St. Louis International Film Festival Draws Thousands, Winners Announced

click to enlarge The St. Louis International Film Festival drew thousands of people. - RFT File Photo
The St. Louis International Film Festival drew thousands of people.

The St. Louis International Film Festival wrapped up over the weekend and with it came a long list of winners and even bigger attendance numbers. A hybrid format for the festival drew in viewers both from the city and internationally.

In a press release, the organization says the festival drew an estimated 21,646 viewers. Over 5,000 people attended in person, while there were around 4,300 online streams. Total viewership for the festival was calculated after factoring in that most films watched at home had more than a single viewer.

SLIFF’s hybrid format also allowed the festival to be shown globally; viewers hailed from sixteen different countries, as well as 44 different states. There were over 400 films shown at this year’s fest, with 78 countries featured and 37 languages.

These viewers determined the winners for the "Best of Fest Audience Choice Awards." Divided into two categories, virtual and in-person screenings, Mila directed by Cinzia Angelini took home the online Best Narrative Short award, while the Leon Award for Best Documentary Feature was given to the in-person screening of Twenty Pearls: The Story of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, directed by Deborah Riley Draper. Draper also won the Women in Film award.

Other awards were chosen by a jury, with some categories coming with a cash prize. The Essy award for Best St. Louis film — a category that spotlights films with ties to St. Louis — went to Try Harder!, a film directed by St. Louisan Debbie Lum that profiles five high school students as they navigate college applications.

Documentarian and St. Louisan Nina Gilden Seavey received the Charles Guggenheim Cinema St. Louis Award, given to those from St. Louis who make "significant contributions" to film. The festival also honored St. Louis philanthropist Mary Strauss on its final day for her contributions to Cinema St. Louis.

View the rest of the winners on

Follow Jenna on Twitter at @writesjenna. Email the author at [email protected]
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Jenna Jones

Jenna Jones is the Audience Development Manager for Euclid Media Group and Harry Styles' biggest fan.
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