Tallgrass Film Festival Announces 2nd Wave of Films and Events For 2023 Festival in October

 

The remainder of the offerings of the 21st annual Tallgrass Film Festival presented by Archer Hotels, were announced today. The festival will be held October 5-8, in downtown Wichita. With a mix of free and paid events and extensive educational programming, the Festival annually brings thousands of visitors to the city. Tickets and Tallpasses are on sale now at https://TallgrassFilm.org/ for all events. All films at the Advanced Learning Library are presented free with the support of Evergy.

The Festival hosts more than 184 films for its 21st edition. Continued partnerships with the Orpheum Theatre, Temple Live (Scottish Rite), Exploration Place, the Advanced Learning Library (all downtown on 1st Street), and Ulrich Museum (on WSU campus) as host venues will be joined by WSU TECH: Niche (124 S. Broadway) as a new venue with a welcome return to the Wichita Art Museum (1400 Museum Blvd.) this year. The Festival is also partnering with the Prairie Fire Race Marathon on Sunday to support runners and to make for a lively downtown weekend.

SPOTLIGHTS FOCUS ON KANSAS; THE IMPORTANCE OF INDEPENDENCE IN FILM

Among this announcement’s highlights are the World Premiere of the feature film FAR FROM HOME made by local Regina Klenjoski Dance Company and the opening night film THE PEOPLE’S JOKER with special guest, director Vera Drew. Filmmaker, Sav Rodgers returns to Kansas with CHASING CHASING AMY and the Kansas films NIGHT SCREAMS and LETTERS FROM HOME. Other highlights include Stubbornly Independent Winner HP Mendoza’s latest, THE SECRET ART OF HUMAN FLIGHT, and festival favorite KAREN CARPENTER: STARVING FOR PERFECTION.

Short film highlights include 7 Minutes from comedian Ricky Gervais (“The Office”); Robert & Billie, a love story set in Nicodemus, Kansas; Mahogany Drive, a short film created by the Astronomy Club sketch group and produced by Academy Award-winner Andrew Carlberg. Closing Time has Demi Adejuyigbe, known for his “September 21” videos. And This is About the Census features Geoff Ross, a comedian, who writes, directs and stars in the short film.

“The spotlight films are a collection of movies that reflect the multifaceted nature of the Tallgrass Film Festival. From a Midwest-grown film years in the making such as LETTERS HOME, to an amazing biopic about artist Joan Miró, MIRÓ, which details the artist´s life whose art is anchored in Wichita´s history. Debuting at Tribeca, the documentary CHASING CHASING AMY explores pop culture inside self-discovery by an alum and friend of the Festival, Sav Rodgers. We also have a lovely documentary FAR FROM HOME that tackles identity through dance made by members of the local Regina Klenjoski Dance Company. Our opening night film, THE PEOPLE´S JOKER, is a story that is both in front of the camera and behind the scenes an example of the Stubbornly Independent spirit that Tallgrass continues to champion,” Head Programmer Andre Seward said.

CONTINUING TO STAND IN SOLIDARITY WITH STRIKING GUILDS

Nationally, the Festival has focused on the important issues that the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes are raising and supporting the filmmakers during this time. Panels on the issues and other topics were announced on the website along with the jury (https://tallgrassfilm.org/tallgrass-21st-announces-jury-and-panels/).  Any SAG-AFTRA card members in Kansas can also receive complimentary passes or tickets if they reach out to the Festival this year.

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SPOTLIGHT (OUT OF COMPETITION) FILMS

CHASING CHASING AMY (Documentary)

Director: Sav Rodgers

Producers: Sav Rodgers, Alex Schmider, Carrie Radigan, Lela Meadow-Conner, Matthew C. Mills

Kansas Premiere. RT: 95m/USA

 

For young Sav Rodgers, the Kevin Smith cult classic, CHASING AMY, became a life raft. As Rodgers examines the film and its making as a cornerstone of LGBTQ+ cinema, he finds himself at a complicated crossroads.

 

En El Limbo Nos Encontramos (short) plays with CHASING CHASING AMY

Director: Daniel DuBoulay

World Premiere. RT: 5m/USA

 

The film follows a lonely, estranged protagonist as they become obsessed with wanting to become part of their favorite TV show.

 

These films play at TempleLive (Scottish Rite) on Friday, October 6 at 4:30 p.m.

 

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FAR FROM HOME (Documentary)

Directors: Shawn Brackbill, Regina Klenjoski, Dalton Paley

Producer: Regina Klenjoski Dance Company

World Premiere. RT: 70m/USA

 

FAR FROM HOME is a dance film that traces the transformative journey of migration inspired by the personal and universal story of Petkana and Fidan Klenjoski, who left their Macedonian village for America five decades ago.

 

My Name is Annabel (short) plays with FAR FROM HOME

Director: Ida Joglar

Kansas Premiere.  RT: 21m/USA

Annabel Hernandez, a 30-year-old Wichita, KS native with Down’s syndrome, determines the film’s direction as she shares her story her way and asks her friends and family the questions she’s most curious about – How do you feel about adults with Down’s syndrome?

 

These films play at TempleLive (Scottish Rite) on Friday, October 6 at 7 p.m.

 

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LETTERS HOME (Narrative)

Director: Scott Roberts

Producers: Scott Roberts, Paul Roberts

World Premiere. RT: 76m/USA

 

Newly arrived with his family in a small Midwestern town, a smart but hopelessly awkward boy despairs that he will never truly fit in.

 

Death in Lavender (Short) plays with LETTERS HOME

Director: Tyler W. Moore

World Premiere. RT: 10m/USA

 

Secrets begin to unravel after the untimely passing of the patriarch of the Pennington family.

 

These films play at The Orpheum Theatre on Saturday, October 7 at 12:30 p.m.

 

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MIRÓ (Narrative)

Director: Oriol Ferrer

Producers: Oriol Marcos, Oriol Sala-Patau, Esther Dueñas, Tiffany Ruoz

Regional Premiere. RT: 84m/Spain

 

MIRÓ is the story of a discreet and tenacious young man who had to emigrate from a gray and conservative Barcelona to Paris in full cultural effervescence to make himself known.

 

He ran alongside his comrade (short) plays with MIRÓ

Director: Genís Rigol Alzola

Regional Premiere. RT: 14m/Spain

 

The story of an elderly businessman in search of popularity. He evades taxes but practices philanthropy, understanding solidarity in a personal way. Thus, the protagonist will dedicate himself to generating problems for people to be able to help them.

These films play at the CAC Theatre (Wichita State) on Sunday, October 8 at 12:30 p.m.

 

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NIGHT SCREAMS  (Narrative)

Director: Allen Plone

Producer: Dillis L. Hart

World Premiere of Director’s/Producer’s Final Cut. RT: 74m/USA

 

A late-entry slasher gem that offers up an embarrassment of inventive kills…alongside more “standard” methods of hacking and slashing.

 

Dead Enders (short) plays with NIGHT SCREAMS

Director: Fidel Ruiz-Healy & Tyler Walker

Regional Premiere. RT: 12m/USA

 

Disaffected, young gas station clerk Maya doesn’t care about much besides messing with her manager and getting her beer discount at the end of the

midnight shift. But after irresponsible oil drillers set loose a sinister race of mind-controlling parasites, Maya realizes there might be more to life than spending all your waking hours stacking shelves for a corporate overlord.

 

These films play at The Orpheum Theatre on Saturday, October 7 at 3 p.m.

 

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THE PEOPLE’S JOKER (Narrative)

Director: Vera Drew

Producer: Joey Lyons

RT: 92m/USA

An unfunny clown with a Smylex addiction grapples with gender identity, love, and foes while founding an illegal comedy theater in Gotham City.

 

Krush The Wrestler (short) plays with THE PEOPLE’S JOKER

Director: Alex Megaro

Kansas Premiere. RT: 14m/USA

 

Exploring the innate intimacy of submission wrestling, a lifelong wrestler turns his talents into an on-demand fetish video service.

 

These films play at the Crown Uptown Theatre on Thursday, October 5 at 7 p.m as the Opening Night Gala film.

 

 

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DOCUMENTARY FEATURE COMPETITION

 

GREAT PHOTO, LOVELY LIFE

Directors: Amanda Mustard, Rachel Beth Anderson

Producers: Amanda Mustard, Rachel Beth Anderson, Luke Malone

Regional Premiere. RT: 112m/USA

 

Photojournalist Amanda Mustard returns to her hometown to investigate the decades of sexual abuse her family and community experienced at the hands of her grandfather.

 

This film plays at the Advanced Learning Library on Saturday, October 7 at 11 a.m.

 

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ISRAELISM

Directors: Eric Axelman, Sam Eilertsen

Producers: Eric Axelman, Daniel J. Chalfen, Nadia Saah

Regional Premiere. RT: 84m/USA, Israel, Palestine

 

When two young American Jews raised to love Israel unconditionally witness the brutal way Israel treats Palestinians, their lives take sharp turns.

This film plays at the Kemper Theatre in Exploration Place on Sunday, October 8 at 1 p.m.

 

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JOIN OR DIE

Directors/Producers: Rebecca Davis, Pete Davis

Kansas Premiere. RT: 99m/USA, Italy

 

JOIN OR DIE is a film about why you should join a club—and why the fate of America depends on it.

 

Balloon Boy (short) plays with JOIN OR DIE 

Directors: Brian Gersten, Arlin Golden

Regional Premiere. RT: 17m/USA

 

America watched with rapt attention a large balloon float through the skies of Colorado.

 

These films play at the Tallgrass Film Center on Friday, October 6 at 11 a.m.

 

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KAREN CARPENTER: STARVING FOR PERFECTION

Director: Randy Martin

Producers: Andy Streitfeld, Randy Schmidt

Kansas Premiere. RT: 97m/USA

 

A captivating, revealing, and unvarnished documentary providing astounding new insight into the singer’s tragically short life and enduring musical legacy.

 

Give (short) plays with KAREN CARPENTER: STARVING FOR PERFECTION

Director: Kenya Gillespie

Regional Premiere. RT: 16m/USA

 

A composer attempts to unravel the memories of his relationship with his classical singer ex-boyfriend.

 

These films play at The Orpheum Theatre on Sunday, October 8 at 1 p.m.

 

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SUSAN FENIGER. FORKED

Director: Liz Lachman

Producer: Lisa Donmall-Reeve

Kansas Premiere. RT: 93m/USA, China, Vietnam

 

A verite film following award-winning celebrity chef Susan Feniger on her first solo restaurant is a story about starting over, not IF one fails… but HOW.

 

There Are Things To Do (short) plays with SUSAN FENIGER. FORKED

Director: Mike Syers

Regional Premiere. RT: 18m/USA

 

Urvashi Vaid, an outspoken immigrant, lesbian and woman of color was an LGBTQ+ superhero who helped shape the modern-day gay rights movement. Her vision for the movement serves as a roadmap of initiatives and tools for generations of activists facing anti-LGBTQ+ backlash.

 

These films play at NICHE on Saturday, October 7 at 10 a.m. 

 

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WITH PETER BRADLEY

Director/Producer: Alex Rappoport

Kansas Premiere.  RT: 86m/USA

 

At 79 years old and overlooked since the 1970s, abstract painter Peter Bradley reflects on life and shares his artistic process on the cusp of his rediscovery.

 

Charles Gaines: Systems & Structures (shorts) plays with WITH PETER BRADLEY

Director: Ian Forster, Sue Ding

RT: 11m/USA

 

A pivotal figure in the field of conceptual art, Charles Gaines investigates the production of knowledge and culture by using rule-based systems to create paintings, drawings, musical compositions, and sculptures. Culminating in completing “Moving Chains” (2022), a 100-foot-long public sculpture on Governors Island in New York City, this film traces Gaines’s connections between our lived experiences and the systems that shape them.

 

These films play at the Wichita Art Museum on Saturday, October 7 at 10 a.m. 

 

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NARRATIVE FEATURE COMPETITION

 

ADOLFO

Director:  Sofía Auza

Producers: Camila Jimenez. Silvana Aguirre, Alejandro Duran

USA Premiere. RT: 70m/Mexico

 

After his father’s death, Hugo misses the last bus home and meets Momo, who turns his night into an adventure.

 

This film plays at the Tallgrass Film Center on Sunday, October 8 at 2 p.m.

 

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GLUE TRAP

Director: Justin Geldzahler

Producers: Christopher Fox, Justin Geldzahler, Norris Guncheon, Sara McFarlane

Regional Premiere. RT: 89m/USA

 

A good couple in a bad place plans a last-ditch cabin trip, but when an obnoxious third wheel arrives, they worry more that their relationship may be in danger.

 

Are You Awake? (short) plays with GLUE TRAP

Director: Gabriel Caste

Regional Premiere. RT: 12m/USA

 

In this psychological thriller, a detached woman working as a door-to-door wake-up caller encounters a client refusing to leave his bed, who recounts his terrible nightmares.

 

Second Harvest (short) plays with GLUE TRAP

Director: Victoria Gayer, Naythan Smith

RT: 6m/USA

 

A grieving widow attempts to renegotiate a corporate contract that sets the terms of her husband’s burial.

These films will play at NICHE on Friday, October 6 at 5 p.m.

 

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HANGING GARDENS

Director: Ahmed Al Daradji

Producer: Ishtar Film Production

Kansas Premiere. RT: 102m/Iraq

When a young Iraqi rubbish picker rescues an American sex doll from the Baghdad dumps, he crosses into a perilous red zone.

 

The Red Ball (short) will play with HANGING GARDENS

Director: George Morgan

Kansas Premiere. RT: 7m/UK

 

Clinging onto his red ball, Bamike leaves the big city of London for a small town where his family can get a fresh start after a family tragedy.

These films play at the Tallgrass Film Center on Saturday, October 7 at 11 a.m.

 

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HELLO DANKNESS

Directors/Producers: Soda Jerk

Kansas Premiere. RT: 70m/Australia

 

Comprised entirely of hundreds of film samples, HELLO DANKNESS is a political fable that bears witness to the psychotropic spectacle of American politics from 2016 to 2021, and the mythologies and lore that took root around it.

 

A.V. Van (short) will play with HELLO DANKNESS

Director: Morayo Akandé

USA Premiere. RT: 12m/UK

 

Two film-fanatic sisters try to reconnect with their estranged deceased father by selling his vintage porn collection.

 

Tulipomania: You Had to Be There (short) will play with HELLO DANKNESS

Director: Cheryl Gelover, Tom Murray (Tulipomania)

North American Premiere. RT: 4m/USA

 

Magnification doesn’t always yield detail. Maybe you had to be there… When the observer and the observed exchange places – at what point do we hold ourselves accountable? You Had to Be There is the first music video for Tulipomania’s soon-to-be-released new album “Dreaming of Sleep.”

 

These films play at the Wichita Art Museum on Saturday, October 7 at 3 p.m.

 

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THE JUDGMENT

Director: Marwan Mokbel

Producer: Omar Said

Kansas Premiere. RT: 111m/Lebanon & Egypt

 

THE JUDGEMENT follows a gay couple returning from the US to Egypt for a family emergency, which forces them back into the closet and to attempt to pass as just friends.

 

This film plays at NICHE on Sunday, October 8 at 5 p.m.

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THE MOON & BACK

Director: Leah Bleich

Producer: Tessa Byford

Kansas Premiere. RT: 74m/USA

 

One year after her father’s death, high school senior Lydia Gilbert feels completely lost…until she discovers something unexpected: a space opera screenplay needing a blockbuster-sized budget — written by her dad.

 

A Relationship with a Camera (short) plays with THE MOON & BACK

Director: Tony King

USA Premiere. RT: 6m/USA

 

An introspective documentary about Tony King’s journey of grieving his father’s death with photography.

 

Rosemary A.D. (After Dad) (short) plays with THE MOON & BACK

Director: Ethan Barrett

Kansas Premiere. RT: 10m/USA

 

As he cradles his newborn, a father wonders if his daughter would be better off without him and imagines her life once he is gone. Completely hand-drawn with crayons.

 

These films will play at the Tallgrass Film Center on Thursday, October 5 at 3 p.m.

 

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THE SECRET ART OF HUMAN FLIGHT

Director: H.P. Mendoza

Producers: Grant Rosenmeyer, Tina Carbone, Benjamin Wiessner, Jonathan Lim

Kansas Premiere. RT: 107m/USA

 

A grieving widower turns to a mysterious self-help book from the dark web written by an eccentric guru, which promises to unlock the power to fly.

This film plays at The Orpheum Theatre on Friday, October 6 at 1 p.m.

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TOKYO COWBOY

Director: Marc Marriott

Producers: Brigham Taylor, Marc Marriott

World Premiere. RT: 118m/USA

 

A Japanese businessman goes on an unwitting journey of self-discovery when he takes a company trip from Tokyo to a Montana cattle ranch.

 

Bull Rider (short) plays with TOKYO COWBOY

Director: Steven Gray

Kansas Premiere. RT: 2m/USA

 

This experimental documentary short merges meditations on dance from choreographer Martha Graham with music by composer Philip Glass and a video featuring Professional Bull Rider/Modern Dancer, Ouncie Mitchell, at the 2022 Oakley Rodeo in Oakley, UT.

 

These films play at The Orpheum Theatre on Saturday, October 7 at 6 p.m. as the Centerpiece Gala Film.

 

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COMEDY SHORT FILM PROGRAM

Looking for something fun and light? We’ve got funny stories, laughs, and good times from around the world in this program!

 

This short film program plays at the Tallgrass Film Center on Friday, October 6 at 2 p.m.

 

Farmers Dating-Rencontres Paysannes

Director: Alexandra “Alle” Hsu

Regional Premiere. RT: 11m/France

 

In rural France, a young farmer’s heart is broken. Struggling to understand the new world of dating via technology, she’s not sure her tomatoes are ripe for anyone.

 

Headdress

Director: Taietsarón:sere “Tai” Leclaire

Regional Premiere. RT: 10m/USA

 

When a Queer Native is confronted by a non-Native wearing a ceremonial headdress at a music festival, he retreats into his mind to find the perfect response from various versions of his own identity.

 

Only Worn Once

Directors: Claire Downs and Brenden Gallagher

World Premiere. RT: 9m/USA

 

A recent divorcee and her daughter sell Darcy’s used wedding dress on the internet to an 18-year-old marrying a much older man. A drag queen unexpectedly saves the day.

 

Somewhere In Between

Director: Kyle Vorbach

Kansas Premiere. RT: 15m/USA

 

Two will-they-won’t-they friends are keeping it simple this New Year’s Eve – until their house is crashed by a man from the future who tells them that the universe’s fate rests in their hands.

 

The Car Spotter

Director: Martin Sandin

Regional Premiere. RT: 14m/Sweden

 

The Car Spotter is a film about the small things in life that can have big consequences.

 

This is About the Census

Director: Geoff Ross

World Premiere. RT: 5m/USA

 

A loyal citizen is called into a government office to answer a life-or-death question: Why does the census only have one person?

 

Vance and the Afterlife

Director: Sam Kimbrell

Regional Premiere. RT 10m/USA

 

Vance and the Afterlife is a short film about a corporate stiff named Vance who dies and ends up in his imagination… or lack thereof.

 

Voice Activated

Director: Steve Anthopoulos

Kansas Premiere. RT: 12m/Australia

 

A florist with a stutter must cooperate with a voice-activated car on the way to an important delivery.

 

What to Watch

Director: Clarence Williams IV  

USA Premiere. RT: 10m/USA

 

Two friends have a hard time deciding what movie to watch together.

 

Wheel

Director: Honora Talbott

Kansas Premiere. RT: 10m/USA

A casting director gets hit with some bad news while helping her eccentric neighbor tape a “Wheel of Fortune” audition.

 

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DOCUMENTARY SHORT FILM PROGRAM

Brave, bold, and inspiring true stories from the world around us. This program has stories of amazing sacrifices, people putting in hard work to help others, showing the world who you are, love, and much more.

 

This short film program plays at the Advanced Learning Library on Thursday, October 5 at 11 a.m.

 

A Clean Slate

Director: Trần Hoàng Calvin

Kansas Premiere. RT: 14m/USA

This uplifting documentary follows Shanyeill McCloud’s work helping the formerly incarcerated expunge their records and start their lives again.

 

A PART OF YOU/MADE ME WHOLE AGAIN

Directors: Destyn Fuller-Hope & Andrew Wonder

Regional Premiere. RT: 5m/USA

 

Two Lives. One Gift. A post-kidney transplant memoir told as a dream-like prayer to Mom.

 

AMERICAN SIKH

Directors: Ryan Westra and Vishavjit Singh

RT: 10m/USA

 

The animated true story of a turban-wearing American who overcomes a lifetime of hate by becoming a new superhero: Sikh Captain America.

 

Black People Surf?

Directors: Bailey Williams & swim-team

USA Premiere. RT: 12m/USA

 

A documentary that chronicles the renaissance of Black surf culture in Southern California.

 

Engraved

Director: Tiffany Jiang

Kansas Premiere. RT: 16m/USA

Galvanized by devastating events early on in their lives, two New Yorkers find ways to channel their grief into acts of kindness that serve others. The film invites viewers to reflect on what it means to live with and find comfort in grief, in all its different forms.

 

Friday Night Blind

Directors: Scott Krahn, Robb Fischer

Kansas Premiere. RT: 14m/USA

The Milwaukee Beer Barrels Blind Bowling League is an eclectic mix of visually impaired and sighted bowlers with a simple focus.

 

Robert & Billie

Director: Robert Brogden III

RT: 9m/USA

 

A generational love story set in the historic town of Nicodemus, Kansas, the only remaining western settlement founded by formerly enslaved Black Americans following the Civil War.

 

Sanctuary

Director: John Haley, Julia Szromba

Kansas Premiere. RT: 16m/USA

 

In the first city to ban abortion in Ohio, a lifelong resident grapples with the transformation of her hometown.

 

The Script

Directors: Brit Fryer, Noah Schamus

Regional Premiere. RT: 15m/USA

Blending personal interviews with dramatized genre recreations, THE SCRIPT explores the complicated relationship between trans and nonbinary communities and medical providers regarding gender-affirming care.

 

 

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DRAMA SHORT FILM PROGRAM

 

Beautiful stories from the more dramatic side of things. This program explores topics like family, grief, loss, identity, and much more.

 

This short film program plays at the Advanced Learning Library on Friday, October 6 at 11:30 a.m.

 

A Mother is Born

Director: Sarah Moshman

Regional Premiere. RT: 12m/USA

 

In the first three months of the sleep-deprived, surreal, and emotional haze of being postpartum, a writer tries to make sense of her new identity as a mother.

 

Blue

Director: Sophie Rose Worger

USA Premiere. RT: 10m/Wales

 

A father-daughter relationship is tested as Dad drives Lucy to an appointment and the two dance around what her future might hold.

 

Cottage Grove

Director: George Ellzey Jr.

North American Premiere. RT: 14m/USA

 

A young man struggles to communicate with his stroke-afflicted father, and at the same time, stay true to himself.

 

Falsies

Director: Tessa Slovis

World Premiere. RT: 14m/USA

 

Interwoven stories of the same day preceding a racially motivated act of violence.

 

Footprints

Director: Tathagata Ghosh

Regional Premiere. RT: 23m/India

Pampa, a single mother, and a lower-caste slum dweller, works as domestic help for a dysfunctional middle-class family. As her world comes crashing down at work one day, Pampa must stand up for herself by blurring the lines between the master and the maid.

 

October Mourning

Director: Frederick Thornton

Kansas Premiere. RT: 18m/USA

Grieving the unexpected loss of his father, Henry Sims gets a chance to have one more conversation with Dad.

 

Shoebox

Director: David Fortune

Regional Premiere. RT: 15m/USA

After sweeping hair at a local barbershop, a 12-year-old boy hopes to make a purchase that will bring honor and healing to his loved ones.

 

 

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DRAMEDY SHORT FILM PROGRAM

 

In between the worlds of comedy and drama lies a whole different category: the dramedy. We’ve got some dark comedies, some dramas with a touch of comedy, and some that just exist in the middle.

 

This short film program plays at the Advanced Learning Library on Saturday, October 7 at 2:30 p.m.

 

7 Minutes

Director: Ricky Gervais

Regional Premiere. RT: 10m/UK

 

A desolate train track seems the perfect spot to end it all until someone else shares the same idea. Awkward.

 

A Few Days Home In Johnson County

Director: Ryan Beck

Kansas Premiere. RT: 14m/USA

When a son returns to his Midwestern childhood home, he finds his parents downsizing their belongings and that his father has put together a “death binder” containing his exact plans for the end of his life. Everything must go in a box; his dad wants to be next.

 

Closing Time

Director: Russell Goldman 

Kansas Premiere. RT: 17m/USA

An estranged friend surprises his old college buddies with an unusual reunion.

 

HANGMAN

Director: Megan Brotherton

Regional Premiere. RT: 15m/USA

A recently widowed woman works through the complexities of grief with the help of friends, strangers, and Tupperware.

 

Passing Through

Director: Erica Alexandria Silverman

Regional Premiere. RT: 19m/USA

 

A young woman connects with her hedonistic father in the most unlikely of places – A hospice facility in trashy paradise, South Florida.

 

Racket

Director: Zoe Eisenberg

Regional Premiere. RT: 13m/USA

 

When professional circus clown Lo rage-dumps her performing partner moments before a packed show, she is suddenly forced to improvise a solo act with a tennis racket.

 

Run Amok

Director: Nitzan Mager 

Kansas Premiere. RT: 13m/USA

A teenage girl decides to stage a musical reenactment of the shooting that took place at her high school ten years ago.

THE VACATION

Director: Jarreau Carrillo

Kansas Premiere. RT: 10m/USA

A Black man attempts to take a vacation.

 

 

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Joel Fein Spotlight on Emerging Filmmakers Program

Short films from the next generation of great filmmakers! All films are made by filmmakers 18 or younger. And programmed by our Emerging Filmmaker Apprentices with the help of staff.

 

This short film program plays at the Tallgrass Film Center on Saturday, October 7 at 2 p.m.

 

A Prayer for My Mother: The Eva Brettler Story

Directors: Ruben Barrett, Raisa Effress, Sophia Evans, Lauren Fuchs, Katie Hadsock-Longarzo, Ian Kim, Eve Levy, Timothy Lim, Asher Meron, Marion Ochoa, Isabella Rahi, Hank Schoen, and Olivia Uzielli

Regional Premiere. RT: 10m/USA

 

A Prayer For My Mother: The Eva Brettler Story is an animated film that chronicles the extraordinary saga of Holocaust survivor Eva Brettler – a child facing brutality and profound loss who finds sustenance in faith and her dreams for the future.

 

Acquaintance

Director: Vitalii Ermakov RT: 6m/Russia

 

Two silhouettes grope for grains of darkness on the small island of light. Two people look for a ray in the sea of darkness. But both only find each other.

 

Affirming Ourselves

Director: Aurora Sikelianos

North American Premiere. RT: 7m/USA

Affirming Ourselves is a short film that showcases Black joy, through movement and dance.

 

Daisies

Director: Ana Testas

USA Premiere. RT: 6m/USA

 

After weeks of stalking the Richmond sisters, Oliver and Thomas decide that they are finally going to pursue the beautiful and peculiar Margaret and Sally. However, by doing so, Oliver and Thomas’ lives take an unexpected turn and become far more flowery than they had anticipated.

 

Dry Desert Plants Warm My Heart

Director: Wyatt Johnson

Kansas Premiere. RT: 6m/USA

 

A man with a boring life and only an “employee of the month” certificate to be proud of soon finds a new love and pride in a mysterious pile of boxes that appear outside of his house.

 

Here

Director: Yenadi Aye

USA Premiere. RT: 2m/USA

 

A boy vents to his sister about life recently.

 

Inner Sounds

Director: Benjamin Shimwa

USA Premiere. RT: 14m/Canada

After a car accident ends his singing career, Louis rediscovers his musical passion through piano keys, inspired by a heartfelt conversation with his sister.

 

Mirror Me

Director: CJ Santo

Kansas Premiere. RT: 2m/USA

 

A girl uses her technologically advanced mirror to alter her appearance

 

Mosquito Fish

Director: Bryn Wright

Kansas Premiere. RT: 2m/USA

What are mosquito fish? Are they fish that jump out of the water to eat mosquitos… or mosquitos that can swim? Learn more about these amazing creatures that can help keep our backyard ponds and fountains mosquito-free – without harmful pesticides.

 

My Friend, David

Director: Alexandra Bree Carson

Regional Premiere. RT: 6m/USA

David is my friend, hero, brother, and special human with a huge heart, an infectious smile, and moderate-severe autism.

 

No Dogs Allowed

Director: Kane Keenan Pilapil

Regional Premiere. RT: 4m/USA

 

A fun-loving dog doesn’t understand why he’s not welcome and takes a stand.

 

Out of Pocket

Director: Indiana Ford

Regional Premiere. RT: 3m/USA

A pickpocket realizes he’s made a grave mistake and tries to make things right with some really bad strategies.

 

ROOM

Director: Ian Dani Kim

Kansas Premiere. RT: 9m/USA

The boy can’t get out of his psychological lockdown.

 

See You Yesterday

Director: Ethan Dela Cruz

Kansas Premiere. RT: 19m/Philippines

 

An average family is planning to have their dream trip. As Gabo adventures the reality of life with his two siblings, Ben and Yna, their trip gets pushed back.

 

The Shantyman

Director: Ethan Schoeppner

RT: 3m/USA

 

The Shantyman can be summed up as an ode to loners. A lone sailor is found navigating the seas. Without a crew, he finds himself bored enough to sing a shanty… with himself. After fully realizing his loneliness, an uncertain future unfolds as his desperation for friendship takes an unseen turn.

 

 

==================================

HORROR & BLOODY SHORT FILM PROGRAM

This program has everything that a horror fan might want! Cool body horror, jump scares, scary creatures, and some horror comedies too!

 

This short film program plays at the Tallgrass Film Center on Friday, October 6 at 10 p.m.

 

Detox

Director: Alex Hanno

Regional Premiere. RT: 9m/USA

 

While away on a technology detox in the northern reaches of Maine, an impressionable social media addict becomes the target of an unexpected visitor.

 

Don’t Turn Off the Ghost Light

Director: Allisyn Snyder

Regional Premiere. RT: 11m/USA

Every stage actor knows the old theatre lore. At night, after rehearsal, after the show, you leave the ghost light on – or else. Poor Terrence. He should have been more careful – because now he’s about to discover that some performances never die.

 

Florence in Customer Care

Directors: Jordan Sommerlad, Cory Stonebrook

Regional Premiere. RT: 14m/USA

 

A customer care representative at a furniture website begins to unravel as a mysterious rash appears on her body.

 

Go to Bed, Raymond

Director: Nikki Taylor Roberts

Kansas Premiere. RT: 7m/USA

A father discovers the surprising truth about why his son won’t go to bed.

 

Mahogany Drive

Director: Jerah Milligan

Kansas Premiere. RT: 13m/USA

Three Black men on vacation soon realize the house they’re staying in kills white women.

 

Our First Priority

Director: Ariel Baska

Kansas Premiere. RT: 10m/USA

It’s all in your head. A young girl walks into a doctor’s office with a long list of symptoms. After seeming sympathetic at first, the doctor tries to convince her it’s all in her head, unleashing her avenging angel, who has her revenge.

 

Tough Skin

Director: Elijah Brewer

Kansas Premiere. RT: 3m/USA

 

After an accident in the woods, a boy discovers the strange consequences of suppressed emotion.

 

Welcome Home, Eugene

Director: Noah Jorgensen

Regional Premiere. RT: 20m/USA

 

After being kidnapped by a deranged couple, a young orphan must escape captivity with the help of their deceased son, Eugene.

 

You’re Not Home

Director: Derek Ugochukwu

Kansas Premiere. RT:11m/Ireland

When an ominous mold appears in their room, two refugee brothers seeking asylum face a dark entity lurking within their direct provision center.

 

ZIP

Director: Ava Maria Safai RT: 16m/Canada

On her 16th birthday, singer-songwriter Melody awakens with a zipper sewn to her mouth. A story about the voiceless, who must fight to be heard.

 

 

 

==================================

LATE-NIGHT SHORT FILM PROGRAM

 

Let’s get… sexy!? This program explores adult themes like sex work, being in control of your sexuality, and sexual relationships. It’s a late-night block for a reason!

 

This short film program plays at the Tallgrass Film Center on Thursday, October 5 at 9:30 p.m.

 

Come Correct

Director: Molly Coffee

Regional Premiere. RT: 15m/USA

Recently divorced from her husband, a woman with an unhealthy relationship with perfection explores her newfound queerness by hiring a female sex worker to teach her how to eat fruit.

Daddy

Director: Johanna Steinhart

Regional Premiere. RT: 20m/USA

An aspiring porn star spends the summer of 1980 sleeping with men who pass through her family’s dilapidated desert motel until one fateful summer night when she’s forced to contend with her father’s darkest secret.

 

Dick Control

Director: Shequeta L. Smith

RT: 15m/USA

 

Richard Tye “Trigga” Simmons, a rich, promiscuous, jet-setting rapper, has a one-night stand with a beautiful groupie who is a witch. When Tye disrespects her, she places a curse that can’t be broken until he learns how to respect women.

 

Give It To Me

Director: Courtney Hope Therond

Regional Premiere. RT: 9m/USA

On the advice of her therapist, a young woman hires a sex worker to help recreate — and recover from — a traumatic experience in this comedic short.

 

Just Lie to Me

Director: Kelly Walker

Regional Premiere. RT: 16m/USA

 

Just Lie to Me is a dark comedy centered around two people navigating their identities:

 

Scotty’s Vag

Director: Chaconne Martin-Berkowicz

RT: 16m/USA

 

The night of a sorority hazing event, a college freshman learns just how far she’s willing to go to impress an older girl.

 

She’s Clean

Director: Jenn Harris

Kansas Premiere. RT: 15m/USA

From the comfort of her bathroom, a resilient woman tries to marry her desires for sexual freedom with emotional intimacy by showering with all her dates.

 

 

 

==================================

LET’S GET WEIRD SHORT FILM PROGRAM

 

If you like weird, strange, off-the-beaten-path stories this program is for you! They might have you thinking “I don’t know what’s going on here, but I like it!”

 

This short film program plays in the Tallgrass Film Center on Friday, October 6 at 7:30 p.m.

 

Beat

Director: Dan Mahboubian Rosen

World Premiere. RT: 14m/USA

Jeremy is the fortunate recipient of a heart transplant who didn’t anticipate also receiving the emotional and romantic baggage of the organ donor.

 

Claudio’s Song

Director: Andreas Nilsson

Kansas Premiere. RT: 10m/Ukraine

 

A young man faces the wrath of criminals who target people who are famous on the internet; when their scheme fails things take an unexpected turn.

 

Cuxball

Director: Dave Paige

Regional Premiere. RT: 12m/USA

 

Sam finds something in the dirt.

 

Dinner at the Smyths’

Director: Bex Conyngham-Hynes, Ash Hamilton

USA Premiere. RT: 6m/United Kingdom

 

Human-passing Pandora introduces her boyfriend to her parents, (who, unbeknownst to him are a mermaid and a minotaur), at the dinner party from hell.

 

Don’t Let Kyle Sit Down

Director: Joel Jay Blacker

Regional Premiere. RT: 9m/USA

Friends wind down around a campfire.

 

Fish Bowl

Director: Rachel Sweeney

Regional Premiere. RT: 18m/USA

 

At Zoe’s wedding rehearsal dinner, her mom toasts Zoe and her fiance Jude—but mostly for becoming a grandparent. Flashback to that morning—Zoe begins to have a miscarriage.

 

ROAD HEAD

Director: Allison Torem

Kansas Premiere. RT: 16m/USA

Stuck on the side of the road, two contact-starved millennials try not to connect intimately in this surreal Reform Jewish comedy about grief, changing plans, and the lengths we’ll go to avoid direct communication with the people we love.

 

The Recruit

Director: Bao Truong

Kansas Premiere. RT: 11m/USA

 

A chronically ill people pleaser interviews for a life-changing job at a recruiting agency, only to unravel the sinister cult that lies within. Inspired by true events.

 

The Sperm Bank

Director: Margaux Susi

RT: 14m/USA

 

Newly diagnosed with Stage 4 testicular cancer, 23-year-old Rob must now take the first big step…masturbate into a cup to protect the future he isn’t sure exists.

 

 

 

==================================

 

RELATIONSHIPS SHORT FILM PROGRAM

 

You can find all types of relationships in this program! We’re exploring family relationships, ride-or-die friendships, our relationships with ourselves, and plenty of romantic relationships.

 

This short film program plays in the Tallgrass Film Center on Sunday, October 8 at 4:30 p.m.

 

All I Ever Wanted

Director: Erin Lau

RT: 15m/USA

 

Rom-com-obsessed teen Christine has always longed for the picture-perfect romance – but she’s soon confronted with the fact that her ideal prince charming might be a princess charming instead.

 

Bad Asian

Director: Kim Marcelino

Regional Premiere. RT: 6m/USA

 

An Asian American woman’s internalized racism stands between her and a steamy one-night stand.

 

Confessions

Director: Stephanie Kaznocha

Kansas Premiere. RT: 11m/USA

 

After the death of a friend, two nuns in their golden years contemplate what their future holds.

 

Gold and Mud

Director: Conor Dooley

Kansas Premiere. RT: 9m/USA

 

A sprawling story of love and loss, as reflected on a single face.

 

Hit Friends

Director: Daniel Rashid

Regional Premiere. RT: 13m/USA

 

Alice and Paul are best friends who do everything together, but when Alice reveals that she went to Six Flags without Paul, he questions their friendship. Oh, and they’re hired assassins.

 

Inés Unfortunately

Director: Anna Salinas

Regional Premiere. RT: 9m/USA

 

After getting her heart broken, 16-year-old Inés attempts to end it all… until she’s interrupted by the ghost of her chatty Cuban neighbor.

 

Kiss ‘n’ Ride

Director: Olivia Jensen

Kansas Premiere. RT: 8m/USA

 

On her way home after a great first date, Ashe notices her date in everything around her, and falls in love repeatedly, dreaming of seeing them again.

 

MnM

Director: Twiggy Pucci Garçon

Regional Premiere. RT: 15m/USA

 

MnM is an exuberant portrait of chosen sisters Mermaid and Milan, two emerging runway divas in the drag ballroom community.

 

The 4 of Us

Director: John Tanner

Regional Premiere. RT: 13m/USA

 

A rocky relationship is threatened when inner egos are personified and endanger the foundation of this unconventional couple.

 

==================================

 

VORTEX SHORT FILM PROGRAM

 

Vortex and hybrid shorts – films that might not fit in the usual boxes. These films are worthy of their own category from countercurrent animation to eye-opening experimental, to stop motion!

 

This short film program plays at the Advanced Learning Library on Thursday, October 5 at 2 p.m.

 

Earthling

Director: Molly Graham and Keith Lane

Regional Premiere. RT: 10m/USA

 

Earthling is a ten-minute animated documentary about Jack Weiner, a grown man whose entire life has been shaped by being abducted by aliens when he was young, a life story nobody believes.

Hadis

Director: Nazrin Aghamaliyeva

North American Premiere. RT: 9m/Azerbaijan, USA, Czech Republic

 

In a world ruled by crows and discrimination, a young girl fights for justice.

 

Llamas at the Laundromat

Director: Martha Grant

Regional Premiere RT: 2m/Canada

 

Got dirty clothes? Join two stylish llamas as they dance and sing their way through the steps of doing laundry at the laundromat.

 

Night

Director: Ahmad Saleh

Kansas Premiere. RT: 16m/Germany, Qatar, Palestine, Jordan

 

Night has to trick the missing child’s mother into sleeping to save her soul.

 

Sauna

Directors: Anna Lena Spring, Lara Perren

Kansas Premiere. RT: 4m/Switzerland

 

Ava enters the Sauna for the first time. She is overwhelmed by the nudity, her thoughts, and her physical sensations.

 

The Bloom

Director: Jody Xiong

Kansas Premiere. RT: 5m/China

 

For the 2022 Winter Paralympics opening ceremony held at the Bird’s Nest in Beijing, Chinese artist Jody Xiong was invited by Chief Director Zhang Yimou to create a technologically-powered art installation called ‘The Bloom.’

 

The Discarded

Director: Ben Hahn RT: 6m/USA

 

An experimental 3D animation about a broken android, an elusive junk monster, and the place where all the broken things go.

 

The Flying Sailor

Directors: Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis

RT: 8m/Canada

Two ships collide in a harbor, an explosion shatters a city, and a sailor is blasted skyward.

 

Thriving: A Dissociated Reverie

Director: Nicole Bazuin

Regional Premiere. RT: 10m/Canada

A surrealist exploration of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) based on the lived experience of a Black, nonbinary, disabled artist and former sex worker.

Tiny

Directors: Ritchie Hemphill, Ryan Haché

Kansas Premiere. RT: 17m/Canada

Tiny is a contemplative stop-motion film that tells the story of ‘Nakwaxda’xw Elder Colleen Hemphill’s childhood.

 

Tomato Kitchen

Director: Junyi Xiao

Regional Premiere. RT: 9m/China

An accident disrupted Lee’s dinner with his colleagues. This unexpected incident revealed the dark truth of the Tomato Kitchen and Lee’s concealed past was revealed by this unexpected incident.

 

Welcome to 8th Street

Director: Yoo Lee

Regional Premiere. RT: 7m/USA

As newcomers attempt to settle into their New Jersey neighborhood on 8th Street, some odd encounters make them question their decision to move. However, that changes when a wild turkey shows up on their block.

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