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Lawrence’s Free State Film Society is opening a new film venue this fall.
Using its microcinema at 10th & Mass Studios (1000 Massachusetts St.), the Lawrence Arts Center will provide viewers with an “intimate and welcoming atmosphere for cinema,” according to its press release.
Marlo Angell, director of the Free State Festival, is enthusiastic about the level of privacy the venue will provide.
“It can provide a really intimate space to connect people,” she said.
The 70-seat hall, with high-quality sound and projection, will host at least five events this fall. From a “Harold and Maude” screening accompanied by live music and pie to a food documentary followed by a panel discussion, events are designed to elevate the cinematic experience beyond sitting in the dark.
“We combine showing movies with food or live music so you…really connect with people and have an evening,” Angell said. “(The fall event lineup) is a great combination of fun and intellectually stimulating things, to deliver a wealth of positive events for our community.”
The Free State Festival started as the Free State Film Festival, but has expanded to include music and art-related activities.
The Microcinema will give festival-goers more space to enjoy cinema in an interactive setting, Angell said.
“These (screenings) should have a bit of a non-traditional cinema feel, not a stuck-in-your-seat feel,” she said. “We want it to be more interactive, interesting and fun so you really have an experience.”
Admission to each Microcinema event ranges from $5 to $20. Members of the Free State Film Society can attend events for free or at a reduced price for an annual subscription of $40. Click here to find out more.
Keep an eye on freestatefestival.org for more film-centric events. Film submissions for the 2023 Free State Festival open September 1.
Here is the fall schedule:
All information courtesy of the Free State Film Society.
• Food for the rest of us Film screening and conversation
7 p.m. on Friday, September 23 Lawrence Arts Center 10th and Mass Studios (1000 Massachusetts St.)
Tickets: $10 or free for Film Society members with advance reservation
“Just Food and the Free State Festival are teaming up for a screening of Food for the rest of us followed by a panel discussion with local BIPOC chefs and LGBTQIA+ food leaders as part of Hunger Action Month.
About the movie: “This new documentary features four stories of people living their lives their own way, leading a culinary revolution from the ground up: an organic farm run by Native youth in Hawaii, a black urban producer in Kansas City who runs a land farm in East High School, a Colorado kosher butcher working with the queer community and an Inuit community on the Arctic coast adapting to climate change with a garden in a small geodesic dome.
• A short story and a mocktail: body paragraphs, Film, music and conversation
7 p.m. on Friday, October 7, 10th and mass studios
Tickets: $5 movie or free for Film Society members with advance reservation
“Celebrate body positivity with an evening of live music, a riveting short film, engaging conversation and a delicious mocktail inspired by the evening’s theme,” according to the release.
About the movie: “When challenged by a rival classmate, a high school girl is forced to reflect on her character, ideologies and body image much to the amusement of the school administration. Writer/director Erika Lobati transforms her memories of being a fully-fledged black woman into an engaging and vibrant story. The film explores the inner psychological struggle of self-esteem against the backdrop of a society that fears unconventional beauty.
• Harold and Maud: Film, Music and Ginger Pie
7 p.m. on Friday, October 21, 10th and mass studios
Tickets: $15 (with ginger pie included in ticket price). Members of the Free State Film Society receive a 50% discount on admission.
“Enjoy an evening of existential black comedy with Cat Stevens-inspired live music by Danny Pound and an unforgettable screening of the cult classic, Harold and Maud.”
About the movie:From a screenplay by Colin Higgins, director Hal Ashby tells the story of the emotional and romantic bond between a death-obsessed young man (Bud Cort) from a wealthy family and a carefree bohemian octogenarian (Ruth Gordon). . Equal parts humor and romantic innocence, Harold and Maud dissolves the boundary between dark and light as well as those that separate people by class, gender and age, and it features indelible performances and a remarkable soundtrack by Cat Stevens.
• An evening with Hari Kondabolu
7 p.m. on Friday, November 18, Lawrence Arts Center Main Stage, 940 New Hampshire St. Tickets are $20; Members of the Free State Film Society receive a 50% discount on admission when booking in advance.
About the artist: “The NY Times called Hari Kondabolu “one of the most exciting political stand-up comics today” and described his Netflix special Warn your loved ones as “an incisively funny and formally adventurous hour that reveals a comic in command of his powers”. In 2017, his documentary truTV The problem with Apu received critical acclaim and sparked a global conversation about race and representation. The nation called it “a devastating review of the ultimate comic holy cow: The Simpsons”. It is now used in high school, college, and graduate school programs in the United States.
“Hari is a former writer and correspondent for the much-loved Chris Rock-produced FX show Totally biased with W. Kamau Bell.”
• Save the Date: Holiday Film Party
Wednesday, December 7 — Title, location and details to come. Free entry for members of the Film Society upon prior registration.
• Partner event: Chop & Steele film screening + Found Footage Festival
7 p.m. doors, 8 p.m. show Thursday, September 15 at Liberty Hall, 644 Massachusetts St.
Tickets: $15, available at this link.
This event is a partnership between the Free State Festival and the University of Kansas Film Department. The film is directed and produced by Ben Steinbaumer; produced and filmed by Priest Fontaine Batten and produced by Katie Steinbauer – all three KU alumni.
About the movie: “From the award-winning filmmakers behind Winnebago Man, Chop & Steele is a comedic feature-length documentary about childhood friends turned professional comedians Nick Prueher and Joe Pickett, founders of the Found Footage Festival. When Nick and Joe book their gagged strongman routine on unsuspecting morning news shows, their pranks go viral and land them in federal court with a vengeful media conglomerate. The stress of the trial and the pressure to continue their pranks threaten their livelihood and test their lifelong friendship. Will they learn their lesson and hang up the pranks for good? Or will they risk it all in the name of laughter?
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Lawrence Times contributor Chansi Long (her) has a Bachelor of Science in Mass Media from Baker University and a Masters in Non-Fiction Writing from the University of Iowa. She has been featured in The Washington Post, River Teeth and Brevity. She was honored to be named Kansas Writer of the Year by the Winfield Arts and Humanities Council in 2016 for her essay “Lovesick.”
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