SLIFF is proud to kick off its 2020 edition with a special event featuring the documentary short “8:46” (U.S., 2020, 28 min.) and a livestreamed Q&A with comedian Dave Chappelle and directors Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert, Oscar winners for last year’s “American Factory.” Documentarian Kamau Bilal, director of “Baby Brother” and assistant teaching professor of film studies at the University of Missouri-Columbia, will moderate the discussion.
As part of the New Filmmakers Forum (NFF), SLIFF holds a conversation with the participating directors: Carlos R. Betancourt & Oscar Ernesto Ortega (“The Last Rafter”), Niav Conty (“Small Time”), Zoë Kennison (“Easy-Bake”), Aimee Long (“A Shot Through the Wall”), and Rich Newey (“Killing Eleanor”).
People often say that good editing is invisible, but if that is the case, how do we know it's good? Karen Pearlman, author of “Cutting Rhythms: Intuitive Film Editing” (Focal Press) and two-time Australian Screen Editors Guild Award winner, will use clips, stories, and provocations to reveal that good editing is not invisible — and neither are the women who do it.
In this class on microbudget filmmaking, Blake Eckard will share the hard lessons he’s learned over two decades of writing and directing (and producing, shooting, editing, and sound-recording) DIY narrative features in his hometown of Stanberry, Mo. (population 1,186).
Ken Kwapis, who grew up in Belleville, Ill., and attended Saint Louis University High, is a former Cinema St. Louis Award winner. This master class on directing will draw on material from his terrific new book, “But What I Really Want to Do Is Direct: Lessons from a Life Behind the Camera.”
Former St. Louisan Beau Willimon — a Cinema St. Louis Award honoree in 2012 — will offer a master class on screenwriting. Willimon made a memorable film debut in 2011, when he earned his first screen credit as co-writer of “The Ides of March,” based on his play “Farragut North.”
Anne de Mare explores the process of making a documentary film, focusing on the use of character as a means of exploring complex issues and offering practical advice on interview strategy, vérité filmmaking techniques, and documentary story structure.
As a complement to Master Class: Documentary Filmmaking with Anne de Mare, SLIFF offers free access to the documentary short "The Girl with the Rivet Gun" (U.S., 2019), which was co-directed by de Mare with Kirsten Kelly. A mix of live action and animation, the film relates the adventures of three real-life World War II-era Rosie the Riveters. The short also plays on a program with "9to5: The Story of a Movement."
As an adjunct to Master Class: Microbudget Filmmaking with Blake Eckard and Kristian Day, SLIFF offers free access to Day's documentary short "Somewhere Between New York and LA" (U.S., 2020), which chronicles Eckard's career. Eckard has written and directed six feature films in his hometown of Stanberry, Mo. (population 1,186), but other than a short distribution deal in Canada and a few festival screenings, his movies have largely (and unfairly) gone unseen.