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Here are the Finalists for the 2021 Beaufort International Film Festival!

The Beaufort Film Society has announced the Finalists for the upcoming 15th Annual Beaufort International Film Festival taking place February 15-19, 2021 in Beaufort, SC. 

Photo courtesy of the Beaufort International Film Festival

Finalists have been named in the categories of Best Feature, Best Documentary (Feature), Best Documentary (Short), Best Short Film, Duty & Honor, Best Student Film, Best Screenplay, Best Animation, and Best Comedy.  The categories of Best Comedy and Audience Choice will be decided by audience vote.

“After very careful planning and adherence to established guidelines established for South Carolina related to COVID19, we’ve decided that we can present a safe and enjoyable film festival in February.   We’re very optimistic  to be able to present this prestigious festival  as an “in-person” event, understanding the abundance of caution and preparation that it takes to keep everyone as safe as possible.”  stated Ron Tucker, President, Beaufort Film Society

The 2021 Finalists are: 

Animation

Identity CrisisDirected by: Natalie Nichols, Costa Mesa, CA  (Chapman University)

A cyborg named Scott is looking for the perfect gift for a loved one, but not all is well in this futuristic city when he finds his own picture on a wanted poster….

In Our NatureDirected by: Echo Wilson, Winston-Salem, NC (Univ. of North Carolina, School of the Arts)

An animated documentary exploring humanity’s relationship with nature through a world of interviewed “animals.”

Rocky RoadDirected by: Madison Crisp and Victoria Sosa, Winston-Salem, NC (Univ. of North Carolina School of the Arts)

Rocky Road is the story of a socially anxious foster child, Maní, connecting to her community through her adopted mother’s ice cream stand. As she grows up, Maní learns the importance of family, community, and self-confidence through her foster mother’s teachings.

ShimmeryDirected by: Tzuyi Yang, New York, NY (School of Visual Arts)

Shimmery is a surreal, narrative animation whose style combines 3D and 2D graphic elements. A gentle beast searches for light in a dark forest taking the audience on an exploration of addiction at its essence.

Two Different Kinds of LoveDirected by: Alyce Vest,  Oakland, NC  (Savannah College of Art and Design)

A little girl is excited to discover more about her adoption story.

Documentary (Feature)

Invitation to the DanceDirected by: Sarah Shoemaker, Greenville, SC

Invitation to the Dance introduces Lena Forster and her adult special needs ballet class. Filmmaker Sarah Shoemaker follows five students through a year of dance and life, offering viewers the opportunity to glimpse a perspective frequently overlooked, to listen to voices frequently unheard, and to witness the experiences of those who are impacted by the dancers. The film seeks to explore questions about life, community, and our ability to appreciate both the gifts and the limits of each of us.

Navigating THRUDirected by: Lindsay Taylor Jackson, Acton, MA

Navigating THRU follows the journey of several women as they hike 2,200 miles along the Appalachian Trail.

The Hills I Call HomeDirected by: Ashton Gleckman,  Carmel, ID

Documentary (Short)

Mr. Myrtle BeachDirected by: Joel Allen,  Myrtle Beach, SC

A look at the history of Myrtle Beach through the lens of Jack Thompson.

ProDogTVDirected by: Randall Owens,  Greenville, SC

A docuseries about professional dogs

Roots of LacrosseDirected by: Tsioweri:iohsta Adams and Joanne Storkan,  Pebble Beach, CA

Many lacrosse players and coaches often don’t know that the origins of the game of lacrosse has its roots in North American Indigenous nations. This short documentary provides a brief history of the sacred and cultural aspects of this sport, originally played for the Creator, as well as for the health and welfare of the people. The movie also defines the three types of North American, Indigenous lacrosse: Iroquois, Great Lakes, and Southeastern.

Thoughts & PrayersDirected by: Hope Ballard, Highlands Ranch, CO

Gun violence has been heavily prevalent in the lives of young adults such as the filmmaker, Hope Ballard. This film documents Hope’s personal journey as she works with a civil rights expert, a father of a Columbine victim, and a gun enthusiast in search of answers to the gun violence crisis in America.

Duty & Honor

A Band to HonorDirected by:  Warren R. Hull,  Las Vegas, NV

A Band to Honor is a documentary feature film that uses archival footage, photographs, and personal interviews to tell the story of 21 young naval musicians. These individuals were among the 1,177 USS Arizona members who lost their lives when the Empire of Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

Bastard’s RoadDirected by:  Brian Morrison,  Crofton, MD

With remarkable honesty, insight and humor, Marine veteran Jon Hancock’s 6000 mile journey is uniquely positive. It’s about changing the ways one relates to traumatic memories. It’s about beginning the healing process.

The Girl Who Wore FreedomDirected by:  Christian Taylor,  Wheaton, IL

The journey from occupation to liberation, to acceptance and forgiveness to gratitude and pride, is explored through interviews with French survivors and American veterans in this powerful, personal film that tells stories handed down over two generations.

Feature

A Shot Through the WallDirected by: Aimee Long,  New York, NY

A young Chinese-American cop unravels after accidentally shooting an innocent African-American man through a wall.

Electric JesusDirected by: Chris White,  Greenville, SC

ELECTRIC JESUS is a wistful coming-of-age music-comedy reminiscent of THE COMMITMENTS, THAT THING YOU DO, and SING STREET—a rock-and-roll movie about a band that never quite makes it. While the screen band’s music is a weird mash-up of 80’s hair metal and Sunday school, ELECTRIC JESUS wears its heart on its sleeve, ala THE BREAKFAST CLUB, LADY BIRD, and ALMOST FAMOUS.

Night Into DayDirected by: Ben Hall, North Hollywood, CA

James and Katie Shaw, a couple in the middle of a divorce, are caught together on the outskirts of a nuclear attack in Los Angeles. With chaos reigning outside and the threat of nuclear fallout, the two decide to stay put inside their damaged apartment and wait for rescue only to be antagonized by outside forces. 

One MomentDirected by: Deirdre O’Connor,  Long Island, NY

Click here to view the trailer!

One Moment is a humorous, heartwarming story of middle-age siblings struggling to manage their own lives while also caring for their recently widowed aging father. Welcome to the “Sandwich Generation.”

Short Films

AlinaDirected by: Rami Kodeih, Brentwood, CA

As Nazis separate children from their parents in the Warsaw Ghetto, a gang of women risks everything to smuggle their friend’s three-month-old baby to safety. Inspired by true events. Starring Alia Shawkat (ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, SEARCH PARTY), Edin Gali (MAD MEN), Dorota Puzio, Rebeca Robles (BETTER THINGS), Erika Soto (VIDA), and Mark McCullough (LOGAN LUCKY).

BandwidthDirected by: Pat Battistini and Robert Francke, Santa Clarita, CA

Frank’s important job interview on Zoom goes south due to his “stay at home” Covid precautious family using up his bandwidth.

Calf RopeDirected by: Bradley Hawkins,  Landisville, PA

During the summer of ’66, a former rodeo champion and cattle auctioneer from Oklahoma bonds tightly with his young grandson from suburban Pennsylvania while teaching him a few tricks from his previous trades. Shot entirely in rural Pennsylvania, Calf Rope captures the intense love that grandparents often share with their grandchildren and the legacy that lives on long after they have gone.

Dirty Little SecretDirected by: Dale Griffiths Stamos,  Santa Barbara, CA

Nick thinks he can breeze through these therapy sessions with the court appointed psychologist, Dr. Dana Reynolds. After all he’s Nicholas P. Berenger – he’s charmed or bought himself out of worse situations than this. But soon he realizes that Dr. Reynolds may have something on him, and it’s not pretty.

Exit ZeroDirected by: Page Cooper Anderson, New York, NY

A set of dysfunctional twins, down on their luck, inherit a house they hope to sell for ready cash only to discover it is inhabited by their dreadful dead relatives. A new plan is hatched that promises a way to make a living off of the dead.

For Your ConsiderationDirected by:  Poppy Gordon, Brooklyn, NY

Determined to party at Sundance, three entitled young women meet up at an LA member’s only club to make a selection-worthy short film. In an unholy fusion of wokeness and cluelessness, they build a narrative from atop the high perch of their privilege. And piece-by-piece, they almost, almost, almost give a voice to the voiceless — just without ever having any idea what they’re talking about. But they are perfectly positioned to make it happen.

Going My WayDirected by: Rob Margolies, Los Angeles, CA

When a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother, receives devastating news about her health, she decides to live the remainder of her life on her own terms – possibly foregoing the wishes of her family.

GracelandDirected by: Bonnie-Kathleen Ryan,  Los Angeles, CA

Anna Camp stars as a southern mom whose life is all-shook-up when her fourth grader claims to be reincarnation of the king of ‘rock-n-roll

Hallways and DoorsDirected by: J. P. Brennan, Los Angeles, CA

After a dedicated LAPD officer kills a woman’s husband during a domestic disturbance call, his life is shattered. The only person who can save him from ending his own life is the widow of the man he killed.

Hung UpDirected by: Damon Osteen,  Lubbock, TX

HUNG UP updates the modern-day cowboy mythology to a cowgirl mythology, telling the story of the injured-but-indomitable Patty “Duke,” played by Ecuadorian-American actress Melissa Jackson.

Javelina RunDirected by: Lisa Belcher,  Austin, TX

Two idiot ranch hands pretend to be fugitive train robbers to get attention from the ladies at an old west saloon.

Less Heat in ArizonaDirected by: Tom Wardach, Pittstown, NJ

Seasoned thief, Stan, pulls together two mismatched men for a big payoff heist. Slade, is ruthless and dangerous; his unwilling partner, Lee, is a timid, desperate accountant. During the commission of the crime, their true intentions come to light with wildly unexpected results.

Like Daughter, Like MotherDirected by:  Clyde Baldo,  New York, NY

A mother and daughter navigate the world of online dating together.

MendDirected by: Shannon Eubanks,  Acworth, GA

After the loss of his wife, Marv Waters is stuck in a lonely routine meant for two. But what he doesn’t see is that the purpose and community he craves exist just outside his front door.

Monarch ButterflyDirected by:  Clyde Baldo, New York, NY

What would you do and how far would you go to keep a loved one?

Now You See UsDirected by: Romina Schneider,  Brooklyn,  NY

Two actresses “of a certain age” compete fiercely for a role in a TV commercial, but as their audition approaches, the lifelong rivals discover that they are in the presence of a much larger threat: A society that finds them invisible!

Oddly PopularDirected by:  Fred Gallo,   Capistrano Beach,  CA

Four fortuneless females have a hard time navigating daily life. Things get even more complicated when an accidental text inadvertently lands them their own reality show.

PATIRI In the Promised LandDirected by:  Page Cooper Anderson and Dana Schoenfeld, New York, NY

A young immigrant from Zimbabwe, befriends a bookstore owner in hopes of forming an alliance that could help her remain in her country of choice. Her own lies create an outcome she could never have predicted. 

PlotDirected by: Jeremy Folmer, New York, NY

Tensions rise in the RiverPoints Community Playroom, as thirteen diverse Garden Club members slog through a never-ending bi-annual meeting run by the self-appointed leader Wang Fang. Interspersed between the meeting and its sudden unexpected turn are interviews with the gossipy New Age couple, the Frenchman and his alcoholic wife, the Old timers, the Millennial newcomers, and others.

Rent DoDirected by: Gavin Michael Booth,  Verdun, QC  CANADA

Rent Do follows Rich, Winnie and Pete, roommates and reluctant best friends. When each one is unceremoniously fired on the same day, they’re forced to start job hunting. But after Winnifred takes matters into her own hands, all three are forced into hiding. Paying rent becomes the least of their concerns.

Retirement DayDirected by: Cedric Thomas Smith,  San Antonio, TX

After 30 years of employment, Joe retires from his job so that he can spend the rest of his time with the love of his life, Eva.

Silent NotesDirected by: Kiki Tsakalakis, New Canaan, CT

A misunderstood, deaf, white young man longs to join a black Baptist choir that he secretly admires, in hopes of becoming part of the community. 

SweatboxDirected by: Nate O’Mahoney, Los Angeles, CA

Two children are trapped inside during a lethal heatwave when a criminal arrives, begging for shelter.

The AstronautDirected by:  Joey Connolley, Wilmington, NC

An imaginative child must overcome the loss of his father before moving out of the memory-filled house they shared.

The Mushroom HuntressDirected by: Jim Picariello, Brookesville, ME

After Leigh is cut off from her cold, wealthy mother, and witnesses the arrest of her loving-yet-scheming father, she attempts to support herself by capitalizing on her love of wild mushrooms. But while foraging along the forest floor she discovers a shocking family secret.

The Sands of TimeDirected by:  James Hughes, Lutterworth, UNITED KINGDOM

A Time Portal in the Sands Brings a Young Couple Together

The ViolinDirected by: John Rosenbloom,  New York, NY

Matthew Rhys (The Americans, A Beautiful Day in The Neighborhood) portrays a recent divorcee in a nuanced film about music, regret, and hope in a cruel world. 

Writer’s BlockDirected by: Daniel Hamby,  Charlotte, NC

Every filmmaker has heard the phrase, “Write what you know,” but what happens when it’s taken too far? A filmmaker suffering from writer’s block on his murder mystery feature film takes the advice “write what you know” too literally.

Victim No. 6Directed by: Nancy Menagh,  Little Silver, NJ

It’s 1975 in New York City, which has been unaffectionately dubbed “Fear City” by the Council for Public Safety. Donna stands in front of a derelict newsstand, smoking a cigarette and reading the headline: “The City Slasher Trashes Another Victim. Who Will be Next?”

Student Films

ApplebaumDirected by: Edward Loupe, Winston-Salem, NC (Univ. of North Carolina School of the Arts)

 A dying man and his nurse have one last conversation. It changes her life forever.

Born to SeeDirected by: Kristina Usaite, Brooklyn, NY (Brooklyn College, CUNY)

Overwhelmed with giving him independence, the mother of a blind boy struggles with their first separation and watches the world she built for him shatter.

Fish Out of WaterDirected by: Alyssa Asaro,  Vaughan, ON CANADA (Ryerson Univ.)

Fish Out of Water follows the story of 12-year old Henry, a non-verbal boy with Cerebral Palsy. While facing a difficult transition into school and with his brother growing more distant, Henry comes in contact with an alien. 

OasisDirected by: Matthew Wassong,  Westchester, NY (Chapman Univ.)

In the near future, Earth has completely run out of fresh water. In a world of dehydration and desperation, a curious young man and a mysterious woman both go to great lengths to get the one thing everyone needs to survive.

Out of StockDirected by: Bryan Taira, Vista, CA  (Chapman Univ.)

In 1973, the host of The Tonight Show, Johnny Carson, made a joke that toilet paper was going out of stock. By the next day, stores across the country were completely sold out.

RosieDirected by: Tessa Germaine, Trabuco Canyon, CA (Chapman Univ.)

 In 1943 America, factory worker Rose Donnelly must stand up for her female co-workers when their supervisor ignores blatant harassment and refuses to treat them as equals to their male co-workers. Based on the “We Can Do It!” poster by artist J. Howard Miller.

Take CareDirected by: Cameron McCormack, Winston-Salem, NC (Univ. of North Carolina School of the Arts

Tasked with raising her younger siblings, a teenage girl must decide whether to pursue a social life or continue as a caretaker in the wake of her mother’s addiction.

The CakeDirected by: Meital Cohen Navarro, Los Angeles, CA  (NY Film Academy, LA)

A woman in her 80’s discovers a letter from her late husband which reveals a secret he has kept from her for over 40 years. The secret involves her best friend whom she has known most of her life. She decides to confront her friend over a Sunday afternoon tea, despite the many years that has passed. In the end, their regular afternoon tea takes an unexpected turn.

The PunishmentDirected by: Chris Sexton Fletcher, Bradenton, FL (Screen Academy SCOTLAND)

A grief-stricken father hunts down the boy responsible for the events which led to his son’s murder but finds himself unable to escape the consequences of his own violent actions.

The Story of My GrandmaDirected by: Zhang Xiaoyu, Nantong Jiangsu, CHINA (Commonwealth Univ. of China)

 Rebellious Tiantian left for her grandmother, Orchid Qiu, who lives thousands of miles away in a southern town. In the old house, estranged grandma and granddaughter gradually become familiar with each other. However, after a quarrel, Tiantian accidentally broke an old wedding photo. This accident broke the peace of the old house.

ToomsboroDirected by: Liam Tangum, Orange, CA  (Chapman Univ.)

Two brothers in a small Georgia town find a large sum of money in a crashed car and have different ideas about what to do with it.

Best Comedy Nominations

Bandwidth (short film)

Electric Jesus (feature film)

Exit Zero (short film)

For Your Consideration  (short film)

Graceland (short film)

Javelina Run (short film)

Less Heat in Arizona (short film)

Like Daughter, Like Mother  (short film)

Now You See Us (short film)

Oddly Popular (short film)

Out of Stock (student film)

One Moment (feature film)

Plot (short film)

Rent Do (short film)

The Cake (student film)

Writer’s Block (short film)

Screenplay

Along the WayWritten by: Alejandro Leopardi, Rockville, MD

AmiraWritten by: Bob Celli, New York, NY

ConnectWritten by: John Pisano-Thomsen, Toronto CANADA

Litter BugWritten by: Izzy and Vic Vaughan, Cazac FRANCE

One Way OutWritten by: Alyxandrya Prynce, Raleigh NC

The Shadow of FrankensteinWritten by: John Johnson and Adam Stover, Given, WV

Zero LegacyWritten by: Izzy & Vic Vaughan, Cazac FRANCE

Best Actor

Danny Aiello (One Moment- feature film)

Clyde Baldo (PATIRI In the Promised Land – short film)

Jarrod Crawford  (Hallways & Doors – short film)

Anthony Robert Grasso (Monarch Butterfly – short film)

Daniel Hall  (Dirty Little Secret – short film)

Kenny Leu (A Shot Through the Wall – feature film)

Best Actress

Jeanine Bartel (Exit Zero – short film)

Jordan Gosnell  (Like Daughter, Like Mother  – short film)

Jane Hajduk (Dirty Little Secret – short film)

Deborah Kuhn (Monarch Butterfly – short film)

Devi Morgan (Like Daughter, Like Mother – short film)

Cooper Shaw (Hallways & Doors – short film)

Best Director

Page Cooper Anderson and Dana Marissa Schoenfeld (PATIRI in the Promised Land – short film)

Clyde Baldo (Monarch Butterfly – short film)

Aimee Long (A Shot Through the Wall – feature film)

Dale Griffith Stamos (Dirty Little Secret – short film)

Chris White (Electric Jesus – feature film)