The largest independent film festival in the state of Kansas. 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 that fosters an appreciation of the cinematic arts by creating shared experiences around the international medium of film.

A cool Midwestern city that truly represents the spirit and hospitality of America's Heartland, 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 accessible at Tallgrass, are the visiting filmmakers. Due to the city’s authentic nature, it’s common to find an Oscar-winning 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.

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."

Tallgrass Film Festival will grant juried awards in the following categories:

• Stubbornly Independent: $5,000 and one-of-a-kind Tallgrass tap handle
• Female Filmmaker Spotlight: $5,000 and award
• Gordon Parks Award for Black Excellence in Filmmaking: $5,000, $15,000 value Panavision Camera Rental and an award (Presented by Cargill).
• Best Kansas Filmmaker Documentary Short Film: $500
• Best Kansas Filmmaker Narrative Short Film: $500
• Best Emerging Documentary and Narrative Short: $500
• Best Narrative and Documentary Short: $500
• Best Narrative and Documentary Feature: $500
• Best Vortex Short: $250
• Best Miró Film: $250

Audience Votes equal cash also!
• Audience Award Winning Documentary & Narrative Feature: $500
• Audience Award-Winning Narrative and Documentary Short: $250

Other Non-Juried awards include the Golden Strands Awards (awarded by Tallgrass Programming Directors) for:

• Excellence in the Art of Filmmaking
• Outstanding Courage in Filmmaking
• Outstanding Woman Filmmaker
• Outstanding Cinematography
• Outstanding Screenplay
• Outstanding Editing
• Outstanding Animation
• Outstanding Rising Star
• Outstanding Performance
• Outstanding Supporting Performance
• Outstanding Ensemble Cast
• Outstanding First Feature

EDA Awards Renews for Year Two: The Alliance of Women Film Journalists’ EDA Awards recognize the amazing work done by and about women–both in front and behind the camera. AWFJ presents EDA Awards at year’s end and throughout the year at selected film festivals. The EDAs are named in honor of AWFJ founder Jennifer Merin’s mother, Eda Reiss Merin, a stage, film and television actress whose career spanned more than 60 years. A dedicated foot soldier in the industry, Eda was one of the founders of AFTRA and a long-standing Member of AMPAS. EDA is also an acronym for Excellent Dynamic Activism, qualities shared by Eda Reiss Merin, AWFJ members and those honored with EDA Awards.

- Films that have been screened before October 2020 cannot be considered in normal categories.

-Electronic press kit only, please

- 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 commercially on VOD at the time of the festival. However, the festival reserves the right to make exceptions to this rule.

- The festival will consider works-in-progress, films with temporary soundtracks, digital outputs. Filmmakers must deliver the final format (as indicated) for the festival screening. We can consider a screening of a work in progress.

- There is no need to submit to a second category as programmers will reach out regarding additional categories as needed.

- 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. Emerging filmmakers must submit a copy of his/her valid high school identification (student id, school record, passport, driver's license, or official identification that includes date of birth) 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. Kansas Filmmaker films are eligible for festival prizes if the film is accepted as an “in competition” screening in the festival.

For films submitted using the "Student Fee" a valid copy of a school ID is necessary to qualify for the reduced fee, failure to include a valid student ID will result in the submission being considered incomplete.


- Final exhibition media MUST include closed captioning. If selected for exhibition financial assistance may be available for caption creation.
- All films in a language other than English must be subtitled in English for festival presentation.

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. If the film is selected for exhibition, it may be made available online via our virtual festival platform.

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) that 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.

Overall Rating
  • Jessica Sherif

    I'm a two time alum of Tallgrass, and Hannah and her team always go above and beyond to make us filmmakers feel supported and celebrated. If you're looking for festivals worth applying to, this is definitely one of them!

    May 2022
  • Alana Waksman

    I had such a wonderful time attending Tallgrass Film Festival with my film. I loved how everything was walkable, and how well the festival took care of the filmmakers with travel support, shuttle rides, robust filmmaker lounges, and gatherings to make it easy to meet other filmmakers and audience members. I felt valued as a filmmaker, appreciated for my film, and inspired and nourished by the fellow filmmakers I got the chance to meet.

    November 2021
  • Ramtin Kouchaki

    Thank you for the good judges of the festival. The festival was great. I hope we will celebrate physically together next year...Please give an invitation next year

    November 2021
  • Lance Kramer

    Tallgrass is a fantastic festival! One of the best I have ever attended. The staff are phenomenal and truly care about independent filmmakers, independent film, and their community. The hospitality at the festival is extraordinary — they put us up in a beautiful hotel, fed us great food consistently, and created really memorable and unique experiences for the filmmakers every day. Tallgrass programs exceptional films, which are of course a highlight. But the best part was the sense of community they create amongst the filmmakers. I met amazing people at Tallgrass who I will cherish as friends for a long time to come. Highly recommend applying to Tallgrass!

    November 2021
  • Benjamin Cleveland

    I have been in this film festival twice and really love it. The staff is so welcoming and the energy is great. I have had such a lovely experience here.

    November 2021