The 26th Annual Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival (SLIFF) kicks off today thru Nov. 12 with a host of LGBTQ themed films and shorts presented by QFest, Cinema St. Louis’ annual LGBTQ film festival, at theaters across town.

"The range and diversity of LGBTQ at SLIFF this year is remarkable," said Chris Clark, Cinema St. Louis Artistic Director. "[It includes] the lavishly reviewed CALL ME BY YOUR NAME starring hunk Armie Hamner, lesbian dramedy BECKS that takes place in Maplewood and was co-directed by two St. Louis natives, the Armenian transgender drama APRICOT GROVES from a young Iranian director, to the large number of moving documentary shorts all appearing in free programs. There is truly something for everyone in our community at this years festival. Come out, come out whoever you are and join us."

A full schedule of LGBTQ films can be found here:

SLIFF provides St. Louis filmgoers with the opportunity to view the finest in world cinema: international films, documentaries, American indies, and shorts that can only be seen on the big screen at the festival. SLIFF will screen 372 films: 82 narrative features, 63 documentary features, and 227 shorts. The fest also will feature 13 special-event programs, including four free master classes and a closing-night party. This year’s festival has 64 countries represented.

The fest will present its usual array of buzz films and Oscar contenders, including “The Ballad of Lefty Brown,” “Call Me by Your Name,” “Darkest Hour,” “Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool,” “Last Flag Flying,” “The Leisure Seeker,” “My Friend Dahmer,” “Thoroughbreds,” and “Walking Out.”

SLIFF also honors a quartet of significant film figures with its annual awards: Pam Grier (“Bad Grandmas” and “Jackie Brown”) with a Women in Film Award; Sam Pollard (“Sammy Davis, Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me” and “ACORN and the Firestorm”) with a Lifetime Achievement Award; Marco Williams (“Tell Them We Are Rising”) with a Contemporary Cinema Award; and Washington U. grad Dan Mirvish (the Jules Feiffer-written “Bernard and Huey”) with a Charles Guggenheim Cinema St. Louis Award.

The festival will kick off on Thursday, Nov. 2, with the world premiere of “Bad Grandmas,” a St. Louis-shot comedy by Srikant Chellappa. Starring the legendary Pam Grier (“Jackie Brown”) and the late Florence Henderson (“The Brady Bunch”) in her final role, “Bad Grandmas” recounts the felonious misadventures of four senior citizens. Three of the lead actresses — including Pam Grier — will attend the screening. A 6:30 PM reception precedes the film and features complimentary Urban Chestnut beers, Broadside Winery wines, and Mastermind Vodka cocktails.

As part of the fest’s ongoing response to the Ferguson uprising and the protests of recent months, SLIFF again will feature a major stream of programming entitled Race in America: The Black Experience and offer a second edition of Mean Streets: Viewing the Divided City Through the Lens of Film and Television, which addresses the persistent issue of segregation.

The fest schedule, ticket and venue information, and a complete list of films (with descriptions) are available at the Cinema St. Louis Web site (

For more information, please visit or call 314-289-4150.



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