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

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

First-Place Award ($1,500): “Summer Louis,” by David Rocco

Second-Place Award ($1,000): “Hypervide,” by Natalie Rainer

Third-Place Award ($500): “Ocean Breathes,” by Yihuang Lu

David Rocco (“Summer Louis”) formerly taught filmmaking at Washington U. and currently serves as a visiting assistant professor of film, television, and video production at Webster University; he was co-producer and co-DP of the feature documentary “Gray Seasons.” Natalie Rainer (“Hypervide”) is originally from South Carolina and recently received her MFA from the Sam Fox School of Visual Arts at Washington University. Yihuang Lu (“Ocean Breathes”) was born in China but now lives and works in St. Louis; she also is a new MFA graduate of the Sam Fox School of Visual Arts at Washington University.

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

“Bearing Witness,” by Jun Bae

“Colorado | True Nature,” by Cole Hieronymus

“Down at Dusk,” by Kat Cory

“Even the Birds Know It,” by Zlatko Cosic

“Linear Motion,” by Leilie Wu

“Shadow Track,” by Xiaoti Hu

“You Look Like a Squirrel,” by Yuhan Zhang

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 and continue at Citygarden through the end of June.

Opened on July 1, 2009, Citygarden is an oasis in the heart of St. Louis’ downtown: a vibrant and serene blending of lush plantings and internationally renowned sculpture with delights of water, stone, architecture and design. With no fences or gates, and no admission fee, Citygarden is completely open and accessible to the public 365 days a year. Citygarden is located on 2.9 acres between Eighth and 10th and Market and Chestnut streets. The address is 801 Market St., St. Louis, MO 63101.

Cinema St. Louis will also screen the three competition winners — as well as additional Cinema at Citygarden competition entries chosen by CSL — as part of the Whitaker St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase, held in late July. Those films will then be eligible for consideration by the Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival, held Nov. 2-12.

The three-person jury for the competition consisted of Chad Freidrichs, a Columbia, Mo.-based documentary filmmaker (“The Pruitt-Igoe Myth,” “First Impersonator,” and the upcoming “The Experimental City”) and former assistant professor of filmmaking at Stephens College; Brian Hohlfeld, screenwriter of “He Said, She Said” and “Piglet’s Big Movie” and writer/producer on such TV animated series as “Transformers: Rescue Bots” and “My Friends Tigger and Pooh”; and Mike Steinberg, documentary director (“How It Is with Phooie,” “Old Dog New Trick”), former head of the Webster University Film Series and Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, and current executive director of the Roxy Theater and the International Wildlife Film Festival in Missoula, Mont.

For more information about Citygarden, visit For more information about Cinema St. Louis, visit For additional information about Cinema at Citygarden, contact CSL executive director Cliff Froehlich at 314-289-4151 or V

Via Press Release