Last nigh as I watched Life Itself, the documentary about Roger Ebert, I was reminded of the blessings I have as a film reviewer and filmmaker to be able to take part, once again, with this terrific festival, this year as a reviewer of film. I was reminded by a movie about the life of Roger Ebert as to the role of film, especially independent film. A Concept Tallgrass uses in its press, "Stubbornly Independent," gives credence to the support this terrific festival gives the independent filmmaker, offering not just accommodations and support for those coming from out of town but also classes on making and understanding film for the attendees to the festival. It also says something about a mid sized Midwestern Plains town and their respect for film. Wichita has among the top theaters in the country, including a weekly top 5 grossing theater with one of the largest IMAX screens in the world and a blossoming arts community that continues to grow despite idiotic cuts in funding to the Arts by those in our political system. A confusing cut this reviewer and fan of film hasn't forgotten about that had the arts bringing in additional revenues to Kansas above and beyond the financial support. In other words, the arts in Kansas didn't just use tax revenues for support, they returned what was given and then more for a profit. Wichita is a community which clearly loves film, and comes out in groves to support film. Film by independent filmmakers is something Roger Ebert supported throughout his career and the recognition of that last night with a large crowd of supporters on hand, along with the Producer of the film Life Itself, Zak Piper was a reminder of that support. Not to mention a packed house at the Old Depot in Wichita for the after party Gala.
have to give thanks to all of those wonderful people behind the festival that have blessed me and literally, thousands of others through this incredible, blessed event called Tallgrass.
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