The Showcase kicks off with filmmaking seminars on Saturday, July 7th, from noon to 6:00 p.m. at the Centene Center for Arts & Education. This includes a session devoted to the animated series “Voltron Force” with a new episode and a description of the production process. That afternoon there’s a two-hour special event at the Tivoli focused on the upcoming PBS documentary series Homeland with Ray Suarez. Saturday evening the Contemporary Art Museum hosts a screening of Madness and Genius, a low-budget, black and white feature.
The Tivoli screenings start Sunday, July 8th at noon with a compilation of 20 outstanding, short entries from the Second Annual Cinema at Citygarden competition. Running a bit under an hour, the documentary “Dignity Harbor” follows. In it, director Mike Gualdoni spends time with residents of this homeless encampment south of downtown St. Louis, letting them tell their stories. It’s eye opening and sobering.
Of other films available for preview, two feature films—one fiction and one documentary—stand out. Writer/director Chip Gubera’s Joplin, Missouri: A Tornado Story brings together the fascinating history of Joplin, the science of tornadoes, and, primarily, the devastating impact of the May 22, 2011, EF5 tornado that left 160 people dead and billions of dollars in destruction. Jeremy Cropf’s drama Casualties of the State overlays topical security issues with multiple murders. FBI agents, a former U.S. Vice-President, an analyst and others become enmeshed in a mystery leading to some murky, high-level areas and impacting personal and professional lives.
The Showcase boasts a wealth of local talent. Many of these events include a post-screening Q&A with filmmakers and there is no charge for the seminars plus a couple other events. For more complete information about the schedule and tickets, you may visit CinemaStLouis.org to get all the necessary details.