Cinema at Citygarden – a biennial program organized by Cinema St. Louis (CSL) and funded by the Gateway Foundation – is pleased to announce the winners of its seventh juried competition. The competition was open to St. Louis-area filmmakers. Participants created short works that incorporated nature as a key element.

The program will debut on Citygarden’s video wall on Friday, May 28. The videos will play on a loop from 5-10 p.m. daily through June 27.

First-Place Award ($1,500): Lake Loch Pond Monster
Directed by Carolina Diaz and Brittany Zeinstra
Carolina Diz is an independent filmmaker based in St. Louis, and currently works as a video producer/editor at The Dodo. With an international upbringing in Argentina, France, China, and the U.S., she strives to tell regional culture stories.
Brittany Zeinstra is an actress and creator based in New York City. She currently plays Moaning Myrtle in the San Francisco cast of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.” Before that, she understudied Emma in “The Prom” on Broadway, dancing in the ensemble.

Second-Place Award ($1,000): Ephemeral
Directed by Sabrina Urban
Sabrina Urban is a current student at Washington University in St. Louis studying communication design and film production.

Third-Place Award ($500): DesMotivaciones
Directed by Kelly Jimenez
Kelly Jimenez, born in Bogotá, Colombia, is an experienced art director and visual artist. Versatile in production, costumes, textiles, mask making, artisan work, and set design, she uses everyday objects as tools for inspiration and exploration.

In addition, eight other competition films will be featured as part of the video-wall presentation:

  • 10/31/2020, directed by Jason Christ
  • Cave, directed by Dane Rule
  • Just because!, directed by Taylor Yocom
  • Manchester Rain, directed by Jessica Adkins
  • Outcry, directed by Zlatko Ćosić
  • /prəˈvāl/, directed by Jeff Allen, Arica Brown, Ashreale McDowell, and Jessica Pierce
  • Seasons, directed by Dylan Kuehner
  • VR Unlimited, directed by Austin Sane

The three-person jury for the competition consisted of the following filmmakers:

  • Jon Alston, a former St. Louis Ram, won awards for his narrative short “Augustus'' at last year's St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase and St. Louis International Film Festival (SLIFF). He previously directed the feature “Red Butterfly,” which played SLIFF in 2014.
  • Rachel Reichman, a native of St. Louis, co-directed the documentary “Queen of Hearts: Audrey Flack,” which played at last year's SLIFF. She has directed a pair of narrative features, “Work” and “The Riverbed,” and edited the documentaries “Hitchcock/Truffaut” (directed by Kent Jones) and “Letter to Elia” and “Lady by the Sea: The Statue of Liberty” (both co-directed by Martin Scorsese and Kent Jones).
  • Brad Schiff, another St. Louis native, is the head of animation at LAIKA Studios (“Coraline,” “ParaNorman,” “The Boxtrolls,” “Kubo and the Two Strings,” “Missing Link”). He also worked as an animator on “Corpse Bride,” “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” and “Isle of Dogs.” He was nominated for an Oscar for Best Visual Effects for “Kubo and the Two Strings” and is a Cinema St. Louis Award honoree.

Cinema St. Louis will also screen the three winning films — as well as other Cinema at Citygarden competition entries chosen by CSL — as part of the Whitaker St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase, held July 16-25. Those films will then be eligible for consideration by the Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival, held Nov. 4-14.

Among the most beloved public spaces in St. Louis, Citygarden is a two-block oasis of plants and trees, water and internationally renowned sculpture in the heart of downtown’s Gateway Mall.  Opened in 2009, the garden is free and open to the public 365 days a year. It’s been a hit since the day it opened, and the garden continues to attract visitors from all over the St. Louis area, the nation, and the world with its blend of beauty and serenity and fun. In 2011, it received one of the nation’s most prestigious honors in urban planning, the Urban Land Institute’s Amanda Burden Urban Open Space Award.

The video wall, on which the competition works will play, is set within a limestone wall that arcs across two blocks.