I love movies. Anyone who knows me knows that. So, a question I never really considered about my love of all things film until now is “How much do I love movies?” Do I love movies so much that I’ll not only invest my time in watching movies, but I’ll also invest my time in giving filmmakers an opportunity to get their movies seen?   Do I love movies enough to start my own film festival? Edmond’s Lynzi and Marisa Carlson did just that. They started Edmond’s Simply Indie Film Festival in 2020 and it immediately filled a niche in Edmond’s Arts Community. Simply Indie took a COVID break in 2021, but is roaring back this February 24th through 26th at sites throughout Edmond including Showbiz Cinemas, Commonplace Books, Edmond Railyard, Frenzy Brewing Company and The Patriarch.

I had the opportunity to speak with Lynzi and Marisa recently and, I’m not going to lie, I was pretty excited. In talking with Marisa, she recalled a love of film that started during family time with the Disney Sunday Night Movie on ABC.  Later, she also discovered a love of independent film. Marisa helped found the Red Dirt Film Festival in Stillwater and loved not only the films, but also the sense of community surrounding film festivals. Lynzi was also involved in the Red Dirt Film Festival community serving as the Technology Chair and Education Outreach.

Fellow movie dudes, I’m moved by people’s passion…most any passion. For instance, I have a good friend who collects China (yes, dishes) and has multiple China cabinets in his house. I don’t know anything about collecting China, but I couldn’t have been more riveted in listening to him talk about his quest for a set of China used by the White House during the Eisenhower Administration.

Even more so, I’m moved by seeing someone’s passion push them to take risks. The thing I didn’t mention earlier is the Red Dirt Film Festival is in Stillwater…and Lynzi and Marisa live in Edmond. So starting a film festival in a town that loves the arts seems like perfect recipe for success. When I asked Marisa what prompted the move to go all in and start Simply Indie, she answered “We’re insane” with a smile and a chuckle.

To that I say, we all go a little crazy sometimes and if your kind of crazy produces a film festival – that’s pretty good.

This year’s Simply Indie slate includes 70 selections including 20 with Oklahoma ties. There is a mix of feature films and many interesting, exciting short films. There will also be a screen writing competition featuring table reads of selected scenes from screenplays.

WHEN’S THIS ALL GOING DOWN, MOVIE DUDE?

Note: All of these events are ticketed:

Th. 2/24 @6p The screenwriting portion of the festival will be Thursday night at Commonplace Books followed by a Kickoff Party at The Patriarch @8p.

Fr. 2/25: Films will be shown at Showbiz Cinemas (I-35 and Covell). They start at 10am on Friday and Saturday and will go on throughout both days.

Friday will end with an After Party at the Edmond Railyard hosted by 1884 and Blue J’s Rockin’ Grill at 10p.

Sat. 2/26: Saturday movies start at 10a and they will celebrate the end of another successful Simply Indie at Frenzy Brewing Company at 10p.

HOW DO I GET TICKETS, MOVIE DUDE?

Passes can be purchased at SimplyIndieFilmFest.com. You can choose a variety of In Person tickets (All Access down to One-Day Passes) or the new Virtual Pass. You can watch the SimplyIndie selections while breaking in that brand new couch.

Cheers to the arts and Indies from Citizens Bank of Edmond, Urbach Law Firm, and Edmond Family Eye Care