By Brent Fuchs
March 1, 2023

Bringing film culture to Edmond

Edmond's film festival is back, showcasing films and photography from across the state and beyond.
Simply Indie Film Festival comes to Edmond March 2-4. (Photo: Brent Fuchs)

Back for another year, the Simply Indie Film Festival showcases films and photography from across the state and beyond. The festival, March 2-4, brings filmmakers and audiences together in Edmond, building a community around film. Edmond Business sat down with Simply Indie’s Marissa and Lynzi Carlson to learn more about what this year’s event offers.

Q: What’s new with the Simply Indie Film Festival?

Marissa Carlson: This is our third year. We’ll be at ShowBiz Cinemas again, but the date has changed. Now we’ll be March 2-4. And we only took short films this year. We thought, “let’s do a shorts fest.” So, we have 72 films that we’re taking.

Lynzi Carlson: We’ve joined with the Edmond Fine Arts Institute, and we teach film and photography, and acting classes here in the building now. We also launched a podcast this year.

Q: How has being a part of Edmond Fine Arts changed the festival?

Lynzi: It’s allowed us to be more a part of the community, which has been great. We’re right here in downtown Edmond, and so I feel like more people see us and hear about us. We’ve been able to help and be a part of Vibes and get people involved in the film community by teaching classes to kids.

Q: How does this year’s participation compare to last year’s? 

Marissa: We had more submissions this year, which is exciting. I think post-COVID, everyone’s starting to get back out now, which is great. More people are going to be attending in person this year, which is exciting. We have people coming in from all over the place.

Lynzi: I think the amount of filmmakers that we’re going to have this year is up 25 or 30%. It’s pretty significant, which is really exciting. So as far as participation from the actual artists, I feel like it’s definitely up. There’s also been a lot more buzz around it from the community. I’m interested to see people outside of the film community, and part of Edmond, come in and be a part of it, participate, and understand what a film festival is.

Q: How many out-of-state and out-of-country entries do you think you have this year?

Lynzi Carlson, left, and Marissa Carlson, right, help run Simply Indie Film Festival. (Photo: Brent Fuchs)

Lynzi: Forty-four of our films are not from Oklahoma. We did have a film from every continent except Antarctica this year, which was a really cool thing to see on the map on Film Freeway to see every place represented. So that was really neat.

Marissa: Twenty-two countries represented this year, and we have 20 screenplays we’re taking and 23 photographs in the photography contest. We have 40 Oklahoma artists represented at this fest, which will be great.

Q: Are there any entries we should keep an eye on or ones you’re particularly excited about?

Lynzi: The Imaginaries submitted to us, and they’re an Oklahoma band and very up-and-coming. I feel like they’ve done some really cool stuff around the state already. We have a music video from them this year, and I’m really excited to show that.

Marissa: We have several college films that are really good. I’m really excited. We take all levels of films, from people just starting out to professionals in the industry for years, decades even. And we want there to be a networking feel to the fest so that some of these more seasoned people can meet some of the newer people starting out and help them along the process. A lot of them end up making films together, which is great. So we love the networking aspect. We’re really trying to work on that—lots of good college films. One of them comes from Germany, and it’s called “Beats,” one of the best college films I’ve ever seen. I think everyone should go see this film.

Lynzi: I was going to say we also have a great lineup of high school films this year too. I’m really excited about that. We’re trying to get more high school filmmakers involved in what we’re doing, and they’ve really done well with their submissions.

Is there anything else you want to add or anything else we need to know for this year?

Marissa: The festival starts off here with a kickoff party at Edmond Fine Arts. We will do screenplay readings that evening; we’ll party next door at The Patriarch; then, Friday and Saturday films at ShowBiz; and parties in the evening, concluding the fest at Frenzy Brewing Co. to have the award ceremony.

For more information or to buy tickets, visit the Simply Indie Film Fest website.

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About Brent Fuchs

Brent Fuchs is an editorial and commercial photographer based in Edmond. He received a B.A. in photojournalism from UCO, where he minored in history. His work has appeared in numerous area publications, and his photos have received awards from both The Associated Press and The Oklahoma Press Association.