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Bill Paxton Presents Achievement in American Film Award at Charleston Int'l Film Festival

Bill Paxton Presents Achievement in American Film Award at Charleston Int'l Film Festival

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.

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