The annual St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase is a great way to support the many local filmmakers who practice their art in our area. Cinema St. Louis, our city’s non-profit cinema-related event planning group, will present The Whitaker St. Louis Filmmakers ShowcaseJuly 8-12. This is the 12th annual presentation, which serves as the area’s primary venue for films made by local artists. The Showcase screens works that were written, directed, edited, or produced by St. Louis natives or films with strong local ties. The 16 film programs that screen at the Tivoli from July 8-12 serve as the Showcase’s centerpiece. The programs range from full-length fiction features and documentaries to multi-film compilations of fiction and documentary shorts. Many programs include post-screening Q&As with filmmaker. It all ends with a closing-Night Awards Party Thursday July 12th sponsored by Stella Artois from 8 p.m. to midnight at Blueberry Hill‘s Duck Room, 6504 Delmar Blvd. Attendees must be 21 or older. Awards presentation will begin at 10:30 p.m.(the party is free but donations are accepted)
Tickets for film programs from July 8-12 at the Tivoli are $12 each; $10 for students with valid and current photo ID and for Cinema St. Louis members with valid membership cards. Advance tickets are on sale at the Tivoli Theatre box office (5-10 p.m. Monday-Friday and 2-10 p.m. Saturday-Sunday). No phone sales, but tickets can be purchased online (see below). Tickets are on a first-come, first-served basis.
Online Ticket Sales
Tickets may also be purchased in advance at https://tickets.landmarktheatres.com/Ticketing.aspx?TheatreID=258. There is a $1 per-ticket service charge. Click on the show time (not the film title) to go to the purchase area. Purchasers must pick up your at the Tivoli box-office window. Bring the credit card used to purchase the tickets and the confirmation number. Online sales are limited to full-price tickets only. Cinema St. Louis member and student discounts can only be obtained in person at the box office because ID is required.
The filmmaking seminars (July 7 at Centene Center for Arts & Education), ‘Madness and Genius‘ screening (July 7 at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis), and closing-night awards party (July 12 at Blueberry Hill’s Duck Room) are free and do not require tickets. The screening of Homeland: Immigration in America – (July 8 at the Tivoli Theatre) is free but tickets are required; tickets are available in advance and day of show at the Tivoli box office (limit of 2 per person). Donations to Cinema St. Louis to offset costs for free events are gladly accepted.
Here is the complete schedule for the 2012 Whitaker St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase:
FREE (no ticket required)
Cinema St. Louis annually kicks off the Showcase with free filmmaking seminars. This year’s offerings begin with presentations on a trio of ambitious TV productions originating in St. Louis: the reality show Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s the animated series Voltron Force! and the documentary series Homeland: Immigration in America. All three seminars take place at Cinema St. Louis’ home in the Centene Center of Arts & Education, with Kaldi’s Coffee generously contributing free coffee and pastries. Later, at the nearby Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, the Showcase’s day of seminars concludes with a free screening of native St. Louisan Ryan Eslinger’s first feature, Madness and Genius. A co-presentation with CAM’s Concrete Cinema series, the event features a post-film discussion with Eslinger. Seminar’s will take place in Centene Center for Arts & Education, 4th Floor, 3547 Olive St., 63103
Noon-1:45 p.m. -Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s
Steve Luebbert, director of development for Coolfire Originals – an arm of Coolfire Media that creates entertainment programming for screens of all shapes and sizes – discusses the St. Louis-based reality show Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s, - which airs on the Oprah Winfrey Network. An as-yet-unaired episode of the show is featured as part of the program.
2-3:45 p.m. -Voltron Force!
Two key members of the St. Louis-based company behind Nicktoon’s hit animated series Voltron Force! executive producer Bob Koplar and supervising producer Jeremy Corray – reveal the step-by-step process of how a cartoon moves from script to screen. The World Events Productions team will discuss how this international effort is coordinated. The program features a screening of a never-before-seen episode of Voltron Force!
4-6 p.m. – Homeland: Immigration in America
Produced by The Nine Network of Public Media in St. Louis, the upcoming national PBS documentary series Homeland addresses key immigration issues facing our country. On Sunday, the Showcase will preview the series with a special program featuring PBS correspondent and Homeland narrator Ray Suarez. This seminar features extended excerpts from the series and a discussion of the project by producers Jim Kirchherr and Anne-Marie Berger, with editor Frank Popper. The program also features executive producer and special guest Leo Eaton, Emmy Award winner and internationally recognized producer for networks such as PBS, BBC, and National Geographic.
MADNESS AND GENIUS
2004, 103 min., Free (no ticket required)
Shot in 18 days on high-definition video for $20,000, Madness and Genius is a stark black-and-white drama about a group of hyper-intelligent but emotionally dysfunctional college students and an eccentric, troubled professor (Tom Noonan of MANHUNTER). Set in the world of academic physics, the film focuses on the clash between teacher and student over the joint discovery of a highly theoretical scientific marvel. Native St. Louisan Ryan Eslinger not only wrote, produced and directed the film – made between his second and third years at New York University – but also edited, created the sound design, and composed and performed the music. Premiering at the 2003 Toronto International Film Festival – one of the world’s most prestigious âMadness and Geniusâ€ played more than a dozen fests. Eslinger subsequently directed When a Man Falls (starring Timothy Hutton and Sharon Stone) and the micro-budgeted Daniel and Abraham. A co-presentation of the Showcase and the Contemporary Art Museum’s Concrete Cinema series, Madness and Genius features a post-film discussion with Eslinger.
Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis
SHORTS 1: SELECTIONS FROM THE SECOND ANNUAL CINEMA AT CITYGARDEN COMPETITION
Birds on a Wire
Virginia Lee Hunter, 3 min.
A meditative look at blackbirds at rest and in motion.
Aaron Vaught, 3 min.
An exploration of the relationship between objects in the natural world.
Thomas Malkowicz, 3 min.
A documentary about two brothers who have enjoyed the Current River and hope to preserve it for the future.
Mike McCubbins, 5 min.
Two hundred years in the life of a patch of forest.
David Denagel, 4 min.
The first snow of the season falls on the countryside.
Olivia Lahs-Gonzales, 5 min.
An abstract evocation of a night garden.
Dale Ward, 4 min.
The manipulation and distortion of nature by man over the years.
Mark Lovelace, 5 min.
Alone on a rainy Christmas Eve, a young girl looks for an escape in nature.
Maison Des Reveurs
Rita Hunt, 5 min.
The nature of our life depends on the flight of our imagination.
Sarah Worner, 2 min.
A mother’s passing is evoked with flowers, corn husks, and found foliage.
The Myth of Nikola Tesla
Alex Elmestad, 5 min.
A poetic narrative based on the life and works of inventor Nikola Tesla.
Catherine Dudley-Rose, 3 min.
An exploration of the music found in nature.
Ben Schmidt, 3 min.
A brother and sister find a bird’s nest in the middle of the road.
Rachel & Zlatko Cosic, 5 min.
The ritual of walking on a path throughout the year coincides with the cycle of life and seasonal changes.
Red and Blue Armies in a Forest
Van McElwee, 5 min.
Two groups of soldiers converge in a forest, both groups electronically monitoring the other.
Sylvia Geiger, 4 min.
A look at nature through the eyes of children.
Hannah Radcliff, 3 min.
A lone tree dreams about movement.
Jamie Jessop, 5 min.
Toky the turtle, found by two friendly little girls who box him up, dreams of his favorite spots in nature.
Zlatko Cosic, 5 min.
Abstract images and sounds signify the ongoing ecological damages occurring on planet Earth.
This documentary nominee for the 2012 Student Academy Award chronicles a group of people living in a homeless encampment along the Mississippi River in downtown St. Louis and their struggle to survive the winter.
Hit Man to Hero (trailer)
Dan Parris, 2 min.
A trailer for an upcoming documentary about a former Nicaraguan hitman who now rescues women from sex trafficking.
A Paper Tiger Burns (trailer)
Gavin Culbertson, 5 min.
A trailer for an upcoming feature film – set in St. Louis and Columbia, South America – based on an astonishing true story of intolerance.
HOMELAND: IMMIGRATION IN AMERICA
Nine Network of Public Media in St. Louis
90 min., Special Presentation, FREE (ticket required)
This upcoming PBS documentary series – produced by Nine Network of Public Media in St. Louis – is previewed with segments from each of its three parts and a discussion of the issues explored in the film. The series addresses key immigration issues facing our country through the lens of the 2012 election. â€œHomelandâ€ features contemporary stories of immigrants and those who confront them, give them help, and craft legislation that affects them. The program also features series filmmakers, subjects, and special guest Ray Suarez, narrator of â€œHomelandâ€ and correspondent for PBS NewsHour.
Nine Network of Public Media in St. Louis
CASUALTIES OF THE STATE
105 min. (work-in-progress)
Two seasoned FBI agents and a young security analyst investigate the murder of high-ranking government officials. As they race against time to find the killer, they find themselves in a moral struggle between duty and honor.
SHORTS 2: DRAMA
Elliott Geolat, 7 min.
A fleeing criminal seeks refuge in a mysterious theater.
Mike Roth, 9 min.
An examination of loss, told through the stories of four friends meeting for the final time.
Zachary Wexelman, 11 min.
The incongruity between recollection and reality is explored when a young Jewish man brings his gentile fiance to his family’s seder dinner on the first night of Passover.
Peter Carlos, 15 min.
A store owner is robbed by a former classmate.
On the Way to China
Joshua Miller, 13 min.
A retired teacher contemplates his youth and searches for the love he once knew.
Cody Stokes, 15 min.
A lifelong janitor returns after a night of drinking to the school that recently fired him.
Jenna Marguerita, 8 min.
A 12-year-old girl’s innocent notion of the world is changed forever after a visit to an elderly neighbor’s backyard.
Danny Safady, 16 min.
A simple selfless act of love can affect an entire community in unforeseen ways.
Michael Hauser, 13 min.
An eighth-grade English teacher who is also trained as a cage fighter realizes he must choose between the two worlds.
A Year Long Morning
Cody Stokes, 9 min.
An automobile is taken, and the woman who called it home is left with a black eye, a knife, and an intense need to get her car back.
STRINGS OF IMAGINATION
This documentary provides a backstage view of Bob Kramer’s Marionnettes, a St. Louis theatrical institution.
A Story to Tell
Scott Huegerich, 5 min.
A vignette on St. Louisan Damon Davis, a multidisciplinary artist driven to create work that tells a story or expresses a feeling.
Igor Stevanovic, 17 min.
A documentary about an eccentric Missouri artist who is sued because of his outdoor art.
JOPLIN, MISSOURI: A TORNADO STORY
This moving documentary chronicles the aftermath of the horrific 2011 Joplin, Mo., tornado. The film is narrated by George Noory, host of â€œCoast to Coast AM.â€
23 MINUTES TO SUNRISE
80 min. (work-in-progress)
The lives of eight people become intertwined in an out-of-the-way late-night diner. Shot in Sauget, Ill., this drama co-stars Eric Roberts (Star 80,The Dark Knight), Nia Peeples (The Young and the Restless, Walker, Texas Ranger), and comedian Bob Zany.
A VARIETY OF MYSTERIES
Violet, a drunk and depressed young woman working in a vintage boutique, is saddled with the care of a young cousin when her Aunt Miranda checks herself into a rehab clinic. The film stars Sunyatta McDermott, Rilke Griffin, and Marla Hare Griffin.
SHORTS 3: DOCUMENTARIES
Zia Nizami, 13 min.
A series of short documentaries and a music video spotlighting original music in the Metro East.
Mike Roth, 20 min.
A study of random encounters and conversational spontaneity.
An Immanent Life
TJ Keeley, 17 min.
Using first-person stream of conciousness, the film traces the transformation of an individual.
Andy Alton & Thomas Crone, 6 min.
Built by volunteers and skaters, the skateboard park under the Kingshighway viaduct is self-policed.
Kitchen @ The Royale
Andy Alton & Thomas Crone, 6 min.
An intimate peek at the tiny working kitchen of the Royale.
Andy Alton & Thomas Crone, 4 min.
A behind-the-scenes look at local cover band Nee.
Phillip Johnson, 8 min.
Kevin goes through his bar mitzvah by giving a presentation on the story of the Shabbat Zachor, or the Sabbath of Remembrance.
CONTAMINATION: A CONVENTION STORY
The documentary examines the fans and celebrities who attend horror, sci-fi, and pop-culture conventions, including interviews with attendees and organizers of the event.
Meatloaf Productions, 30 min.
The pilot for an ongoing Web series about three comic-book geeks desperately trying to adapt to adult life.
Ultra-Guys: Selling Out
Planet Me Productions, 27 min.
An up-and-coming journalist is making a documentary on the Ultra-Guys, the less-than-amazing Gateway City superheroes who have managed to squander the best superpowers in comic-book history.
SHORTS 4: THRILLERS
Scott Stoltz, 6 min.
A superstitious assasin finds himself caught up in the numbers.
Scott Stoltz & Ryan Gregory, 6 min.
Awakening to the sounds of hand tools clattering in a stranger’s van, three people tremble in fear when the vehicle comes to a stop and the door opens.
Fit to Burst
Sean Tiffin, 6 min.
Greg can’t pee.
Sam Shapson, 10 min.
On a visit to her grandparentS farmhouse, a young girl must face her fears after her father tells a terrifying tale of creatures in the cornfields.
Miles Sullivan, 11 min.
A man awakens in the middle of the night and discovers his wife and son are missing, but haunting clues throughout the house convince him otherwise.
The Last Execution
Patrick Murray, 17 min.
A petty criminal is picked up by two men posing as police detectives and soon discovers how much danger he is in.
Like a Good Neighbor
David Lassiter, 8 min.
Tom is the ultimate good neighbor, always ready to collect your mail or investigate screams coming from your apartment.
Never a Shade of Gray
Peter Bolte, 16 min.
In the end, there’s only one thing Henry knows for sure.
Chris Allgood, 13 min.
After losing his job, girlfriend, and home all in one day, David takes out his frustrations through drawing, but his animations have bloody consequences.
Richard Taylor, 7 min.
A selfish, evil woman is forced to give a ride to a mysterious stranger with dire results.
Brian Elliott, 15 min.
Six months after New York is taken over by the Confederation of European Nations, two sisters hiding in a dark basement are confronted by an enemy soldier who tries to take advantage of the situation.
SHORTS 5: EXPERIMENTAL
Zlatko Cosic, 2 min.
Images from 180 different video pieces are combined to form a new visual structure.
Van McElwee, 7 min.
A wandering figure traces tunnels through a space of possibilities.
R D Zurick, 23 min.
Superimpositions of long and continuous panoramic shots of works by 50 St. Louis-area artists culminate in a visual wonderland of wings and things. Music by John Consiglio.
Audra Demariano, 4 min.
Conflict and resolution are demonstrated through dance, color, and sound.
Cold Morning Sunrise
Pearce Healey, 4 min.
A young man reflects on lost love.
Leanna Kaiser, 6 min.
A girl awakens to find her surroundings have transformed into a nightmarish maze.
Sarah Worner, 5 min.
Elena shocks her sister when she decides to cut her long hair short.
Christopher Jordan, 9 min.
Inspired by Camus The Plague, the film relates the story of a doctor in a plague-ridden city who keeps the final recordings of a dying population.
Douglas Meloche, 3 min.
An exploration of sound through progressive experiments in motion.
Sea of Doubt
Brett Marren, 4 min.
A house floods and causes various garments to form a sea creature in this surrealistic journey through a relationship.
Andy Lombardo & Stu Modifies, 16 min.
A look at the world of human-body suspension.
SHORTS 6: RELATIONSHIPS
Kate Fox, 12 min.
A young girl finds friendship while working a crappy job as a phone-sex operator.
Elizabeth Wiegard, 11 min.
Todd likes Savannah. Savannah is dating Doug. Doug likes to pick on Todd. What’s a nerd to do? Dress up like Superman!
Tim Reischauser, 16 min.
Allie is having a bad year: She’s laid off, dumped by a boyfriend, and coping with the death of her mother. On a whim, she seeks out a childhood sweetheart who is surprisingly hard to find.
Mike Lemcke, 12 min.
Adam desperately needs a job, and Becca needs a dedicated new employee. Olivia is looking for love, and Charlie opens himself up to the possibility of dating. A classic tale of mistaken identity ensues.
Adam Huber, 7 min.
A young couple becomes entangled in a gunslinging love triangle that will put their relationship to the ultimate test.
Paul Hibbard, 16 min.
Christopher plans a special evening at a nice restaurant to propose to his beautiful girlfriend, but the evening takes a horrible turn when he learns who she really is and what their future will hold.
A Senior Moment
Michelle Davidson, 6 min.
What happens when the latest technology hits a group of retirees’ fingers?
Sides of Me
Will Godar, 10 min.
Two co-workers finally take their relationship outside of the office, wanting nothing more than to show each other the best sides of themselves.
Eric Cloughley, 15 min.
An inspirational story about a young man’s struggle with fate and free will when he gets a second chance at love.
SHORTS 7: COMEDY
The Bird Story
Tim Maupin, 7 min.
A young man finds a fallen bird’s nest and valiantly attempts to save the baby birds with help from a few friends.
Larry Ziegelman, 13 min.
Two female rivals wind up in the same bridal-gown fitting room – one with a bridesmaid’s dress and one with a wedding gown.
Brock Russell, 6 min.
Jimmy finds a new toy.
Messed Up Dance Song
Sean Keough & Richard Radmus, 4 min.
Seven characters, one awesome line dance, and one kick-butt song.
My Dad Lives in a Trunk
Katie McCall, 11 min.
A college student is worried about his girlfriend meeting his eccentric dad.
Evan Mueller, 23 min.
An ambitious white kid who thinks he is Native American and his spaced-out buddy set out to change the nation forever by attempting to reunite the Dakota Territory.
Tyler DePerro, 9 min.
A struggling actor gets inspiration for success from a pair of 3D glasses given to him by his grandfather, who is a retired film actor himself.
Anthony Meadows, 10 min.
A pair of private investigators take on a kidnapping case.
Will Morris, 6 min.
In this tribute to Buster Keaton, a substitute teacher tries to gain control of a few mischievous students.
Richard Taylor, 7 min.
A high-school senior science club is invaded by an escaped killer robot.
Paul von Stoetzel, 7 min.
After the bar closes one night, three men share stories about masturbation.
The Walk Back Down
Shayna Cohen, 5 min.
Father and son have a heated discussion about their dysfunctional relationship after Abraham almost sacrifices Isaac in the name of God.
93 min. (work-in-progress)
In this new thriller by the “Ghost Image” filmmaking team, Mitch (Jason London) leaves his small town to start a new life and begin a tantalizing romance with the beautiful and seductive Amy (Danielle Harris). But he soon finds himself on a nightmarish roller-coaster ride, accused of murder and running from both the law and a mysterious stranger out to kill him. Surviving by his wits, Mitch must find a solution before time runs out. The film also stars Kevin Sorbo of “Hercules.”
Patrick Lawrence, 17 min.
What starts off as a friendly prank among co-workers turns into a high-stakes game.
CLOSING NIGHT AWARDS PARTY
FREE (no ticket required)
At Blueberry Hill’s Duck Room, KDHX-FM DJ Rob Levy will spin music, and Cinema St. Louis will announce the Showcase films chosen for inclusion in the St. Louis International Film Festival. Awards for the best Showcase films will be given by the St. Louis Film Critics. Complimentary Stella Artois and cash bar. Attendees must be 21 or older.