Cinema St. Louis | St. Louis Public Radio

Cinema St. Louis

Director and St. Louis native Karyn Kusama (at left) talking to actress Nicole Kidman.
Publicity photo

Before filmmaker Karyn Kusama attended film school at New York University and accrued recognition for directing films such as “Jennifer’s Body” and “Girlfight,” she was a movie-loving St. Louis teenager attending regular matinees at the Tivoli Theatre in University City.

“I just really escaped into movies, and the Tivoli was a huge part of that for me,” Kusama told host Don Marsh on Friday’s St. Louis on the Air. “That’s really where I got the bug, I think … That’s where I learned about cinema.”

Her latest film, “Destroyer,” premiered at the Tivoli as part of the 2018 St. Louis International Film Festival in November. The film is slated for widespread release in January 2019.

Conor B. Lewis (left) and Chris Clark (right) joined host Don Marsh in studio to talk aboout this year's St. Louis International Film Festival. Directors Lori Miller and Jane Giloogly joined the conversation by phone.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis International Film Festival (SLIFF) is back for its 27th season – and the line-up of movies this year includes an impressive array of both local and nonlocal work.

Despite the remarkable roster, Cinema St. Louis artistic director Chris Clark told host Don Marsh on Friday’s St. Louis on the Air that attendees “do not need to be film scholars; they just need to like going to the movies.”

Clark, whose organization manages SLIFF each year, noted that there’s “literally something for everyone” at the ten-day festival, and he encouraged listeners to see the films that most excite them.

A still from "The Drunkard's Lament," University City native Jim Finn's re-imagining of Emily Brontë's novel "Wuthering Heights." 10/31/18
St. Louis International Film Festival

One way to size up the 27th annual St. Louis Film Festival is by the numbers. It’ll feature 413 films at 14 different venues, from mainstays like the Landmark Tivoli Theatre in University City to Old Bakery Beer Company in Alton. Organizers expect a record 30,000 to attend.

Another is the breadth of programming, from a fantasy story told through puppets and animation to a documentary about black jazz musicians who were asked to join United States propaganda efforts during the Cold War.

Justin Fisher’s documentary about the evolving recording industry screens at 4 p.m. Saturday as part of the 2018 St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

A treasure trove of St. Louis-based filmmaking talent will be in the spotlight throughout the next two weekends as Cinema St. Louis’ annual Filmmakers Showcase gets underway on Friday.

One of the locally driven films set to screen Saturday is “Gateway Sound,” which was produced and directed by Justin Fisher, an audio engineer and educator. The documentary explores the state of the recording industry in St. Louis and beyond.

Fisher joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh Wednesday for a conversation about the project and how recording professionals are adapting in an age of music streaming, slumping record sales and easily accessible recording technology.

Copwatch documentary
(photo provided)

The St. Louis International Film Festival is underway through November 12 in venues throughout the city.

“Lots of international films, American independent documentaries and many shorts,” said Cliff Froehlich, executive director of Cinema St. Louis.

Provided by Cinema St. Louis

St. Louis International Film Festival artistic director Chris Clark’s office walls in Grand Center are crowded with film posters. Marketing materials are stacked neatly on the front of his desk. In the final push before the festival’s opening night, Clark is confident that the entries this year deliver on its very clear mission.

“What we look for is the best, newest, freshest stories told from unique perspectives,” he said. 

It took several years for members of St. Louis' skating community to renovate the old St. Liborius church. A company called Hogan Street Partners owns the building; a nonprofit called Liborius Urban Arts Studios operates the space.
File photo | Provided | Ashley Seering

In recent years, St. Louisans have turned abandoned buildings into apartments, art galleries and restaurants.  But a grassroots effort has repurposed a north St. Louis space into a much more active venue.

The St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase kicks off this weekend at the Tivoli Theatre. We'll preview the selections on Tuesday's St. Louis on the Air.
Jim Choate | Flickr

The 17th annual St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase kicks off this weekend with 87 films made by local artists. It runs July 16-20 at the Tivoli Theatre in University City.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, Chris Clark, the artistic director of Cinema St. Louis, which produces the showcase, joined host Don Marsh to give a preview of what films and filmmakers will be highlighted.

You can find a full rundown of the showcase on Cinema St. Louis’ website here.

This is the marketing image for "The Boys in the Band," released in 1970. It is one of two classic films to be shown in this year's QFest.
Provided | Cinema St. Louis

When St. Louis' QFest of films officially launched, people in the LGBTQ community were barred from institutions ranging from the military service to marriage.

A decade later, LGBTQ citizens can both serve and marry.  The 10th annual festival, which opens March 29, includes a dozen films that reflect a restricted past and progressive present.

Marlon West, who has worked on more than 13 Disney animated features, will return to St. Louis this week to recieve the Charles Guggenheim Cinema St. Louis Award at the St. Louis International Film Festival.
St. Louis International Film Festival

Marlon West can’t remember a time he wasn’t interested in film, and animation, in particular. After graduating University City High School, he attended Columbia College in Chicago, where he studied film and writing, then moved on to animate Encyclopedia Brittanica films, a Beastie Boys music video and even Michael Jackson’s "California Raisins" commercial.

Jun Bae, a graduate of Washington University and rising documentary filmmaker, made a documentary about Washington University professor Bob Hansmen's bus tours of St. Louis.
Kelly Moffitt | St.Louis Public Radio

When Jun Bae, originally from Tokyo, Japan, first came to Washington University, he didn’t come to make documentaries. And then the protests in Ferguson following the police-shooting death of Michael Brown happened. Because of that, Bae, now a graduate of the university, entered into the world of photojournalism.

What he saw? “A divided city,” Bae told St. Louis on the Air contributor Steve Potter. Bae said he sees this division in schools and resources that are divided unequally, but most blatantly in the look of the city itself.

Mazy and Amber Gilleylen in their Overland living room which is also the classroom where Gilleylen has home-schooled her daughter since last fall.
Nancy Fowler | St. Louis Public Radio

There are plenty of smart, happy 10-year-olds in St. Louis. But there’s only one Mazy Gilleylen.

Mazy loves typical kid stuff, like  singing, drawing and taking care of her pets. But she was living with a secret, and that meant life wasn't always this good. Telling the truth — with her family’s support — made things better, and made her a film star.

The documentary Major! features Major Griffin-Gracy, a long-time transgender activist.
Cinema St. Louis | Provided

When QFest debuted in 2008, its schedule of LGBT films was more about the “G” than any other letter. Few male or female characters were people of color.

But things are different now, according to Cinema St. Louis’ Chris Clark.

“The true minority of all, honestly, is white, gay men,” he said.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Thursday night, Alex Winter stepped back into the movie theater he frequented growing up in St. Louis...this time as an award-winning actor and director. He received the 2015 Charles Guggenheim Cinema St. Louis award during the St. Louis International Film Festival in the main auditorium of the Tivoli Theatre in the Delmar Loop. His award-winning documentary, “Deep Web,” as well as his earlier documentary, “Downloaded,” are playing at the festival.

St. Louis International Film Festival

Nick Berardini was just a journalism student at the University of Missouri when he was sent out on an assignment that would impact his life and his career as a filmmaker. He was sent to Moberly, Missouri to report on a man who died while in police custody after being pulled over for drunk driving.

St. Louis International Film Festival

After Michael Vick was convicted for involvement in a long-running illegal dog-fighting ring, more than 50 pit bulls were left behind. What happened to them? A St. Louis International Film Festival documentary, “The Champions,” answers just that question. It also delves into the discrimination pit bulls face as a breed across the United States…sometimes for unfounded reasons.

Still from feature film "First Secret City"
St. Louis International Film Festival

Cinema St. Louis’ St. Louis International Film Festival starts next week on November 5, bringing with it a group of films that are sure to inspire some conversation around town. “The First Secret City” is one of them.

Courtesy of Dale Sweet

Beginning July 19, Cinema St. Louis will hold its annual St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase featuring works created by St. Louis artists and films with strong local ties.

The four-day event includes 88 films ranging from full-length fiction features to documentaries and multi-film compilations of fiction. Screenings for all films will take place at the Tivoli Theatre.

St. Louis Film Kicks Off Film Festival

Nov 7, 2014
'The Makings of You,' directed by Matt Amato, will open the St. Louis International Film Festival on Nov. 13.
Courtesy of Matt Amato

The 23rd annual St. Louis International Film Festival opens next week with a very St. Louis love story.

“The Makings of You,” starring Sheryl Lee of “Twin Peaks” as Judy and Jay R. Ferguson of “Mad Men” as Wallis, tells the story of a romance between two lonely St. Louisans. Director Matt Amato, a St. Louis native, returned to St. Louis when he began working on the film in June 2013.

“It’s a genuine St. Louis product from top to bottom,” Amato told “Cityscape” host Steve Potter on Friday.

St. Louis Children's Film Festival Returns

Aug 1, 2014
Kyle Jacoby / St. Louis Public Radio

    

The St. Louis International Children's Film Festival not only showcases kid-friendly films, but teaches them how to create their own movies and shorts.

In its second year, the festival will feature 19 films over two weekends at six venues, with workshops throughout the week.

St. Louis Celebrates Local Films At Filmmaker Showcase

Jul 11, 2014
Mike Rohlfing

Cinema St. Louis’ 2014 St. Louis Filmmaker's Showcase kicks off Sunday, July 13, and runs through Thursday, July 17.

Each year, Cinema St. Louis gets about 120 submissions from both professional and amateur filmmakers. Chris Clark, artistic director of the organization, says the most important criteria is whether the filmmakers have told a good story and told it in a cohesive way. 

For video artist Zlatko Ćosić, the concept of personal and cultural identity is a continuing evolving one. And he likes it that way.

Over the course of the next two weeks, Cinema St. Louis will hold filmmaking workshops and screen fourteen films in its first St. Louis International Children's Film Festival.

Cinema St. Louis Executive Director Cliff Froehlich said the organization chose to do a children's festival because there were a lot of great children's films that should be seen despite not having wide commercial appeal. 

(Courtesy: Cinema St. Louis)

Cinema St. Louis presents the 13th annual St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase July 14-18 at the Tivoli Theatre.

The goal of the Showcase is to highlight films written, directed, edited, or produced by St. Louis area natives or films with strong local ties.

Dan Parris

Dan Parris believes that filmmaking is a great activity because it incorporates every kind of art.  He shares his passion for film with high school students in his role of Project Director for Pentimento: The St. Louis Story Mapping Project.  An initiative of the Midwest Center for Media Literacy in cooperation with Speakup Productions and Studio STL, the project enables inner city high school students to learn the art and business of filmmaking. 

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 2, 2013 - Money is the subject of many a popular song: It “Makes the World Go ‘Round” in “Cabaret.” Dire Straits laments “Money for Nothing.” Money "is a hit,” according to Pink Floyd.

Money will also be explored in literature, film and theater in the April 4-6 Greater St. Louis Humanities Festival. “Money, Money! Need, Greed and Generosity” is sponsored by Cinema St. Louis and a dozen other organizations.

(Courtesy: Cinema St. Louis)

The Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival is one of the largest film festivals in the Midwest. 

In the coming weeks, more than 400 films will be screened and many of them will receive their only St. Louis exposure at the festival.

Host Steve Potter talks with Cliff Froehlich, the Executive Director of Cinema St. Louis, and filmmaker Frank Popper.

Related Event

Classic French Film Festival lives up to its name

Jul 12, 2012

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 12, 2012 - Four beautifully restored landmarks of world cinema will be featured at the fourth annual Classic French Film Festival. The festival, which will show a total of 13 films, runs on weekends from July 13 to July 29 at Moore Auditorium, 470 East Lockwood Ave., on the campus of Webster University.

The event is  presented by Cinema St. Louis and the Webster University Film Series. It is sponsored by TV5MONDE, the French-language cable channel.

Cinema St. Louis showcases local filmmakers

Jul 21, 2010

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 21, 2010 - In the cold and snow of the Catskill Mountains, two men trekked, sparring with the elements and each other.

Actually, there were three men and about a $10,000 budget, but in the feature film "Daniel and Abraham," you never see St. Louis native Ryan Eslinger, since he was the writer, producer, director, cinematographer and editor, among other jobs.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 29, 2010 - Let's look back at some of the key events of the last few decades:

1975: Most of the world is killed as the result of biological warfare between the U.S. and China. Charlton Heston survives.

1980: The first Annual Transcontinental Road Race, later known as the "Death Race."

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