by Susan Cohen
The official schedule for this year’s Charleston International Film Festival, held May 18-22, has been released, and it’s packed with shorts, documentaries, and full-length features. There’s films from all over the world, from India to Spain to Brazil, as well as from right here in Charleston. While the American Theater will serve as the central venue once again, Cinebarre and the Hippodrome Widescreen Cinema and Performing Arts Center will also host blocks. There’s a lot going on, so we figured we’d give you a rundown of what we’re excited to see.
You’ll recognize some big names this year. Opening night’s highlight is Alleged, a romance based around the Scopes “Monkey Trial,” with Brian Dennehy and Fred Thompson. Sexting is a black comedic short starring Julia Stiles and written and directed by Neil LaBute. And Jason Patric stars in the short Quality Time, written and directed by James Redford (yes, son of Robert).
Meanwhile, local acting troupe Theatre Marvelosa stars in the film version of their French cabaret love story Zee Hat!!, and Rodney Lee Rogers has his short Down Turn in a South Carolina-dedicated block on May 21. You’ll also catch the music video for Emily Hearn’s “Rooftop,” which stars Bill Murray. This is just the tip of the iceberg. To see the full schedule, visit CIFF's website.
Meanwhile, the Indie Grits Film Fest starts next Wednesday and continues through April 17 in Columbia. The Nickolodean Theatre has been hosting Indie Grits for the last five years, hoping to give an exhibition opportunity to filmmakers that may not make it into run-of-the-mill fests.
While its program is extensive, we want to highlight their S.C. Film Commission screening at 6 p.m. on April 14 at the city’s Town Theatre. The six short films featured (The Debutante Hunters, TOOGOODOO, Catawba: River at Risk, The Movie Critic, Down Turn, and Dirty Silverware) were made by recipients of the film commission’s grant program. Although these films will also be shown at CIFF, we think Indie Grits is worth the gas money. Visit Indie Grits' website for more.
And we’ve got one more for you: The Myrtle Beach International Film Festival will take place April 19-23. This fest is in its sixth year, and it’s got the typical screenings as well as other events, like a midnight pancake outing. You’ll recognize some of the movies featured on its schedule, like Josh Ambrite’s documentary 100 Mile Wave. It follows a group of kiteboarders as they ride from Charleston to Myrtle Beach. It won Best Documentary at 2010’s Charleston Film Festival. A full-festival pass is $100. For more info, check out the MBIFF website.