Doc Sunback Film Festival

Promoting All Genres of Independent Film

General Information 

The Doc Sunback Film Festival is a 501(c)3 charitable organization that exists to connect all genres of independent film from all over the world to our community with a special emphasis on Kansas films and Kansas filmmakers.  We hold a 4 day event in April in Mulvane, Kansas and work with surrounding communities to provide opportunities to connect independent films to cinephiles throughout the area.

Origin of the Name 

Doc Sunback was a local veterinarian born in the Mulvane community in 1879.  He was a good doctor & was even trusted to help people with their ailments when a medical doctor wasn't available.  He lived to be 81 and is still personally remembered by some of the folks from Mulvane.

History of the Festival

​The Doc Sunback Film Festival began in 2015 with three founding members,

Nancy Farber Mottola, Kenneth Linn, & Sheri Kaufman-Marsh.  This small band of

over-achievers screened 500+ films and with the help of volunteers put together a film festival & art crawl that spanned 2 days, in 3 theaters, 2 art venues, and featured over 100 films and 12 local artists.

2016 brought a lot more volunteers and the group took things to the next level by screening more than 500 films & selecting 156 films for entry including 14 films from Kansas Filmmakers.  The 4 day event included 10 local artists, an Opening Night Party, a Friday Night Patio Party, a Masquerade Ball, 4 Theaters, 3 Art Venues, and an Award's Ceremony.

In 2016 the organizers planned some special pre-festival events and community screenings.  The first event of the season was our first ever Doc Sunback Kansas Shorts Contest and featured new short (7 min. or less) films relating to Kansas screened on January 29th.  Our free outdoor Community Screening Event was held on April 22nd, at 8pm in Cobb Park and had about an hour's worth of independent short films.  

Our 3rd Annual Doc Sunback Film Festival & Art Crawl was June 22nd to June 25th, 2017.   We had over 90 different films, more than 15 Kansas films, and showed more than 175 films in 3 theaters.  We had 10 different artists all over the downtown Mulvane area in the various participating retail shops.   These artists displayed their work Friday and Saturday during the festival.  On Saturday of the festival, we showed films after dark in Cobb Park and we hosted our awards show on Saturday Night at 8pm in the Pix Community Center.


The 2018 Doc Sunback Film Festival took place on June 21st, 22nd, 23rd, & 24th, 2018.  We showed films on Thursday evening, including the independent film American Folk.  Films were shown all day Friday in two locations and all day Saturday in three locations.  The Awards Ceremony was well attended on Saturday night before we headed outside to show films in Cobb Park. We finished things up on Sunday with some great films at the Pix theater.

The 2019 Doc Sunback Film Festival was better attended than any previous event.  80+ films, including 38 Kansas films, were selected for entry & were shown at this festival.  Our 3 theaters were the Pix (101 E Main St),

the Museum (300 W Main St), and the Art Towne Theater (122 N 1st Ave).

We hosted our awards show on Saturday Night in the Pix Community Center.  We also hosted a documentary screening & concert with the legendary Bill Hearne on Thursday, as well as meet & greets with the celebrated Rudy Love & the Love Family, Dave "The Caveman" Rickels, the champion MMA Fighter, the Mulvane Patriots Collegiate Baseball Players, & the Mulvane Firefighters.

We delayed the 2020 film festival due to the pandemic and the need for social distancing, but we held our 6th annual event June 17th through June 20th of 2021, celebrating films from the last two years.  We showed 63 films in a socially distanced theater and screened 29 Kansas films at the Pix.  The Awards Show was well attended as well as the Filmmaker's Roundtable and we carefully & successfully celebrated independent films in downtown Mulvane.

2022 will bring another carefully laid out festival with 1 theater featuring independent films and activities you are bound to safely enjoy.