Bill Paxton Presents Gale Anne Hurd with Achievement in American Film Award, at the Charleston International Film Festival

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Charleston International Film Festival Wraps Up a Spectacular Seventh Year with Screenings, Workshops, Parties, Awards, and The First Lady of Sci-Fi

“Having filmed in Charleston early in my career, it was an honor to receive the first Achievement in American Film Award from such a well-curated festival,” said Hurd. “In a sea of film festivals, Charleston IFF is one that is truly magical.”

In its seventh year, the Charleston International Film Festival (Charleston IFF) welcomed film industry professionals and enthusiasts to historic downtown Charleston to enjoy screenings, workshops, and parties during the five-day event, celebrating films from 11 different countries around the world.

The festival kicked off with an outdoor reception on George Street in front of the Sottile Theatre, followed by an early-release screening of major motion picture Draft Day, starring Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner. The next four days were packed with screenings of 75 short films, documentaries, animations, and features that captivated audiences. Film screening blocks were followed by Q&A sessions between audience members and representatives from the films, including screenwriters, directors, and cinematographers.

Free workshops and demonstrations ran throughout the festival, including a casting and acting session with esteemed casting directors Laray Mayfield (Fight Club, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) and Laura Verbeke (Flight of the Conchords), as well as actor and former professional athlete Ed Marinaro (Hill Street Blues, Blue Mountain State).

After-parties at the Music Farm and Mynt rounded out the festival, offering additional opportunities for film lovers and filmmakers to meet and mingle.

The festival culminated in an Awards Gala where the legendary Gale Anne Hurd was presented an award for Achievement in American Film. Hurd was introduced by esteemed actor Bill Paxton (Aliens, Tombstone, Apollo 13) who said, "I hold a dear place in my heart for Charleston, as it was a location for my first major motion picture, The Lords of Discipline. Coming back to visit for the festival to honor my friend and colleague, Gale Anne Hurd, was a pleasure."

Hurd boasts an illustrious career that includes producing award-winning films and television programs, such as The Terminator, Aliens, The Abyss, Armageddon, The Incredible Hulk, Tremors, Dante’s Peak, and The Walking Dead.

“Having filmed in Charleston early in my career, it was an honor to receive the first Achievement in American Film Award from such a well-curated festival,” said Hurd. “In a sea of film festivals, Charleston IFF is one that is truly magical.”

Hurd wasn’t the only one to leave the festival with new hardware in tow. Grape took home the award for Best Film and Amber Karlins was awarded Best Screenplay for Aurora. 3 Mile Limit, written and directed by Craig Newland, took home the Jury Award for Best Feature, while Harry Grows Up and The Lady in Number 6: Music Changed by Life won Jury Awards for Best Short and Best Documentary, respectively.

The festival attendees chose 120 Days for Best Documentary, Crackerjack for Best Feature, The Armadillo for Best Short, Bittersweet for Best Foreign Film, and Blue for Best Animation. Best Actress went to Alex Lombard for her role in Sophie and Best Actor was awarded to Konstantin Lavysh for Karaganda.

Summer Peacher, Charleston IFF Co-Founder and Executive Director said, “The absolute best part of the film festival is showcasing the product of so many people’s hard work and creativity. We love having a chance to recognize the passion and commitment of these brilliant and talented artists.”

The annual event is made possible largely due to generous donations from corporate sponsors and partners—particularly Charliewood Pictures, the festival’s presenting sponsor for the past three years. Festival Co-Founders Summer and Brian Peacher are already looking to take the festival to an even bigger stage in 2015.

To learn more about Charleston International Film Festival, visit
Gale Anne Hurd Tribute Video

About CIFF
Charleston International Film Festival (CIFF) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with the mission to educate, entertain, and inspire through the art and science of film. Cofounded in 2007, by film producer Summer Peacher and Charleston native Brian Peacher, the festival showcases short films, features and documentaries from the U.S. and around the world. Attendees will gather for five days April 9-13th in downtown Charleston at the Sottile Theatre to attend premieres, panels, special events and culminating at Memminger Auditorium for the Annual Awards Gala. 2014 Sponsors include: Charliewood Pictures, Xfinity, Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina, inventivENVIRONMENTS, Art Institute of Charleston, Carolina One, Charleston City Paper, Palmetto Brewery, Charleston Magazine, College of Charleston, West Coast Water Filtration, SC Film Commission, Technical Event Company, Legare+Bailey+Hinske, BOLD Communications Group, Leyla, Snyder Event Rentals, Bette Walker Photography, and Nickie Cutrona Photography. For sponsorship opportunities please contact For more information on the 2014 Charleston International Film Festival, visit

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