Pictured: Sonia Greteman (left) presents Robin Berghaus (right) with the DOX Spotlight award. Photo Courtesy: Tallgrass staff photographer Mike Briley.

The winner of the inaugural DOX Spotlight documentary competition for women directors recently emailed me her thanks. For Greteman Group’s sponsorship. For our standout creative. And for our support of the cause. I like to think that DOX will achieve its goal of encouraging more women to put a video camera in their hands and show the world what they see.

The Tallgrass Film Festival ended October 22, but I’m still on a post-fest high. Robin Berghaus’ note arrived at just the right moment. She helped formulate thoughts and feelings that continue to swirl in my own head and heart.

The DOX Spotlight moved me. Opening me to lives and experiences so different than my own. Listening to directors in the post-screening Q&As, I gained insight into directors’ challenges. Their problem solving. Their tenacity. In the case of Berghaus, she found a story then shot footage for four years and edited for another one. With little funding and no promise of ever reaching a broad audience.

(l-r) Agency President and Creative Director Sonia Greteman, DOX Spotlight Award Winner Robin Berghaus and Tallgrass Film Festival Co-founder and Creative Director Lela Meadow-Conner. Photo Courtesy: Fresh Takes.

With Berghaus’ permission, I share her letter here.

Dear Ms. Greteman:

On behalf of my team, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to you and Greteman Group for sponsoring the Tallgrass Film Festival’s DOX Spotlight Competition, and to art director Meghan Smith for designing an exquisite award.

What makes Tallgrass special is its focus on diversity. This ensures a place on screen for each one of our stories, and gives us a platform to entertain, inspire, challenge attitudes and change lives. As a corporate sponsor, you are sending a powerful message that “everyone is welcome,” and you should be proud of the community that you are fostering.

As a filmmaker, festivals are key to my professional growth, and I take full advantage to network with industry leaders and build an audience for my films. From the socials and panels, to the screenings, Tallgrass presents an array of events where we can engage and learn from one another.

Thank you for all that you are doing to support Tallgrass and to make an impact in the Wichita community and beyond.

Sincerely, Robin Berghaus, director/producer, STUMPED, http://stumpedthemovie.com/

Tallgrass celebrates artistic acts of courage, focus and drive. I learned so much at the festival. If you missed it, you missed out. Try not to next year. The 16th Annual Tallgrass Film Festival runs Oct. 17-21, 2018.

Sonia Greteman also spoke to the audience before the STUMPED screening and expressed the hope that more and more women will take up a camera and capture stories through their lens.