When: Thu., July 21, 7 p.m. 2016
Chris Grega is one of St. Louis' most prolific filmmakers, regularly placing his movies in the St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase. He's made mockumentaries (Game of the Year), comedies (Frank Wang: The Vengeance), noir (Amphetamine) and straight documentaries (Weldonkrieg). Grega's in the festival again this year, but this year's feature is a bit more personal. 35 Days is the story of indie director Eric Cutter and his unfinished film Gunman. When Cutter's friend and lead actor, Sam Harrison, dies, Cutter decides to rally the original crew to wrap up the film as a tribute to their deceased friend. The film-within-the-film setup mirrors that of Grega's real-life friend and coworker Steve Heffernan, who died of a heart attack not too long ago. Grega's feature is both a tribute to Heffernan and a tip of the cap to the big-dreaming, hard-working indie filmmakers who give everything they have to their work. It's also a perfect topper to this year's festival. 35 Days screens at 7 p.m. tonight at the Landmark Tivoli Theatre (6350 Delmar Boulevard, University City; www.cinemastlouis.org). Tickets are $10 to $13. When it lets out, mosey west to Blueberry Hill for the free Closing Night Awards Party, which will already be in session.