Up in the Air makes its St. Louis premiere at the 18th annual WHITAKER ST. LOUIS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL next month. The GEORGE CLOONEY dramatic comedy, shot mainly in St. Louis, will be the centerpiece of this year’s festival, which includes some 270 films. The film’s Oscar-nominated director, JASON REITMAN, will be on hand to accept SLIFF’s Contemporary Cinema Award.

    Villa Duchesne High School senior ELIZABETH GODAR has a better idea of how she’d like to improve the world now that she’s participated in ‘Ocean for Life,’ hosted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Elizabeth was one of 30 students from around the globe selected for the summer field study program, which took her to Washington, D.C., and to NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuaries in California.

    Accompanied by National Geographic photographers and American University film students, Elizabeth and her peers created media projects to share what they learned about ocean science. Elizabeth, who is also involved with the research-intensive STARS program at Washington University, says she plans to turn her research skills, love for the outdoors and concern for the environment into something worthwhile.

    Attention, ‘green’ teens…EcoLifeSTL.com, a locally based green lifestyle Web site, is offering a $10,000 scholarship for area high school seniors. The award is open to students who want to pursue a university environmental studies program. Registration information is available on the site. The deadline to apply is Nov. 16. EcoLifeSTL.com is a partnership between St. Louis Green.com, Missouri Botanical Garden, The Healthy Planet, and Emmis Marketing Group.

    Fresh European fashion lines are complementing BESSINI’s new look in the heart of Ladue. The Clayton Road boutique just finished a complete interior renovation, and new owner MARYNA GRETSKY has brought in French designers Monica Ricci and Cop-Copine and Italian line Rinascimento, among others.

    Here’s a ‘novel’ idea…The ST. LOUIS PUBLIC LIBRARY FOUNDATION is gearing up for ‘A Novel Affair,’ a Nov. 14 fundraiser to benefit the $70-million modernization of the downtown central library. The literary-themed party will feature local caterers Bryan Young, Ces and Judy’s, Cravings, Patty Long, and Something Elegant, each dishing out fare to match five book categories: romance, science fiction, banned books, children’s and mystery. There will also be an opportunity to enjoy ‘backstage’ tours of the library before it closes for restoration next year. Attendees are encouraged to dress as their favorite literary character or wear an accessory that pays homage to a character or writer.

    DEBBIE GREENBERG of Creve Coeur has been honored nationally with a ‘Counselors That Change Lives’ award for her work at COLLEGE BOUND. The award from the National Association for College Admission Counseling recognizes professionals who are tirelessly involved in helping students and families on a daily basis. College Bound provides academic, social and life skills support to promising high school students from under-resourced backgrounds and prepares them for success in college. Greenberg, previously a counselor at Whitfield School, has been counseling director with College Bound since its founding in 2006.

    A St. Louis-based charity that provides baby showers for military families is getting some national attention, courtesy of Redbook. The magazine’s November issue features OPERATION SHOWER, a nonprofit founded by ‘chief shower officer’ LENA MORRISSEY of Clayton as a way to give back to military families during a deployment or high-stress situation. More than 250 expectant moms have been ‘showered’ since the organization was formed in March 2007. 

    Local hair designer DREW SCHAEFERING is still talking about his whirlwind trip to the Big Apple for NYC Fashion Week. The David’s in Clayton stylist was invited to work behind the scenes for several shows, incorporating a range of looks from tousled updos to avant-garde, pillowed Victorian styles. One of his assignments involved working backstage at the St. Regis Hotel, helping out JASON WU, the designer who created MICHELLE OBAMA’s stunning inaugural gown!

    WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE has named DR. JEFFREY MILBRANDT its new James S. McDonnell Professor and head of genetics. Milbrandt, who has been with the school since 1983, says one of his goals is to help place Washington University at the forefront of genetic medicine.

    Our town’s history-laden BELLEFONTAINE CEMETERY is marking its 160th year by showcasing its newly refurbished Hotchkiss Chapel. The 100-year-old chapel underwent an extensive renovation that included restoration of stained glass windows, pew, floors and original lighting. A new plaza was also created to allow for outdoor gatherings. The chapel was rededicated by DR. WILLIAM DANFORTH during a ceremony last month.

     New York Times bestselling author and Oprah Book Club favorite DAVID WROBLEWSKI is making his first St. Louis appearance next month. His debut novel, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, has been declared ‘Best Book of the Year’ by several leading publications, including the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune and USA Today. Wroblewski, who is currently working on a prequel to Edgar Sawtelle, will discuss and sign copies of his book at the St. Louis County Library headquarters Nov. 4.