“Hunting Emma” is this year’s Centerpiece Gala selection at the 15th annual Tallgrass Film Festival. Courtesy photo
“Hunting Emma” is this year’s Centerpiece Gala selection at the 15th annual Tallgrass Film Festival. Courtesy photo

Movie Maniac

The weekend’s best bets at the Tallgrass Film Festival

By Rod Pocowatchit


October 19, 2017 01:21 PM

The 15th annual Tallgrass Film Festival is in full swing with screenings, gala parties, special guests, filmmaking panels and much more. About 100 guest filmmakers and actors will be in Wichita to present their films and talk about making them.

But there’s so much to see and do, the festival program can be a little daunting. Here are my picks for highlights for the festival, which runs through Sunday, Oct. 22:

Gala events

▪  Centerpiece gala screening: “Hunting Emma” – This South African film is about a young woman who witnesses six men kill a cop in the wild and then is hunted down to keep it a secret. Showing at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20, at the Scottish Rite, 332 E. First St. A party follows at Union Station, 701 E. Douglas.

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▪  Stubbornly Independent gala: “I Hate the Man in My Basement” – The Jake Euker Stubbornly Independent Award will be given to director Dustin Cook for his film about a grieving man who struggles to appear normal while harboring a secret. 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, at the Scottish Rite. A party follows at the former Greyhound Bus Station, 312 S. Broadway.

▪  Closing night gala: “Served Like A Girl” – This documentary chronicles the lives of female veterans as they compete for the crown of “Ms. Veteran America.” 6:30 p.m. Sunday at the Orpheum Theatre, 200 N. Broadway. A party follows at Emprise Bank, 257 N. Broadway.

Narrative films

▪  “20 weeks” – A couple must decide on how to move forward when their baby is diagnosed with a serious health condition 20 weeks into the pregnancy. 12:45 p.m. Saturday at Roxy’s Downtown, 412 1/2 E. Douglas.

▪  “Alaska is a Drag” – An aspiring drag superstar is stuck working in a cannery in Alaska. When a boxing coach sees his potential, he has to face the real reason he is stuck in Alaska. 10:15 p.m. Saturday at Roxy’s Downtown.

▪  “Badsville” – A violent greaser gang is ripped apart when their leader finds love and is determined to leave their small town. 11:45 a.m. Friday at Roxy’s Downtown and 4:15 p.m. Saturday at the Orpheum.

▪  “Bomb City” – Teenage punks in a conservative Texas town battle a rival, more-affluent group of jocks. 2:30 p.m. Saturday at the Scottish Rite and 12:30 p.m. Sunday at Roxy’s Downtown.

▪  “Dave Made a Maze” – An artist who has yet to complete anything significant in his career builds a fort in his living room out of pure frustration, only to wind up trapped by the fantastical pitfalls, booby traps and critters of his own creation. 9 p.m. Saturday at the Orpheum.

▪  “Lucky” – A 90-year-old atheist goes a journey of self exploration. 3:15 p.m. Friday at the Scottish Rite.

▪  “Seat 25” – A woman secretly enters a competition to win a seat on the first manned mission to Mars. 11:45 a.m. Friday at the Orpheum and 1:30 p.m. Sunday at the Scottish Rite.

Documentary films

▪  “Arctic Superstar” – An indigenous Samí rapper is trying to earn a living from his music, but only less than 20,000 people speak his endangered language. 6:45 p.m. Saturday at the Orpheum.

▪  “Forever B” – A true-crime story of an Idaho family who fell under the spell of a sociopathic neighbor who kidnapped their 12-year-old daughter. 5:15 p.m. Saturday at the Scottish Rite.

▪  “On the Sly: In Search of the Family Stone” – A Sly and the Family Stone “super fan” sets out to find the band’s leader, the reclusive funk legend, Sly Stone. 2 p.m. Friday at the Orpheum and 11:30 a.m. Sunday at the Scottish Rite.

▪  “Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World” – This explores the role that Native Americans have had in contemporary music history and how they influenced popular culture. 10:45 p.m. Friday at the Orpheum.

▪  “The Life, Blood and Rhythm of Randy Castillo” – This explores the life of late legendary drummer Randy Castillo. 6:15 p.m. Friday at the Orpheum.

▪  “Whose Streets?” – An unflinching look at the Ferguson uprising. 12:30 p.m. Friday at the Scottish Rite and 9:45 a.m. Saturday at the Scottish Rite.

For a complete schedule and list of films, go to www.tallgrassfilmfest.com.

Rod Pocowatchit: 316-268-6638, @rawd

15th annual Tallgrass Film Festival

When: Continues through Sunday, Oct. 22

Where: Various venues around downtown Wichita

More information: Various ticket packages and passes are available. To purchase and see a complete schedule, go to www.tallgrassfilmfest.com.

Check out the trailers: The Tallgrass Film Festival’s Site Box Cinema at the ICT Pop-up park, 121 E. Douglas, will be showing trailers for films in the festival from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily through Oct. 22. Admission is free.