In the Books: The 11th Annual Beaufort International Film Festival Names Winners

Big crowds turn out to support what has been called by some as the "fastest growing film festival in the Southeast"
BEAUFORT, S.C. - Feb. 20, 2017 - PRLog -- The 11th Annual Beaufort International Film Festival is in the books. A Champagne Gala Reception preceded the Awards Ceremony that was held on Saturday evening where trailblazing filmmaker Julie Dash was awarded the inaugural Robert Smalls Merit & Achievement Award. The award was presented by the great great grandson of Robert Smalls, Michael Boulware Moore. Thousands of filmmakers, film lovers and fans of the festival showed up to experience some or all of the five-day film festival. More than 300 entries were received from nearly 44 countries which was narrowed down to the screening of 39 films and seven screenplays. Awards were presented in 12 different categories.

The festival began on Wednesday (Feb 15) at Tabby Place in Beaufort with a packed house. A village of volunteers was there to support the Opening Ceremony as were many area restaurants showcasing their culinary specialties. The WOW moment of the Opening Ceremony was provided by Aunt Pearlie Sue and the Gullah Kinfolk. The crowd was emotionally stirred by the singing of the Gullah spirituals supported with an acoustic boost of the African drums.

Thursday morning began with what would start a trend of packed house attendance for most of the screenings that would continue through Saturday evening. Saturday evening was highlighted by the screening of the 25th Anniversary Edition of the landmark film by Julie Dash, Daughters of the Dust. The screening was followed by a panel discussion led by new Gullah Geechee Corridor Commissioner, Victoria Smalls. Others in attendance were people who appeared in or otherwise had something to do with the film. Daughters of the Dust was filmed in Beaufort in 1991. Large crowds were on hand each day with the average attending each screening of around 200. The largest attended screening was for the Domenica Cameron Scorsese Feature Film "Almost Paris" which brought in 430 folks. It's estimated that at least 10,000 people enjoyed some part of the 5-day festival.

Charleston Filmmaker Brad Jayne was presented the prestigious Behind the Scenes Award. South Carolina Film Office representative Tom Clark was on hand to present the award.

Other Winners include:

Best Feature: Saturn Returns, directed by Shawn Tolleson, Vancouver, BC

Best Documentary: Robert Shaw: Man of Many Voices, co-directed by Peter Miller, New York, NY and Pamela Roberts, Atlanta, GA

Best Short Film: Mia, directed by Felix Martiz, Los Angeles, CA

Best Student Film: Icarus, directed by Tom Teller, Chapman University, Dodge College, Orange, CA

Best Comedy: Long John, directed by Joe Bellavia, Rochester, NY

Best Animation: Splash, directed by Gavin Lankford, Winston-Salem, NC

Best Screenplay: Robert Smalls' Great Escape, written by Bernard Smith, Mandeville, LA

Best Actress: Rukiyat Masud, New York, NY (Children of the Mountain)

Best Actor: Thomas Torrey, Fort Mill, SC (Fare)

Best Director: Thomas Torrey, Fort Mill, SC, Fort Mill, SC (Fare)

Audience Choice: Almost Paris, Director Domenica Cameron Scorsese, Chicago, IL

The Beaufort International Film Festival is produced by the Beaufort Film Society. For more information, visit

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. See more at

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Location:Beaufort - South Carolina - United States
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Page Updated Last on: Feb 20, 2017

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