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.

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

• Stubbornly Independent: $5,000 and one-of-a-kind Tallgrass tap handle + NEW IN 2023: free DCP from Selig Polyscope Company
• Woman Filmmaker Spotlight: $5,000 and award (Presented by Fidelity Bank)
• Gordon Parks Award for Black Excellence in Filmmaking: $5,000, $15,000 value Panavision Camera Rental and an award (Presented by Cargill).

Other Cash Prizes are:
• Best Kansas Filmmaker Documentary Short Film
• Best Kansas Filmmaker Narrative Short Film
• Best Emerging Documentary and Narrative Short
• Best Narrative and Documentary Short
• Best Narrative and Documentary Feature
• $250 Best Vortex Short Sponsored by Lynda & Mark Carrier-Metz
• Best Miró Film

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

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 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 Three: 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 screened before October 2021 cannot be considered in competition categories.

- There is no need to submit to a second category as programmers will reach out regarding additional categories as needed. Please do not waste your money.

- World and US Premieres are not required; however, premiere status may be one factor in 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.

-Electronic press kit only, please.

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

- 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.

- 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 open captioning for exhibition (yes, even non-dialogue films). 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 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 with a ticket-split agreement with the filmmaker.

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.

Withdrawal after acceptance into the festival may mean incurred costs that we will pass onto you.

Overall Rating
  • sherika bray

    Loved this Festival. they do it big

    February 2023
  • Jacob Figueroa

    Honored to be accepted and welcomed by Tallgrass. It was truly a special experience. Locals were warm and welcoming and everyone that was a part of Tallgrass were present and interested in you even beyond the art. Highly recommend submitting and attending if you’re able.

    January 2023
  • Tallgrass is an iconic and tremendous festival for filmmakers to attend and be part of. This festival has it all from amazing screening venues, workshops, networking and parties. Tallgrass helps filmmakers out with professional development along the way as well which is appreciated especially for new filmmakers such as ourselves. We met live long connections and loved our festival experience! Thank you Tallgrass Film Festival for including Assaman in your 2022 Official Selection.

    November 2022
  • Ellie Foumbi

    I was so sad to miss this one but their team is incredible! So happy I submitted. Hope to have another chance to attend in the future.

    November 2022
  • yoo lee

    I was so impressed with the line-up. The level of dedication, communication, and passion the Tallgrass Film Festival team bring is truly inspiring! Thank you!

    October 2022