by Susan Cohen
The best screenwriters could never dream up the tension and fuss that wreaked havoc on Charleston's film community in 2010, when Michael Furlinger announced the creation of the Charleston Film Festival — an event that would take place only a month before the similarly named, three-year-old Charleston International Film Festival. Furlinger had been involved in past CIFFs, with the Terrace serving as a venue. CIFF organizers Summer Spooner and Brian Peacher tried to stay as mature as they could in light of the situation, keeping out of comment-based tiffs on the City Paper website, though they wished that Furlinger had made some different choices for his own festival, like a less similar name and a different time of year. Meanwhile, filmmakers were left in a pickle when various contract rules either prohibited them from showing in both festivals or forced them to pay steep fees if they chose to withdraw from one or the other. Despite all the drama, both fests were successful and will be repeated this year, though CIFF will now take place May 18-22. New Terrace owner Paul Brown is at the helm of CFF, which will be held March 16-20.
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