by Joe Hanrahan, artistic director of The Midnight Company
The burgeoning but still raw independent film community in St. Louis has not melded with the available talent in the more mature St. Louis theatre community. If we can get more of St. Louis’ many fine, trained, experienced theatre actors in front of the cameras of these (mostly) young storytellers, the art of film in our community has a chance to grow and be recognized. (Note that when I say film, I mean (usually) video, not always (seldom) feature-length, and soon (probably) available to see anywhere but movie theaters.) GATEWAY is one attempt to bridge that talent gap.
And working towards a sustainable film/video community here, GATEWAY could also help lead a way out of an artistic morass our civic community is in. This town deeply supports the arts IN St. Louis. By that I mean the Fox, the Muni, and most of the major institutions in the city. Those are great, underline the cosmopolitan nature of our region and should continue to be supported.
HOWEVER, most of that artistic output is imported from other parts of the country and world. Even resident artists at major symphonies and theatres come from elsewhere. Not to mention the major art on display, the touring pop music bands, dance companies and the like. They receive the major share of our community’s dollars, press and appreciation.
What is not supported here to any significant degree are the arts OF St. Louis – The work created by the people of this city. Born, bred, moved in and settled, whatever. Their work is the heart and soul of our community, and we shove it under a rug. We should continue to applaud the visitors to our town, but we need to celebrate our own.
GATEWAY – locally created, written, directed, shot and cast – is an effort to turn that perception around.