- Nov. 15, 2022
-- The 31st Annual Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival (SLIFF) was held both in person and online from Nov. 3-13, 2022. The fest had a total estimated viewership of 18,923, including 11,627 St. Louis-area students who participated in our free Cinema for Students program. There were 5,745 in-person attendees and 1,551 online viewers. A note on methodology:
Because most virtual programs were watched at home by more than a single person, online viewership was estimated by multiplying the number of total programs purchased (886) by 1.75.
SLIFF screened 256 films: 50 documentary features, 55 narrative features, 58 documentary shorts, and 88 narrative shorts. There were an additional 15 film programs exclusive to Cinema for Students. The fest also featured seven special events: three master classes, a tribute to CSL's former executive director, Cliff Froehlich, two filmmaker receptions, and the closing-night awards presentation.
A total of 32 programs were offered for free and 40 virtual programs were offered at a discounted price of $5. In addition, all in-person screenings of the 21 shorts programs were offered for only $5.
This year's festival featured films from 42 countries in 35 languages, with films representing 6 continents.Shorts Awards
St. Louis Film Critics Association Joe Pollack and Joe Williams Awards
- Best of Fest: "Ice Merchants," directed by João Gonzalez
- Best Animated Short: "Rosemary A.D. (After Dad)," directed by Ethan Barrett
- Best Documentary Short: "Last Days of August," directed by Robert Machoian & Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck
- Best International Short: "All the Crows in the World," directed by Yi Tang
- Best Live Action Short: "In the Jam Jar," directed by Colin Nixon
- Best Local Short: "World Skin," directed by Van McElwee
- Best Short Short (less than 5 minutes): "Who is Syd?", directed by Gabriel Hunter Sheets
New Filmmakers Forum Emerging Director Award (The Bobbie)
- The Joe Williams Best Documentary Feature: "Wild Beauty: Mustang Spirit of the West," directed by Ashley Avis
- The Joe Pollack Best Narrative Feature: "Holy Spider," directed by Ali Abbasi
- The Bobbie Award: "Land of Gold," directed by Nardeep Khurmi
Special commendation given to lead child actress Caroline Valencia for her heartbreaking performance as Elena in "Land of Gold."
Special ensemble acting award given to the film "Freedom's Path"Spotlight on Inspiration Documentary Award
Best of Fest Audience Choice Awards
- The Spotlight on Inspiration Documentary Award: "Of Medicine and Miracles," directed by Ross Kauffman
- Best Film Award: "The Pink Lagoon," directed by Juan Arce and Francisco Gallo
- Leon Award for Best Documentary (named in memory of the late civic leader Leon Strauss): "Night Life," directed by Seth Ferranti
- Best International Film: "Memories of My Father," directed by Fernando Trueba