Welp, I did it. I’m exhausted, I barely slept, and I’ve put a lot of important things to the side for this and I don’t regret a damn thing. I saw some crazy stuff, I drank too much, and I definitely saw enough movies to begin to feel a fatigue but I could not be happier with this year’s Tallgrass Film Festival. Wichita has been getting better on and off for a few years, finally attempting to make something of itself on a national scale, and this gathering of film nerds is its crowning achievement. “Stubbornly independent” is their motto, and they stick to that with a vicious tenacity that calls for recognition. Nothing there is easy (except for White Tide: The Legend of Culebra) but it’s all worth it. I’ve attended two of these festivals and they’ve been the highlight of my years. I’ve been through the wringer with family troubles, relationship pains, struggles at work, and through it all I’ve had this to look forward to. It lifts my spirits, it brings me joy, and it allows me to just revel in what I love like the crazy nutjob I am.
I have to thank a few people for going through the wringer with me in some way, shape, or form.
Shoutouts to Jake and Erica Treat for fest-ing with me, Stephanie and Chelle for partying with me, Chelsea for brightening darker days I had during this whole thing, Amanda Shankle for recommending “Claire McKenna,” Cale Ward for running the absolute wringer with me on Sunday while I was exhausted, and Andi Lee for being a bright light on and off throughout the whole festival. Thanks to Amy Coppage for being the best boss ever and for being ridiculously supportive while I go on and on and on and on and on about what I’ve seen. Thanks to Christopher Chollett for your enthusiasm and being the absolute badass you always have been. Thanks to Kendall Goldberg for letting me talk about your film and how much I adore not just that but your hilarious and fun personality. Thanks to Steve Young for your input and for bringing to my attention one of the most fascinating subcultures in Americana.
A special thank you to Clay Bastian, without whom my attendance would not have been possible. You’re made of solid gold and I could not be more grateful to you for these opportunities and for just being a freaking wonderful human being in a life full of frustration. I’ve made a lot of wonderful friends at Fidelity Bank and I’m grateful for every single one, but I cannot wax poetic enough about how kind you’ve been to me. I’m baking you cookies later this week, so come to work hungry.
Links to reviews I’ve posted below.