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.

Rowe added to TGA Board of Directors

If the last few years has taught us anything it is how important it is having diverse voices sitting at tables where important things are happening. Those seats are very valuable to organizations that are looking to grow and do things better. Every voice matters. I am happy to announce that I have accepted the nomination by Lisa Tatum and the role as a member of the Board of Directors for the Tallgrass Film Association. I have screened 2 films in their past festivals with the “Caveman Evolved” documentary featuring David “Caveman” Rickels and in the 2020 festival our thriller short film “Stay Home”. I attend the festival every year looking to find and support other emerging filmmakers as well as find that sleeper film thats getting buzz.

I have equally been a harsh critic of the TGA because of my involvement as a filmmaker and attendee which was cause for concern when I was offered the nomination. I didn’t feel I was right for that position. I consulted a friend who lectured me about the seats at the table. You can be a critic serving as a loud mouth of grief and criticism for so long but there comes a point where it is on you to take action and be apart of change. This was the opportunity to take action and be action. I am not looking to be the voice of change or wield the iron hammer to be the one that is right. I am looking to be a voice at the table where change can be made on behalf of people like myself as a person of color and as a filmmaker. Those two hats will not be the only hats that a measure from but will be important ones that I am happy to represent.

2015 Tallgrass Film Festival screening Caveman

arowefilms caveman evolved tallgrass-2sm

We are very happy to announce that our latest short film with Wichita’s mixed martial arts superstar David ” Caveman” Rickels has  been picked to screen at the 2015 Tallgrass Film Festival. What makes this exciting is its a local story being told at a major film festival that’s hosted in the same city! Caveman Evolved is just the latest story with Rickels and us with maybe more to come. ;-). It will screen as part of a 4 day film festival and show on day 3 at the Roxy Downtown in Wichita Saturday October 17th at 930am part of the shorts program. I know its kind of early but we have a nice little treat for those of you who make it out.

If you find the director Lester “LD” Rowe at the screening he will be giving away 30 special edition DVDs of Caveman Evolved with an added bonus film included and an autographed postcard by David Rickels.

Click Here to get your tickets in advance!