Finalists set for the 14th Beaufort International Film Festival

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Just before Christmas, the list of finalists was released for the 2020 Beaufort International Film Festival (BIFF) to be held Feb. 18 to 23.

BIFF 2020 will again be a six-day festival with awards being presented in the categories of features, documentaries (feature and short), short films, student films, screenplays, animation, comedy and audience choice. Also, winners will be named for best actor, best actress, and best director.

In addition to the category and individual awards, South Carolina-based cinematographer/gaffer John Reynolds will be presented the “Behind-The-Scenes” Award for his accomplishments over the past 20 years in the film and television industries.

Oscar, BAFTA, and Emmy winning Sound Designer/Editor Eugene Gearty will be presented the Pat Conroy Lifetime Achievement Award.

“Eugene’s body of work in the film and television industries over nearly four decades is extraordinary. He was one of the first digital sound designers/editors in the industry,” Beaufort Film Society President Ron Tucker said in a release. “He has worked with some of the best directors in the business – Martin Scorsese, Ang Lee, Spike Lee, the Coen Brothers to name a few. Eugene is legendary in the movie world of “sound.” We are very honored to present the Pat Conroy Lifetime Achievement Award to Eugene Gearty for his unparalleled contributions to the art of filmmaking.” 

Also, BIFF 2020 will present the Susan A.K. Shaffer Humanitarian Award to the filmmaker whose work best exemplifies the need for positive social, cultural and/or environmental change in our time. This award transcends category and genre.

Considered one of the fastest growing film festivals in the southeast and a top 100 best reviewed film festival in the world according to FilmFreeway, festival organizers are expecting their biggest crowds yet. BIFF 2019 established new attendance records with more than 16,000 people taking part in some or all of the festival.

Attendees came from 33 states and six countries, and more than 90 filmmakers from around the world were in attendance.

The Beaufort Film Society is a nonprofit, 501 (c) 3, member-supported organization, dedicated to providing the highest levels of entertainment and education to the public from all areas of the film industry.

2020 Beaufort International Film Festival Finalists


Misguided – Directed by Sean Kim, Sarasota, Fla. (Ringling College of Art & Design)

Mocking Bird – Directed by Katherine Crossan, Clemson, S.C. (Clemson University)

Selfish – Directed by Po-Chien Chen, Oakville, Ontario, Canada (Sheridan College)

The Hidden River of My Life – Directed by Kate Woodward, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (Emily Carr University)

Tiffany – Directed by Christina Christie, Orlando, Fla. (Central Florida University)



Band Geeks – Directed by Morgan Elliott, Ontario Canada

Flint: The Poisoning of an American City – Directed by David Barnhart, Atlanta, Ga.

I Am Patrick Swayze – Directed by Adrian Buitenhuis, Canada

My Father’s Brothers – Directed by Shawn Kelley, Charlotte, N.C.

Wind Riders – Directed by Emi Katayama, New York, N.Y.


Born In America – Directed by Zhan Luo, Orange, Calif. (Chapman University)

Divided – Directed by Brynne Mckee, Jackie Palacios, Benjamin Allen, Jack Mullinkosson Orange, Calif. (Chapman University)

St. Simons: Surviving Success – Directed by Lance Lipman, St. Simons Island, Ga.

Waterproof – Directed by Ross Kaufmann, South Hampton, N.Y.


Effigy – Poison and the City – Directed by Udo Flohr, Berlin, Germany

From the Vine – Directed by Sean Cisterna, Ontario, Canada

Immortal – Directed by Jon Dabach, Tom Colley, Danny Isaacs, Rob Margolies, West Hills, Calif.

Last Call – Directed by Gavin Michael Booth, North Hollywood, Calif.

Star Light – Directed by Michael Altieri, Lee Cummings, Los Angeles, Calif.

Yes – Directed by Rob Margolies, New York, N.Y.


40 Minutes Over Maui – Directed by Michael Feld, Josh Covett, Los Angeles, Calif.

Age of Bryce – Directed by David Feagan, Brian Elliott, Waco, Texas

As One – Directed by David Spaltro, New York, N.Y.

Auditioning With Mom – Directed by Steve Coulter, Marietta, Ga.

Carry My Heart to the Yellow River – Directed by Alexis Van Hurkman, St. Paul, Minn.

Darling, Darling Wendy – Directed by Elise Robertson, Los Angeles, Calif.

Dictators Don’t Die – Directed by Serkan Ozturk, Essen Germany

Entwined – Directed by Dale Griffiths Stamos, Santa Barbara, Calif.

Fifty – Directed by Javier Dampierre, Los Angeles, Calif.

Hindsight – Directed by Ian Kent, Charleston, S.C.

Hollowed – Directed by Cedric Thomas Smith, Los Angeles, Calif.

Kneeling Sheep – Directed by Hai Rihan, Los Angeles, Calif.

Method – Directed by Robert Grabow, Livingston, Mont.

Miner’s Mountain – Directed by Bennett Pellington, Wilmington, N.C.

Ms Rossi – Directed by Pat Battistini, Santa Clarita, Calif.

Notice – Directed by Phyllis Jackson, Atlanta, Ga.

Pipe Dream – Directed by Chris King, Roseville, Calif.

Poor Baby – Directed by KC Allen, Findlay, Ohio

Refuge – Directed by Sara Logan Hofstein, Atlanta, Ga.

Safe and Happy – Directed by Richard Ulrich, St. Louis, Mo.

Silencer – Directed by Ahmed Lucan, Atlanta, Ga.

Stop – Directed by James Brown-Orleans, Los Angeles, Calif.

The 11th Order – Directed by Joshua Defour, Atlanta, Ga.

The Keeper – Directed by Bob Celli, New York, N.Y.

The Long Commute – Directed by Miguel Garzon Martinez, New York, N.Y.

Trapped – Directed by Billy Chizmar, Bel Air, Md.

Truce – Directed by John Niespodzianski, Boiling Springs, S.C.


A Lonely Death – Directed by Matthew Suppes, Orange, Calif. (Chapman University)

Ghazaal – Directed by Ragini Bhasin, Orange, Calif. (Chapman University)

Logged On – Directed by Cameron McCormick, Winston-Salem, N.C. (UNCSA)

Off With Your Head – Directed by Kaitlin Moore, Orange, Calif. (Chapman University)

Painted Love – Directed by Michelle DeGrace, Winston-Salem, N.C. (UNCSA)

The Chef – Directed by Hao Zheng, Los Angeles, Calif. (AFI)


40 Minutes Over Maui (short film)

Age of Bryce (short film)

Auditioning With Mom (short film)

From the Vine (feature film)

Misguided (animation film)

Ms Rossi (short film)

Notice (short film)

Poor Baby (short film)


Away With My Heart – Written by Lawrence Nelson II and Hoyt Richards, Los Angeles, Calif.

Conundrum – Written by Mark S. Bourbeau, Boston, Mass.

Half Plus Seven – Written by Wally Marzano-Lesnevich and Lindsay Adkins, Tenafly, N.J.

Mestengo – Written by Theresa Anne Carey, Viroqua, Wis.

Pride & President – Written by John Pisano-Thomsen, Ontario, Canada

The Politics of Love and Dance – Written by John Pisano-Thomsen, Ontario, Canada

The Well – Written by Tom Bhramayana and Michelle Barfield, Maurepas, La.


Dylan Baker (Immortal – feature film)

Sasha Golberg (Fifty – short film)

Robert Grabow (Method – short film)

Anthony Robert Grasso (The Long Commute – short film)

Joe Pantoliano (From the Vine – feature film)

Tim Realbuto (Yes – feature film)


Suzan Anbeh (Effigy: Poison and the City – feature film)

Ana Roshelle Diaz (Trapped – short film)

Lisa Ferris (Pipe Dream – short film)

Hong Mei (Kneeling Sheep – short film)

Maria Souza (Method – short film)

Dey Young (Fifty – short film)


Udo Flohr (Effigy: Poison and the City – feature film)

Robert Grabow (Method – short film)

Chris King (Pipe Dream – short film)

Rob Margolies (Yes – feature film)

Bennett Pellington (Miner’s Mountain – short film)

Hai Rihan (Kneeling Sheep – short film)

Sean Cisterna (From the Vine – feature film)


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