"Somewhere Between Freedom and Protection, Kansas,” a short film set in a small western Kansas farm town, garnered one of the top prizes at last week’s Free State Film Festival. 

“We were floored,” said Freedom and Protection writer and director Patrick Clement, a film and media student at the University of Kansas. “The Audience Award is a real honor, audiences chose our film out of a very strong field of selections this year. I am really happy we could keep this award in Kansas.” 

The Best Larryville Short Film Award is the top audience prize for short films at the Free State Film Festival, held annually in downtown Lawrence sponsored by The Lawrence Art Center.

This year’s festival included live performances and films from Johnny Winters, Nick Cave and others.

A second local film, Blake Robbins’ Lawrence-set film “The Sublime and Beautiful,” took the Best Narrative Film Award.

Somewhere Between Freedom and Protection, Kansas tells the story of a young girl and her grandmother living in rural Kansas.

The 20-minute drama, filmed in Haviland, Bucklin, Protection, Coldwater, Belvidere and rural Kiowa County last summer, stars Pratt native Brittnee Hill and Greensburg native Joan Hayse.   

“This is a great start of us,” added Clement. “It is really affirming and satisfying when audiences are able to connect with my film.”

Somewhere Between Freedom and Protection, Kansas will screen in August in Coldwater and as part of the Third Thursday Film Festival in downtown Hutchinson.

Clement is a former editor of the Kiowa County Signal