The 10th Annual St. Louis International Film Festival (SLIFF) is held Nov. 8-18 at the Tivoli and Hi-Pointe theaters and Webster University’s Winifred Moore Auditorium. The fest’s 88 programs include 35 international films (with particular emphases on movies from Asia and Eastern Europe), 20 documentaries, and 56 shorts. Excepting about a dozen retrospective programs, all of the films are St. Louis premieres, including the world premieres of the documentary “Marlene Dietrich: Her Own Song” and two movies by local filmmakers, Bill Boll’s “April Is My Religion” and Art Holliday’s “Before They Fall Off the Cliff.”
High-profile films at this year’s festival include Harry Shearer’s Teddy Bears’ Picnic (with the director in attendance on Nov. 16), Roger Weisberg’s The Main Stream: A Mississippi Journey in Search of Twain’s World with Roy Blount Jr. (with nationally renowned humorist Blount in attendance), Peter Bogdanovich’s The Cat’s Meow, Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Cure, Sandi Simcha Dubowski’s Trembling Before G-d, Arliss Howard’s Big Bad Love, Richard Linklater’s Tape, Ken Burns’ two-part Mark Twain, George Butler’s The Endurance, Guillermo del Toro’s The Devil’s Backbone, Catherine Breillat’s Fat Girl, Spike Lee’s A Huey P. Newton Story, Jean-Jacques Beineix’s Mortal Transfer, Ray Lawrence’s Lantana, Hans Petter Moland’s Aberdeen, Bahman Farmanara’s Smell of Camphor, Fragrance of Jasmine, Patrick Stettner’s The Business of Strangers, and Tony Gatlif’s Vengo.
Another major feature of this year’s festival, held in honor of SLIFF’s 10th anniversary, is the Whitaker Foundation Celebration of Cinema in St. Louis, a stream of programming featuring films set and shot here and movies by actors, writers, directors, and producers with strong St. Louis ties. An array of guests will attend screenings of their films, including writer/director Bob Gale (I Wanna Hold Your Hand), directors Ken Kwapis and Marisa Silver and writer Brian Hohlfeld (He Said, She Said), director Hope Wurdack (The Road to Broadway), writer/actor James Gunn (The Specials), and producers Ron Yerxa (King of the Hill), Michael Beugg (The Low Life), Buzz Hirsch (Silkwood), and Lloyd Silverman (Solid Ones). The sidebar also features fresh work by current and former St. Louisans (April Is My Religion, Before They Fall Off the Cliff, Tom and Francie, Modern Tribalism, “Dragonflies, the Baby Cries,” “America’s Favorite Pastime”), a documentary on a former St. Louisan (The Uncertainty Principle), tributes to native son Vincent Price (Theatre of Blood) and daughter Shelley Winters (A Place in the Sun), a sampler of shorts from the St. Louis Film Office’s Filmmakers Showcase, and a program of Buster Keaton silents with live accompaniment by former St. Louisan Tom McDermott, a New Orleans-based jazz and ragtime piano player.
Other SLIFF sidebars include the Mark Twain Sidebar (which features a free panel on Twain with prominent authors and scholars Roy Blount Jr., Harold Bush, David Carkeet, and Wayne Fields, moderated by Bob Costas), the Landmark Theatres International Film Sidebar, the Sundance Channel Asian Focus, the Bravo/IFC Eastern European Focus, the Leon and Mary Strauss Documentary Sidebar, the Interfaith Sidebar, the African-American Sidebar, and the Short Film Sidebar. The STARZ! Super Pak New Filmmakers Forum (NFF), an annual highlight of the fest, includes five movies from first-time filmmakers, a coffee with the directors, and informative seminars on digital filmmaking, writing, and producing.
Get more info by calling 314-367-FEST or visit the official St. Louis International Film Festival web site.
Check out FILMTHREAT.com’s FILM FESTIVAL ARCHIVES for more fest news!