Freak Winter Storm Can’t Ice The Beaufort International Film Festival.
By Mark Shaffer
Photos by Susan Deloach Photography (www.sdeloachphoto.com), courtesy of the Beaufort Film Society
A few days after the 2014 Beaufort International Film Festival, I’m talking to the heart and soul of the event, Ron and Rebecca Tucker. The Beaufort Film Society office (across Carteret Street from the festival venue at USCB) is eerily quiet and just a little sad. A tremendous amount of time, energy, effort and passion go into this thing every year. It’s a little like having a child and watching it grow up and move out in the course of four days. But then there’s always the next one.
The Eighth Annual Beaufort International Film Festival was a smashing success on every level. Despite flight cancelations, reroutes and major highway closures caused by a massive winter storm, attendance for this year’s BIFF should surpass 7000. Old friends returned to Beaufort and new friends departed already plotting a way back to BIFF next year.
The 2014 festival celebrated the 20th anniversary of Forrest Gump. The amazing Paul Dengler wowed everyone with his uncanny impersonation of the iconic character, complete with a private bench in the greenroom. A Friday screening of the film featured a panel discussion with some of the cast and crew including film editing legend, Arthur Schmidt and Beaufort’s own Marlena Smalls (Bubba’s Mama). On awards night Schmidt was honored by video tributes from actors Gary Sinise and Tom Hanks. But the video from his longtime collaborator, Director Robert Zemeckis, came as a complete surprise.
There were a lot of great festival moments – too many to list – but a few stand out. During the awards ceremony dozens and dozens of audience members rose wrapped in purple sashes as Alzheimer’s Family Services of Greater Beaufort honored filmmaker Barbara Klutinis for her film The Sum Total of Our Memory. Remember the name Austin Taylor. Fresh out of the UNC School for the Arts, he claimed a fourth consecutive animation trophy for his stunning work on Death & the Robot. And then there’s a moment that sums it all up: the mass audience photo op following the screening of Ned Farr’s short film, Clown Nose Theory. A previous BIFF winner for Best Feature, Farr was in China and couldn’t attend the screening. His film didn’t win, but he’s got that moment to remember forever.
All of these moments were captured through the lenses of Susan DeLoach and Richard Darby. Find them all at www.beaufortfilmfestival.com.
AND THE WINNERS ARE…
Jean Ribaut Award for Excellence in Film Editing: Arthur Schmidt a two-time Oscar winner for Forrest Gump and Who Framed Roger Rabbit. His body of work also includes The Last of the Mohicans and The Birdcage.
The inaugural “Behind the Scenes” Award: James Passanante for more than 30 years of work in the film industry on such films as Forrest Gump, Cold Mountain.
The World Without Purple Award: Special award presented by Alzheimer’s Family Services of Greater Beaufort to filmmaker Barbara Klutinis for her film The Sum Total of Our Memory.
Best Feature: The One Who Loves You, directed by Katharyn Grant, Denver, CO.
Best Documentary: AKA, Doc Pomus, directed by William Hechter and Peter Miller, Ontario, Canada;
Best Short Film: The Long Wait, directed by Wolfgang Bodison, Los Angeles, CA
Best Student Film: Helpless, directed by Christene Hurley, Winston-Salem, NC, University of North Carolina School of the Arts
Best Animation: Death & the Robot, directed by Austin Taylor, Winston-Salem, NC University of North Carolina School of the Arts
Best Screenplay: Pawn, written by Uyen Le and VW Scheich, Los Angeles, CA
Best Actor: Elizabeth Yoder, Los Angeles, CA (The Long Wait)
Best Director: Katharyn Grant, Denver, Co (The One Who Loves You)
Audience Choice: AKA, Doc Pomus (Directors, William Hechter and Peter Miller)