Cinema St. Louis (CSL) is excited to present the 31st Annual Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival (SLIFF), running November 3-13. The festival will showcase a wide variety of films across multiple venues throughout the St. Louis area, in addition to two new locations in St. Charles and Edwardsville. A small selection of films will also be available online.

CSL’s new executive director, Bree Maniscalco, shared: “We are excited to welcome back members of our community, in whatever way they choose to experience SLIFF. We still wish for our patrons to feel safe at the fest this year so we will continue to monitor new covid variants but we also believe film is most impactful when we experience it together. All of us have a memory in a movie theater, whether it be our first time in front of the big screen, sharing popcorn with a date, or laughing with a packed house. And SLIFF offers local film lovers a chance to travel around the world, experiencing untold stories that inspire and transform.”

PROGRAMMING HIGHLIGHTS

The festival is proud to offer 256 films, including more than 100 documentary and narrative features and 21 short film programs from the widest possible range of storytellers, representing 42 countries featuring more than 35 native languages. In addition to offering a variety of centrally located venues, SLIFF strives to maintain accessibility by offering 32 film programs for free and all virtual programming at a discounted rate of $5 per program. 

Star-filled highlights include the opening night film, “Empire of Light,” starring Olivia Colman and Colin Firth, and the closing night film, “Women Talking,” starring Claire Foy, Rooney Mara, and Frances McDormand. The SLIFF Centerpiece Spotlight is the powerful journalism film, “She Said” starring Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan. St. Louis’ favorite son Jon Hamm stars in “Corner Office” while writer/director Elegance Bratton’s “The Inspection” features Jeremy Pope, Gabrielle Union, and Bokeem Woodbine.

SLIFF guests will explore documentary topics across a variety of thought-provoking films including the story of Lavar Burton and Reading Rainbow in “Butterfly in the Sky,” gastronomic revolutionary chef, Charlie Trotter in “Love, Charlie: The Rise and Fall of Chef Charlie Trotter,” the journey of the veteran interplanetary Mars Exploration Rover, Opportunity in “Good Night Oppy,” and “All That Breathes,” winner of the World Documentary Grand Jury Prize at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival.

VIRTUAL PROGRAMMING

More than 150 films will be available for streaming through Eventive during the festival at a discounted price of $5. Films available online will be restricted to viewers in Missouri and Illinois only.

SPECIAL EVENTS

SLIFF will present three free master classes, thanks to an endowed gift from the Chellappa-Vedavalli Foundation.

  • Sat., Nov. 5th at 10 am (Virtual Live Stream): Missouri Stories Production Lab brings to life short films set in the world of winning scripts from the Missouri Stories Scriptwriting Fellowship. The writers participate as producers and experience all aspects of production. Completed films will be submitted to film festivals across the country to shine a spotlight on Missouri locations and talent. Andrea Sporcic Klund, head of the Missouri Film Office, will host a panel discussion with the writer/producers and directors of the latest St. Louis filmed project, “Assumption”: with writer/producer Peter Hanrahan, producer Michael Sweeney, and director Alfredo De Villa.
  • Sun., Nov. 6th at 10 am (Virtual Live Stream): Behind The Scenes (with Casting Directors, Directors, and Actors) -  Emmy Award-winning casting director, Deb Barylski will talk briefly about a casting director’s process and the responsibility for both the director’s vision and the actor’s creativity. Award-winning writer, director, and local film professor, Peter Carlos will discuss the importance of understanding an actor’s process to easily elicit performances and build trust as well as highlight techniques for troubleshooting challenges on set. Award-winning actress Jessica Ambuehl will share how to stay prepared, create industry opportunities, and work with a director to bring a story to life.
  • Thur., Nov. 10th at 5 pm (In-person event at Capes Sokol): Investing in Film - Filmmaking is an art form, but it’s also a business. A somewhat elusive topic, come learn more about how investment in film projects work. Attorney Pete Salsich with Capes Sokol and Casey Sunderland in the Media Finance Department at Creative Artists Agency (CAA) will share insight on the process for those interested in investing and for creatives seeking to work with investors.

Cinema St. Louis is pleased to be honoring former executive director, Cliff Froehlich for his 19 years of leadership and countless contributions to the local and national film world. Please join CSL as we pay tribute to Froehlich, on Saturday, November 12th at 7 pm at Webster University. In addition to the tribute, a screening of one of Cliff’s favorite films will take place - “His Girl Friday.”

VENUES

Films will screen at the Contemporary Art Museum, Foundry Art Centre, Galleria 6 Cinemas, Plaza Frontenac, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, St. Louis Public Library Central Branch, Washington University St. Louis, and Webster University.

TICKET AND PASS INFORMATION

TICKET PRICES

Individual tickets, for either in-person or virtual screenings, are $15 for general admission, and $12 for Cinema St. Louis members and students with valid and current photo IDs. Prices are all-inclusive; no additional fees will be added.

PASS PRICES

Passes can be used for either in-person or virtual screenings and can be used to purchase multiple tickets for an in-person event.

Three forms of passes are available:

6-Film Passes are $80/CSL Members $60

10-Film Passes are $130/CSL Members $100

20-Film Passes are $250/CSL Members $200

2022 SLIFF VIP Pass $350/CSL Members $300; one ticket per film (concurrent screenings not allowed)

2022 SLIFF All-Access Pass $500/CSL Members $400; two tickets per film (concurrent screenings not allowed)

SPONSORS

Title Sponsor: Whitaker Foundation

Sustaining Sponsors: Albrecht Family Foundation, Arts & Education Council, Chellappa-Vedavalli Foundation, Coolfire Studios, Hawkins Foundation, Jane M. & Bruce P. Robert Charitable Foundation, Ward & Carol Klein, Nancy & Ken Kranzberg, MCM Group, Meridian Society, Missouri Arts Council, Missouri Division of Tourism, Missouri Film Office, National Endowment for the Arts, Regional Arts Commission, Chip Rosenbloom & Lucia Rosenbloom, Mary Strauss, Trio Foundation of St. Louis, William A. Kerr Foundation

Presenting Partners: Center for the Humanities at Washington University, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, The Divided City, Eventive, Film & Media Archive at Washington University Libraries, Film & Media Studies Program at Washington University, Foundry Art Centre, Simple DCP, St. Louis Public Library, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, St. Louis Public Radio, Webster University Film Series

For more information, the public should visit cinemastlouis.org.