Andie MacDowell, Blythe Danner join Film Society Board

Andie MacDowell, Blythe Danner join Beaufort Film Society Board of AdvisorsThe Beaufort Film Society has created a Board of Advisors to help guide its push into the future as it prepares to host the 11th Annual Beaufort International Film Festival this February.  The Board is full of familiar faces, both local and Hollywood.

“By creating a Board of Advisors comprised of highly respected entertainment industry professionals, all with Beaufort connections, we think this will open doors and create new opportunities,” stated Ron Tucker, Beaufort Film Society President, in a press release.

The Beaufort Film Society Board of Advisors includes:

Blythe Danner (Actress – film, television and stage). Multi-Emmy nominated actress who first won acting acclaim for her performance in the play Summertree (1968). She then won a Best Supporting Actress Tony for her Broadway debut in Butterflies Are Free. She has also accrued an impressive film resume, with films such as Brighton Beach Memoirs, and Meet the Parents and its sequels. Most recently she co-starred in the TV Mini-series, Madoff and starred in I’ll See You In My Dreams. She was awarded the Jean Ribaut Award for Acting Excellence at the Beaufort International Film Festival in 2010. She co-starred in three movies shot in the Beaufort area; The Great Santini, The Prince of Tides, and Forces of Nature.

Julie Dash (She broke through racial and gender boundaries with her Sundance award-winning film (Best Cinematography) Daughters of the Dust (filmed in Beaufort, SC), and she became the first African American woman to have a wide theatrical release of her feature film. In 2004, The Library of Congress placed Daughters of the Dust in the National Film Registry where it joins a select group of American films preserved and protected as national treasures; Dash is the only African American woman with a feature film that has been inducted into the National Film Registry. She serves currently as the Distinguished Professor of Cinema, Television and Emerging Media (CTEMS) at Morehouse College. She has written and directed for CBS, BET, ENCORE STARZ, SHOWTIME, MTV Movies and HBO, directing, the NAACP Image Award winning, Emmy and DGA nominated, The Rosa Parks Story, Incognito, Funny Valentines. Her work as a film director includes theme park, Disney’s Imagineering, and museum design Brothers of the Borderland for The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center Museum.

Jonathan Flora ( Award-winning producer with Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, also directing commercials, music videos, and most recently a series of PSAs addressing Military Suicide Prevention. He is the Director/Producer of the Award Winning Documentary, “Lt. Dan Band: For The Common Good” featuring Academy Award Nominated Actor Gary Sinise with appearances by Robert Duvall, Jon Voight, and more. In 2011, he received the inaugural Santini Patriot Spirit Award from the Beaufort International Film Festival, which presented to a filmmaker whose work honors American veterans or their families.

Eugene Gearty  (sound engineer). He was nominated for an Academy Award in the category of Best Sound for the film Gangs of New York.  He has worked on over 80 films since 1983. He won an Oscar for Best Sound for his work on Martin Scorsese’s Hugo and was also nominated for an Oscar for the movie Life of Pi.  He won an Emmy for Boardwalk Empire.

Andie MacDowell (Actress, Model,), Originally from Gaffney, SC, she was presented the inaugural Spirit & Pride of South Carolina award by the Beaufort International Film Festival in 2015. She is most notable for her acting roles in Sex, Lies, and Videotape, Short Cuts, Four Weddings and a Funeral, and Groundhog Day.  She starred on the Hallmark Channel, playing a small town judge on Cedar Cove.

Topher Maraffi (Associate Professor, University of South Carolina – Beaufort, Media Arts) An assistant professor of Fine Arts, he teaches animation and broadcast design classes in the Media Arts concentration at USCB. In the ’90s, Topher worked as a graphic artist and 3D trainer in New York and San Francisco, and authored three books that were on Disney Animation’s recommended reading list. Course Director of the technical animation classes at Full Sail University in Orlando from 2000-2008, he has guest lectured at SIGGRAPH, Animex, and Red Stick Animation Festival.

Craig McKay (Two time Academy Award nominee and Emmy Award Winner) He received the prestigious Jean Ribaut Award for Film Editing at the 6th Annual Beaufort International Film Festival in 2012. Mr. McKay is an award-winning feature film editor, director, and executive producer. Recognized with two Oscar nominations for editing Reds and The Silence of the Lambs, and an Emmy and Eddie Award for editing the NBC mini-series Holocaust, he has edited more than fifty films including Philadelphia, The Manchurian Candidate, Cop Land, Maid in Manhattan, and Robert Redford’s The Conspirator.

Michael O’Keefe (Actor -Golden Globe and Academy Award nominee) Best known for his roles as Danny Noonan in Caddyshack and Ben Meechum in The Great Santini. He played a Marine in  the miniseries A Rumor of War.   More recently, O’Keefe appeared opposite George Clooney in Michael Clayton. He has appeared twice opposite Jack Nicholson, as his son in Ironweed and as the father of a murdered girl in The Pledge.  He has guest starred on Saving Grace, The West Wing, Criminal Minds, Law & Order, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, House, and Homeland.

Dr. Marlena Smalls (A world renowned singer, entertainer, educator and actress.) She founded the Gullah Festival held in Beaufort, SC in 1985 then went on to form the Hallelujah Singers in 1990 in an effort to share and promote the Gullah heritage. She has played the Kennedy Center, performed for the Queen of England, appeared on television and film and recorded a concert preserved for posterity in the Library of Congress. She also appeared as Bubba’s mama in the Oscar winning film, Forrest Gump.