Film festival honors film editor Arthur Schmidt with Ribaut Award

February 15, 2014 

For about an hour Saturday evening, as three days of film screenings came to a close, it was time for Beaufort County residents to take their turn in the spotlight.

Fur coats brushed past silk gowns. A Mary Poppins lookalike served up endless spoonfuls of sugar. A woman dressed as Scarlett O'Hara sipped champagne with a man dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow because, as "Scarlett" said, Johnny Depp belongs in any decade.

But after the reception, a few hundred attendees turned their attention to the real stars of the night -- the finalists of the eighth annual Beaufort International Film Festival. The ceremony was held at the University of South Carolina Beaufort's Center for the Arts on Carteret Street.

Featured at the event was Oscar-winning film editor Arthur Schmidt, for his work on "Forrest Gump," filmed in part in Beaufort County 20 years ago. The festival included a screening of the film as well as one of the documentary "The Magic Behind the Making of Forrest Gump."

That screening brought in about 250 people on Saturday, according to Ron Tucker, president of the Beaufort Film Society, which conducts the festival.

Schmidt, who also received an Academy Award for best film editing for "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," was presented with the Jean Ribaut Award for Excellence in Film Editing.

Arlene Hull, executive director of Alzheimer's Family Services of Greater Beaufort, had another honor in store for a film festival finalist, "The Sum Total of Our Memory." The documentary, directed by Barbara Klutinis of San Francisco, follows the emotional journey of couples recently diagnosed with early Alzheimer's.

As Hull spoke, members of the audience stood, shrouded in purple scarves, to represent the 79 people in America diagnosed with Alzheimer's since the beginning of the awards ceremony. Hull presented Klutinis with the first World Without Purple award.

Other awards:

  • Best screenplay - "Pawn"

  • Co-written by Uyen Le and V. W. Scheich of Los Angeles. The story of a life-changing friendship that develops between an inmate and a corrections officer over a game of chess behind bars at Ypsilanti State Penitentiary in 1965. During the game, each man struggles with the personal events and decisions that led him to his place in life.

  • Best animation - "Death and the Robot"

  • Directed by Austin Taylor of Winston-Salem, N.C. Two lonely souls, bored of their safe havens, venture into new worlds and share an encounter that will nurture a friendship and an everlasting legacy.

  • Best student film - "Helpless"

  • Produced, directed, written, filmed and edited by students of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Leah confesses her true feelings to Chayse in the school library while unknown malice lurks in the hallways.

  • Best short - "The Long Wait"

  • Best actor - Elizabeth Yoder ("The Long Wait")

  • Directed by Wolfgang Bodison of Los Angeles. After more than 20 years of silence, a desperate woman seeks revenge against the man who ruined her life.

  • Best documentary - "AKA Doc Pomus"

  • Audience Choice - AKA Doc Pomus

  • Directed by William Hechter of Ontario, Canada. Doc Pomus was the most unlikely of rock and roll icons. Paralyzed with polio as a child, Brooklyn-born Jerome Felder reinvented himself first as a blues singer, then as a songwriter, creating hits such as "Save the Last Dance for Me," and "Magic Moment."

  • Best feature - "The One Who Loves You"

  • Best director - Katharyn Grant of Denver - ("The One Who Loves You.")

  • It's 1974. Gloria Bethune faces a bleak existene after failing as a singer in New York. She retreats to her small hometown where she falls for a grifter, who claims to be the former manager of a famous country singer. Through this flawed man's faith in her, Gloria's passion for singing is reborn, but she is pushed into uncharted territory.

    Follow reporter Rebecca Lurye at

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    Beaufort Film Festival gives nod to "Forrest Gump" anniversary, February 14, 2014

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