Free State Festival’s first act will feature The 24th, Not So Silent Cinema, and more | The Pitch

By Sophia Misle on May 10, 2021

The Free State Festival’s first act will bring a celebration of cinema al fresco to venues across Lawrence the week of June 21-27.

Its lineup of movies, art, live music, and more—announced this week—will take place in safe, open-air environments.

“The Free State Festival is a much loved city-wide event and this year we are so excited to ‘take it on the road,’” says Marlo Angell, director of new media at the Lawrence Arts Center and director/founder of the festival.

One highlight of the festival will be a screening of University of Kansas film professor and Oscar winner Kevin Willmott’s August 2020 release, The 24th, which tells the story of the all-Black 24th United States Infantry Regiment and the Houston Riot of 1917. The infantry rose up against a racist police force in a chapter of history that’s often swept under the rug.

Other shining stars will be End of the Line: The Women of Standing Rock and Not So Silent Cinema, an accessible presentation of two short silent films with live interpretive audio description by Audio-Reader and a live score by Alex Kimball Williams and Mike Quillin.

This year’s program will be packed with interactive experiences beyond the screen. Themed goodie bags, art kits from the Spencer Museum of Art, puzzle experiences from Breakout Lawrence, filmmaker Q&A’s, community panels, and more will give audiences an immersive and unique experience.

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