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Tallgrass reveals highlights of 10th annual film festival

  • Published Sunday, Sep. 23, 2012, at 6:49 a.m.

Wichita’s Tallgrass Film Festival, which takes place Oct. 18-21, has announced some highlights of this year’s 10th anniversary program.

The opening-night film will be the U.S. premiere of the documentary “Pablo.” The film is narrated by Jeff Bridges and blends animation, motion graphics and film clips to tell the story of visual artist and designer Pablo Ferro, who created groundbreaking title design sequences for such films as “Dr. Strangelove,” “A Clockwork Orange,” “Men in Black,” “Good Will Hunting” and many others.

And a new gala event replaces the festival’s Ad Astra event of years past.

The Stubbornly Independent Gala will be held Oct. 20 at the Orpheum Theatre and will feature a film screening, Q&A with the filmmakers, and an after-party with open bar, food and entertainment.

Six films have been chosen as finalists for the gala. Programmers will select a winner — to be awarded the Jake Euker Stubbornly Independent Award, named for the late Wichitan who was a longtime supporter of the festival — from these contenders:

•  “Dead Dad” (director: Ken J. Adachi) — When their dad dies unexpectedly, three estranged siblings come home to tend to his remains and say a proper goodbye.

•  “Faith in Destiny” (director: James Choi) — A stylized neo-noir thriller about a man and his lover and the strange circumstances involving a mysterious woman named Faith, who stands in their way of being together.

•  “Petunia” (director: Ash Christian) — An offbeat family of New Yorkers must come to terms with their own misgivings about life, relationships and the unpredictability of love.

•  “Shouting Secrets” (director: Korinna Sehringer) — A fractured family is brought back together after learning of a parent’s sudden illness.

•  “The Kitchen” (director: Ishai Setton) — Ensemble comedy set entirely inside a kitchen, as a birthday party is about to start for a 30-year-old woman who is in no mood to party.

•  “Things I Don’t Understand” (director: David Spaltro) — A Brooklyn grad student forms a cathartic relationship with a young, terminally ill girl in a hospice.

The complete festival lineup will be announced in a news conference during the Final Friday gallery crawl at 8 p.m. Friday at Commerce Street’s art district downtown.

Going global — The Manhattan Short Film Festival is an event that takes place simultaneously at venues across America and eight other countries abroad (about 300 cities total). The Murdock Theatre, 536 N. Broadway, is one of the venues. The festival begins Friday and continues through Oct. 7.

The program is culled from submissions from around the world and has been narrowed to 10 finalists. Audiences will be handed a voting card to pick one short film as their favorite. After all the votes are tallied from all the venues, the winner will be announced Oct. 7 in New York City and online.

The program will be shown at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5 and Oct. 7 at the Murdock. Tickets are $9.

For more information on the festival, go to www.manhattanshort.com.

Reach Rod Pocowatchit at rpocowatchit@wichitaeagle.com.

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