Flavorwire calls Tallgrass “one of the foremost regional festivals in the country, showcasing exciting new movies and festival hits that otherwise probably wouldn't make their way to the heartland…a wonderful festival, and a reminder that New York and L.A. don't have the market cornered on vibrant film culture."

The largest independent film festival in the state of Kansas, more than than 70 visiting filmmakers from across around the globe attended the 2019 festival.

A hallmark of the region’s cinematic landscape and an internationally recognized, multi-day platform for world-class cinematic programming, the festival is a program of the Tallgrass Film Association, a 501(c)3 arts organization which fosters an appreciation of the cinematic arts by creating shared experiences around the international medium of film.

A growing Midwestern city that truly represents the spirit and hospitality of America's Heartland, Wichita was described in the Boston Globe’s Travel Section as “on-the-cusp America, a place where old ways and new styles are beginning to blend, where empty downtowns are being revived, museums founded, and unexpected treasures lie waiting in antiques stores...” Though Johnny Depp likes to insinuate that Midwestern American audiences are not sophisticated enough to appreciate independent film, Tallgrass audiences beg to differ.

Wichita is also home to a large art and music community, a growing filmmaking community, and generous patrons of the arts making Tallgrass audiences a hallmark of the festival. Sophisticated movie-goers of all ages and backgrounds - hungry for quality independent film - audiences are receptive, opinionated and genuine. Screening a film at Tallgrass is a catalyst for generating awareness and buzz in the epicenter of the country that radiates throughout the region. Also as accessible at Tallgrass, are the visiting filmmakers. Due to the city’s authentic nature it’s common to find a Golden Globe-nominated filmmaker deep in conversation with a high school documentarian or an avid movie-goer.

Located in the South Central portion of the state, Wichita, is known as the "Air Capital of the World” and is the largest city in Kansas in terms of both land area and population, with an estimated populace of more than half a million people in the greater metropolitan area. Known as a breeding ground of entrepreneurs, the city is home to corporations including Pizza Hut, Hawker Beechcraft, Learjet, Cessna and Coleman.

Tallgrass Film Festival will grant cash awards in the following categories:
• Audience Award Winning Documentary Feature: $2,500
• Audience Award Winning Narrative Feature: $2,500
• Stubbornly Independent Gala Winner: $5,000, as well as a gala screening and one-of-a-
kind Tallgrass tap handle
• Audience Award Winning Short Documentary Film: $1,000
• Audience Award Winning Short Narrative Film: $1,000
• DOXX Spotlight: $1,500, as well as a Spotlight screening and an award
• Best Kansas Filmmaker Documentary Short Film: $500
• Best Kansas Filmmaker Narrative Short Film: $500

Non-cash special recognition awards include:
• The Stubbornly Independent winner also receives a gala screening and one-of-a-kind Tallgrass tap handle.
• Golden Strands Awards (awarded by Tallgrass Programming Directors) for Outstanding Documentary, Narrative Feature, Short Film and more
• Best Kansas Filmmaker Short Film
• Best Emerging Filmmaker Short Film

-Films must have been completed after January 2019. Some exceptions will be considered for non-domestic releases.

-Online screeners from secure sources are preferred. Include screener link and password in your submission.

-2 submission preview copies of the film are required if you are submitting on disc media (DVD).

-Press kit is optional - electronic only, please

-A Kansas premiere is required. World and US Premieres are not required, however premiere status may be one of the factors considered when determining a film's inclusion in the Festival.

-The Festival does not screen films available on VOD or any online streaming portal at the time of the festival. However, the festival reserves the right to make exceptions to this rule.

-All films in a language other than English must be subtitled in English for festival presentation.

-The festival will consider work-in-progress, films with temporary soundtracks, digital outputs, and work that did not originate on film Filmmakers must deliver final format (as indicated) for Festival screening. No exceptions will be permitted.

-Kansas and Emerging Filmmakers submit for free under their respective categories.

-Emerging Filmmaker films MUST be works written, directed, and shot by high school age students – 18-YEARS OLD AND YOUNGER. This category is not for university or college filmmakers. Adult supervision is limited to advisory capacity. Emerging filmmakers must submit a copy of his/her valid high school identification (student id, school record, passport, drivers license or official identification that includes date of birth) to receive the fee waiver and to be eligible for this category.

-In order to receive fee waivers for Kansas filmmakers, Kansas filmmakers must submit a valid Kansas address, connection and identification respectively to receive the fee waiver. Kansas Filmmaker films are eligible for festival prizes, if the film is accepted as an “in competition” screening in the festival.


Tallgrass Film Festival is hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival for promotional purposes.

The individual or corporation submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening, and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations.

The individual or corporation submitting the film shall indemnify and hold harmless Tallgrass Film Festival from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.

Should your film be accepted, we ask permission to keep a copy of the film for our festival library. This request is voluntary and is not conditional. The copy of the film in the TFF library will not be used for profit. Should we consider re-screening the film for a public paid event, we will notify individuals or corporations representing the film for permission and conditions.

Packaging - ship your media in a bubble-pack envelope whenever possible. If you must use a fiberpack, please wrap the media with protective material. The festival is not responsible for damage to tapes incurred in shipping.

Costs and labeling - all shipping costs to and from Wichita must be borne by the sender. All discs must indicate title, shipper's name, and FilmFreeway tracking number.

International entries - all entries from outside the US should be sent Air mail Registered or by a parcel express service. We cannot accept entries shipped via air-freight if customs and delivery fees have not been paid.

Overall Rating
  • Sorry for the late review! Had my documentary "Hibakusha" screen here in 2019 and the festival atmosphere is so fantastic. Tallgrass does everything they can (and more!) to make sure filmmakers feel at home. Cannot recommend enough!

    June 2020
  • Great festival! My team and I look forward to submitting new projects and going back.

    January 2020
  • Nitzan Mager

    This review is super late-- We will blame having a new baby while doing our festival run. But it's important to review this fest because... it is fantastic. One of the best festivals we've been to, it really earns the accolades it has received. The hospitality, the audiences, the fellow filmmakers we met-- all wonderful. It's not an industry festival. It's a filmmaker's festival-- and it excels in this regard. Highly highly recommend.

    January 2020
  • Clayton Smith

    Although I wasn't able to attend, those I know who were there consistently say it is one of the best for hospitality and programming. Thank you for including my work!

    December 2019
  • Adam Cushman

    Cinephile heaven. The nicest festival staff on earth. More fun than you can handle.

    November 2019