The 10th annual Tallgrass Film Festival started Thursday in downtown Wichita and continues through Sunday with film screenings, parties, panels and other events.
One of the best things about seeing a film at a festival is the interaction with the filmmakers. More than 30 directors, producers, writers and actors will be in town promoting their films and participating in Q&A sessions after the screenings. Seek them out.
But with gala screenings and more than 120 films being shown, the schedule can be overwhelming.
Here, then, are my picks for 10 promising films being shown this weekend (excluding the gala films, which are no-brainers):
1. “Call Me Kuchu” — Documentary following the plight of Uganda’s first openly gay man. 11:45 a.m. Friday, Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum, 204 S. Main, and noon Sunday, Scottish Rite, 332 E. First St.
2. “Citadel” — Gritty drama about an agoraphobic father who teams up with a renegade priest to save his daughter from a gang of twisted feral children. 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Orpheum Theatre, 200 N. Broadway.
3. “Dead Dad” — This drama follows estranged siblings who come home to tend to their father’s remains. Filmmaker in attendance. 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Orpheum.
4. “Faith in Destiny” — A stylized neo-noir thriller about a man and his lover and a mysterious woman who threatens their relationship. 5:45 p.m. Friday, Orpheum Theatre.
5. “Keep the Lights On” — Explores an emotionally and sexually charged journey of two men in New York City. 5:15 p.m. Friday, Garvey Center - Mediterranean, 250 W. Douglas, and 9:15 a.m. Saturday, Garvey Center - Forum.
6. “Petunia” — A dysfunctional family of New Yorkers must come to terms with their misgivings about life and love. Filmmaker in attendance. 5 p.m. Saturday, Orpheum.
7. “Shouting Secrets” — Estranged siblings and their father return home to their Native American reservation when the matriarch of the family becomes ill. Filmmaker in attendance. 12:15 p.m. Saturday, Orpheum.
8. “Side By Side” — This documentary investigates the history, process and workflow of digital and photochemical film creation. 11:15 a.m. Sunday, Garvey - Mediterranean.
9. “Things I Don’t Understand” — A grad student dealing with eviction in Brooklyn forms a cathartic relationship with a local bartender and a terminally ill hospice patient. Filmmaker in attendance. 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Orpheum.
10. “Year of the Living Dead” — This documentary chronicles the making of “Night of the Living Dead” is a world premiere. Filmmaker in attendance. 10 p.m. Friday, Orpheum and 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Garvey - Mediterranean.
Tickets and galas
• Tickets for most individual screenings are $10 ($8 for Tallgrass members, students, teachers and military personnel). All-inclusive passes are available for $175 ($150 discounted).
• Friday night centerpiece gala:“The Story of Luke”
— A sheltered young man with autism goes on a quest for a job and true love. Filmmakers in attendance.8 p.m. Friday, Scottish Rite; tickets are $15 and include the film and after-party.
• Stubbornly Independent Gala:“The Kitchen”
— Taking place entirely in a kitchen, a woman’s 30th birthday party spirals out of control in this ensemble comedy. Filmmakers in attendance.8 p.m. Saturday, Scottish Rite; tickets are $20 and include the film and after-party.
• Closing night gala:“The Standbys”
— A documentary chronicling the world of Broadway understudies and standbys.7:30 p.m. Sunday, Orpheum; t ickets are $25 and include the film and after-party.
• Tickets and passes are available at the festival’s main box office at the Orpheum; other ticket prices vary.
• For an updated schedule online and more information, go towww.tallgrassfilmfest.com