mamafilm milestones

mamafilm was founded in 2019, as a pop-up cinema experience – in a shipping container – in Wichita, Kansas, screening more than 30 mission-aligned independent films over 6 months. Originally designed as a place for nurturers and our allies to come together for communal film viewing and conversation, the organization has evolved organically, as both the independent film industry, and the world around us, continues to change at warp speed. 

2020 brought changes for our organization, as we opened the doors to a new pop-up location, but like the rest of the planet, we were forced to rethink it all when March rolled around…

That summer, we launched rePROFilm – first as a virtual film festival – featuring 25 films dedicated to reproductive justice, with special guests including activists Martha Plimpton and Amber Tamblyn. Since then, rePROFilm has grown into a monthly virtual publication, featuring a short film, an original interview podcast, curated playlist and other small bites of media to ignite conversation and action around reproductive health and justice. Since its inception, rePROFilm has featured the works of more than 60 filmmakers telling incredibly courageous – and often personal –  stories. 

In 2021, mamafilm was selected as one of 30 Satellite Screens for the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, bringing official selections to the Starlite Drive-In in Wichita, and in 2022, we were  chosen as one of only 7 Satellite Screens for the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, and presented films in Lawrence, KS at the historic Liberty Hall. That same month, mamafilm was one of 567 organizations (from 7500 eligible applicants) to receive funding from the National Endowment for the Arts’ American Rescue Plan.

That fall, we went nomadic, to bring intentional and impactful cinematic events –  in partnership with like-minded organizations – to meet audiences where they are. Collaborators have included Array, Collective Power for Reproductive Justice, Fishtrap, Inc., Cleveland International Film Festival, Kansas Birth Justice, Trust Women, Wichita State University Office of Diversity & Inclusion and the Wichita Art Museum. 

Artist support initiatives have included the Story Lab Mentorship, commissioning the award-winning Feminist Foremothers Podcast (SeriesFest, 2021) and film festival consultation services. mamafilm has served as a fiscal sponsor for films including the documentaries Chasing Chasing Amy (Tribeca, 2023) and the short My Name is Anabel (2023). mamafilm has also supported the development and production of fiction short films including Run Amok (2023) and Cow Heavy And Floral (2024) and the feature film The Spice Poet, in partnership with LunaMax Films and Priyanka Chopra’s Purple Pebble Pictures. 

Lela Meadow-Conner
Creative Producer | Impact Curator | Founder

Lela Meadow-Conner is the founder of mamafilm, co-Founder of rePROFilm, and an award-winning producer. She has held leadership roles at many film festivals, and...

digital director • mamafilm | reprofilm.org

KylieB (she/her) is a queer, Korean Kansan who cultivates creative communities. Pulling on her experience in live event production, digital management and tech support...