The 17th Annual Tallgrass Film Festival begins, Wichita film lovers go wild

KSN Digital Extra

Opening Night presentation of the 17th Annual Tallgrass Film Festival at The Scottish Rite.

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The 17th Annual Tallgrass Film Festival kicked off its Opening Night gala at The Scottish Rite Wednesday night. The Wichita-based Tallgrass Film Association puts on the event every year, growing in notoriety and popularity with each festival.

The festival attracts thousands of independent film fans, producers and talent to the streets of Wichita where they move from showing to showing at different venues across downtown, donated to the non-profit organization.

The week-long event will boast over 50 independent feature and short films, Q&A with actors and directors, filmmaker workshops, and multiple catered VIP party and Gala events that will feature live music with purchase of a Tallpass.

Some musical acts scheduled to appear during the festival are DJ Carbon, and The Cavves, both of Wichita, as well as a special performance by hip-hop legends The Sugarhill Gang along with DJ Melle Mel and Scorpio of the Furious 5.

The festival has featured many celebrity visitors over the years, many of whom received honors during the four-day film event, like cult film icon Pam Grier (“Coffy”, “Jackie Brown”, “Escape from LA”). The Festival was set to honor actress Rose McGowan in 2017 days before the Harvey Weinstien scandal broke, causing McGowan to cancel all her appearances that week.

FILE: Director Bobcat Goldthwait, left, and late actor Robin Williams pose for a portrait in Los Angeles. A showing of Goldthwait’s film “World’s Greatest Dad,” staring Williams, will play at The Orpheum Theater Saturday, October 19 where the director will be awarded the 2019 Ad Astra Award by Tallgrass Film Association preceding the film. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)

This year, Tallgrass plans to award actor, comedian, and director Bobcat Goldthwait as the recipient of the 2019 Ad Astra award. Goldthwait, famously remembered as “Officer Zed” in the 1980s “Police Academy” series, has long since taken the directorial path.

Goldthwait was critically acclaimed for his controversial take on media culture in 2011’s “God Bless America”, which screened at Tallgrass festival during its premiere tour. Two of the director’s films “World’s Greatest Dad”, starring the late comedian/actor Robin Williams and his directorial debut, 1991’s “Shakes the Clown”, will play Saturday night, the same evening Goldthwait will be awarded the Ad Astra.

The festival runs October 16-20 and tickets are available online through the Tallgrass Film Festival website, at the main box office at 125 north Market street, or any of the additional box offices operating during the festival.


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