Tallgrass Film Festival
October 20 - October 24
Tallgrass Film Association fosters an appreciation of the cinematic arts by creating shared experiences around the international medium of film.
TFA, a 501(c)(3) arts organization, was founded in 2003 by Timothy Gruver, a Wichita native who studied filmmaking at Brigham Young University (often sneaking into Sundance Film Festival parties in Park City to mingle with the stars) before moving to Los Angeles for his first job with Dreamworks Animation, followed by Outfest and the Los Angeles Film Festival.
Tim returned to Wichita in 2002 to found Tallgrass Film Association (known originally as the Wichita Association for Motion Picture Arts.) Tim believed Wichita could be the next Telluride — obvious geographical issues aside — and created the city’s first annual Tallgrass Film Festival, held in October of 2003. Tim amassed a dedicated board of directors and staff, many of whom remain with the organization today, and North America’s most Stubbornly Independent film festival was born.
Tragically, Tim passed away suddenly at the age of 33, just prior the third festival. The board, staff and community united, determined that the show must go on. The group produced Shortgrass, a 24-hour celebration of his vision.
Since then, the festival has expanded to a 5-day format and has become a hallmark of Wichita’s fall event calendar. 12,000 people attended the 11th annual festival, which screened over 180 films from 32 countries around the world. TFA emphasizes community partnerships and regularly collaborates with the Music Theatre Wichita, Wichita Art Museum, Botanica, Ulrich Museum of Art, Exploration Place, Sedgwick County Historical Museum, Orpheum Theatre, CityArts and Wichita Symphony Orchestra to name just a few, as well as tens of other non-profit organizations throughout the region.
Tallgrass Film Association’s activities have expanded to also host year-round screenings and events, as well as educational workshops, and a traveling road show.