About

mamafilm is a village at the crossroads of art & advocacy – where storytellers, changemakers and nurturers come together to champion humanity through a maternal gaze. We center stories that foster empathy and connection to women, identity and the human experience.

Storytelling is a catalyst for connection. It helps us to discover our own identities and empathize with those around us.

On-screen representation feeds our context of the world – in both familiar and extraordinary ways. It opens our eyes, and ears, to the lived experiences of others – both real and fictional.

It’s equally vital that we see ourselves reflected back, and have access to unfamiliar and challenging stories.

An essential component of our mission is to spark a robust dialogue around the media we support and present. Intimate moments of exchange – and silent reflection – nurtures our collective human spirit.

mamafilm milestones

2019:

  • May – October: mamafilm is born a as pop-up microcinema in a shipping container in Wichita, Kansas, screening more than 30 independent films over 6 months
    November: We receive the Arts Advocate Appreciation Award from the Wichita Arts Council

2020:

  • February: We open our new pop-up microcinema location in Downtown Wichita
  • March: Need we say more…
  • August: we launch rePROFilm – first as a virtual film festival – featuring 25 films dedicated to reproductive healthcare and honoring actor and activist Martha Plimpton
  • September: After several months of virtual programming, our cinema opens its doors again with a reduced capacity screening in honor of RBG

2021:

  • January: We are selected as one of 30 Satellite Screens for the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, bringing official selections to the Starlite Drive-In in Wichita
  • In conjunction with our Sundance programming, we support several Beyond Film projects with support from the Sundance Institute including Nitzan Mager’s zoom series “Quarantine, I Love You” and Emily Christensen’s Feminist Foremothers podcast
  • April: We launch our first Story Lab, partnering local storyteller Yusef Presley with mentor and award-winning documentarian Chris Renteria
  • June: Feminist Foremothers is selected as an Official Selection of SeriesFest where it wins the WIFMCO Content Creator Award
  • August: We present the second rePROFillm virtual film festival, featuring 15 films that were 100% directed by female- identifying and 67% directed by BIPOC or AAPI filmmakers
  • September: We forgo our brick & mortar venue in favor of a nomadic cinema format – meeting audiences where they, are by partnering with other cultural organizations

2022:

  • January: We’re selected as one of only 7 Satellite Screens for the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, and present films in Lawrence, KS at the historic Liberty Hall (and the only non-coastal screen)
  • We’re one of 567 arts organizations nationwide (out of an eligible 7,500) to receive a $50,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts’ American Rescue Plan
  • We launch rePROFilm as a monthly public media initiative — The Periodical — featuring a short film and original podcast, increasing access to film and conversation around reproductive rights and justice year-round and in ‘small bites’
  • February: We partner with Ava DuVernay’s Array and other organizations around the country for 28 Days of Sankofa including a screening and conversation in partnership with Wichita State University’s Office of Diversity & Inclusion and Office of Engagement
  • March: We partner with the Wichita Public Library and Fishtrap Inc. (Enterprise, OR) to curate a film series inspired by their NEA Big Read selection The House on Mango Street
  • We partner with The Thread Leadership Collective for an evening of short film, paired with food and wine, in celebration of Women’s History Month
  • May: We present our first Mise En Place/Mise En Scene short film series, pairing short film with local chefs to discover culture, identity and flavor through cinema and cuisine
  • We partner with IFC Films to present a special screening of HAPPENING at the Wichita Art Museum
  • June: We produce our fist short film RUN AMOK in New York City
  • July: We present Artists for Choice — an evening of film and music in support of voter awareness for the August 2nd Kansas Constitutional Amendment vote
  • August: We partner with the Wichita Community Foundation to present STORM LAKE and a panel discussion on the future of local journalism and democracy
Lela Meadow-Conner
FOUNDER | Creative Producer

Lela Meadow-Conner is a Creative Producer and the Founder of mama.film. She has 20 years of experience in independent film & exhibition, most recently...

KylieB
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...