Wifi Film Festival

Wifi Film Festival

The 2022 WIFI Film Festival will be held April 29th – May 1st, 2022

Behind the Scenes

A look at the people that made the 2021 WIFI Film Festival possible.

WIFI Film Festival Founders’ Documentary

Take a look back at the origins of the WIFI Film Festival.

Student Founders Panel

Francesca Kelley moderates this panel with the original group of students that worked on the WIFI Film Festival.


Darria Dennison
Blake Hopper
Ethan Jackson
Annalee Lubeski
Avery Stratton

HAVE A LAUGH: Walt Disney's Kansas City Legacy with Dr. Andrew Anglin

Before the creation of the world’s most lovable mouse, a young Walt Disney began his film career in Kansas City, Missouri. In this workshop, we will discuss Disney’s relationship with the city he called home for many years. We’ll explore Walt’s career in advertising, the establishment of his first animation studio, and the impact that the city had on one of the world’s greatest storytellers.

DIRECTING WORKSHOP with Matthew Nyquist

Directors are the creative visionaries behind the films, tv shows and videos we watch but how do they actually do their job? Directors oversee every aspect of the project, but directors uniquely lead the production and work closely with the cinematographer and the actors to create the visuals and emotion to deliver the desired impact.

During this workshop, you will learn:

How to function as a director in preproduction, production, and postproduction.

How one plans the visuals of the project and collaborates with the cinematographer.

How one directs actors.

Most importantly, how to get one’s vision across to the cast and crew in a professional manner.

Historical Documentary Filmmaking with Kerry Wynn and Matthew Nyquist

Historical filmmaking allows both historians and filmmakers to shed light on truth that may not yet be known. With both a history professor and film professor as your guide, you will learn the basics of how to conduct research, organize and formulate your documentary, learn how to gather the necessary information, and create a professional-looking and sounding documentary.

Ashley Maria Q&A

Ashley Maria is a director and writer located in Los Angeles, CA. She received her MFA from the USC School of Cinematic Arts, is the recipient of the prestigious Directors Guild of America award, and most recently, she was recognized as the “Best New Director” at the DTLA Film Festival.

Best known for her films and media work, including the comedy & horror

shorts — Friday Night Fright and Volcano Girl, and her 2020 breakthrough production Pioneers in Skirts, Ashley is also an advocate for advancing women’s opportunities. She is a North American delegate to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women – the principal global policy-making body dedicated exclusively to gender equality and the advancement of women.

When not on set, Ashley is a directing instructor at UCLA’s Film School and a sound instructor at the American Film Institute’s Young Women in Film program.

Pioneers in Skirts is a multi-award-winning social impact film about the issues that affect a woman’s pioneering ambition. Real-life stories and frank commentary leave viewers seeing their role in the solution, feeling hopeful, and motivated to act.

UNAMERICAN: The Hays Code, The Blacklist, Censorship, and Representation with Liz Derrington

What responsibilities do filmmakers have to maintain or reinforce particular value systems or moral codes? On the other hand, what responsibilities do they have to represent the diversity of the human experience in truthful and conscientious ways? In this workshop, which will focus on Hollywood in the mid-20th century and will combine lecture, film clips, and discussion, we will explore the Motion Picture Production Code (as published in March of 1930), as well as the Hollywood blacklist and its intersections with the “Lavender Scare” (the search for and firings of LGBTQ people in federal government positions in the 1950s). Through these explorations, we will seek to answer a few key questions: what effects did these issues have on film and the LGBTQ community at the time? What continuing effects might this history have on film and the LGBTQ community today?

PRODUCING, Its A Woman's Game

Sexism, Psychosis, Addiction and Producing: Follow PGA Producer Ashley Mayer as she recounts her journey into the world of film by exploring the comparable fictional character of Beth Harmon from Netflix’s Original mini series: Queen's Gambit. Bringing some meaty themes to bear in exploring a woman’s extraordinary talent in a brutally competitive, male-dominated world. As art mirrors life.

FILM EDITING WORKSHOP Telling Powerful Stories with Film Workshop with Cara Myers

This is a presentation about how film inspires, changes lives and changes minds. We will touch on how the desire to tell stories has been a part of the human heart since the origin of the human race and how storytelling defines and binds our humanity. We will watch powerful short films and examine what makes them work. We will talk about principles that you can implement to start creating your own films or make more powerful ones.

Screenwriting Workshop with Sam Finch

Do you have a great idea for a movie but don't know how to turn it into a screenplay? This workshop will help you get started. All that's required is a positive attitude and a thinking cap!

During this workshop, you will learn the basics of: 

  • Screenplay Format
  • Character Creation
  • Classic Three-Act Structure
  • Plot Points 
  • Writing Dialogue

Award Winning Women Talk Film: Women's Panel Moderated by Sue Vicory

Sue Vicory

Vicory is a three-time Telly Award Winning filmmaker, member of the Alliance of Women Directors, and past judge of both Regional and National Emmys. Vicory has directed a variety of films, specializing in documentaries.


Cara Myers

Cara is a seasoned, Emmy Award-winning editor and director who began her creative journey as a dancer. Raised by a writer and a musician, she was immersed in artistry from the beginning. Upon discovering experimental film at the Kansas City Art Institute, her storytelling transitioned from stage to screen, and she has been blazing her career path ever since.

Today, Cara and her team work with a variety of clients such as advertising agencies, video production houses, filmmakers, non-profit organizations as well as corporations such as Sprint, GE, Pfizer, Southwest Airlines, Hallmark, Tom's of Maine, and Teva Pharmaceuticals. Projects include short, long-form, and feature-length pieces.

Whether it’s a commercial or artistic endeavor, Cara’s approach is intuitive and compelling. Her stand-out qualities include the unmatched dedication and passion she brings to each project and client relationship.


Erin Zimmerman – Past President of KCWIFT

Erin Zimmerman holds a BA in Communication Studies and Leadership with an emphasis in Film and New Media from the University of San Diego. Following her start in film marketing, she has built a career as a visibility strategist, film and podcast producer. She recently ended her 6-year tenure on the Kansas City Women in Film and TV board of directors - 3 of which she served as President. She has long been sought after as an advocate, a collaborator, and a connector - of humans, ideas, and mutually supportive partnerships!


Jill Gevargizian “The Stylist”

Jill "Sixx" Gevargizian is a director, producer, writer, and hairstylist from Kansas City, Missouri. In 2012, she decided to bring independent genre films to her hometown by creating a monthly showcase called Slaughter Movie House. She founded Sixx Tape productions in 2014 with her directorial debut, CALL GIRL. Since then, she has written, produced and helmed numerous short films - most notably THE STYLIST in 2016. The film screened at genre festivals across the globe and won 20 awards. That short was also the inspiration for her debut feature of the same title which scored distribution in US, Canada, UK, and Australia with Arrow Video and releases this year.


Marlo Angell “The Wishing Bench”

Marlo Angell has a degree in Cinematic Arts from the University of Southern California. She is the founding director of the Free State Festival, a co-founder of the female filmmaking collective, Women of Lawrence Film (WOLF), and the New Media Director of the Lawrence Arts Center. Marlo is a member of Lawrence Cultural Arts Commission and the Film Festival Alliance. Her short films have been screened in festivals across the country including the AFI

Los Angeles International Film Festival. Her short plays have had readings and performances at the Fishtank Theatre, the KC Fringe Festival, and the Living Room Theatre.


Misty Boland

Before pivoting to writing and directing, Misti Boland worked as a production designer, most notably collaborating with Academy Award winner Kevin Willmott (BlacKkKlansman, Da 5 Bloods).

Her first short films as a writer/director toured the festival circuit, winning multiple Best of Fest awards along the way. Her short, Coutestan, debuted at the Slamdance Film Festival, and in the following year, she served as an honored Awards Juror at the festival.

Misti turned to episodic storytelling by co-creating and directing the award-winning western drama, RED BIRD.

RED BIRD became the first short form series to stream on Amazon Prime and earned the network its first four Daytime Emmy Nominations.

Her follow up short form series, The Square Root, was the most awarded series of 2020, and as a result, AMC Networks named her as one of the top five female episodic creators of the year.


Cult Films with Andy Farkas

This workshop will explore the intersections between cult films and American culture and counterculture.  In doing so we will attempt to define the idea of a cult film. Since the term “cult” is used to define movies as diverse as Fight Club and Plan 9 From Outer Space, Apocalypse Now! and The Breakfast Club, Reefer Madness and Citizen Kane, there are obviously myriad definitions for what a “cult” film actually is. To better our understanding, we will view a few short films and think about various definitions to see if we can come to a general consensus. 

This workshop may contain material unsuitable for younger viewers.