Kansas was famous in the movies for the Land of Oz, but a Wichita filmmaker wants it to be famous for making movies.

Kansas was famous in the movies for the Land of Oz, but a Wichita filmmaker wants it to be famous for making movies.

Ryan McGuigan and his friends from the Wichita area have recently completed the movie, “Wichita,” and are on tour promoting the film around the Midwest. The film will be shown next Wednesday in Wellington.

(The Movie will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Regent. Tickets are $10 at the door.)

Almost all of the movie, set in the 1880s, was shot in and around Wichita and the Flint Hills.  Nearly all the talen also came from central Kansas.

“Our community is so filled with talented people, both on the production and talent side,” McGuigan said. “That is a unique thing about Wichita. Some might think it is not possible here, but we are fortunate to have a great talent base here.”

They will give a short introduction when the film is shown in Wellington, and there will be a question and answer session after it is over.

The first screening was last Friday at the Orpheum in Wichita, and that attracted around 1,100 people. They have since been at Wichita State and several cities in Oklahoma. Thursday they were in Tulsa.

McGuigan is a native of Arkansas City, and the plan to show the film at the Cowley 8 between Arkansas City and Winfield soon. He is the executive producer.

The film was written by Nicholas Barton, who lives in Wichita.  Laura Ashley Weir is also an executive producer and one of the co-founders of Prestigious Films which is producing the movie.

The lead actor, Justin France who plays Jesse, is from Clearwater.

“There is a very strong Kansas presence,” McGuigan said.

The movie took about a year to make, and was finished for the most part last February.

McGuigan grew up in Arkansas City, and has worked on production in the film industry for about six years. He has been involved in a few films, and with the other people in the group, they decided it was time to make a big movie.

After touring the Midwest they plan to go on the film festival circuit with the movie. They are hoping to get picked up by a major company for larger distribution.

McGuigan has not been to film school, and he said most people in the industry have not.

“Most people in the industry are self taught. The best way is to get a camera and start shooting,” he said.

The film is kind of a western. Barton, the writer, said.

“It is a western that isn’t a western,” he told the Wichita Eagle.

Below is a synopsis of the movie.

Set in 1882, a mysterious fugitive seeks out his revenge on the person who landed him in prison.  His tracking skills lead him to the quiet, peaceful town of Wichita, KS.  Otherwise referred to as The Cowtown, Wichita is beginning the ascent from small farm village to a cross-cultural industrial metropolitan, which ultimately lends our principle characters the backdrop it needs to blend in with the changing landscape of the city.

Jesse (Justin France) and Samantha (Karina Wolfe) on an evening walk in the 2014 film Wichita.

Jesse, a nomadic drifter, takes up residence at a farmstead on the outskirts of the city and quickly develops relationships with the widow Ruth and the sisters Samantha and Mary.  What first appears like a colloquial family-upbringing unravels an underground crime syndicate living under the guise of the local business community.  While Jesse seeks to confront some of the townspeople, a bounty hunter is employed to track the whereabouts of the mysterious man in black.  As the backstory of each character unfolds – Jesse, the mysterious fugitive, the townspeople, and the bounty hunter find out there’s far more than meets the eye in this sleepy Cowtown.

This cat and mouse neo-noir will keep everyone guessing until the last scene on who’s really who they say they are. The film explores the nature of identity, revenge, and the ever-present events of the past as they conform the events of the present.