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Wichita Association for Motion Picture Arts changes its name to Tallgrass Film Association

WICHITA — The Wichita Association for Motion Picture Arts has changed its name to the much-less-cumbersome Tallgrass Film Association.

"The Wichita Association for Motion Picture Arts is a long-winded thing to say," says Mike Marlett, executive director. "When I have to say that and then have to throw in ‘which sponsors the Tallgrass Film Festival,' it gets really long."

The late Tim Gruver founded WAMPA eight years ago when he started the film festival.

"It sort of amused him to have the WAMPA acronym," Marlett says.

He says Gruver, a Native American, liked that WAMPA sounded like the Native American word wampum.

"It's not that amusing when you try to use it all the time," Marlett says.

He says the change will help streamline marketing efforts.

"We'll be able to make better use of our marketing and be able to promote things year round that in a way advertises what we're doing in the fall" with the festival, he says. "That's a very helpful thing for us."

Marlett says the association will take this time to do a new push for members, too.

He says using the new name instead of the old one will be easier for them — not to mention him.

"My jaw physically gets tired of it."