Charleston International Film FestivalThis past week of participating in the Charleston International Film Festival (CIFF) was a whirlwind of excitement.  Summer Spooner Peacher, Brian Peacher, and all the folks involved with the CIFF did a fantastic job, and we were honored to be a part of our hometown festival.  There were so many great movies to see and rockin’ after parties to attend that it’s taken us this long to recover enough to blog about our experience.

Saying Goodbye played on Saturday afternoon, and since three of the eight shorts in that block were by SC filmmakers, the American Theater was packed.  We had a wide variety of films in our screening – experimental, drama, comedy, foreign, and even a music video – so there was truly something for everyone.  And one of the films in our block was written and directed by James Redford (Robert Redford’s son, although sadly neither was at the screening) so we were in illustrious company. 

Our screening went great – people were laughing, sniffling, and digging around in purses for tissues.  The only hiccup occurred with about 45 seconds left in our movie when the screen froze.  But before we could decide whether to cry or barf, it started back up again, and sighs of relief echoed around the theater, with the loudest coming from us.  At the end of the block, the four groups of filmmakers in attendance answered questions from the audience, and we got lots of fun questions about the cats and our inspiration for the story.  Then as everyone was leaving, so many people stopped by to tell us how much they enjoyed the film or how it touched them.  That’s the most rewarding part of film festivals – getting the chance to talk with people who just watched your film.

Deedee PfeifferWe want to thank everyone who came out to watch, especially our family, friends, and neighbors.  It really meant a lot to have familiar faces in the crowd supporting us.  Also special thanks to two of our cast members, Dick White and Sue Plassmann, who both drove to Charleston to attend the screening.  Also thank you to The Summerville Journal Scene for printing an article about Saying Goodbye on the front page of Friday’s paper so more people in the community would know about the screening.

Sunday evening was the awards banquet at the beautiful Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina, and that’s where we had our first festival celebrity encounter!  Dedee Pfeiffer and her husband Kevin Ryan were there with their short The Tub, for which Dedee won the CIFF Best Actress award.  They were very nice and even took a picture with us

But that’s not the most exciting part of the evening… the most exciting part is that Saying Goodbye won the Cinebarre Award for Best SC Short Film!  The award itself was thrilling enough, but the best part is the prize that comes with it – Saying Goodbye gets to screen for at least a week at the Cinebarre theater! 

Saying Goodbye wins Cinebarre AwardCinebarre serves meals with their movies, so during the time before the feature while the wait staff takes orders and delivers food, they run a preshow of short films, and we will be a part of this preshow.  At first we thought it was only going to be the Mt. Pleasant, SC, location, which would have been awesome enough, but now it sounds like it will be part of the preshow at all the Cinebarre locations across the US – squeeee!  This amazing opportunity will give Saying Goodbye a lot of exposure, and we are still pinching ourselves at our good fortune of winning this award.  Stay tuned to the blog and facebook to find out when it will be showing. 

Check out the full list of winning films from CIFF here.  It has been an incredible week and we want to again thank the CIFF for including us. 

If you’d like to see more pictures from the festival, check out our Flickr page.