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Cinema with a Gateway spin

July 16,2016 19:08

Moviegoers can get a sense of the local cinematic landscape at the annual St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase, which returns on Sunday for its 16th edition. The festival of features and shorts is presented by Cinema St. Louis and runs through Thursday at the ...

Every filmmaker has to start somewhere. And one of those places is metropolitan St. Louis.Moviegoers can get a sense of the local cinematic landscape at the annual St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase, which returns on Sunday for its 16th edition. The festival of features and shorts is presented by Cinema St. Louis and runs through Thursday at the Tivoli Theatre.“The point is to shine a spotlight on local filmmakers — not just in St. Louis, but in the county and over in Illinois,” said Chris Clark, artistic director of Cinema St. Louis. The festival also includes films with connections to the region.
“It’s a very robust event,” he said, noting that the showcase receives about 100 submissions each year. While some are from filmmakers already known to Cinema St. Louis, “about half are from people out in the world whom we’ve never interacted with before.”The festival is flexible about the number of films to be selected in any given year, Clark said.“We don’t really go for a specific quota,” he said. “We just pick what we think is the best representation of the local film scene.” The 12 programs this year encompass more than 60 films, from narrative and documentary features to fiction and nonfiction shorts and from serious examinations of social issues to lighthearted fare.Indie director Chris Grega, whose film “35 Days” will be screened at 7 p.m. Thursday, said the Filmmakers Showcase has become a focal point of the local film scene.“Generally speaking, the arts community is strongly supported in St. Louis as far as music and theater goes, but film is far, far lagging behind either of those art forms,” he said. What the Filmmakers Showcase does for the film community, Grega said, “is really incredible. It’s just a great opportunity for showing your work.”Clark said that some films have gone on to have lives beyond the event, such as the 2009 basketball drama, “Streetballers,” which had a limited theatrical release after screening at the St. Louis International Film Festival. That annual event is also presented by Cinema St. Louis.But regardless of a film’s commercial fortunes, the festival is a place to simply bask in the glow of cinema.“It’s always fun for filmmakers to see their work up on the glorious big screen at the Tivoli,” Clark said.SUNDAY12:15 p.m. Shorts Program: Doc Shorts 1. Free. Four films exploring social issues: “The Delmar Connection” (0:15), “Profiling Race” (0:35), “Show Me Democracy: Black Brunch” (0:09) and “Show Me Democracy: Robert’s Background” (0:09).2 p.m. Shorts Program: Relationships. Six films with romantic themes: “The B-Girl” (0:23), “Committed” (0:12), “Day By Day” (0:06), “In the Pines” (0:11), “Lionheart” (0:15) and “A Period Piece” (0:25).4:15 p.m. Shorts Program: Doc Shorts 2. Ten films on a variety of subjects: “Day to Night in St. Louis” (0:04), “Exodus” (0:24), “Landscapes” (0:08), “Maddening: Stitching a Story” (0:12), “My Identity” (0:11), “Other Worlds: Confronting Anxiety Through Art Therapy” (0:07), “Renewed” (0:08), “Sky’s The Limit” (0:09), “St. Louis Spin (Trumpo Mix)” (0:02), “Trashing History” (0:11).6:45 p.m. “The Importance of Doubting Tom” (1:25). A romantic comedy inspired by “The Importance of Being Earnest” and largely set in the Delmar Loop. Directed by Vanessa Roman.9:15 p.m. Shorts Program: Horror & Thrillers. Eleven films that aim to keep you at the edge of your seat: “4 AM” (0:25), “Ambulance” (0:13), “The Bringer of Things” (0:16), “Cold and Blank” (0:03), “Dinner Date” (0:06), “Hanged” (0:06), “He’s Mine” (0:03), “Lissy Borton Had an Axe” (0:14), “Lost Encounter” (0:06), “One Minute” (0:08) and “The Remake” (0:05).
MONDAY7 p.m. “Bob’s Tour: Understanding What We See” (1:14). A portrait of Washington University architecture professor Bob Hansman, who takes students on an excursion around the “divided city” of St. Louis. Directed by Jun Bae.9:30 p.m. “The Tempter” (1:37). A tale of a Faustian offer — and whether it will be accepted. Directed by Benjamin Thomas.TUESDAY7 p.m. Shorts Program: Drama. Twelve films that reflect on the human experience: “Again Goodbye” (0:04), “Another Dream” (0:03), “Infinite” (0:07), “Me N’ the Devil Blues” (0:04), “A Murmuration” (0:03), “Payday” (0:07), “Ruins” (0:04), “Sarge” (0:23), “Shoot Brother” (0:14), “Two: A Story of Forgiveness” (0:11), “The Ultimate Fan” (0:16) and “The Will” (0:18).9:30 p.m. The Dead Zone. Three films designed to give you the heebie-jeebies: “Dead Nightmare” (0:52), “Equidistant” (0:16) and “The Parasite” (0:31).
WEDNESDAY7 p.m. “I Miss Me” (1:27). A successful attorney is forced to take stock of his life. Directed by Chelsea Zotta.9:30 p.m. Shorts Program: Comedy. Ten films looking for laughs: “Easter Bunny Assassin” (0:09), “First Class Post” (0:05), “Just the Tip” (0:07), “The Lipinski” (0:14), “Man Up!” (0:08), “My Life As a Romantic Comedy” (0:10), “The Perfect Note” (0:11), “Snottington University” (0:02), “Tiny’s New Home” (0:07) and “Top Son” (0:13).THURSDAY7 p.m. “35 Days” (1:28). An indie filmmaker struggles to finish an abandoned project in time for a local film festival. Directed by Chris Grega.St. Louis Filmmakers ShowcaseWhen • Sunday through ThursdayWhere • Tivoli Theatre, 6350 Delmar BoulevardHow much • $13 per film program; $10 for students and Cinema St. Louis membersMore info • cinemastlouis.orgA free closing-night awards party will be held at 8 p.m. Thursday at Blueberry Hill, 6504 Delmar Boulevard. Attendees must be 21 or older.

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