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 eighth juried competition. The competition was open to St. Louis-area filmmakers. Participants created short works that incorporated Nature as a key element.  "Many of this year's submissions spoke to the heart of Cinema at Citygarden, but the winners stood out with their clever meditations on nature, humanity, and whatever it is that lies in between,” said Jessica Pierce, one of this year’s jurors.

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

  • As a Host and Producer, Maxamillion Foizey brings more than 20 years of radio experience to the airwaves. A member of the Critics Choice Association and the St. Louis Film Critics Association, Max has worked as a professional film critic since 2004 and has produced and hosted his award-winning radio show Max on Movies since 2006. Read his movie reviews at

  • June Kyu Park, aka Kyu, born and raised in South Korea, is a transnational filmmaker and educator. His work has been screened at film festivals around the world including Warsaw Film Festival, Los Angeles Film Festival, Slamdance, Palm Springs and elsewhere. Kyu is currently an associate professor in film at Webster University, St. Louis, Missouri, USA.

  • Jessica Pierce is a filmmaker and artist. As a freelance producer, videographer, and editor in the St. Louis area, she works with HEC Media, STL Made, and Nine PBS. Her work has been featured at the Saint Louis International Film Festival and she has recently premiered experimental multimedia pieces in Berlin, Germany.

The three winning works, whose filmmakers receive cash prizes, are the following:

First-Place Award ($1,500): Boundaries 

Directed by Tsering Wangmo

Tsering Wangmo is a documentary filmmaker and an anthropology student at WashU. She is a member of the Tibetan diaspora in exile. Her work centers around topics of exile, refugee, statelessness, belongingness, Drokpa (Tibetan pastoral nomads), memory, identity and generational trauma resulting from war and displacement. Tsering Wangmo is an alumna of NYU’s documentary film production program.

Second-Place Award ($1,000): Belles of St. Louis

Directed by Jessica R. Adkins

Jessica Adkins, born in Milwaukee, is a musician, artist, and philosopher. When not playing the accordion, she creates 2D stop motion videos out of paper and card stock, designs and prints t-shirts, and gardens. 

Third-Place Award ($500): Lanes

Directed by Joe Johnson

Joseph “Sjöstrand” Johnson is a local Video Editor, owner of SJÖSTRAND CINEMATICS LLC, experimental filmmaker, and hobbyist photographer from St. Louis, MO.  He is a graduate of Webster University’s Film, Television, and Video Production program and has gone on to edit for several different production houses around the St. Louis area.

In addition, 10 other competition films will be featured as part of the video-wall presentation:

Artificial Memories, directed by Katina Bitsicas

As the Night, directed by Adam E. Stone

bee-roll, directed by Alexandra Guillossou

Flowers, directed by David A. Malone

The Lungs, directed by Zlatko Cosic

MRH High School Presents Hispanic Heritage Month, directed by Lizzy Martinez

Peaceflowers, directed by Katina Bitsicas

The Rise of the Rabbit, directed by Lizzy Martinez

Tabor Day, directed by Julius Takmajian

Up for Air, directed by Chase Norman

The program will debut on Citygarden’s video wall on Friday, May 26. The videos will play on a loop from 5-10 p.m. daily through June 30.

Cinema St. Louis will also screen the three competition winners as part of the Whitaker St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase, held July 21-30. Those films will then be eligible for consideration by the Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival, held Nov. 9-19.

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.

For more information about Citygarden, visit For more information about Cinema St. Louis, visit