The Tallgrass Film Fest will hold sway in Wichita’s Old Town from Wed., Oct. 16 to Sun., Oct. 20, with screenings and parties at 10 locations.

Last year, the festival set an event record with the attendance for “This is Love,” the documentary about longtime local musician Rudy Love.

Here’s a few of this year’s selections featuring African Americans, including two with local connections.

For show times, tickets and locations, visit

Tickets are $10 per film, except as noted. Matinee films before 5 p.m. Oct. 17-18 are $7. Tickets for military, seniors, students, first responders and teachers with ID are $8.

All films on Fri., Oct. 18, are free to military and veterans with ID. Festival passes with access to parties and lounges are available online.


At age 9, Emmanuel Sanford started filming himself and his family with a home video camera in 1999, capturing his Washington D.C. neighborhood just 17 blocks from the U.S. Capitol. He continued over a 20-year period in a city plagued by poverty, addiction, and gun violence. 96 min. / Oct. 17, 230 p.m., Orpheum & Oct. 18, 1:15 p.m., Ruffin Building – Theater 1


This short film is directed by Wichita-born Micah Ariel Watson, and will play with “17 Blocks.” In the wake of the 1955 lynching of Emmett Till, a church is left to grieve. What happens when mourning becomes political and fighting becomes spiritual? 14 min. / Same as “17 Blocks”


Director Joseph Lee Anderson is from Kansas City. This short is part of the Timothy Gruver Spotlight on Kansas Filmmakers Program. A man gets the news of his lifetime. But his morning jog doesn’t go as planned. 7 min. / Oct. 20, 3 p.m., Ruffin Building – Theater 1


When 17-year-old Lennon Lacy is found hanging from a swing set in rural North Carolina in 2014, his mother’s search for justice and reconciliation begins while the trauma of more than a century of lynching African Americans bleeds into the present. 88 min. / Oct. 20, 3 p.m., Wilke Family Center


This short film will play with “Always in Season.” A traffic stop turns sinister when two black men encounter a small-town cop on a power trip. 12 min. / Same as “Always in Season”


A worried mother caring for her mange-ridden family dog; her unemployed, alcoholic son and the wife who supports him; and a preacher whose wife’s recent death has pushed him toward the bottle are a few of the characters in this vision of Southeastern Louisiana. 78 min. / Oct. 18, 3:45 p.m. & Oct. 19, noon, both at Ruffin Building – Theater 2


This short film will play with “Burning Cane.” A young woman of color is evicted. Her subsequent encounters reveal the callousness of a society built to exploit the precariousness of people like herself. In the end she confronts head-on a struggle far easier to identify than it is to overcome. 6 min. / Same as “Burning Cane.”

GIVE ME LIBERTY – Closing Night Gala

When a riot breaks out in Milwaukee, medical transport driver Vic is torn between his promise to get his relatives, a group of elderly Russians, to a funeral and his desire to help Tracy, a headstrong young black woman in a wheelchair. 119 min. / Oct. 20, 6:30 p.m., Orpheum, $15


Inspired by a true story – three young men with disabilities flee their overbearing parents for a road trip to a brothel in Montreal that caters to people with special needs. Co-starring Gabourey Sidibe. 106 min. / Oct. 17, 6:30 p.m., Scottish Rite Center & Oct. 19, 4:45 p.m., Orpheum


This documentary follows young girls and women pursuing their passion for aviation, a field dominated by men. 85 min. / Oct. 20, 4:15 p.m., Scottish Rite Center


A lonely woman (Marianne Jean-Baptiste – “Without a Trace”) searches for a dress that will transform her life. It will come to unleash a malevolent curse and unstoppable evil, threatening everyone who comes into its path. 118 min. / Oct. 17, 9:30 p.m., Scottish Rite Center & Oct. 19, 3:30 p.m., Wichita Art Museum


Using words from Davis’s autobiography, this film profiles the legendary musician. 115 min. / Oct. 18, 6:15 p.m., Ruffin Building – Theater 1 & Oct. 20, 11 a.m., Scottish Rite Center


Marion Stokes secretly recorded television 24 hours a day for 30 years from 1975 until her death in 2012. For her, taping was a form of activism to seek the truth, and she believed that a comprehensive archive of the media would be invaluable for future generations. 88 min. / Oct. 18, 3 p.m., Scottish Rite Center & Oct. 19, 3:30 p.m., Wilke Family Center

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