The 94 films presented in the Showcase run from a minute to feature length. Selections include animation and avant-garde, documentaries and fictional narratives. Short works of varying length but similar genres are organized into multi-film compilations; for example, separate programs present comedies; thrillers and science-fiction works; animated, experimental, and music videos; dramas (three programs of those); documentary shorts, and more. The opportunity to participate in post-screening discussions with the filmmakers enriches festival experiences, and many Q&A sessions will follow Showcase programs.
Of the films I previewed, several documentaries distinguish themselves. "Elegy to Connie" uses stop-motion animation, primarily cut outs, to chronicle the February 2008 Kirkwood shooting death of Councilwoman Connie Karr, one of five victims at the time. Imaginative and poignant, "Elegy to Connie" moves quickly, filling in the content and context with insightful analysis. The History Museum's "A Portrait of St. Louis at 250 Years" travels through numerous events and landmarks, often in time lapse, to capture contemporary St. Louis highlights. "Do Not Duplicate" models what a profile piece can do in a compelling half hour devoted to a New York locksmith. "A Short Life" presents a heart-breaking profile of four heroin addicts who died from their addiction. These few note the range of films on offer, but there's so much more. It's heartening to see such impressive St. Louis filmmaking talent.
At the Thursday, July 17th closing night awards party, 8 p.m. to midnight at Blueberry Hill's Duck Room, Cinema St. Louis will bestow juried awards for the best films in several categories. Cinema St. Louis will also announce those outstanding works moving on to the St. Louis International Film Festival in November. For more information, you may call at 314-289-4152 or, for the full schedule, go to the Cinema St. Louis website.