Returning to St. Louis for the 26th consecutive year is the Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival, hosted by Cinema St. Louis, an A&E grantee and tenant in A&E’s arts incubator, the Centene Center for the Arts. Slated to take place in 10 venues around the St. Louis area, the festival will show 372 films of various genres including American and international Indies, Oscar submissions, short films, locally curated films and a vast array of other categories.

The 11 day film festival runs November 2-12 in venues across town from the .Zack in the Grand Center Arts District to Webster University. According to Cinema St. Louis Executive Director Cliff Froehlich, the festival has grown to more than 25,000 attendees, but there is room for more. “If we had absolutely every seat filled, we’d have over 50,000 in attendance,” said Froelich. “We know that there’s still an untapped audience out there that we still have yet to reach.”

In addition to the numerous options available for filmgoers, there will be a number of special events including an opening night reception with the director, producer and actresses of the film “Bad Grandmas”; a tribute to Pam Grier, who will be in attendance, with a showing of the film “Jackie Brown”; and a master class on directing your own indie film.

There will also be four awards presented to major filmmakers. The lifetime achievement award will be presented to documentary producer/director Sam Pollard. The Charles Guggenheim St. Louis Cinema Award will be presented to director, screenwriter, producer and author Dan Mirvish, who is a graduate of Washington University. The Contemporary Cinema Award will be presented to award-winning documentary director and professor Marco Williams. Finally, the Women in Film Award will be presented to actress Pam Grier.

Froelich encourages even the most casual of moviegoers to come out to the festival and take a chance on some films. “You don’t need to be a dedicated, hardcore film fan to get something out of the festival,” said Froelich.

For more information on Cinema St. Louis and the Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival, visit

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