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2021 Tallgrass Film Festival

Posted on October 27, 2021 by under Events.    

I was super excited for Tallgrass Film Festival this year because in person events were back. Last year it was all virtual and I couldn’t figure out how to watch the movies online. This year, they had both in person and virtual and I was determined to take advantage of both channels. This is also the first year that I got a second Tallpass. Usually, work only gives me one pass so I have to purchase a separate pass/ticket for Brian (or get one through my sister who was working for Tallgrass Film Association on the side). Jenni didn’t work for them this year so she actually had to buy her own Tallpass as well. Knowing this, I asked my work for a second Tallpass for Brian if there were any extras or if someone at work who was offered a Tallpassed happened to not want theirs. I guess fortune favors the bold because my work gave me two Tallpasses. Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

In the past, I’ve usually gone to one or two movies at most and maybe one of the film gala parties on the weekend. It’s not really making the most of my Tallpass but since I’ve only ever had one, I’ve never been that gung-ho about going. This year, since Brian and I both had Tallpasses, I wanted to make the most of our experience. We tried to hit as many movies and parties as our schedules would allow which, considering our schedules, still wasn’t very much but we actually got great use of our Tallpasses this year.

We missed the Wednesday night festivities (FREE showing of Shrek at Naftzger Park and VIP reception before the screening) because I always have Aqua Zumba (at VASA Georgetown/Harry location) followed by late night pickleball (at Riverside Tennis Center). I didn’t know about it until that day so it was too late for me to change my plans. Brian and I did manage to coordinate our schedules so that we could attend the gala party at Botanica on Thursday night, though.

He ended his gaming early and picked me up at Riverside (so I wouldn’t have to drive all the way back home to drive all the way back downtown — Botanica is like five minutes from Riverside Tennis Center) and then we both went to Botanica in his car. After the party, we swung back by RTC to pick up my car and then drove home separately. The plan was efficient and worked out great.

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Here are some fun pics from Thursday night.

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DJ Carbon was there. I also ran into my friend Teresa Veazey from #LeadershipWichita and some friends from pickleball. We didn’t stay at the party late because it was a weeknight and, although Brian was off the next day, I was not. We did plan to attend the VIP breakfast at the Ulrich Museum of Art at Wichita State University but decided to change our minds last minute. Instead, we used the time to check out the Tallgrass Film Festival VIP Lounge.

I’d never gone in there before and clearly I’ve been missing out. They have snacks and drinks in there pretty much all day long, there’s a photo booth, and lots of swag. They even feed you lunch (which we didn’t stay for because I had to go back to work) and host a happy hour from 3-5 pm in the afternoon. I’m not sure if the schedule changes daily but that’s what they had posted that morning when we stopped by. I’m thinking in the future, if we do this again, I’m totally taking time off work to get the full experience.

There was an awesome party on 1st Street by the Orpheum on Friday night. Brian didn’t want to go because he was streaming but I stopped by on my way home from pickleball. The food and drinks were plentiful, there was a DJ spinning music (not Carbon), and they even had fire dancers on the street. It was really neat. I really wish Brian would have gone with me because Jenni decided to skip the party, and it’s definitely not as fun going to these things by yourself.

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On Saturday we carved out some time to attend TFF events in the afternoon. We went to Groover Labs for the EPA Reception (free food – LOL). Lunch was pretty good! Then it was off to Orpheum to watch Poser.

Went home to take care of Saki and then went back out to catch another movie. We were going to see Shaft but decided to watch one of the indie films instead so we went to watch Adventures in Success at Mama Films next to the VIP Lounge. The movie was weird and disjointed. I’m pretty open minded but I really didn’t like this one. The silver lining is, since we cut through the VIP Lounge, we got to take some fun photo booth pics.

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The reception on Saturday night was at the WAVE, an outdoor concert venue downtown. We ran into Will, who I know both through Brian (they used to work together at Viega) and also pickleball. We sat and visited a while and mused at the fact that the awards ceremony is much cooler when it is held at the Orpheum. Hopefully they’ll go back to that next year.

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I was not a huge fan of the WAVE party because there was no free event food (besides popcorn and candy) and the drinks were limited. I know some people go to these parties to rub elbows with other pretentious hipsters but I mostly go for the free food and booze. LOL.

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Brian and I weren’t fans of the boxed wine they were serving so Brian and I took off early (Brian wanted to drink his own, better wine at home). Jenni was thrilled that we gave her our extra drink tickets.

We ended up staying up all night watching Dune — because Brian had been anxiously awaiting its release. Of course, he couldn’t get over how they were pronouncing the word “Harkonnen” so I had to listen to him complain about it. Come to find out, this version actually pronounces it right (consistent with the author’s pronunciation) and it’s the 1984 David Lynch movie that got it wrong. Brian still can’t accept it.

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I still have my Aqua Zumba classes that I’m teaching in the morning so we’re just squeezing in activities in between obligations. I actually overbooked on Sunday because we schedule a pickleball cookout so we couldn’t watch any movies. The ironic thing is we had Cargill burgers at the pickleball cookout and Cargill burgers again at the Tallgrass Film Festival closing party at Old Cowtown Museum. I’m pretty sure they’re the same burgers because Cargill is an event sponsor and probably donated the meat.

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Here are some of the pics we took at Cowtown…

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You couldn’t go inside most of the buildings (except for the Empire House Theater, where the party was held, and the outhouses) but it was kind of fun having run of the place. We didn’t have to fight a ton of people for pics.

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I actually had to take a picture of this sign outside the restroom. I was worried it was an actual “exhibit” and we weren’t supposed to use it. Thankfully, it’s an actual restroom with running water and plumbing that works. I think the sign is just to limit the number of people inside for COVID reasons.

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The party had a great turnout and it was the perfect end to another fun film festival.

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Can’t wait until the next one! Until then, GNG.

Related Stories

  • 2019 Tallgrass Film Festival on November 8, 2019
  • Tallgrass Film Festival 2018 on November 4, 2018
  • Anniversary Weekend – Anniversary Month on August 21, 2016

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