Movie Maniac

ArtDOG film events; doc follows plight of priest fighting for LGBT rights

Robert De Niro, left, and Dustin Hoffman star in “Wag the Dog,” being shown as part of ArtDOG events in Wichita.
Robert De Niro, left, and Dustin Hoffman star in “Wag the Dog,” being shown as part of ArtDOG events in Wichita. Courtesy photo

The citywide Art Day of Giving (ArtDOG) is happening Friday, April 29, with lots of events to celebrate and support the arts in Wichita. Organized by the Wichita Community Foundation, ArtDOG is meant to raise awareness of and generate funds for Wichita arts organizations.

Two film events are included:

▪ Wag the Dog” – Tallgrass Film Association presents a progressive screening of this 1997 Oscar-nominated political comedy that stars Dustin Hoffman and Robert De Niro.

It takes place in the days leading up to an election, when the president is involved in a damaging sex scandal. So White House staff bring in a spin doctor and a Hollywood producer to fabricate a war that the president can resolve to cleanse his image. It’s directed by Barry Levinson (“Rain Man”).

The film will be shown in three separate acts on Friday:

▪  Act one starts at 5:30 p.m. at Central Standard Brewing, 156 S. Greenwood.

▪  Act two starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Anchor, 1109 E. Douglas.

▪  Act three starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Monarch, 579 W. Douglas.

A “campaign bus” will be available to shuttle filmgoers between venues, returning to Central Standard at the conclusion of the film.

The event is free. A $15 donation gets you a special button good for $1.50 Central Standard beers at each venue. Buttons are available at venues. Proceeds benefit Tallgrass Film Association.

For more information, go to

▪  “Herb & Dorothy” – This 2008 documentary is about an ordinary couple, Herbert and Dorothy Vogel – a postal worker and a librarian – who built one of the most important contemporary art collections in history with modest means.

In the early 1960s, when little attention was paid to minimalist and conceptual art, the Vogels quietly began purchasing the works of unknown artists. They proved themselves to be visionaries, as most of the artists they supported and befriended went on to become world renowned, including Sol LeWitt, Richard Tuttle, Christo and Jeanne-Claude.

The film played at several festivals and won the audience award at the American Film Institute’s prestigious Silverdocs Film Festival.

“Herb & Dorothy” is presented in partnership with the Ulrich Museum and the Wichita Art Museum and will be shown at 5:30 p.m. Friday at the Orpheum Theatre, 200 N. Broadway. Free admission and popcorn. Donations will be accepted.

For more information, go to

Special screening“An Act of Love” is a documentary about the Rev. Frank Schaefer, who in 2013 had his ministerial credentials revoked after officiating at his son’s same-sex wedding.

After being defrocked, Schaefer began a six-month speaking tour, going to churches and rallies around the nation and appearing on several TV shows, preaching for LGBT rights. While touring, Schaefer filed an appeal for his defrocking in hopes that he would be reinstated in the church, even though he feared he would lose as other ministers had in the past.

“An Act of Love” follows Schaefer and his family from the initial trial though his final judicial council hearing, as they join the struggle to change the Methodist Church from within to allow for greater acceptance of its LGBT members and clergy.

The film is directed by Scott Sheppard, the son of a United Methodist minister. It has played at more than a dozen film festivals and is currently on a national tour of churches and independent screenings.

“An Act of Love” will be shown at 4 p.m. Sunday at College Hill United Methodist Church, 2930 E. First St. Admission is free.

For more information, go to