St. Louis International Film Festival

21 Annual November 08, 2012 to November 18, 2012

Cinema St. Louis

The mission of Cinema St. Louis is to promote the art of cinema and to expand the variety and availability of cinema experiences by presenting the St. Louis International Film Festival, screenings, programs, and educational opportunities.

The St. Louis International Film Festival Inc. was established in 1992 for the purpose of producing, promoting, and presenting annual film events to advance film as an art form in St. Louis. In the first year of the Festival, 25 films were shown during the last week of April. Under the direction of Festival co-founder Barbara S. Jones, the tradition of a daring and eclectic array of American and foreign films began. First-year attendance was estimated at 4,500, and critics were surprised and impressed at the level of sophistication achieved during the first year of the event.

The second year, the Festival incorporated as a Missouri not-for-profit organization. The number of films grew to 33, and attendance grew by 20 percent. By the third year, the Festival had expanded into a 10-day event at three theaters, and 11 film directors attended their St. Louis premieres, greeting festival-goers and fielding questions from the audience about their art. Filmmaker attendance has been an important aspect of the St. Louis International Film Festival since its inception, furthering part of the Festival’s mission as a forum for young filmmakers to show and discuss their films. The third year also saw the founding of Cinema/St. Louis, now known as Friends of the St. Louis International Film Festival, the membership society of the Festival, which contributes financially and provides critical volunteer support.

By its fourth year, the Festival had become a St. Louis tradition eagerly anticipated by film audiences. The Festival moved from April to November and grew to include the St. Louis premieres of more than 50 films. Two annual awards were initiated: the juried Fox Theatre First Feature Award and the Audience Choice Award. The fourth year also saw the debut of the Spring Sampler, an April event that included 10 screenings and several visiting filmmakers.

Growth of the Festival has continued to be tremendous in recent years. The St. Louis International Film Festival has ambitiously challenged itself to grow with special-interest sidebars, including the popular New Filmmakers Forum, introduced in 1996. By 1997, attendance at the Festival had topped more than 10,000. Twenty-eight guest filmmakers attended, and a special feature included an opening weekend Star Tribute to screen legend Tony Curtis at the Fabulous Fox Theatre, where the Distinguished Hollywood Film Artist Award was presented.

In 1998, Delcia Corlew was named the Festival’s managing director, and the offices moved to its current headquarters in St. Louis’ Central West End. The Seventh Annual Festival in 1998 included a very special sidebar titled “A Separate Cinema,” which featured films dating from 1915-1965 featuring all-black casts for African-American audiences. A poster exhibition and seminars accompanied the sidebar screenings. Films by and about African-Americans remain an important component of the Festival, which strives for inclusiveness by featuring films that address issues of race, age, ethnicity and sexual identity.

In 1999 and 2000, the Festival continued to expand the range of its offerings, especially in the areas of documentary and short films. The number of awards the Festival presents has also grown; in 2003, they included the Charter Communications and Starz Encore Group Audience Choice Awards, the Leon Award for Best Documentary, the Interfaith Award for Best Feature and Best Documentary, the Sundance Channel Emerging Filmmaker Award, the Best of Fest Short Film Award, and the Emerging Actor Award.

The 2003 12th Annual edition of the Festival marked the fourht consecutive year for double-digit attendance growth for an all-time high of 18,500. A record number of submissions was also recorded for that year. The Festival has been recognized as one of the Top Ten International Film Festivals and Short Subject Film Festivals in the United States by Chris Gore in his 2004 3rd edition of the “Film Festival Survival Guide.” Festival Director Chris Clark recently was honored as one of the “Festival Directors/Programmers to Know” in the Winter 2004 edition of Film Festival Today magazine.

The 2009 edition featured visits from director Jason Reitman, director Dan Ireland, actress and first-time director Connie Stevens, and director Joe Berlinger. The festival kicked off with a sold out screening of the opening night film An Education, and with dueling closing night features Me and Orson Welles and Young Victoria. 265 films competed for awards in 15 categories with guests from all across the United States, plus over 150 visiting filmmakers.

The 20th Annual SLIFF took place in November, 2011 and featured more than 400 films from over 40 countries.

The Festival staff now consists of Executive Director Cliff Froehlich, Artistic Director Chris Clark, and Operations Supervisor Brian Spath. Under their leadership, the Festival is increasing its year-round presence with screenings, special events, and educational outreach.

The St. Louis International Film Festival is a not-for-profit organization that emphasizes film as an art form. Its mission is to enhance cultural diversity by bringing American independent productions, horizon-expanding international films and high-quality studio films to audiences before their commercial release. The Festival is especially concerned with providing filmgoers the opportunity to see works that would otherwise never screen in St. Louis.

For more information regarding the St. Louis International Film Festival, call 314-289-4150

Brian Spath (Operations Supervisor) ; Brian Spath (Operations Supervisor) ; Brian Spath (Operations Supervisor) ; Chris Clark (Artistic Director) ; Chris Clark (Artistic Director) ; Chris Clark (Artistic Director) ; Cliff Froehlich (Executive Director)

Conditions for Eligibility:
ALL FILMS MUST: 1) be completed by entry deadline (NO works-in-progress); 2) be a St. Louis theatrical premiere; 3) be submitted with English subtitles if in a language other than English; 4) be submitted with a completed entry and appropriate payment; and 5) not be widely commercially available on video/DVD in the U.S. before the festival dates. Please contact Cinema St. Louis for questions and clarifications.

Entry Procedure:
For preview purposes, films must be submitted on DVD (regions 1 or 0, NTSC or PAL) or secure online screener . If you want your screener returned, you must include a self-addressed, stamped, padded envelope. Nothing will be returned otherwise. Payments may be made by check, money order, or credit card. If your film is selected, publicity photographs, posters, and a press kit must be sent immediately. Photos, slides, and 300 dpi or higher electronic images are acceptable. Please read and understand the agreement at the end of form before signing and submitting. All entrants will be notified of the status of their submission by e-mail no later than Sept. 30, 2012. Notification of acceptance or rejection will not include criticism or feedback specific to your entry.

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