The 10th Annual Beaufort International Film Festival faded to black in superstar fashion on Feb 13th beginning with a champagne reception replete with beautifully presented Lowcountry culinary delights and chocolate truffles. Filmmakers, film lovers and fans of the beautiful and gracious Vanna White, the Spirit & Pride of South Carolina Award recipient, were on hand to see awards presented to the best of the best of over 700 entries from 66 countries in 12 different categories.
The festival began on Wednesday, Feb. 10th at Tabby Place in Beaufort with a kaleidoscope of color reflecting off of the international display of flags of countries represented in the festival, a school of dance flash mob performance and a canon confetti blast set off to signal the official start of the 10th year. Thursday morning began with what would start a trend of packed house attendance for most of the screenings that would continue through Saturday afternoon. Records were set for average screening attendance (average 292 per screening) and the single screening attendance record was set by the feature film Interwoven with 473. The estimated overall attendance record was set with 12,426 people enjoying some part of the four day celebration. This exceeded the attendance record set just last year by over 2000.
North Myrtle Beach native, television host, fashion icon and philanthropist Vanna White was presented the second Spirit & Pride of South Carolina Award. This award is presented annually to that person who is native to, or a long time resident of, South Carolina whose body of work in the film, television, or music industries reflects positively on themselves and the Palmetto State. Vanna was very gracious in accepting this year’s award and encouraged everyone to follow their dreams to the fullest. The award was presented by Rick Ray, Co-Chief Executive of Nuray Pictures and Nuray Digital.
Other top awards went to Justin D. Roberts, former Army Captain and Chaplain, for his film No Greater Love. Justin was presented with the prestigious Santini Patriot Spirit Award. The award is presented to that filmmaker whose work honors American armed forces, veterans and/or their families. The award was presented by the only other recipient of the award, Director/Producer Jonathan Flora. Jonathan was presented the award in 2011 for his film Lt. Dan Band: For the Common Good. Jonathan is a producer with Walt Disney Studios.
The festival also takes pleasure in showcasing the work of those who work behind the scenes and usually get little public attention for their efforts. Jonathan Gaynor, Sound Mixer, was recognized with the Behind the Scenes Award. Presenting the award was Academy Award winning Sound Designer Eugene Gearty.
Other Winners include:
Best Feature: Keep In Touch, directed by Sam Kretchmar, New York, NY
Best Documentary: Daylight Come, directed by Evan Vetter, Wilmington, NC
Best Short Film: Pardon the Intrusion, directed by Louise Caruna Galizia, United Kingdom
Best Student Film: Danny Freud, directed by Madliene Rae Painter, University of North Carolina, School of the Arts, Winston-Salem, NC
Best Comedy: The Gunfighter, directed by Eric Kissack, Los Angeles, CA
Best Animation: Chiaroscuro, directed by Daniel Drummond, Sao Luis, Brazil
Best Screenplay: Attic Ashes, written by Lorraine Portman, St. Augustine, FL
Best Actress: Maritza Brikisak, Los Angeles, CA (A Prayer for the Lonely)
Best Actor: Hoyt Richards, Los Angeles, CA (Intersection)
Best Director: Sam Kretchmar, New York, NY (Keep In Touch)
Audience Choice: Interwoven, (Director VW Scheich, Producer Uyen Le), Beaufort, SC
The Beaufort International Film Festival is produced by the Beaufort Film Society. For more information visit beaufortfilmfestival.com.