This is the second time in a week that we had two screenings on the same day, so after making Brian’s co-workers cry, I jumped in my car and hustled back to Charleston for the Best of the Fest night at the Cinebarre theater.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get there in time to catch the 7:00 screening, which featured my two favorite films from the CIFF: God and Vodka and Place Stamp HereGod and Vodka is an appealing drama perfectly balanced with humor, and I wasn’t at all surprised when it won the Audience Choice Award for Best Short.  And Place Stamp Here is an utterly charming film that won the Audience Choice Award for Best Animation.  Turns out the twin sisters who made it also animated one of my favorites from last year’s CIFF, although the wonderfully creepy style was so different I never would have guessed.  I’m always so awed by people who can draw – I have a bunch of short stories I’d love to turn into animated shorts, but even preschoolers would laugh at my pathetic stick figures. 

Saying Goodbye screened in the 9:00 block, along with another of my fest favorites – The Perfect Hurl.  Surprisingly, the two guys behind it are still in college – the film was so much fun and so well made that I know they have a bright future ahead of them.  I was also fortunate to get to see several of the shorts I missed during the festival, including the Jury Award for Best Short The Story of Us, which had great music and interesting visuals, as well as the darkly funny Atroz, winner of the Audience Choice Award for Best Foreign Film.  And I hope this isn't too conceited to say, but I loved watching Saying Goodbye on Cinebarre’s big screen!  They have an excellent projection system, so it was reassuring to see that people watching it during Cinebarre's preshow will get to see it looking so snazzy.

It was a fun evening with an appreciative crowd, so our thanks again to the Charleston International Film Festival for including Saying Goodbye in the Best of the Fest night.