly Green)
Runner Up: THIS IS WHERE WE LIVE (d. Josh Barrett, Marc Menchaca)

Vimeo Audience Award Documentary Feature ($1,000): BLACKFISH (d. Gabriela Cowperthwaite)
Runner Up: A LOVELY DAY (d. Kerri Gawryn)

Vimeo Audience Award Short Film ($500): DOTTY (d. Mick Andrews and Brett O'Gorman)

Programming Awards (given by Tallgrass Programming Directors):

Golden Strands Documentary Feature: I WILL BE MURDERED (d. Justin Weber)

Golden Strands Narrative Feature: BLUE CAPRICE (d. Alexandre Moors)

Golden Strands Directing Recognition: Andrew Bowser, WORM (d. Andrew Bowser)

Golden Strands Acting Recognition: Golshifteh Farahani, THE PATIENCE STONE (Atiq Rahimi)

Golden Strands Short Film: THE BUTCHER'S DOZEN (d. Eirin Strickland)

Kansas Short Film: FULL SERVICE (d. Erich Rumback)

Emerging Student Short Film: WHY NOT? (D. Mariah Hall)

Vimeo Stubbornly Independent Winner ($2,500): FAVOR

Vimeo to present Vimeo Audience Awards, Stubbornly Independent Gala & Prize, at 11th annual Tallgrass Film Fest

Tallgrass festival-goers become the jury as TFA partners with Vimeo as branding sponsor for the festival’s cash awards including the Audience Award Winning Narrative ($1,000), Audience Award Winning Documentary ($1,000), and Audience Award Winning Short ($500).

For the second year in a row, Vimeo will also present the Stubbornly Independent Gala – wherein eligible independent films (domestic, narrative films made for $750,000 USD or less with no traditional theatrical distribution at the time of screening) compete for a Gala screening at the Tallgrass Film Festival and a $2,500 cash award furnished by Vimeo. The winning film is chosen by the Tallgrass Programming Committee and will be announced in October. Last year’s winner was THE KITCHEN, by Director Ishai Setton.

The company will provide Vimeo + accounts for the Best Kansas Short Film and the Best Emerging Filmmaker Short Film (18 years and younger.)  The partnership also includes the opportunity for festival films to be included on Vimeo-On Demand.

"As a native Wichitan, I'm always excited and proud to see the amazing films showcased at the Tallgrass Film Festival, especially the films made by fellow Kansans. Encouraging and rewarding these talented filmmakers for their work is not only an honor but effing awesome," said Andrea Allen, Director, Production + Community at Vimeo.

“Our motto is Stubbornly Independent, and Vimeo is a true friend to the independent filmmaker,” said Tallgrass Film Association Executive Director Lela Meadow-Conner. “Look for this year’s festival to focus more on the art, process and business of filmmaking and of course, the indie filmmakers – we wouldn’t have a festival without them. Tallgrass also seeks to offer resources and opportunities to Wichita and the Heartland region’s film community, which grows exponentially every year.”

Vimeo is also sponsor of Tallgrass Filmmaker’s Lab “Down to the Wire: 24 Hour Film Race,” where the winning filmmaking team receives a $1,000 filmmaking grant from Vimeo.


2012 Award Winning Films

Congratulations to all of this year's official selections and visiting (and non-visiting) filmmakers. Thank you for making the 10th annual Tallgrass Film Festival such a wonderful and memorable experience for Wichita audiences.

We'd especially like to congratulate the following films and filmmakers for their achievements, including the txtwrks Audience Award winning films, the Golden Strands Programming Awards, and the Best Kansas and Emerging filmmaker films.

Txtwrks Audience Awards - Winners receives $1,000 cash prize

Narrative Feature: DEAD DAD, Directed by Ken J. Adachi
Runner Up: SHOUTING SECRETS, Directed by Korinna Sehringer

Documentary Feature: BEAUTY IS EMBARASSING, Directed by Neil Berkeley
Runner Up: CALL ME KUCHU, Directed by Katherine Fairfax Wright, Malika Zouhali-Worrall

Short Film: CATAPLEXY, Directed by John Salcido

Golden Strands Programming Awards - awarded by Tallgrass Programming Directors for Outstanding Documentary and Fiction Feature

Narrative: THE DAY I SAW YOUR HEART, Directed Jennifer Devoldère

Documentary: YEAR OF THE LIVING DEAD, Directed by Rob Kuhns

Special Acting Recognition: Robert Carlyle, CALIFORNIA SOLO

Kansas & Emerging Filmmaker Winning Shorts (awarded by Tallgrass Programming Directors)

Kansas Filmmaker: HOUSE OF MONSTERS, Director Dawn Brown

Emerging Filmmaker:
Narrative: FRIENDS, Directed by Bunee Tomlinson