Filmmaker Scott Gardenhour, EP of 13Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, To Receive "Nora Roberts Foundation Award" at 2016 Maryland International Film Festival

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Filmmaker will be on the red carpet opening night of the Maryland International Film Festival -Hagerstown on April 1st.

Scott Gardenhour Executive Producer of 13 Hours

Gardenhour said, "It’s passion and love for what I wanted to do, that’s what carries you through the tough times."

Smithsburg-native Scott Gardenhour will be attending the Maryland International Film Festival-Hagerstown. The Friday April 1st opening night film is “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi.” Gardenhour was the film's executive producer. Gardenhour will be receiving the "Nora Roberts Foundation Award" for being one of the most successful filmmakers hailing from Maryland. “13 Hours” is about the attacks that killed American Ambassador Chris Stevens, U.S. Information Management Officer, Sean Smith, and two CIA Operatives and former Navy Seals, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty at the U.S. Special Mission Compound and CIA Annex in Benghazi, Libya. The contracted US security team tried to defend the ambassador and American Embassy during the chaotic attacks. The film was a box office success earlier this year. Gardenhour and the main actor in the film James Badge Dale will be at the red carpet event, and talking about the film with Q and A following the feature.

Scott Gardenhour is a feature film producer and the co-founder and executive producer of the Emmy award-winning commercial production house, The Institute. A seasoned producer early on, Gardenhour worked on many large-scale commercial and music video projects with award-winning directors before being courted by Propaganda films, one of the world’s most influential production houses that launched the careers of Michael Bay, David Fincher, Simon West, Spike Jonze, and Mark Romanek.

Gardenhour produced the ‘Aaron Burr’ and ‘Baby Cat’ spots directed by Bay for the original “Got Milk?” campaign that went on to win numerous awards including a Clio and Cannes Gold Lion. That same year Bay was awarded the DGA’s Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Commercials for their work together. With numerous years as a producer, Gardenhour went on to become Executive Producer and later, Vice President of Propaganda’s Commercial Division. Under his leadership he led Propaganda Films to be recognized with the industry’s highest honor, the Palme D’Or, for Best Commercial Production Company at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Seeking new challenges after Propaganda, Gardenhour went on to begin his feature film career working on Armageddon, Coyote Ugly, Pearl Harbor, and Jumper.

In 2001, Gardenhour and Bay opened The Institute. Gardenhour has guided the success of the company with campaigns for Nike, AT&T, Victoria’s Secret, and a Cannes Gold Lion winning commercial for Audi. In 2007, The Institute was awarded an Emmy for the Gardenhour produced spec commercial ‘Required Reading’, for Hallmark. Invited to speak by the Wharton School of Business, Gardenhour talked about the discipline of Brand Marketing and the value it holds to Hollywood as a means to successfully develop, produce and market entertainment products. Most recently, with his focus on feature film, Gardenhour has Executive Produced Pain and Gain and 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi.

Scott Gardenhour is known to be one of the most successful Maryland-natives in the film industry. He is a Smithsburg High School Class of 1979 graduate. Gardenhour moved to L.A. and after a couple of years in pursuit of his career, he was offered his first real film job working as a production assistant for actor-producer Michael Douglas. After spending more than 30 years in L.A., Gardenhour said when asked how a small-town Maryland native can become a successful Hollywood producer, "It’s passion and love for what I wanted to do, that’s what carries you through the tough times." The Gardenhour family homestead is still in Smithsburg, Maryland.

Nora Roberts, a long-time resident of Maryland, is an author and entrepreneur. She has written hundreds of books, and has been involved with several film projects made from her works. She is known as the world's most famous romance writer, best-selling author, and contributor for Washington County's economic development and tourism. The Nora Roberts Foundation is a significant supporter of literacy, the arts, and the humanities. The Nora Roberts Foundation is a major financial supporter of the Maryland International Film Festival-Hagerstown, and is a partner in presenting the Nora Roberts Foundation Award.

The Maryland International Film Festival-Hagerstown opens with student films on March 31st, and continues with the opening day and red carpet grand opening night April 1st. The festival runs through April 3rd in five venues in Hagerstown. Filmmakers have announced that they are attending the independent film festival from Nepal, Spain, South Korea, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Norway, Italy, and from across the United States. About 3,000 film goers are expected.

The fifth annual Maryland International Film Festival-Hagerstown received more than 390 submissions, and the judges announced that over 140 films were selected. Opening night Friday April 1st is taking place at the Historic Maryland Theatre. Other venues on Saturday and Sunday April 2 and 3 include the Academy Theater, the Bridge of Life Center, the Veritas UCC Church, along with the Washington County Free Library Fletcher Branch.

For more information about the festival, and to purchase tickets for the April 1-3 event, see: The Maryland International Film Festival-Hagerstown partners with several local organizations, businesses, and individuals, and major sponsors include the City of Hagerstown, the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Washington County Government (Office of Grant Management), the Nora Roberts Foundation, AMVETS, Horizon Goodwill, the Wells House, Ovation PR & Advertising, the Bridge of Life Center, R. Bruce Carson Jewelers, Hagerstown Magazine, and the Maryland Film Office.

The film festival's opening night feature film 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, was distributed by Paramount Pictures, and directed by Michael Bay. According to the NY Daily News, the 4-star film is "...gripping..." and " the band of brothers-style badassery looms large." Cinema Blend said that the film "13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi is a return to Michael Bay doing what he does best. Having people blow stuff up and look cool doing it." Also, Cinema Blend said the film is definitely worth seeing, and "the action is intense and well shot." The Washington Post said that the film is "pulse pounding..." and "as an action film, it is intense and gripping."


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Tracie Hovey
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Maryland International Film Festival
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