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June 25-30

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2021 Free State Festival Will Be A Festival in Two Acts!

This year, we are celebrating Cinema Al Fresco in an exciting lineup of films, music and art in safe open air environments throughout the magnificent city of Lawrence, Kansas!

In order to keep you safe, inspired and energized in 2021, the Free State Festival is proud to present this year’s program IN TWO ACTS.

ACT ONE brings a celebration of Cinema Al Fresco to screens across Lawrence the week of June 21-27 with an exciting lineup of outdoor movies, comedy and live music in safe open air environments.

Locations and partners include: Lied Center of Kansas, Theatre Lawrence, the Lawrence Public Library, the Dole Institute of Politics, the Hall Center for the Humanities at the University of Kansas, the Cider Gallery, Kansas Public Radio, Audio-Reader, Haskell Indian Nations University, Downtown Lawrence Inc., the City of Lawrence, Explore Lawrence, Transformations, the Watkins Museum of History, the Spencer Museum of Art, the Douglas County Fairgrounds and the Lawrence College & Career Center.

Just of a few of this summer’s highlights include a screening of Kevin Willmott’s new film The 24th, the documentary From Madmen Only about improv guru Del Close, a retrospective screening of John Waters’ Hairspray with interactive elements, an exclusive showing of End of the Line: The Women of Standing Rock, and Not So Silent Cinema- an accessible presentation of short silent films with live score and interpretive audio description. A full summer lineup will be announced May 1. Stay tuned to!

Look forward to more exciting programming when ACT TWO of Free State Festival returns once we are safe to gather again in theaters. Headliners Boots Riley, John Waters and Cameron Esposito will accompany a full weekend of independent film screenings. Dates to be announced later this summer.

Cinema has the power to bring people together, and this year will be a festival like no other. The Free State Festival is committed to finding new and invigorating ways to keep you connected with your movie-going community in 2021 and beyond.