Gordon Parks x Tallgrass Film Festival News and more

Gordon Parks Gala at Tallgrass Film Festival

Big News for me at the Tallgrass Film Festival in Wichita! As I type this facebook has reminded me that 6 years ago today I was in my first Tallgrass Film Fest as a filmmaker doing a Q&A about my short documentary “Caveman Evolved”. The fun part about this is for the past week I have been saying I need to update my blog and put it off. I was thinking how this needs to be a better app so I could update on the go and come to find out the blog app is far better now. Hopefully that helps make this easier. On Saturday, October 23rd 5:30pm I have the pleasure of moderating and hosting the Q&A at the Gordon Parks Gala for Tallgrass Film Festival at the Orpheum. It will be a double feature with the retrospective documentary on Gordon Parks entitled “A Choice of Weapons” and the classic film “Shaft” directed by Gordon Parks which was also the first major motion picture with a black director. In between both films will be a Conversation with Gordon’s son David Parks and we will talk to his fathers legacy and the 50th anniversary of Shaft.

This is such the honor for me because Gordon Parks changed how I approached art when I was 17 years old and for the first time I will be able to share that story with David Parks and the audience in attendance (visit tallgrassfilm.org for tickets). To say I am anxious is an understatement. Oddly the day before I was asked to host this event, I had a chance encounter with David Parks via mutual friends. He wasn’t apart of the program of attendees but happened to be there. This was a storm event night and the location was bad for me to travel but after some discussion I end up going. My motto for many things I do not want to do is to just show up and let the universe work. Out of respect, I do not want to share the private conversation we had yet but this was a table of big personalities and loud opinions. It was a great time and for this opportunity to fall in my lap was perfect timing and the universe doing its work. There was so much more I wanted to talk about with David Parks and hope to ask a few of those Saturday at the festival.

Heading out in a few to create more drama but before I go, I am also hosting another event earlier in the day at 3:30pm during the Tallgrass Film Festival that features the documentary film “One Pint at a Time” about black owned breweries in America here is link to the trailer. It is a very fascinating documentary and insightful to the fight that black brewers have as the make up less than 1% of the field. I thought the film was going to be a very sad times documentary but it is very upbeat, fun, and bleeds culture. I shared many of the parallels mentioned in this film as a black filmmaker but I do not feel sad about the slights. It is one of those things that keeps me fired up. This documentary is somewhat inspiring. One Pint at a Time shows how people make a way despite the challenges and expectations. The heartbreak and joys happen in real time in this film and I look forward to talking to the director Aaron Hosè about the documentary and its themes.

One Pint At A Time Documentary

Okay I am out next post will have some updates on projects and what to expect to end 2021. It has been a wild ride.

“Stay Home” added to Scary Movie Mondays

Extremely happy to announce that our short film “Stay Home” has been added to the line up of intermission shorts during Scary Movie Mondays at Starlite Drive-In in Wichita,Ks.

This is especially exciting because since doing the Save the Drive In campaign powered by Honda I had imagined having a film screen in a drive in before they were all shut down. Thanks to a worldwide pandemic it looks like it is going to happen. What’s even more exciting about having Stay Home screened in a drive-in is that it comes as part of the Nightmare on Elm Street double feature in its two showings! Freddy has inspired the next short we have in production called GoodNight so this is just big big big for me.

I am appreciating every bit of what has came from taking the risk in jumping from documentary to narrative film. That doesn’t mean I am done with documentary because I have plenty of stories I wish to tackle but I started filmmaking to be the next name in the horror/thriller genre.


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Transforming for Stay Home


Thank you thank you thank you to everyone who has watched Stay Home short film. The response has been amazing and bigger than my wildest dreams! I have a goal to get to 100k views we have a long way to go but I have faith! Making Stay Home was a transformative process not just from documentary to narrative but physically as well. I knew that I wanted to go method actor lite with this and show some real hair growth and 

bread mangle making this film to show how 14 days could progress. With Stay at Home orders in full effect, there wasn’t any way to get nice shave and haircut so the temptation was low.
Going into the shoot day for bathroom scene I had a decent growth on my beard and neck and my Continue reading


Ready to watch STAY HOME : SHORT FILM HERE or on Facebook.com/arowefilms or youtube.com/arowefilms. It would mean a lot to me if you all hit the like buttons and share it with your friends. Help me get this to an audience. Part of this is self-promotion because I want my hard work to be seen but also because in the process making Stay Home, a film in which I was the sole cast member (with voice by Carla Ayala) and crew, this became much more than a first time film. With the development of COVID19 in America developing in real-time, it became important for me to not just be a character that happens to be black but to provide context to what that means in the narrative of this pandemic mesh with the black experience. How we as people of color poorly deal with our health, not seeing doctors, not taking things seriously, and improperly deal with mental health as the demographic hardest hit by the COVID19 virus. I made last-minute changes to help create an undertone to the visual narrative because to me the role of an artist is to entertain, create perspective, and say something. Without those last-minute tweaks, I believe I would have done the audience a disservice as an artist. For me this is more than a film or short film, it is a fracture of the black experience during a health crisis. Thanks for watching and I look forward to your feedback!