Movie Maniac

WSU students and faculty made a film in Wichita. It premieres this weekend.

Wichita State University theater students on the set of the feature film “A Long Story Short,” written and directed by WSU faculty member Bret Jones.
Wichita State University theater students on the set of the feature film “A Long Story Short,” written and directed by WSU faculty member Bret Jones. Courtesy photo

A certain group of superheroes will dominate the box office this weekend, but if you’re looking for a movie alternative look no further than Wichita’s own Wichita State University.

WSU theater students and faculty members have produced a feature-length film titled “A Long Story Short” as part of the WSU theater season this year, and will premiere it this weekend.

The film is a mystery/suspense story following a small-town book club whose members find messages crying out for help written inside library books. The group decides to investigate to see if it’s a hoax or if there really is someone out there who needs to be saved, according to Bret Jones, Director of Media Arts at WSU, who wrote and directed the film.

Jones’ background and focus previously had been in theater, but in recent years he has turned his attention to film as another medium for his students to study acting. Jones has written and directed a 16-episode web series, “The Opposite of People,” that starred WSU students, as well as past feature film projects “After Midnight,” “Redux,” “Dramedy” and last year’s “Sidekicks!”

“There is a big difference in acting on stage and in front of a camera,” Jones said in a news release. “I wanted to explore film as a possibility for students. The theater faculty wants to expose our students to different areas of performance to help prepare them for the profession. That’s the purpose for producing these films, educate our students.”

The cast of “A Long Story Short” includes WSU’s Sydney Alder, Trevor Brauser, Beth Roth, TJ Wade, Madysen Baker and Allison Miller. Austin Steffens and Robert Thomas were producers. Director of Photography was Max Frish. Editor was Laban Massey.

“A Long Story Short” will be shown at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 26, and Saturday, April 27, at WSU’s Welsbacher Theatre on campus. Tickets are $15 general admission, $12 for military or seniors and $10 for students/children. It’s free for WSU students with student ID. Tickets can be purchased by calling the WSU box office at 316-978-3233 or at

Mama movies — A new film series called Mamafilm kicks off Saturday, May 11 at a microcinema at Revolutsia, 2721 E. Central, 2nd floor.

The first film in the series is “Chef Flynn,” directed by Cameron Yates, a documentary about a 10-year-old chef who transforms his living room into a supper club using his classmates as line cooks. With sudden fame, the boy sets out to challenge the hierarchy of the culinary world.

The film will be shown at 3:30 and 6:30 p.m. May 11. Tickets are $10, and advance purchase at is required as seating is limited.

The screening will be followed by a group discussion. Attendees are encourage to bring food and drink from Revolutsia shops, including Boards, Prost and Little Lion Cafe.

Rod Pocowatchit is an award-winning independent filmmaker and SAG/AFTRA-eligible actor who has written and directed four feature-length films, all made in Kansas. He has been a journalist for 29 years and is also an internationally award-winning page designer.