Digital cameras and the relatively affordable proliferation of editing capabilities for the home computer have made it much easier to make a film outside of the big studio or even the small studio system. It doesn't mean you should, however, as the abundance of garbage on YouTube will attest. How do you find the gold among all the dross? You don't have to: Cinema St. Louis and its annual St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase have already done the hard work for you. Sifting through hundreds of submitted films to find only the best, the most audacious, the most beautiful and the most compelling films, the Cinema St. Louis staff now presents these features and shorts during a five-day burst at the Tivoli Theatre (6350 Delmar Boulevard, University City; 314-289-4150 or www.cinemastlouis.org). Monday, July 20, is day two of the festival, and it features a 5 p.m. screening of Documentary Shorts, which includes Shadowland: Beneath the Soil, Brian Wessel's exposé on how Wyatt Weed made his much-anticipated indie vampire film, Shadowland (which debuts after the festival, Friday, July 24, with a weeklong run at the Tivoli). If you're more of a fiction buff, the 7 p.m. Dramatic Shorts program features 90 minutes of brief films long on imagination. And if you have to have documentary and fiction in your films, Game of the Year, director Chris Grega's mockumentary about a group of people attempting to get on a reality TV show, screens at 9:15 p.m. For the full slate of films, visit www.cinemastlouis.org or call 314-289-4150. Tickets are $8 to $10 for each program or feature film.
Mon., July 20, 2009