History

From thought-provoking documentaries and films in competition to indies and experimental feature-length films, the following is a brief list of some of the films and special events that have played at the Kansas International Film Festival in recent years.

2013 Juried Prize Winners

The Kansas International Film Festival is proud to announce the winners of our first Juried Prize. The winners were chosen by panels of local filmmakers, film educators and critics.

Best Narrative – K Effect: Stalin’s Editor

Directed by Valenti Figueres, The K Effect, Stanlin’s Editor is the story of the man who said “no” to Stalin. Maxime Stransky- an actor in 1920′s Moscow, an adventurer of the revolution, and counterfeiter- was also Stalin’s film editor and actor/spy. This film unveils such Stransky missions as the obtaining of atomic bomb designs and subsequent flight from the FBI across the North Pole and his betrayal of his childhood friend, pioneering Russian film director Sergei Eisenstein. The K Effect is a story of passionate life during a century shaken by fascinating utopias that spawned cheerful dreams and dreadful nightmares.

Best Documentary – Small Small Thing

Directed by Jessica Vale, Small Small Thing is the story of 9 year-old Olivia Zinnah, a patient at John F. Kennedy Hospital in Monrovia, the capital and urban center of Liberia in West Africa. Olivia’s condition, thought by her mother to be witchcraft, is diagnosed by doctors as the result of complications from a brutal rape sustained when she was just seven years old. Pursuing a Government promise to empower and protect women, Olivia names her cousin as the rapist. For seeking help outside their tribe, the child and her mother are shunned from their jungle village and left stranded in Monrovia, at the mercy of their Government’s promise.

2013 Audience Award Winners

All competition films are voted on by our audiences. Films are divided between narrative and documentary and compete in their respective categories. After seeing a film, audience members are given the opportunity to cast their vote on a four-point rating system to gauge how much they liked the film.

Best Narrative – Construction

Best Documentary – Blood Brother

Past Winners

  • 2012: Best Documentary, Dave • Best Narrative, The Ghastly Love of Johnny X 
  • 2011: Best Documentary, Lesson Plan • Best Narrative, eMANcipation
  • 2010: Best Documentary, Holy Wars • Best Narrative, Soul at Peace
  • 2009: Best Documentary, Vincent: A Life in Color • Best Narrative, 16 To Life
  • 2008: Best Documentary, The Flyboys
  • 2007: Best Documentary, The Edge of Eden: Living with Grizzlies • Best Narrative, Midnight Clear
  • 2006: Best Documentary, Hand of God • Best Narrative, Mojave Phone Booth
  • 2004: Best Documentary, Bellmore: The Unscene & Mojados: Through the Night (tied) • Best Narrative, Independent Vision Award – Chris Gore

Past Films Screened at KIFF

  • Barbara Hammer—Documentary filmmaker presented two of her films, History Lessons and Resisting Paradise.
  • G—Special appearances by producer Charles Drew Jr. and actor Jillian Lindsey.
  • Jeffrey Phelps’ Special Ed, Shannon Young’s Razor Eaters, Rusty Nails’ Highway Robbery, Neil dela Llana’s Cavite, Sidney King’s Pearl Diver and so many more.
  • Primer—2004 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize Winner.
  • Code 46—critically acclaimed Michael Winterbottom film starring Tim Robbins and Samantha Morton.
  • Festival Express—Documentary starring Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead, The Band and more.
  • The Sundance Channel Film Series sponsored by Human Rights Watch.
  • What The Bleep Do You Know?
  • James Ellroy Presents Bizarre Bazaar
  • Think! Film Series—Thought-provoking documentaries including Origins of AIDS, War Takes, Ruthie and Connie, Mojados, The Naked Feminist, Voices of Women and Border Bandits.
  • Filmmaker Torum with Chris Gore of FilmThreat.com and IFC’s Film Fanatic.
  • The Bread, My Sweet—Special appearances by actor Scott Baio and filmmakers Melissa Martin and Adrienne Wehr.
  • The Secret Lives of Dentists—Starring Campbell Scott, Hope Davis and Denis Leary.
  • 13 Conversations About 1 Thing—Feature Film direct from the Sundance Film Festival, guest appearance by director Jill Sprecher.
  • Kubrick: A Life In Pictures—Documentary on Stanley Kubrick, part of a special retrospective.
  • The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys—Starring Kieran Culkin and Jodie Foster.
  • Senorita Extravidia—Winner of the Sundance Grand Jury Prize in Documentary.
  • Alloy Orchestra—World Premiere, Phantom of the Opera. Performed live scores for silent films Nosferatu, The Lost World, Speedy, Metropolis and Blackmail.
  • 30 Year Anniversary Tribute to Women Make Movies—Special appearance by WMM, Executive Director, Debra Zimmerman.
  • CSA: Confederate States of America—First screening of critically acclaimed film by local filmmaker, Kevin Willmott. CSA went on to be shown at Sundance and has now been sold for distribution.
  • Charlie: The Art and Life of Charles Chaplin—Documentary by filmmaker Richard Schickel, closing film for 2003 Cannes Film Festival.
  • Silence—World Premiere, special appearance by actors Tony Todd and Daveigh Chase, producer Dennis Fallon and director Tom Whitus.
  • Kansas Connection from L.A.—Series of films from L.A. Filmmakers who have ties to Kansas.

Past Festival Information