The St. Louis International Film Festival (SLIFF) moves into its ninth season with a number of fundamental changes: a new director, a new manager in charge of acquiring films, a reorganization of staff and administrative structures. A festival that began on a meager budget of $5,000 now has a more ample $340,000 with which to work (although that figure is still paltry by film-industry standards). St. Louis is far from being a film capital, and the establishment of the festival as a vital institution -- both locally and internationally -- remains a struggle. Critics argue that the recent overhaul has retained well-meaning amateurs in important positions at the expense of professionals with insider access to the industry. Those with the festival are encouraged by the new energy and the opportunity to re-envision SLIFF for its next decade. SLIFF critics and advocates alike agree that this is a crucial year for the... More >>>