Cinema St. Louis Seeks Applications for Executive Director Position

Cinema St. Louis is seeking an Executive Director with dynamic vision and extraordinary leadership skills that will continue to grow and sustain this artistic centerpiece in the St. Louis region. The position reports to the Board of Directors and oversees administration, staff, fundraising, community engagement and programming. Interested applicants should reach out via email to


The Cinema St. Louis mission is to showcase the best in international, documentary and American independent cinema. Believing that we discover something about ourselves when we learn about others’ cultures and perspectives, Cinema St. Louis offers programs that provide glimpses of the human experience from around the world and thoughtfully address issues of race, ethnicity, and sexual identity.


A consortium of nonprofits and universities presented the first St. Louis Film Festival in April 1992. The St. Louis Film Festival Inc. was then established as a Missouri not-for-profit corporation in July 1992 and received its 501(c)3 status from the IRS in April 1993. In 1998, the organization changed its name to the St. Louis International Film Festival to emphasize the event's international component. In 2002, the organization was renamed Cinema St. Louis (CSL) to reflect its commitment to year-round programming beyond the festival. Cinema St. Louis now presents five annual film festivals and co-presents additional filmrelated programming throughout the year.

The organization's premier event is the St. Louis International Film Festival (SLIFF), held in November. Since 2003, CSL presents the Cinema for Students Program as part of SLIFF, offering free screenings to St. Louis-area elementary, middle, and high schools.

CSL has steadily increased its year-round presence with additional programming. Since 2002, CSL has annually presented the St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase, held in July, which highlights work made by filmmakers with St. Louis roots. In 2008, CSL added the LGBTQ-focused QFest, held annually each spring, to its lineup. In 2009, CSL launched an annual Classic French Film Festival, held in April. In 2013, CSL inaugurated free summer Filmmaking Camps for teens 12-18. For six years, from 2014 until 2019, CSL hosted another annual event when it became the St. Louis producer of the 48 Hour Film Project. In 2019, CSL introduced Golden Anniversaries, a fest that features films celebrating their 50th anniversaries.

CSL also holds individual screenings, film series, and educational programs throughout the year, frequently collaborating with other St. Louis organizations such as Citygarden, St. Louis Science Center, Washington University's Film & Media Archive, Webster University Film Series, St. Louis Public Library, and Missouri History Museum.

Between 25,000-31,000 patrons attend the international festival each year, and an additional 5,000-12,000 annually attend CSL’s other events.


The Executive Director (ED) is accountable for achieving Cinema St. Louis’ organizational goals and objectives. The ED is responsible for continuing to expand the impact of the mission by leveraging relationships and networks and working across private, public, and corporate sectors. The ED is further responsible for maintaining a strong working relationship with the Board of Directors. 


The ED will strategically grow Cinema St. Louis for future generations of film-lovers by nurturing and maximizing staff, volunteer, and financial resources to strengthen the national reputation of the organization. Key responsibilities:


  • Provide imaginative, innovative, and energetic leadership.
  • Work with the Board of Directors to execute a strategic plan.
  • Identify internal and external issues that affect the organization.
  • Foster effective teamwork with the board, staff, and stakeholders.
  • Act as a spokesperson for the organization, serving as a leader within the national film festival landscape and in the St. Louis arts community.

Staff Management

  • Attract and retain the best talent available.
  • Coach and mentor staff, supporting their growth and professional development.
  • Foster collaborative opportunities among the staff.


  • Determine tangible goals for both contributed and earned revenue (including sponsorships, grants, memberships, etc.), grow existing revenue, develop new revenue opportunities, and evaluate effectiveness of marketing and giving campaigns.
  • Drive strategy for membership programs and for growing, retaining, and nurturing member loyalty.
  • Oversee staff involvement with and support for annual fundraising events.
  • Pursue and secure individual gifts.

Program Planning and Management

  • Ensure programming that achieves the organization's mission.
  • Oversee the presentation of the annual film festivals and other events offered throughout the year.
  • Develop strategic vision for virtual and in-person programming.

Financial Planning and Management

  • Work with Board Finance Committee and staff to ensure that the organization operates within approved fiscal guidelines.
  • Work with Director of Development on fundraising activities to meet the annual and long-term objectives.
  • Provide Board with comprehensive financial reports on revenue and expenditure.
  • Work with Board to define vision and develop planning for future growth.

Public Relations

  • Responsible for maintaining the organizational brand.
  • Ensure stakeholders are informed about the work of the organization.
  • Establish good working relationships and collaborative arrangements with community groups, funders, elected officials, and other organizations to help achieve the goals of the organization.


Candidates must possess a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree preferred, in a relevant arts field and a minimum of five (5) years of increasing management responsibility of similar scope and visibility to Cinema St. Louis, preferably in the film industry or in the arts or entertainment sectors with a mix of nonprofit and for-profit experience. Candidates must also demonstrate quantifiable success in fundraising with a proven track record in donor stewardship or in business development. To meet the organizational objectives, successful candidates will have established connections in the film community. Candidates must possess strong strategic planning, staff development, communications, public speaking, and financial management skills. 


The candidate should live in the St. Louis metro area or be willing to relocate for the position.


Salary ranging between $85,000 - $110,000 and additional competitive benefits.


June 2022. Applications accepted until the position is filled.


Cinema St. Louis is actively recruiting applicants representing dimensions of difference that include – but are not limited to – age, national origin, ethnicity, race, religion, ability, sexual orientation, gender, or political affiliation.