Education

All workshops are free and open to the public. See below for which workshops will take place in the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library and be streamed through Facebook Live and which events are only available over Facebook Live.

 

Featured Panel: Truth from Women in Film

Saturday, April 30 on Facebook Live

3 - 5 p.m.

Sue Vicory, an award-winning filmmaker, has put together a panel of all-female filmmakers to talk about truth in film.

Featured panelists include:

Betty Chung

Betty Chung

Betty Chung grew up playing with cameras and is completely self-taught. She graduated from the University of Kansas with an Information Systems Technology degree and has a master’s in Business Administration from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. After working in corporate, she left to pursue her passion in film. Chung has been self-employed and full-time video editing for four years and currently co-owns her own company, Crystal Daisy Productions, with her fiance.

 

Darria Dennison

Darria Dennison

Darria Dennison is a director and actor based in the Topeka, Kansas, area. She holds a BA in theatre and mass media with an emphasis in film and video from Washburn University. Over the past year, she has worked on multiple freelance projects, both as a filmmaker and an actor. Dennison has previously collaborated with two-time Emmy Award winning filmmaker, Allan Holzman. In 2019, she was a part of the team of students who worked on the first WIFI Film Festival as the volunteer coordinator. Recently, Dennison served as the Lead PA on the feature film “They Wait in the Dark,” which was shot in Kansas. She also had the chance to work on two music videos with Sue Vicory, for the artists Blane Howard and Stephanie Quayle. Dennison is currently a video editor at KSNT News and she is a member of Women in Film + Media KC. She is currently working on applying to the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, to pursue a master’s in film and television production and a career as a director.

 

Francesca Kelley-Miller

Francesca Kelley-Miller

Francesca Kelley-Miller graduated from Washburn University in May 2021. Kelley-Miller is an award-winning filmmaker and continues her film work both in her career as the video production specialist at the Kansas Department for Children and Families, but also in her free time, works with friends to make stories come to life.

 

Jill “Sixx” Gevargizian

Jill “Sixx” Gevargizian

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 released by Arrow Video in 2021. She’s currently producing a new film directed by John Pata, editor of The Stylist, titled Black Mold.

Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell is originally from Texas but has lived in the Kansas City area for 20 years, and this has become her true home. She has been a freelance writer for nearly two decades, but finally overcame her fears and began screenwriting in 2017. In 2018, she won Best Short Script and Audience Choice Award at the Kansas City Film Festival KCWIFT Short Screenplay Competition for her comedy “Mildred’s Crime Show.” The following year, she filmed that script, and the subsequent short film went on to win Best Local Short Film at the KC Film Fest in 2020. Mitchell has since moved into directing and producing, and her directorial debut suspense short “Spiderwebs” will be available online later this year, as well as the short comedy “Chicken & Roses” that is currently on the festival circuit. She has also branched into commercial work, starting with the regional company GoBrolly Internet, for which she wrote, produced, and directed seven 30-second comedic commercials. Mitchell is married and has three children. She also works part-time as a server and bartender, from where she gets inspiration for many of her characters and stories.

Sue Vicory

Sue Vicory

Sue Vicory is a three-time Telly Award-winning filmmaker who has been creating community-based films and projects within her not-for-profit production company Heartland Films, Inc. since 2003. Her works include Homelessness & the Power of One, feature documentaries One and Kansas City Jazz & Blues: Past, Present & Future, and short films Absent and 1898, the W.F. Norman Story. In 2015, she founded Team XX, an all-female team of 25 filmmakers that created the award-winning film Down Stage. Vicory is the founder of womendocumentaryfilmmakers.com and recently premiered a historical documentary titled Original Jayhawker. Vicory was named the 2020 recipient of the French Riviera Film Festival’s annual Industry Excellence Award and was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from Washburn University, her alma mater.

Featured Workshops

Myth or Truth

Saturday, April 30 at 11 a.m.

The workshop will be hosted at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library and on Facebook Live.

Dennis Etzel Jr. is a senior lecturer at Washburn University in the English department. He has published several books of poetry and is a TALK Scholar for the Kansas Humanities Council.


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

Friday, April 29 at 3 p.m.

The workshop will be hosted at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library and on Facebook Live.

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.


Truth in Directing

Friday, April 29 at 1 p.m. 

The workshop will be hosted at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library and on Facebook Live.

Allan Holzman is a well-known filmmaker and editor who has worked extensively in Hollywood with some of the most iconic filmmakers such as Steven Spielberg, James Cameron and Roger Corman.


Truth in Music

Saturday, April 30 at 2 p.m.

The workshop will be hosted at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library and on Facebook Live.

Ethan Jackson is a production director and radio host at Cumulus Media. He is also an aspiring filmmaker known for his award winning short Seeing Scarlet (2018).