The Whitaker St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase, an annual presentation of the nonprofit Cinema St. Louis, serves as the area’s primary venue for films made by local artists. The Showcase screens works that were written, directed, edited, or produced by St. Louis natives or films/filmmakers with strong local ties.

The programs range from full-length fiction features and documentaries to multi-film compilations of fiction and documentary shorts. Programs with feature-length films include post-screening Q&As with filmmakers.

The 2023 Showcase will take place over two weekends from Friday, July 21- Sunday, July 30. The event will be held in-person at the Hi-Pointe Theatre.

Deadlines remain important, but we want to be as flexible as possible to be respectful of filmmakers’ abilities to submit fully completed projects. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to CSL artistic director Chris Clark directly.

More than two dozen awards are given by the St. Louis Film Critics Association. Selected films will also receive invitations to the St. Louis International Film Festival.

Conditions for Eligibility:

This is a competitive, curated event, and submission does not guarantee an invitation.

All films ideally should fulfill the following requirements:

1) Be written, directed, edited, or produced by St. Louis natives or those with strong local ties.
2) Be a St. Louis festival or theatrical premiere.
3) Be submitted with English subtitles if in a language other than English.
4) Be submitted with full synopsis, all contact info, including mailing address, phone number, email, and appropriate entry-fee payment.
5) No works in progress please, Completed films only.

In some instances, we are willing to accept and screen works-in-progress, provided that the versions submitted will work for the audience and jury.

It is preferred that films not be widely available on video/DVD, cable, YouTube, Vimeo, iTunes, Facebook, Amazon Prime, or VOD in the St. Louis region before the festival dates. A film's availability on one of these platforms does not disqualify an entry, but first priority will be given to works that are true premieres.

Public cast/crew screenings, especially features, before the event are also strongly discouraged.

Music rights and all copyright clearances are the sole responsibility of the filmmaker.

Cinema St. Louis (CSL) will not be held responsible for any legal disputes regarding the exhibition of this film.

Entry Procedure:

Provide complete information on FilmFreeway. Films should be submitted as secure online screeners on the platform (do not send DVDs or Blu-rays to our office). All preview materials must be received by May 31, 2023.

If your film is selected, it is mandatory that the projection master file be delivered via Dropbox or to the CSL office on a flash or hard drive NO LATER THAN June 26, 2023. All invited films should be submitted as a .mov file (Pro Res or H.264). Specs will be provided with an acceptance email.

Publicity images, if available, must also be sent promptly (300 dpi or higher electronic images are preferred in .jpg or .png format).

All entrants will be notified of the status of their submission by email no later than June 15, 2023.

Notification of acceptance or rejection will not include criticism or feedback specific to your entry.

Please contact Chris Clark at Cinema St. Louis for any/all questions and clarifications.

NOTE: At no extra charge, Showcase submissions are also eligible for consideration for the 31st Annual St. Louis International Film Festival, held Nov. 9-19, 2023. You will not need to resubmit your film.

Overall Rating
  • Well worth the submission. If you can attend in person try to do it.

    August 2023
  • This year’s St. Louis Filmmaker’s Showcase really elevated an already strong festival. Being centrally located at the Hi-Pointe theater really allowed for a great opportunity to meet other filmmakers and see the films in the best possible way. Chris, Brian, and the team have done such a great job with this festival and you should absolutely consider submitting your film.

    August 2023
  • I absolutely love that Cinema Saint Louis showcases the talent around the city! It is a great festival that brings together all walks of life and every genre. Unbelievable people and one hell of a program! As a horror festival runner, I look to these guys for inspiration and education on how to run a successful film fest!

    May 2023
  • Good festival facility, and good prior communication leading up to the weekend. However, I would not travel for this festival again. I traveled very far and brought people with me enthusiastically since St Louis is my hometown. I invited and helped sell tickets to the festival, but ultimately there is no filmmaker lounge and no bar or area to network at the actual festival. There was also no way to even know whose film was whose, since there was no Q & A after the film block. (experimental is usually the block you want the Q & A the most) than we were all rushed out of the facility for the next film block. My guests were very confused, and a couple really upset. I didn't attend the closing night out of embarrassment and because I had not met any other filmmakers to chat with. Nice people and organized but ultimately very thoughtless.

    August 2022
  • The perfect combination of having a personal experience and professionalism. All communication was direct and clear, which calmed my nerves! Chris brought thoughtfulness with every action for filmmakers embarking on this journey. The festival was amazing and look forward to the future.

    August 2022