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Emerging Programmer Apprenticeship

TFA has created the Emerging Programmer Apprenticeship to provide an opportunity for area students (18 and under) to learn about how festival films are critiqued and programmed. The students will have the chance to see movies from around the world and understand how their peers, in different countries, are using technology to create independent films. 

The student programmers will play an integral role in selecting the Joel Fein Emerging Filmmaker Program (films made by those 18 and younger), as well as Smallgrass, the festival's family-friendly program and in-school festival screenings. In addition, they will serve on the jury that awards the Best Emerging Filmmaker Short Film Award.

The program will consist of 3-5 group screenings over the summer, with deliberations in the fall. Each student will receive a special Emerging Programmer Apprentice Pass for the duration of the festival, plus one TALLPass for a parent or guardian. In some circumstances, the program may be considered for volunteer hours (based on the school's requirements.)

“We’re excited to be able to offer this educational opportunity to the next generation of filmmakers in the Wichita region,” said Co-Programming Director Gretchen Mitchell. “The students chosen for our inaugural program have been very involved with Tallgrass –– as Filmmaker Lab students, volunteers and attendees. Our Programming team is looking forward to working with them, mentoring them and hearing their feedback.”

Applications for the 2014 Emerging Programmer Apprenticeship will be available online in January of next year.

2013 Emerging Programmer Apprentices

Mariah Hall
Age: 15
School: Andover Central, Sophomore

I've wanted to go into filmmaking ever since I was in fifth grade, I aspire to be a producer, that's always been the career that seemed to fit me best. I do all the video work for my high school, and I'm also quite involved in the CityArts film program as well as the Tallgrass Film Festival.


Josiah Kortje
Age: 17
School: Trinity Academy, Senior

I have home filmmaking experience, as well as having filmed a few events. I also participated in Tallgrass Filmmakers Lab’s Project Nano with Director James Choi in April, where we made a short film over the course of the weekend.



Jackson Laurie
Age: 14
School: East High School, Freshman

I started making movies when I was 7; since then I have made 50+ short videos for YouTube. Last year my friends and I competed in the Down to the Wire 24-Hour Film Race and our short was featured at Tallgrass Film Festival. I specialize in visual effects but also enjoy cinematography. I hope to one day be able to make or work on films for a living.