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The Free State Festival celebrates the free spirit of the state Kansas with films that challenge, inspire, and entertain. This signature annual event brings independent films, live music, comedy and art installations to venues across the vibrant college town of Lawrence. The festival is made possible through programming support from community partners and its sponsoring organization, the Lawrence Arts Center.

In 2022, FSF returned to the indoor theatre from April 12-16 with programming highlights such as False Negative, John Waters’ all new comic monologue, an accessible big-screen premiere of The Aorta of an Archivist accompanied by live audio description and American Sign Language interpretation, An Evening of Oscars celebrating the careers of Black silent film pioneer Oscar Micheaux and Kevin Willmott, a spotlight on Indigenous Cinema, a short film tea and pastry pairing, and standup comedy by Cameron Esposito.

View our 2022 photo gallery!

View our 2021 photo gallery!



Marlo Angell – Director/ Founder 

Ben Ahlvers – Co-Director

Festival Event Manager – Kelly Rodriguez

Lawrence Arts Center Event Manager – Lisa Purdon

Graphic Design – Amy Albright

2022 Festival Interns: Maya Perez, Grace Goldman, Stephanie Morales Macedo

Advisory Board
Laura Kirk / Misti Boland / Chris Blunk / Jon Niccum / Tom Carmody  / Christie Dobson / David Hollond / Jeremy Osbern / Rebekka Schlichting

For further information on the festival including partnerships, sponsorships, or volunteer opportunities, please contact: