Kemper Braque Film Challenge Feb. 15-18

Kemper Art Museum and KDHX recruit local auteurs

Still from The Space Between Things. The film, by Cody Stokes, was created as part of the Kemper Braque Film Challenge. Image courtesy KDHX Media Arts.
In the early 20th century, the rise of Cubism marked a radical and virtually unprecedented break with Western painting’s long tradition of naturalistic depiction.

But even Cubism had its influences. Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, the movement’s founders, were entranced by African masks, by the paintings of Paul Cezanne and — critically — by the visual techniques of early cinema.

Next month, the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum and KDHX Media Arts will help contemporary filmmakers return the favor with the Kemper Braque Film Challenge.

The three-day event, which takes place Feb. 15-18, is presented in conjunction with the exhibition Georges Braque and the Cubist Still Life, 1928-1945. Working individually or in teams, participants will create short works (under seven minutes) incorporating Cubist elements, practices or principles.

Embracing the experimental

“Challenges like this display the amazing talents of St. Louis filmmakers,” says Kat Touschner, media arts producer for KDHX. “It’s a great way to focus on pure creativity for a weekend, and can be a spark to ignite other creative ideas.”

Touschner notes that KDHX also produces the annual St. Louis 48-Hour Film Project, the National Film Challenge and the International Documentary Film Challenge. She finds that such challenges energize the filmmaking community and stimulate innovative approaches to creating finished films.

“What’s unique about the Kemper Braque Film Challenge is that it takes one form of art and uses it to inspire another,” Touschner adds.

“Hopefully, it will encourage artists and filmmakers to break away from traditional narrative and embrace the experimental.”

Competition details

Participating filmmakers can chose one of two options:

1.) Incorporate still life objects (provided at the event kickoff) that correspond to specific components of Braque’s painting, or,

2.) Transform a pre-existing film (also provided at kickoff) by breaking up, reassembling and even potentially adding to the footage.

The top three films will receive cash prizes of $500, $300 and $200. Each will be screened at the Tivoli Theatre as part of the museum’s France at War Film Series March 19-21.

In addition, all eligible films will be screened April 12 in WUSTL’s Steinberg Hall Auditorium, as part of the museum’s Friday Nights @ the Kemper series.

Participation is free and open to the public, but space is limited. For more information or to register, visit or email

Georges Braque, The Blue Mandolin, 1930. Oil with sand on canvas, 46 x 35”. Saint Louis Art Museum, Museum Purchase, 125:1944. © 2013 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris.