Georgia Frontiere Cinema for Students Program
2017 Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival
Free Film Screenings for St. Louis-Area Students (Grades 1-12)
“Movies can and do have a tremendous influence in shaping young lives.” – Walt Disney
Cinema St. Louis and the 26th Annual Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival (SLIFF) present their 14th year of Free Educational Film Programming, the Georgia Frontiere Cinema for Students (CFS) Program.
Screenings are scheduled Friday, Nov. 3, and Monday-Thursday, Nov. 6-9, at the Missouri History Museum, Plaza Frontenac Cinema, St. Louis Public Library’s Central Library, St. Louis University’s Center for Global Citizenship, and Third Baptist Church.
In addition to the free screenings, we are offering Free Busing. Cinema St. Louis will pay for up to $500 per school in busing costs (in special cases, we can exceed this amount; inquire when booking a program). This applies to programs at all venues. All schools are eligible, but we would ask districts and private schools whose budgets already include funding for field trips to defer, allowing schools with fewer resources to take advantage of the program. We have a $10,000 cap, so this will be handled on a first-come, first-served basis; early registration for programs is thus encouraged. See the attached form for more information.
CFS also offers In-School Presentations of 16 programs (including 10 films not available at the venues) during the time frame of Nov. 3 and Nov. 6-10.
CFS offers a diverse selection of films for grades 1-12, allowing students and educators to explore world cinema as a supplement to their current subjects of study. The films can enhance each student’s education by providing exposure to various aspects of science, history, social studies, literature, language, music, and culture. Select programs are accompanied by the filmmakers.
CFS is again featuring adaptations of works of fiction and other films related to literature at the St. Louis Public Library. The program also offers a film in French (“Fanny’s Journey”) and a film in Spanish (“Birdboy”).
If you would like for your students to visit any galleries or special exhibitions at the Missouri History Museum before or after the performance, you must reserve your preferred galleries and times at mohistory.org/fieldtrips. No drop in visits to the Museum’s galleries or special exhibitions will be permitted without a confirmed reservation from the Missouri History Museum reservations department.
• Missouri History Museum, 5700 Lindell Blvd. (at DeBaliviere Avenue), Forest Park in St. Louis
• Plaza Frontenac Cinema, 210 Plaza Frontenac in Frontenac
• St. Louis Public Library’s Central Library, 1301 Olive St. in downtown St. Louis
• St. Louis University’s Center for Global Citizenship, 3672 W. Pine Mall in midtown St. Louis
• Third Baptist Church, 620 N. Grand Blvd. in midtown St. Louis
To make reservations or inquire about in-school presentations, fill out the online forms below or contact Caitlin Worthen or Brian Spath:
Caitlin Worthen: 314-540-4650
Brian Spath: 314-289-4153
Cinema St. Louis
3547 Olive St.
St. Louis, MO 63103-1000
If you'd like printable forms and information, PDFs of the Cinema for Students information are available for download here.
Friday, Nov. 3
River to the Heart
Eddy L. Harris, U.S., 2017, 100 min., Documentary Feature
9 a.m. Friday, Nov. 3, Missouri History Museum
Appropriate for grades 9-12
Former St. Louisan Eddy L. Harris is the author of the lauded travel book “Mississippi Solo” (1988), which chronicled his canoe trip down the length of the Mississippi River, from its headwaters in Minnesota to its terminus in the Gulf of Mexico. In “River to the Heart,” Harris retraces that journey as a 60-year-old, and the film explores what Harris discovered about both the country that was and the country that is. As he paddles the long miles, Harris contemplates the meaning of the river to the country and to the people who populate it. In the process, he meets and interviews representative folks along the way and tackles a wide range of topics: the racial and economic divide in the U.S., environmental concerns (particularly man’s efforts to control the river and the unexpected results), the emptying out of small-town America, the disconnect between urban dwellers (especially African Americans like Harris) and nature, the outsized shadow that Mark Twain casts over our thoughts on the river. Harris proves a highly personable and informative guide, and St. Louis is one of the prominent stops along his journey.
With filmmaker/subject Eddy L. Harris. Also available for in-school presentation (with filmmaker on select dates; inquire about availability).
Rachel Perkins, Australia, 2017, 105 min., Narrative Feature
10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 3, St. Louis Public Library
Appropriate for grades 9-12 (some language and scenes of violence; equivalent to PG-13)
Based on the best-selling novel and featuring a stellar cast that includes Toni Collette and Hugo Weaving, “Jasper Jones” is the story of Charlie Bucktin, a bookish boy of 14 living in a small town in Western Australia. In the dead of night during the scorching summer of 1969, Charlie is startled when he is woken by local mixed-race outcast Jasper Jones outside his window. Jasper leads him deep into the forest and shows him something that will change his life forever, setting them both on a dangerous journey to solve a mystery that will consume the entire community. In an isolated town where secrecy, gossip, and tragedy overwhelm the landscape, Charlie faces family breakdown, finds his first love, and discovers what it means to be truly courageous. Reminiscent of “To Kill a Mockingbird” in theme and subject, “Jasper Jones” also evokes the work of Mark Twain.
Monday, Nov. 6
Mr. Handy's Blues
Joanne Fish, U.S., 2017, 86 min., Documentary Feature
9 a.m. Monday, Nov. 6, Missouri History Museum
Appropriate for grades 9-12
“Mr. Handy’s Blues” chronicles the life of William Christopher Handy, known affectionately worldwide as the Father of the Blues. He was born seven years after the Civil War and died at the dawn of the Space Age. Handy’s trajectory to success is an against-all-odds odyssey that took him from a strict religious home in Northern Alabama, to a low point of despair in St. Louis, to becoming one of the most revered composers of the 20th century. His career started with a minstrel troupe during the Jim Crow days in the American South and catapulted him to ownership of a thriving music publishing office in New York City in 1918. “Mr. Handy’s Blues” is a tale of family conflict, racial tensions, and redemption. The continuous thread is Handy’s vision, his love of music, and his talent for transforming the oral traditions of his African-American countrymen into a unique and commercial musical genre: the blues. Because the blues provided the building blocks for early jazz, it could be argued that Handy was also the father of modern American music. Interviews with Taj Mahal, Bobby Rush, and Vince Giordano bring Handy’s story to life, and Handy himself is present in rare archival footage and audio. “Mr. Handy’s Blues” also features performances of Handy’s songs — including such standards as “St. Louis Blues,” “The Memphis Blues,” and “Beale Street Blues” — by current artists.
With director Joanne Fish. Also available for in-school presentation (with filmmaker on select dates; inquire about availability).
Of Mice and Men
Gary Sinise, U.S., 1992, 115 min., Narrative Feature
10 a.m. Monday, Nov. 6, St. Louis Public Library
Appropriate for grades 9-12 (some scenes of violence; rated PG-13)
John Steinbeck’s classic comes magnificently to life in this beautiful and stirring film directed by Gary Sinise from an adaptation by Oscar winner Horton Foote. Best friends Lennie (John Malkovich) and George (Sinise) find themselves unemployed in Depression-era California, unable to keep jobs because of Lennie’s childlike mentality. But once they get hired at the Tyler Ranch, they enjoy a brief period of stability — until their supervisor’s wife (Sherilyn Fenn) becomes the focus of Lennie’s interest and compassion, forcing George to make a compassionate decision of his own.
Tuesday, Nov. 7
Battle on The Booming Grounds
Timothy Barksdale, U.S., 2016, 54 min., Documentary Feature
9 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7, Missouri History Museum
Appropriate for grades 6-12
The center of the North American continent was once a vast sea of grasses. The eastern edge of the Great Plains — which includes Missouri and Illinois — evolved a rich diversity of life, including the greater prairie chicken, its signature species, which was exalted in legend but decimated throughout settlement history. The bird’s true importance within the prairie’s complex ecological community was belatedly recognized by scientists, but not before it was driven to near extinction. The prairie chicken’s fate now lies solely within our hands. What secret keys do the grasses and this symbolic bird hold to the fate of humanity? “Battle on the Booming Ground” uses the prairie chicken as a means of exploring a whole range of wider environmental issues — farming practices, sustainability, biological diversity, and fragmentation of habitat — with filmmaker Timothy Barksdale, a native St. Louisan, and an array of scientific experts providing illuminating commentary. The film is highlighted by strikingly beautiful footage of the birds’ complex mating dance, with the males performing their distinctive displays on the so-called booming grounds.
With director Timothy Barksdale. Also available for in-school presentation (with filmmaker on select dates; inquire about availability).
Jacqueline Monetta, Kiki Goshay, U.S., 2016, 51 min., Documentary Feature
9 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7, Third Baptist Church
Appropriate for grades 9-12
Driven by a desire to understand why her best friend killed herself at 16, co-director Jacqueline Monetta — herself a recent high-school grad — gets suffering teens to share their struggles with mental illness and suicide attempts. Through Monetta’s intimate one-to-one interviews, viewers learn about depression, anxiety, self-harm, suicide attempts, and resources for getting help and treating mental illness. The film serves as an excellent educational tool: helping teens recognize the warning signs of depression among their peers, providing warnings about social media and its potentially deleterious effects, suggesting outlets for help, destigmatizing mental illness, and giving teen viewers the clear sense that they are not alone.
With a post-film discussion with a mental-health professional.
Multiple directors, 70 min., Narrative Shorts
10 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7, St. Louis Public Library
Appropriate for grades 2-5
A enlightening and entertaining selection of age-appropriate shorts from the 2016 St. Louis International Film Festival. All films are in English or feature no dialogue.
Catch It (Paul Bar, Marion Demaret, Nadège Forner, Pierre-Baptiste Marty, Julien Robyn & Jordan Soler, 5 min., France, 2015, animated): A group of meerkats take care of their beloved fruit, but a vulture disturbs their peace of mind.
Dancin’ the Camera (Pieter-Rim De Kroon & Marije Nie, 9 min., Netherlands, 2016, live action): A love story between a tap dancer, a piano player, and a 1922 hand-cranked motion-picture camera.
Little Folk of the Arctic (Neil Christopher, 3 min., Canada, 2015, animated): A brief introduction to the little folk of the Arctic.
Ogress of the Gravelbank (Neil Christopher, 2 min., Canada, 2015, animated): A malevolent spirit, unknown to all but the people of the Far North, disturbs the peace.
The Short Story of a Fox and a Mouse (Camille Chaix, Hugo Jean, Juliette Jourdan, Marie Pillier & Kevin Roger, 6 min., France, 2015, animated): A lonesome fox hunts a mouse, and their relationship evolves as two owls interfere with the hunt.
Stick Man (Jeroen Jaspaert & Daniel Snaddon, 28 min., U.K., 2015, animated): After going for a jog one morning, Stick Man encounters a bounding dog who just wants to play fetch.
Thunderstruck (Brent Dawes, 5 min., South Africa, 2014, animated): Giraffe is a bit skittish at the best of times, but things go to a whole new level when a lightning storm starts overhead.
Tiny’s New Home (Justin Hayward, 7 min., U.S., 2015, live action): A young girl takes her depressed goldfish on a journey to find her a new home.
Volcano! (Marie Cheng, 5 min., U.S., 2015, animated): A little girl can't seem to figure out why her volcano science project won't explode.
Also available for in-school presentation.
Birdboy: The Forgotten Children
Pedro Rivero | Alberto Vázquez, Spain, 2015, 76 min., Spanish with English subtitles, Narrative Feature
Noon Tuesday, Nov. 7, Plaza Frontenac
Appropriate for grades 9-12
A gripping animated feature for teen viewers, “Birdboy: The Forgotten Children” explores a landscape of ecological disaster. But even in this darkest of places, light and beauty continue to exist. Stranded on an island in a post-apocalyptic world, teenager Dinky and her friends hatch a dangerous plan to escape in the hope of finding a better life. Meanwhile, her old friend Birdboy has shut himself off from the world, pursued by the police and haunted by demon tormentors. Unbeknownst to anyone, Birdboy contains a secret inside him that could change the world forever. Based on his own graphic novel, co-director Alberto Vázquez’s “Birdboy” is a darkly comic, mind-bending fantasy. Gorgeous graphic imagery brings to life a surreal and discordant world populated by adorable (and adorably disturbed) animated critters, searching for hope and love amid the ruins.
Wednesday, Nov. 8
Brett Morgan, Tanzania; U.S., 2017, 90 min., Documentary Feature
9 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 8, Missouri History Museum
Appropriate for grades 6-12
Academy Award–nominated filmmaker Brett Morgen (“Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck”) uses a trove of 16mm footage from the 1960s — unearthed from the National Geographic archives — to tell the story of Jane Goodall, a young, untrained woman whose only dream was to live among animals and learn about them. This unseen material, shot by photographer and filmmaker Hugo van Lawick, presents an intimate portrait of Goodall, who was one of three women — with Diane Fossey and Birutė Galdikas — recruited by legendary paleontologist Louis Leakey to study primates in their natural habitats. Featuring an original score by legendary composer Philip Glass and new interviews with its subject, “Jane” vividly recounts Goodall’s chimpanzee research in Tanzania's Gombe Stream National Park, which challenged the male-dominated scientific consensus of her time and revolutionized our understanding of the natural world.
Damon Davis & Sabaah Folayan, U.S., 2017, 90 min., Documentary Feature
9 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 8, St. Louis U.’s Center for Global Citizenship
Appropriate for grades 9-12 (strong language; rated R)
Told by the activists and leaders who live and breathe this movement for justice, “Whose Streets?” is an unflinching look at the Ferguson uprising. When unarmed teenager Michael Brown is killed by police and left lying in the street for hours, it marks a breaking point for the residents of St. Louis. Grief, longstanding racial tensions, and renewed anger bring residents together to hold vigil and protest this latest tragedy. Empowered parents, artists, and teachers from around the country come together as freedom fighters. As the National Guard descends on Ferguson with military-grade weaponry, these young community members become the torchbearers of a new resistance. Filmmakers Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis know and tell this story so well because they’ve lived it. “Whose Streets?” is a powerful battle cry from a generation fighting not for their civil rights but for the right to live.
With co-director Damon Davis and/or subjects
Weston Woods Shorts
Multiple directors, 77 min., Narrative Shorts
10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 8, St. Louis Public Library
Appropriate for grades 1-4
Weston Woods, a division of Scholastic Books, offers award-winning animated adaptations of the world’s best children’s books.
Blackout (Paul Gagne, Melissa Reilly & David Trexler, 7 min., 2013): A young boy and his family break away from their usual distractions during the New York City blackout. Based on the Caldecott Honor book by John Rocco.
The Curious Garden (Paul Gagne, Melissa Reilly & David Trexler, 10 min., 2011): On a quest for a greener world, a young boy discovers a struggling garden and decides to take care of it. Based on the book by Peter Brown.
Doctor De Soto (Michael Sporn, 10 min., 1984): A mouse dentist finds a way to help a fox with a toothache without getting eaten. Based on the book by William Steig.
The Man Who Walked Between the Towers (Michael Sporn, 10 min., 2005): The story of Phillipe Petit’s walk between the Twin Towers in 1974. Based on the Caldecott Honor book by Modicai Gerstein.
Me … Jane (Paul & Sandra Fierlinger, 9 min., 2015): A biography of pioneering primatologist Jane Goodall. Based on the Caldecott Honor book by Patrick McDonnell.
One Cool Friend (Gary McGivney, 14 min., 2015): In this endearing adventure, a boy decides a penguin would make a fantastic pet. Based on the Caldecott Honor book written by Tony Buzzeo and illustrated by David Small.
Star Stuff: Carl Sagan and the Cosmos (Paul Gagne & Melissa Reilly, 10 min., 2016): For every child who has ever looked up at the stars and asked “What are they?” comes the story of a curious boy who never stopped wondering: astronomer Carl Sagan. Based on the book by Stephanie Roth Sisson.
Where the Wild Things Are (Gene Dietch, 7 min., 1975): A boy named Max imagines he is where the wild things are. Based on the classic picture book by Maurice Sendak.
Also available for in-school presentation
Lola Doillon, Belgium; France, 2016, 94 min., French with English subtitles, Narrative Feature
Noon Wednesday, Nov. 8, Plaza Frontenac
Appropriate for grades 6-12
Based on a true story, “Fanny’s Journey” is an incredible tale of bravery, strength, and survival — the story of a daring young girl who will stop at nothing and fear no one. In 1943, 13-year-old Fanny and her younger sisters were sent from their home in France to an Italian foster home for Jewish children. When the Nazis arrive in Italy, their caretakers desperately organize the departure of the children to Switzerland. When they are suddenly left on their own, these 11 children attempt the impossible: journeying to the Swiss border, with its promise of freedom.
Thursday, Nov. 9
Jeremy Levine, Landon Van Soest, U.S., 2016, 90 min., Documentary Feature
9 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 9, Missouri History Museum
Appropriate for grades 9-12 (strong language; equivalent to PG-13)
Beginning one year before the fatal police shooting of a black teenager in nearby Ferguson, “For Ahkeem” is the coming-of-age story of Daje Shelton, a black 17-year-old girl in North St. Louis. She fights for her future as she is placed in an alternative high school and navigates the marginalized neighborhoods, biased criminal-justice policies, and economic devastation that have set up many black youth like her to fail. After she is expelled from her public high school, a juvenile court judge sends Daje to the court-supervised Innovative Concept Academy, which offers her one last chance to earn a diploma. Over two years, Daje struggles to maintain focus in school, attends the funerals of friends killed around her, falls in love with a classmate named Antonio, and navigates a loving-but-tumultuous relationship with her mother. As Antonio is drawn into the criminal-justice system and events in Ferguson — just four miles from her home — seize the national spotlight, Daje learns she is pregnant and must contend with the reality of raising a young black boy. “For Ahkeem” illuminates challenges that many black teenagers face in America today, and witnesses the strength, resilience, and determination it takes to survive.
With writer/producer Jeff Truesdell and/or subject Daje Shelton. Also available for in-school presentation (with filmmaker and/or subject on select dates; inquire about availability).
Francis Ford Coppola, U.S., 1983, 115 min., Narrative Feature
10 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 9, St. Louis Public Library
Appropriate for grades 9-12 (violence, teen drinking and smoking; rated PG-13
Francis Ford Coppola, director of “The Godfather,” adapts S.E. Hinton’s classic young-adult novel, which this year celebrates its 50th anniversary. Members of the Greasers, a teen gang in rural Oklahoma, are perpetually at odds with the Socials, a rival group. When Greasers Ponyboy (C. Thomas Howell) and Johnny (Ralph Macchio) get into a brawl that ends in the death of a Social member, the boys are forced to go into hiding. Soon Ponyboy and Johnny, along with the intense Dallas (Matt Dillon) and their other Greaser buddies, must contend with the consequences of their violent lives. While some Greasers try to achieve redemption, others meet tragic ends. The impressive cast also includes Tom Cruise, Patrick Swayze, Diane Lane, Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez, and Tom Waits. In 2005, to make the film more faithful to Hinton’s novel, Coppola restored 22 minutes of footage that was cut from the 1983 original.
The following films – in English unless otherwise noted – are available as in-school presentations from Nov. 3 and Nov. 6-10:
116 Cameras (Davina Pardo, U.S., 2017, 16 min.): A Holocaust survivor preserves her story interactively so that she will be able to tell it forever. Appropriate for grades 6-12
An American House (Chris Trani, U.S., 2017, 22 or 37 min., in Chinese, English & Spanish): Despite the risk of litigation, Annunciation House opened its doors to immigrants and refugees who entered the United States illegally, helping prepare them for the next leg of their journey: into the heart of America. Depending on the date requested, the filmmaker may be available to accompany in-school screenings for Q&As; inquire about availability. Appropriate for grades 9-12
Battle on the Booming Ground: See description under Nov. 7. Depending on the date requested, the filmmaker may be available to accompany in-school screenings for Q&As; inquire about availability. Appropriate for grades 6-12
black enuf* (Carrie Hawks, U.S., 2017, 22 min.): A self-described “queer oddball” goes on a quest for a “Black Card” — acceptance of racial identity — and takes a journey from Missouri to New York and halfway around the world. Appropriate for grades 9-12
Exodus: Ode to the Great Migration (Lonnie Edwards, U.S., 2017, 12 min.): Linking past to present, “Exodus” looks into how the Great Migration gave birth to many artists who influenced and empowered black culture. Appropriate for grades 9-12
For Ahkeem: See description under Nov. 9. Depending on the date requested, the writer/producer and/or subject may be available to accompany in-school screenings for Q&As; inquire about availability. Appropriate for grades 9-12 (strong language)
Gabe (Luke Terrell, U.S., 2017, 70 min.): No parent should have to bury their child, but that was the reality the Weils of St. Louis faced when their son Gabe was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Told he would not live past 25, Gabe made it his life goal to earn a college degree. Then, during his senior year of college, he received a new diagnosis, doubling his life expectancy overnight. This unforeseen scenario, though remarkable, presented Gabe with a complicated obstacle: creating a future for which he had never planned in a world that often forgets he exists. Depending on the date requested, the filmmaker may be available to accompany in-school screenings for Q&As; inquire about availability. Appropriate for grades 10-12 (strong language)
Hidden Life (Hannah Mattner & Kaitlyn Satter, U.S., 2017, 18 min.): An exploration of the controversy behind the “rigs to reefs” program, which allows decommissioned oil platforms to stay in the marine environment to act as artificial reefs. Appropriate for grades 6-12
Just Listening: A Short Film about Art and Activism (Dan Parris & Missouri Humanities Council, U.S., 2017, 21 min.): Exploring art as both a reaction to tragedy and a form of activism, “Just Listening” interviews artists about their response to Michael Brown's death. Depending on the date requested, the filmmaker may be available to accompany in-school screenings for Q&As; inquire about availability. Appropriate for grades 9-12
Mott Haven (Kyle Morrison, U.S., 2017, 22 min.): JC Hall, a social worker in the South Bronx, is given the opportunity to create a music studio in the old storage room of a “second chance” high school. When one of the students who helped him build the studio is murdered in front of the school, JC and his after-school program decide to hold a show in his honor. Appropriate for grades 9-12 (strong language)
Mr. Handy’s Blues: See description under Nov. 6. Depending on the date requested, the filmmaker may be available to accompany in-school screenings for Q&As; inquire about availability. Appropriate for grades 6-12
River to the Heart: See description under Nov. 3. Depending on the date requested, the filmmaker may be available to accompany in-school screenings for Q&As; inquire about availability. Appropriate for grades 9-12
Route 66: Race (Jerome Evans, U.S., 2017, 26 min.): Rapper Nato Caliph looks at racial divisions in America and finds out why the city of St Louis is among the most segregated — and dangerous — in the country. Appropriate for grades 9-12
SLIFF/Kids Shorts: See description under Nov. 7. Appropriate for grades 2-5
The Streets of Greenwood (John Reavis, Fred Wardenburg & Jack Willis, U.S., 1963, 20 min.): Recently restored by Washington U.’s Film & Media Archive, the film chronicles the voter-registration efforts of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in Greenwood, Miss., in the summer of 1963, at the height of the civil-rights movement. Depending on the date requested, Brian Woodman, the curator of the archive, may be available to accompany in-school screenings for Q&As; inquire about availability. Appropriate for grades 9-12
Weston Woods Shorts: See description under Nov. 8. Appropriate for grades 1-4
For all in-school presentations, schools will need to be able to screen the films from DVDs, preferably with a digital projector.