Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Kansas to the core

For those of you in the Wichita area who would still like to see "Out Here In Kansas," there will be another local opportunity in June.
Our documentary is an official selection at this year's Doc Sunback Film Festival in Mulvane. The festival runs June 22-25. We'll be screening at 1:45 p.m. Saturday, June 24 in the museum theater.
Even if you don't see "Out Here In Kansas," you should at least spend a day or two at Doc Sunback. Here's the review I wrote on Facebook just this morning ...
The value one gets from a buying a pass is unmatched by any festival, and so is the emphasis on Kansas films. Doc Sunback is quickly developing a reputation as a favorite for audiences and filmmakers because of its passionate organizers, amazing volunteers, small-town hospitality and good old-fashion love for movies.
I meant every word of that. As much fun at the inaugural festival was, it was even more fun to see it grow by leaps and bounds in its second year last summer.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Chicago, here we come

Great news continues to come in for "Out Here In Kansas," as we learned yesterday it will be screening at the Windy City Film Festival.
Our documentary will be part of the July 1 Doc Shorts block at the 105-year-old Mercury Theater in Chicago.
That's just down the street from 1060 W. Addison - which any good Blue Brothers fan will tell you is the home of Wrigley Field.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Another screening in Lawrence

It's no secret that we love Lawrence, Kansas - we did film part of our movie there, after all, and we screened at the University of Kansas earlier this month.
So it was a thrill to learn that "Out Here In Kansas" will be part of the Free State Film Festival this summer. Actually, it looks like we'll be the last movie shown at the festival, which is June 27-July 2 in Lawrence. We're scheduled to end the short films block, which runs 6-8 p.m. Sunday, July 2.
One of the best parts of festivals like these is meeting other filmmakers. At Free State, more so than any other festival in which we've screened, we're also going to be surrounded by people we're comfortable with. Friends of our project Blake Robbins and Patrick Clement have films showing there, as does our producer Savannah Rodgers.

Friday, May 12, 2017

East coast premiere

So far "Out Here In Kansas" has been accepted into film festivals in Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri and of course Kansas, but nothing east of the Mississippi River.
That changed earlier this week, when we learned our documentary will screen next month at the inaugural Jim Thorpe Film Festival.
The documentary will be shown 9:30 p.m. Friday, June 9 at the historical Mauch Chunk Opera House in Jim Thorpe, Pa.
Jim Thorpe is a gorgeous Victorian town that consistently pops up on the national media's "best of" lists. It's 90 minutes north of Philadelphia and two hours west of New York City.
And yes, the town is named after that Jim Thorpe, who is buried there. As I took delight in telling my non-sports-inclined team, Jim Thorpe is considered by many to be the greatest athlete of the 20th Century.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Proud alum, indeed

Every time I speak to a class at Wichita State, I say the same thing: I did graduate from this place, and you can look it up. I think I do that because a) it was a long time ago, and b) after all these years, I still can't quite believe it myself.
This morning, I spoke to a journalism class at WSU's Elliott School of Communication (instructor Eric Wilson presented me with this gift). My time as a student reporter at WSU wasn't easy. I was thrown into the fire with some hard-news stories I wasn't expecting as a sports editor. The basketball coach tried to publicly discredit me. You might say the experience sucked the Shocker fan right out of me. But it also gave me a hard shell, and paved the way for me a develop a long-recognized reputation as a impartial journalist, which certainly served me well while making "Out Here In Kansas."
My message to an LGBT Studies class a few days prior was a lot different. After showing them the documentary, I confessed to the crowded classroom, "I was a country kid, and I've probably told more gay jokes than anyone in this room." But they forgave me. I'm an ally now. People do change.