By Ashley Neese
May 31, 2022

Edmond Fine Arts Institute adds film festival

Simply Indie founders Lynzi and Marisa Carlson join local arts programming at FAI.
Simply Indie directors celebrate joining efforts with staff at the Fine Arts Institute of Edmond. (Photo provided)

The Edmond Fine Arts Institute recently announced the addition of Simply Indie as a program facilitated by and housed at FAI in Downtown Edmond.

Led by Edmond residents Lynzi and Marisa Carlson, Simply Indie Film Fest recently hosted a widely successful movie festival connecting movie lovers, filmmakers, screenwriters, and photographers. Events throughout the weekend included showings of feature films and shorts, a screenplay meetup, and a photography contest. 

Over the last two years, Simply Indie gained major notoriety, forged significant community partnerships, and reached milestones well beyond what is expected of such a young festival. With their accelerated growth, it was time for the organization to find a permanent home in Edmond.

The Edmond Fine Arts Institute has provided visual and performing arts education and access to the community for over 37 years. After working with Simply Indie during the recent festival, FAI recognized the quality programming and importance of independent film access that they were facilitating. It was a natural fit for FAI to bring Simply Indie under its umbrella of creative programs.

“This is a win-win for both organizations and the community,” said Edmond City Councilman David Chapman. “We look forward to seeing the continued growth of FAI and the enhanced opportunities this partnership will provide Simply Indie.”

Marisa Carlson, Janet Hoppe, Savannah Whitehead, Lynzi Carlson, and Shannon Price celebrate Simply Indie joining the Fine Arts Institute of Edmond. (Photo provided)

The Simplie Indie vision is to become a vital part of the Edmond arts and Oklahoma film communities and to showcase thought-provoking films that open our minds to endless possibilities. The new partnership with FAI allows them to become a significant part of the institute’s longstanding visual and performing arts programs. 

Edmond Fine Arts programs and partnerships include The Art in Schools Program, in collaboration with Edmond Public Schools, VIBES Edmond’s First Thursdays, Art Therapy provided at Pepper’s Ranch, Your Creative Side Program in conjunction with the juvenile court systems, and the newest addition of Simply Indie.

“Visit Edmond has been a proud sponsor of Simply Indie from the beginning,” said Visit Edmond Director Jennifer Seaton. “Watching them grow and collaborate with local partners like FAI solidifies their future in Edmond and exemplifies the community support that they have fostered.”

Now located inside the Edmond Fine Arts building in north Downtown Edmond, the Simply Indie team will continue planning and facilitating their annual festival. The team is already accepting submissions for their third festival event scheduled for March 2-4, 2023.

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About Ashley Neese

Ashley Neese currently serves as editor of Edmond Business and a freelancer specializing in overall communication strategy. She previously served as the communications and marketing manager at the Edmond Area Chamber of Commerce, where she promoted chamber events, helped members gain exposure, and spearheaded the Edmond Young Professionals organization, as well as the Chamber’s diversity and inclusion initiatives.

An Edmond native, Ashley graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma in 2017 with a degree in Strategic Communications. In her free time, she enjoys brewing coffee and finding the best local eats.