29th Annual Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival announces award winners and attendance

By: Cinema St. Louis
ST. LOUIS - Nov. 23, 2020 - PRLog -- The 29th Annual Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival (SLIFF) was held virtually from Nov. 5-22. The fest had a total estimated viewership of 26,100, including 10,400 St. Louis-area students who participated in our free Cinema for Students program. A note on methodology: Because most programs were watched at home by more than a single person, public viewership was estimated by multiplying the number of total programs streamed (8,942) by 1.75.

Because of the virtual nature of this year's fest, viewers from outside the St. Louis area also participated in many programs, with 45 states and 32 countries represented.

SLIFF screened 374 films in 149 virtual screenings: 64 narrative features, 49 documentary features, 153 narrative shorts, and 108 documentary shorts. There were an additional three film programs exclusive to Cinema for Students. The fest also featured nine livestreamed special events, including six master classes and a New Filmmakers Forum roundtable. A total of 56 programs were offered for free. This year's festival featured films from 64 countries in 46 languages.

The festival kicked off with a free opening-night special event featuring the documentary short "8:46" — which records a powerful performance by comedian Dave Chappelle in response to the killing of George Floyd — and a livestreamed conversation with Chappelle and the film's Oscar-winning directors, Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert.

SLIFF (https://cinemastlouis.org/sliff/festival-home) concluded with the livestreamed closing-night awards presentation on the evening of Nov. 22. The following juried-competition and audience-choice awards were presented:

Shorts Awards
• Best Documentary Short: Colette
• Best Short Short: R.A.S.
• Best International Short: The Cut
• Best Animated Short: To the Dusty Sea
• Best Live Action Short: Black Goat
• Best of Fest Short: Josiah

Interfaith Awards
• Best Documentary Feature: A Place to Breathe
• Best Narrative Feature: I Am You

St. Louis Film Critics Association Joe Pollack and Joe Williams Awards
• Best Documentary Feature: 9to5: The Story of a Movement
• Best Narrative Feature: Beasts Clawing at Straws

Essy Awards for Best St. Louis Films
• Best Documentary Short: I Want to Make a Film About Women
• Best Narrative Short: Augustus
• Best Documentary Feature: Zappa
• Best Narrative Feature: Test Pattern

New Filmmakers Forum Emerging Director Award (The Bobbie)
• Small Time

Spotlight on Inspiration Documentary Award
• The Road Up

Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality Documentary Award
• Transhood

Best of Fest Audience Choice Awards
• Best Documentary Short: Always Coming Back
• Best Narrative Short: The Mirror
• Leon Award for Best Documentary Feature: God Save the Wings
• TV5MONDE Award for Best International Feature: Beasts Clawing at Straws
• Best Narrative Feature: Asia

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