by Susan Cohen
One of our favorite parts of the Charleston International Film Festival — even though technically it’s only happened once before — is the South Carolina Film Commission Indie Grant shorts block. It’s a great opportunity to see emerging filmmaking talent from the Lowcountry, and the Midlands and Upstate too. This is the program that funded Maria White’s Debutante Hunters, which went on to win an award at the Sundance Film Festival.
This year, you’ll get to see six works-in-progress: High Heels & Hoodoo (Jocelyn Rish and Brian Rish), Scattered City (Monica D'onofrio, William Aughtry, Phillip Walker, and Nathan Willis), The Lot (Abraham Duenas), Jazz Hands (Robin Condon), supine: a dream (Lyon Hill), and We Can't Help You (Brad Land and Alan Scott Neal).
“We’ve really been able to continue the approach of creating an intriguing, diverse collection of short films,” says Brad Jayne, the grant program’s facilitator. “They run the gamut in terms of genre and storyline, but they all really show off the filmmaking talent in the state, and the quality of stories we have to tell.”
If you’re sitting on a good short script, you might be interested in the the third year of the grant program, which will be accepting submissions May 1-25. Applications will be available at the indie grants website.
Speaking of emerging filmmakers, CIFF will also devote a block to the top 10 entires to the South Carolina Young Filmmakers Project, a competition that encouraged high school students from around the state to submit S.C. State Park-inspired films. The free screening takes place right before the indie grants one, at 10 a.m. Visit the project's website to learn more.