Cinema St. Louis

The mission of Cinema St. Louis is to showcase the best in international, documentary, and American independent cinema. Believing that we discover something about ourselves when we learn about others' cultures and perspectives, Cinema St. Louis offers programs that provide glimpses of the human experience from around the world and thoughtfully address issues of race, ethnicity, and sexual identity.

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Address: Centene Center for Arts & Education 3547 Olive St., Suite 260
St. Louis, MO 63103-1000
Phone Number: 314-289-4154
The St. Louis International Film Festival (SLIFF) - CSL's centerpiece event -- is a world-class international film festival that exhibits films from around the globe and attracted a record-setting 28,723 patrons in 2018. Offering its 28th edition in 2019, the fest presents more than 350 films over 11 days in November. Featured work includes shorts, documentaries, foreign-language works, American independents, restorations/revivals, and studio art-film releases. More than 200 filmmakers, documentary subjects, scholars, and critics attend the fest, participating in post-film discussions, master classes, and seminars. The Cinema for Students Program, offered on weekdays during the fest, provides free screenings to area elementary, middle, and high schools; in 2018, nearly 10,331 students participated.

Cinema St. Louis also presents five other annual programs:
The Classic French Film Festival - held over three weekends in March at Washington University - features 9-10 films celebrating St. Louis' Gallic heritage and France's cinematic legacy.

QFest St. Louis - held in April - spotlights the lives of LGBTQ people and celebrates queer culture by presenting 12-14 film programs.

CSL serves as the local producer of the annual 48 Hour Film Project, an international competition that challenges local filmmakers to write, shoot, and edit a film in only 48 hours; screenings occur in June at Washington U.'s Brown Auditorium.

CSL highlights work made by filmmakers with St. Louis roots with the St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase, which screens an average of 90 shorts and features; the event is held in July over two weekends at Washington U.'s Brown Auditorium.

Free Filmmaking Camps - co-presented in the summer with the St. Louis Public Library at the Central Library's Creative Experience space - provide area teens with hands-on instruction in live-action, animated, and documentary filmmaking.
"First time at this great event. As a visiting director from Ireland, with a documentary screening in the festival, it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. All the communication beforehand was the model of clarity and efficiency. My screening venues - St. Louis Public Library and St. Louis History Museum - were unbeatable, and we had some great Q&A sessions afterwards. The standard of reproduction in the History Museum screening was particularly stunning. The Cheshire Hotel was great, the parties were a highlight. I hope I can return." - Michael Beattie, Director, 2018 St. Louis International Film Festival

Jeff Truesdell, executive producer of "For Ahkeem," which screened at such prestigious fests as Berlin and Tribeca, said of his experience here: "SLIFF's decision to screen 'For Ahkeem' was the culmination of a dream. We always knew that screening the St. Louis-made documentary at 'home' would be the main event. Hundreds of students, teachers, and others saw it at five school screenings; a public showing turned away scores of people at the door; and the demand and recognition led to added post-festival bookings locally." - 2017 St. Louis International Film Festival

"St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase gave first time filmmakers like myself the opportunity to screen at an established theatre and to reach a wider audience. It was a great experience to connect with local audiences, other filmmakers, and staff in the industry. Without this opportunity, I would have had a much harder time reaching a wider audience and exposure in the large sense at such short notice. Thanks to all the staff involved in the Showcase and looking forward to the International Film Festival in November!" - film director from the 2016 St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase

"Despite all the politically correct talk in the industry about diversity, it has still been extremely tough as a woman and an African-American filmmaker to get the kind of platform and exposure the St. Louis Festival gave me. You are truly a world class festival who is true to their mission statement. All the free events you offer and community outreach is commendable and I hope you continue that." - Nnegest Likké, Writer-Director-Producer, "Everything But a Man", 2016 St. Louis International Film Festival

"Having the opportunity to see some of the films on my shifts; greeting film-goers, and later hearing their feedback; "pushing" the surveys. Also, simply enjoyed seeing facial expressions of people exiting the films! One group was totally smiling!" - volunteer, 2015 St. Louis International Film Festival