The Whitaker St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase, an annual presentation of the nonprofit Cinema St. Louis (CSL), serves as the area’s primary venue for films made by local artists. The Showcase screens works that were shot in the St. Louis region or were written, directed, or produced by St. Louis-area residents or by filmmakers with strong local ties who are now working elsewhere. 

Because of the continuing Covid-19 health crisis, the Showcase will again be presented virtually in 2021. CSL will once more partner with Eventive on the virtual festival. Films will be available to view on demand anytime from July 16-25. There are no geographic limits on access. Once a ticket-holder begins watching a program, access remains available for 48 hours. 

The Showcase’s 15 film programs range from narrative and documentary features to multi-film compilations of fiction and documentary shorts. Feature programs will include recorded Q&As with filmmakers, which will also be available on CSL’s YouTube channel. In addition to the film programs, this year’s event will feature four free master classes focused on key aspects of filmmaking. These will be offered as livestreams at specific times/dates during the Showcase. 

The July 25 closing-night awards presentation will be either an in-person outdoor party or a livestream. Visit the CSL website for updated info. Announced during the event will be nearly two dozen Showcase jury awards — including a $500 prize to the Best Showcase Film. Cinema St. Louis staff will also announce the films that will move on to the 30th annual Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival in November.

The 102 films and four master classes in this year’s Showcase will be available to be seen worldwide and include the following:

  • Animated and Experimental Shorts: More than two dozen animated and experimental works will be presented in two colorful shorts programs. 
  • The Balancing Act: Circus Harmony’s Jessica Henthoff directed this charming peek behind the curtains at how current and former performers coped during the pandemic.
  • Doc Shorts: Two illuminating and thoughtful documentary-short programs feature a wide range of stories and subjects.
  • The Final 19: Director Tim Breitbach tells the astonishing true story of Sgt. Dan Hefel, one of the final 19 prisoners of war to come home from Vietnam. 
  • House of Thunder: Paul Schankman produced this fascinating documentary about a pivotal but little-known Revolutionary War battle.
  • Indians, Outlaws, Marshals and the Hangin’ Judge: Director Larry Foley uses a first-person re-creation of an account written by St. Louis Republic reporter Ada Patterson to tell the story of infamous “hangin’ judge” Isaac Parker.
  • Interrobang: This sexy, “adults only” comedy anthology was directed by former St. Louisan Paige Feldman, who was an intern for the St. Louis Film Office when it produced the very first St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase in 2000.
  • Master Classes: A series of four free master classes — featuring filmmakers and industry professionals — focused on key aspects of filmmaking: Special and Visual Effects (July 17), Cinematography (July 18), Sound (July 24), and Historical Documentary (July 25).
  • Narrative Shorts: Five eclectic narrative-short programs include comedies, dramas, horror films, and thrillers.
  • Once a Hero: Showcase alum Tim Reischauer directed this poignant drama about a veteran haunted by his PTSD. 

The Whitaker Foundation again serves as the Showcase’s title sponsor. The foundation’s twofold mission is to encourage the preservation and use of parks and to enrich lives through the arts. The Chellappa-Vedavalli Foundation is underwriting both the Showcase’s master classes and the $500 prize for the Best Showcase Film.

The event’s other sponsors include the Arts & Education Council, Grizzell & Co., Joni Tackette Casting, Missouri Arts Council, Missouri Film Office, Regional Arts Commission, and St. Louis Public Radio.

Instagram@stlfilmshowcase Twitter: @stlfilmshowcase Facebook@STLFilmmakersShowcase

For more information, visit cinemastlouis.org


21st Annual Whitaker St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase

Dates: July 16-25, 2021

Tickets: Individual tickets are $14 for general admission, $12 for Cinema St. Louis members and students with valid and current photo IDs

Passes: 5-film passes are available for $60, $50 for CSL members; all-access passes are available for $135, $105 for CSL members

Ticket and Pass Purchase: cinemastlouis.org/st-louis-filmmakers-showcase

The Whitaker St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase, an annual presentation of the nonprofit Cinema St. Louis (CSL), serves as the area’s primary venue for films made by local artists. The Showcase screens works that were shot in the St. Louis region or were written, directed, or produced by St. Louis-area residents or by filmmakers with strong local ties who are now working elsewhere. 

Because of the continuing Covid-19 health crisis, the Showcase will again be presented virtually in 2021. CSL will once more partner with Eventive on the virtual festival. Filmswill be available to view on demand anytime from July 16-25. There are no geographic limits on access. Once a ticket-holder begins watching a program, access remains available for 48 hours. 

The Showcase’s 15 film programs range from narrative and documentary features to multi-film compilations of fiction and documentary shorts. Feature programs will include recorded Q&As with filmmakers, which will also be available on CSL’s YouTube channel. In addition to the film programs, this year’s event will feature four free master classes focused on key aspects of filmmaking. These will be offered as livestreams at specific times/dates during the Showcase. 

The July 25 closing-night awards presentation will be either an in-person outdoor party or a livestream. Visit the CSL website for updated info. Announced during the event will be nearly two dozen Showcase jury awards — including a $500 prize to the Best Showcase Film. Cinema St. Louis staff will also announce the films that will move on to the 30th annual Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival in November.

The 102 films and four master classes in this year’s Showcase will be available to be seen worldwide and include the following:

  • Animated and Experimental Shorts: More than two dozen animated and experimental works will be presented in two colorful shorts programs. 
  • The Balancing Act: Circus Harmony’s Jessica Henthoff directed this charming peek behind the curtains at how current and former performers coped during the pandemic.
  • Doc Shorts: Two illuminating and thoughtful documentary-short programs feature a wide range of stories and subjects.
  • The Final 19: Director Tim Breitbach tells the astonishing true story of Sgt. Dan Hefel, one of the final 19 prisoners of war to come home from Vietnam. 
  • House of Thunder: Paul Schankman produced this fascinating documentary about a pivotal but little-known Revolutionary War battle.
  • Indians, Outlaws, Marshals and the Hangin’ Judge: Director Larry Foley uses a first-person re-creation of an account written by St. Louis Republic reporter Ada Patterson to tell the story of infamous “hangin’ judge” Isaac Parker.
  • Interrobang: This sexy, “adults only” comedy anthology was directed by former St. Louisan Paige Feldman, who was an intern for the St. Louis Film Office when it produced the very first St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase in 2000.
  • Master Classes: A series of four free master classes — featuring filmmakers and industry professionals — focused on key aspects of filmmaking: Special and Visual Effects (July 17), Cinematography (July 18), Sound (July 24), and Historical Documentary (July 25).
  • Narrative Shorts: Five eclectic narrative-short programs include comedies, dramas, horror films, and thrillers.
  • Once a Hero: Showcase alum Tim Reischauer directed this poignant drama about a veteran haunted by his PTSD. 

The Whitaker Foundation again serves as the Showcase’s title sponsor. The foundation’s twofold mission is to encourage the preservation and use of parks and to enrich lives through the arts. The Chellappa-Vedavalli Foundation is underwriting both the Showcase’s master classes and the $500 prize for the Best Showcase Film.

The event’s other sponsors include the Arts & Education Council, Grizzell & Co., Joni Tackette Casting, Missouri Arts Council, Missouri Film Office, Regional Arts Commission, and St. Louis Public Radio.

Instagram@stlfilmshowcase Twitter: @stlfilmshowcase Facebook@STLFilmmakersShowcase

For more information, the public should visit cinemastlouis.org

Photo from short “Postcards” by Ashley Seering

In their first collaboration, That Uppity Theatre Company and Alight Theater Guild will co-produce NYC Queer Playback Theater with “Pride in Progress” on Sunday, June 13, at 7 p.m. CDT/8 p.m. EDT in a virtual interactive playback performance to honor Pride. This event is open to all ages and orientations and will run approximately 90 minutes, and is sponsored by St Louis Pride, St Louis Black Pride, #Boom Magazine and the Missouri Arts Council.

During the performance the audience will be invited to tell stories from their lives, then the story will be “played back” with facilitation, improvisational forms, and music by an ensemble, all around the theme of “Pride in Progress.” As we reflect on Pride in the midst of a pandemic and a racial reckoning, “Pride in Progress” hopes to ask what we are proud of individually and collectively, and what
progress is left to be gained?
 
“I am thrilled to be partnering with NYC Queer Playback to share their stories and that of our communities in a live event. Although we may miss gathering in more traditional physical spaces, virtual events like this provide more access for both artists and
audiences,“ said Joan Lipkin, the producing artistic director of That Uppity Theatre Company and Playback Now! St Louis. “NYC Queer Playback is one of the only LGBTQ+ specific playback companies in the US, and ideally suited to help explore our theme of Pride in Progress.”

NYC Queer Playback Theater aims to forge connection in the LGBTQ+ communities, whether participants identify within the community or as an ally, by creating a safe and diverse space for personal growth through Playback. Co-founder Jamie Roach said he
is excited to collaborate. 

“The LGBTQ+ community is hugely diverse, which is one of its biggest assets,” he said. “Playback allows its participants to reach across differences of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, race, age, country of origin, language, and ability/disability by providing a rare and rich chance to be vulnerable with each other’s stories while learning the true feelings and experiences of this dynamic community. As the many perspectives and identities are better understood, the ever-evolving Queer community is strengthened.”

For tickets, please register at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/nyc-queer-playback-theaters-pride-in-progress-june-13-at-8pm-edt-registration-156443162711, and an event zoom link will be sent out on the day of the performance.

Tickets are priced at $12, with a pay-what-you-like option, including a free ticket choice. We invite all people, those from the LGBTQ+ community and allies, to reflect on our lives within our community, our nation and globally in the space that we are creating to
encourage openness, acceptance, respect, and equality regardless of one’s gender identity, sexual orientation, body size, ability, or status. Personal sharing is encouraged and entirely voluntary. Feel free to tell a story or to enjoy the stories of others.

About Playback
Practiced in over 60 countries, Playback Theatre is an original form of improvisational theater developed by Jonathan Fox and Jo Salas in which audience or group members tell stories from their lives and watch them enacted on the spot. Used in a variety of settings, Playback Theater provides highly enjoyable theater and promotes dialogue between different voices as audience members have the opportunity to speak and see their stories embodied on the stage. We discover who we are by telling our stories and,
as others bear witness and tell their own stories in response, a deep and empathy- building conversation is created through the collective stories brought to the stage.

About Playback Now! St Louis
Founded and directed by Joan Lipkin, Playback Now! St. Louis creates work based on the highly developed improvisational principles established by Jonathan Fox and Jo Salas that are practiced in over 60 countries to assist in individual storytelling for collective well-being.

The ensemble has performed at the Missouri History Museum, Monsanto, Webster University, Grand Center, the Monocle, Boeing, Edward Jones, St Louis Zoo, Missouri Botanical Garden, the Theater Communications Group Conference, the Grand Center Theatre Crawl and more as well as private settings.

About NYC Queer Playback
Founded in 2016, NYC Queer Playback Theater serves the LGBTQ+ community through open, monthly rehearsals, and since 2020, as a performing, Core Ensemble. Founded by Rick Sanford and Jamie Roach, under the mentorship of Mountaine Jonas,
NYC QPT values creating a safe and brave space for belonging and sharing stories about the layers and intersections within the Queer community. They’ve performed in NYC with SAGE (LGBTQ+ Elders) and in collaboration with Village Playback Theater, and have now found a strong connection through virtual programming. They are excited and grateful to collaborate with Playback Now! St. Louis.

Joan Lipkin

About Joan Lipkin


  1. She was commissioned by Luna Stage to write a piece about getting vaccinated. This is available online at https://www.lunastage.org/vaccine.
  1.  She is dramaturging and writing the script for “Environmental Injustice”, a dance concert by Ashleyliane Dance Company that will also feature the story of Hazel Johnson, the mother of environmental justice. Joan has written the text about Hazel Johnson. This is a  hybrid performance event with two optional parts:  Program A on Saturday, June 5 is taped and virtual. Program B on Sunday, June 6 is a live event at the Grandel Theatre in Grand Center with different material and also includes the piece about Hazel Johnson.
  1. 3. She is contributing to the script for A Call 2 Conscience’s “Celebration of Survival” featuring the real-life stories of St Louisans around COVID and the pandemic that is scheduled for live presentation Aug. 28-29.

ERA’s album will premiere at the Album Release and Listening Party at Off Broadway on
June 3, 2021 at 8 p.m.
Equally Represented Arts (ERA) presents “SHE”
ALBUM RELEASE & LISTENING PARTY INFORMATION
Thursday, June 3, 2021
Doors open at 7 p.m.
Radio play begins at 8 p.m.
at Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Ave, St. Louis, MO 63118

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door or in advance at offbroadwaystl.com
Off Broadway will have capacity limits and employ safety precautions as outlined on their
website and social media channels.

DIGITAL ALBUM PURCHASE INFORMATION
SHE will be released as an album for digital purchase via bandcamp at eratheatre.bandcamp.com.
Album price will be $10.

ABOUT SHE
SHE controls the radio station of the fascist regime in power. SHE’s also the star of the
broadcast. Her recording studio abounds with music and oysters. But in the nearby government
camps full of misfits and would-be revolutionaries, only torture and starvation is thick on the
ground.
Tonight, however, SHE’s realm feels different. The bombs sound closer. Time moves faster. But
SHE will finish her radio show, and it will be her finest. If executing every number in the
broadcast means some people need to die, so be it; it is a small sacrifice. The citizens need her
and she will not let them down.

COLLABORATORS
Written by Nancy Bell. Music composed by Joe Taylor. Lyrics by Nancy Bell.
Director: Lucy Cashion
Stage Manager: Miranda Jagels Félix
Assistant Stage Manager & Intern: Spencer Lawton
Production Managers: Will Bonfiglio, Lucy Cashion, & Joe Taylor
Artwork: Martin Brief
Marketing: Keating
Pre-Mixing: Joe Taylor
Mixing & Mastering: David Beeman
with
Nancy Bell………………SHE
Will Bonfiglio……………Nils (the brother)
Gabe Taylor…………….Fritz (the production manager)
Alicen Moser……………GIRL (the wandering spirit of SHE as a child)
Mitch Eagles…………….Michel (the loyal one)
Joe Taylor……………….George (the music director)
Anthony Kramer………..Max (the back-up vocalist) & P.A. Voice
Additional Vocals: Taylor Tveten
Piano: Audrey Morris & Joe Taylor
Bass: Andy Hainz
Percussion: Dustin Sholtes
Saxophone & Clarinet: Matt McKeever
Violin & Guitar: Kevin Buckley
Trumpet: Ryan Torpea
Accordion: Jessica Adkins
Foley: Lucy Cashion & Joe Taylor

Recorded by Joe Taylor at Kid Scientist Studios & David Beeman at Native Sound Recording on
Cherokee Street, St. Louis, USA

With public support from the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.

About ERA
Equally Represented Arts (ERA) is an experimental theatre company based in St. Louis,
Missouri.
Theatre is a collaborative, multi-disciplinary, live art form. ERA’s mission is to use the elements
unique to theatre’s identity to expand the possibilities for what that art form can be and challenge
our community’s expectations for meaning in theatre, art, and the world. We root ourselves in the
belief that all theatre’s components are equal and that innovation stems from experimentation.
We are an ensemble company. We make our work collectively and consider all artists involved in
a project equally essential to that project. We believe that actors are creative artists. Our process
for each production is unique to that production.
For more information, please visit eratheatre.org

Stay home and still get your Q on!

The 14th Annual QFest St. Louis — presented by Cinema St. Louis (CSL) — will take place from April 16-25. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, CSL will offer all programs virtually, protecting the health of patrons. Programs can be streamed at any time during the festival’s dates. Recorded introductions and Q&As will be available for most film programs.

The St. Louis-based LGBTQ film festival, QFest will present an eclectic array of 24 films (14 shorts, six narrative features, and four documentary features). The participating filmmakers represent a wide variety of voices in contemporary queer world cinema. The mission of the film festival is to use the art of contemporary gay cinema to spotlight the lives of LGBTQ people and to celebrate queer culture.

The fest is especially pleased to host the St. Louis premiere of new works by internationally acclaimed filmmakers Agnieszka Holland (“Charlatan”) and François Ozon (“Summer of 85”). Another QFest highlight is this year’s Q Classic, the 50th anniversary of the trippy, experimental 1971 film “Pink Narcissus.”

Thanks to several generous sponsors, CSL is able to make the festival more accessible to all by offering both shorts programs free for the duration of the event.

For the full schedule of screenings, including trailers and descriptions of the films, visit the festival website at www.cinemastlouis.org/qfest. Advance digital screeners of the features and some of the shorts are available for press review on request. Please inquire with QFest St. Louis artistic director Chris Clark.

The 2021QFest St. Louis begins on Friday, April 16, and runs through Sunday, April 25. Tickets go on sale March 24. Tickets are $14 general, $10 for Cinema St. Louis members and students with valid and current IDs. Passes are also available: Five-Film Passes are $60, and All-Access Passes are $115. All screenings will be held virtually for residents of Missouri and Illinois via Eventive, CSL’s online presentation partner. Direct ticket links are available on the QFest website.

QFest St. Louis is sponsored by AARP Missouri, Arts & Education Council, CheapTRX, Grizzell & Co., Missouri Arts Council, Bob Pohrer & Donnie Engle, Crafted., Just John Nightclub, Matt Kerns, Regional Arts Commission, Deb Salls, St. Louis Public Radio, Cindy Walker, and Webster U. Film Series.

Social media: Facebook: @QFestSTL | Twitter: @QFestSTL | Instagram: @QFestSTL

“Charlatan”

FEATURES

THE CARNIVORES director Caleb Michael Johnson

U.S / 2020 / 77 minutes

Trailer: https://vimeo.com/388481118

One of the oddest and darkest films screened at QFest to date, “The Carnivores” features a young lesbian couple, Alice and Bret, whose dog, Harvie, is slowly dying. The vet bills are adding up fast, Alice is quietly panicking, and high-strung Bret dotes on the dog and ignores the reality of the situation. When poor, innocent Harvie goes missing, the fragile status quo is finally shattered, and both women go off the deep end in their own way. What had been a bright and happy little family unit is undone by self-doubt, suspicion, and a disturbing amount of ground beef. The Hollywood Reporter writes: “(Director) Caleb Michael Johnson employs a dreamlike, David Lynchian aesthetic to the proceedings throughout the film. If you are a fan of abstract, surreal storytelling supported by strong central performances and a fascinating relationship dynamic, then ‘The Carnivores’ has more than enough meat for you to chew.”

KEYBOARD FANTASIES director Posy Dixon

U.S / 2019 / 63 minutes

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xLkZirOa4k

As a sci-fi-obsessed woman living in near isolation, Beverly Glenn-Copeland wrote and self-released the album “Keyboard Fantasies” in Huntsville, Ontario, in 1986. Recorded in an Atari-powered home studio, the cassette featured seven tracks of a curious folk-electronica hybrid, a sound realized far before its time. Three decades on, the musician — now Glenn Copeland — began to receive emails from people across the world, thanking him for the music they’d recently discovered. Courtesy of a rare-record collector in Japan, a reissue of “Keyboard Fantasies,” with support by such electronic musicians as Four Tet and Caribou, had finally found its audience two generations down the line. “Keyboard Fantasies: The Beverly Glenn-Copeland Story” tells an intimate coming-of-age story that transmutes the pain and suffering of prejudice into rhythm, hope, and joy. Half audiovisual history and half DIY tour video, the film provides a vehicle for this newly appointed queer elder to connect with youth across the globe and serves as a timely lullaby to soothe those souls struggling to make sense of the world.

PS BURN THIS LETTER PLEASE Directors: Michael Seligman & Jennifer Tiexiera

U.S / 2020 / 101 minutes

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqGRrAjYgq4

A box of letters, held in secret for nearly 60 years, ignites a five-year exploration into a part of LGBTQ history that has never been told. The letters, written in the 1950s by a group of New York City drag queens, open a window into a forgotten world where being yourself meant breaking the law and where the penalties for “masquerading” as a woman were swift and severe. Using original interviews, never-before-seen archival footage and photographs, and stylized re-creations, “P.S. Burn This Letter Please” reconstructs this pre-Stonewall era as former drag queens now in their 80s and 90s — including James Bidgood, director of this year’s Q Classic, “Pink Narcissus” — reveal how they survived and somehow flourished at a time when drag queens were both revered and reviled, even within the gay community. The government sought to destroy them and history tried to erase them, but now they get to tell their story for the first time.

TAHARA, director Olivia Peace and writer Jess Zeidman

U.S / 2020 / 78 minutes

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mk_cB8HgDU0

In this queer coming-of-age dramedy, two girlfriends attend a “Teen Talk-back” after the funeral service of their former Hebrew-school classmate. Although the session is designed to help them understand grief through faith, it instead leads to other discoveries, with surprising sparks igniting when one of the girls is manipulated into a romantic encounter with her best friend. The Queer Review writes: “Filmed on location at the Rochester synagogue where (screenwriter Jess) Zeidman attended Hebrew school, there’s a claustrophobic authenticity to the film’s setting. Much of the success of ‘Tahara’ relies on her well-crafted, layered screenplay and the two rich, subtle lead performances by (Madeline Grey) DeFreece and (Rachel) Sennott (also wonderful in ‘Shiva Baby’) keeping things compelling and intriguing. Refreshingly it’s a teen film that doesn’t look down on or objectify its characters, examining our shared human foibles with humor and poignancy.”

SHORT FILM

Eleven Weeks – director Anna Kuperberg (Wash U grad)

U.S / 15 MINS / 2020

Faced with a fast and aggressive cancer, Carla Jean Johnson accepts her diagnosis with clarity and grace, as photographer Anna Kuperberg, her longtime wife, documents their final days and weeks together.

“Pink Narcissus” celebrates 50th anniversary

The Whitaker St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase, an annual presentation of the nonprofit Cinema St. Louis (CSL), serves as the area’s primary venue for films made by local artists. The Showcase screens works that were shot in the St. Louis region or were written, directed, or produced by St. Louis-area residents or by filmmakers with strong local ties who are now working elsewhere. 

Because of the Covid-19 health crisis, the Showcase will be presented virtually in 2020. CSL is partnering with Eventive, which also handles our ticketing, to present the Virtual Festival. Films will be available to view on demand anytime from July 10-19. There are no geographic limits on accessing the programs. Once a ticket-holder begins watching a program, access remains available for 48 hours. 

The Showcase’s 15 film programs range from full-length fiction features and documentaries to multi-film compilations of fiction and documentary shorts. Most programs will feature recorded Q&As with filmmakers, which will also be available on CSL’s YouTube channel.

In addition to the film programs, which will be available for streaming anytime during the July 10-19 run of the Showcase, this year’s event features a series of free master classes focused on key aspects of making and marketing an independent narrative feature. These will be offered as live streams at specific times/dates during the Showcase, but recordings of the presentations will also be archived and available on the CSL YouTube channel. A free live stream on the evening of July 19 will present the Showcase jury awards — including a $500 prize to the Best Showcase Film — and announce the films that will move on to the Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival in November.

This year’s Showcase includes the following:

  • America’s Last Little Italy: The Hill: A documentary feature by Joseph Puleo that explores the deep historic roots of the Hill, St. Louis’ iconic Italian neighborhood.
  • The Ballad of John Henry: A documentary feature by Matthew Rice that analyzes how an ex-slave became one of America’s greatest tall-tale heroes: John Henry. 
  • College Bound: A documentary feature by Jenna Gandolfo that chronicles a diverse group of Ritenour High School students as they overcome an array of obstacles to be accepted into some of the top universities in the country. 
  • Doc Shorts Programs: The first of the two programs focuses on food, wine, and nature, and the second is anchored by Post-Dispatch columnist Aisha Sultan’s “33 and Counting,” a true-crime story about a 70-year-old grandmother serving a life sentence for a murder she says her rapist committed. 
  • Easy-Bake: A narrative feature by writer-director-star Zoë Kennison — a Webster U. grad — in which a 22-year-old college student is informed by her doctor that she is on an unexpected biological clock: Because of a medical issue, she has only one year to conceive a child. 
  • Master Classes: A series of four free master classes — featuring filmmakers and industry professionals — focused on key aspects of making an independent narrative feature: Finding Financing (July 11), Developing a Budget (July 12), Casting (July 18), and Securing Distribution (July 19).
  • My Ireland: A documentary feature by Anthony Monaghan, a working-class immigrant now living in St. Louis, that takes a hard look at the rampant emigration, mass evictions, and homeless crisis that plague his homeland of Ireland today.
  • Narrative Shorts Programs: The 56 films in the six programs include comedies, dramas, thrillers, and experimental works.
  • Resolution: A narrative feature by former St. Louisan Jacob T. Martin in which a tight-knit group of friends gathered for a New Year’s Eve party have their night of celebration descend into chaos when the host couple breaks up.
  • Wake Up: A documentary feature by Nate Townsend that weaves together stories from four different frontlines of suicide prevention across the country. The film premiered at We Are One: A Global Film Festival.

The Whitaker Foundation again serves as the Showcase’s title sponsor. The foundation’s twofold mission is to encourage the preservation and use of parks and to enrich lives through the arts. The Chellappa-Vedavalli Foundation is underwriting both the Showcase’s master classes and the $500 prize for the Best Showcase Film.

The event’s other sponsors include the Arts & Education Council, Grizzell & Co., Missouri Arts Council, Missouri Film Office, Regional Arts Commission, St. Louis Public Radio, and Washington University Film & Media Studies.

Instagram@stlfilmshowcase Twitter: @stlfilmshowcase Facebook@STLFilmmakersShowcase

For more information, the public should visit cinemastlouis.org

Stay home and still get your Q on!

To help celebrate Pride Month, the 13th Annual QFest St. Louis — presented by Cinema St. Louis (CSL) — will take place from June 19-28. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, CSL will offer all programs virtually, protecting the health of patrons. Programs can be streamed at any time during the festival’s dates. Recorded and live introductions and Q&As will be available for most film programs.

The St. Louis-based LGBTQ film festival, QFest will present a record number of 40 films (28 shorts, six narrative features, and six documentary features). The participating filmmakers represent a wide variety of voices in contemporary queer world cinema. The mission of the film festival is to use the art of contemporary gay cinema to spotlight the lives of LGBTQ people and to celebrate queer culture.

The fest is especially pleased to host the St. Louis premiere of the new bio-doc “The Capote Tapes,” about renowned novelist, playwright, and social butterfly Truman Capote (“In Cold Blood,” Breakfast at Tiffany’s”). Among the other QFest highlights is this year’s Q Classic, the 20th anniversary of Del Shore’s “Sordid Lives,” which first screened locally at the 2000 St. Louis International Film Festival.

Two films were directed by alums of QFest. Cindy Abel (“Breaking Through”) returns with the doc feature “Surviving the Silence,” about two closeted military women who were involved in the ultimate dismissal of Army Col. Margarethe Cammermeyer for admitting she was a lesbian. Two-time alum Wendy Jo Carlton (“Hannah Free,” “Jamie and Jessie Are Not Together”) directed the romantic dramedy “Good Kisser” and produced the narrative short that precedes it, “Carol Support Group.”

Several films this year have strong local connections, including a trio of projects featuring former St. Louisans: writer/co-star Gretchen Wylder’s hilarious new YouTube web series, “These Thems”; writer/co-star Kevin Spirtas’ award-winning and moving dramatic web series, “After Forever”; and the dramatic short “Bill & Robert,” which stars Brandon Smith.

Thanks to several generous sponsors, CSL is able to make the festival more accessible to all by offering five shows that will be free and open to the public for the duration of the event: all four shorts programs and the web series “These Thems.”

These Thems

For the full schedule of screenings and events, including trailers and descriptions of the films, visit the festival website at www.cinemastlouis.org/qfest.

The 2020QFest St. Louis begins on Friday, June 19, and runs through Sunday, June 28. Tickets go on sale June 1. Tickets are $10 each or $8 for Cinema St. Louis members, students with valid and current IDs, and ARTS Card holders. An all-access festival pass is available for $75. All screenings will be held virtually for residents of Missouri and Illinois via Eventive, CSL’s ticketing and online presentation partner. Direct ticket links are available on the QFest website.

QFest St. Louis is sponsored by AARP in St. Louis, Arts & Education Council, CheapTRX, Grizzell & Co., Missouri Arts Council, Panera Bread, Bob Pohrer & Donnie Engle, Regional Arts Commission, Deb Salls, St. Louis Public Radio, Cindy Walker, and Webster U. Film Series.

The festival is underwritten in part through a grant from the Creative Impact Fund for Diversifying the Arts, a partnership between the Arts & Education Council and local community leaders.

Social media:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/QFestSTL

Twitter: @QFestSTL

Instagram: @QFestSTL