You don't have to be a movie buff to enjoy the upcoming Beaufort International Film Festival, but it certainly doesn't hurt.
"If you love going to the theater or if you love movies, you'll love the film festival," said Ron Tucker, president and CEO of the Beaufort Film Society which hosts the annual festival now in its 10th year.
Called the "quintessential cultural event of the Lowcountry" by bestselling author Pat Conroy, the film festival brings filmmakers and industry professionals from all over the world to Beaufort.
But with roughly 40 films spread out over three days of screenings, the festival can be a bit overwhelming at first blush.
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So for those of you who enjoy the big screen, here's a step-by-step guide for how to better manage your film festival experience.
Step One: Check out the movies
Screenings begin Feb. 11 and run through Feb. 13, at the University of South Carolina Beaufort Center for the Arts, at 805 Carteret St., Beaufort.
In addition, each day will offer a variety of films from shorts lasting 5 or 10 minutes to full-length feature films.
If you know you're only going to have a day or an afternoon to devote to the festival, a good place to start is the festival's website at www.beaufortfilmfestival.com.
(Printed schedules can also be found at the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce Visitors' Center, at 701 Craven St., Beaufort, and on entryway racks at many businesses downtown.)
Click on a "Schedule/ Screening Times" then click on the specific day's schedule to see what is playing.
If something seems appealing, you can then go to "Official Selections 2016" for a short synopsis of the film.
Step Two: Drill down
If you have more time or would rather target the types of films you love, go straight to selections and peruse the complete list there.
For example, if you like dramas, "Intersection," about a man suffering from guilt over his daughter's death, might be the film for you.
If comedy is more your thing, you may want to check out "The Break In" -- a 9-minute short about a mother terrified of everything who spends the night at the family cottage.
Or, if documentaries and world affairs interest you, you may want to check out "Since: The Bombing of Pan AM Flight 103" which follows the family members of those killed in the airliner that exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland and shows what has happened since.
There is also about a half dozen entries from South Carolina, for those interested in locally-made films as well as some from North Carolina and Georgia.
Step Three: Get your tickets
You can purchase tickets at the door or in advance at the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce Visitors' Center, 701 Craven St., Beaufort, but you can also purchase online or at the door.
Advance tickets are a good idea if there's a "must see" movie on your list and you don't want to risk that film selling out.
Single film passes for $6are also available so if you only have time for one movie -- say a feature at night -- you can certainly show up at the center and pay at the door.
Also, if you think you're going to see more than one film, a day pass for $50 (discounts are available for members) may give you more bang for your buck.
Step Four: Go to the movies, interact and have fun
Part of attending a festival with like-minded people is participating in discussions, interacting with others and having fun.
With more than 60 filmmakers from all over the world expected to attend the event, there will be plenty of opportunities for meeting directors, actors and other film industry professionals.
"They are very approachable," said Tucker.
In fact, for super fans interested in having the total movie experience, the festival always kicks off with an Opening Night Filmmakers Reception.
This year's reception is at 6 p.m. Feb. 10, at the Tabby Place, 913 Port Republic St., Beaufort.
An Awards Ceremony recognizing South Carolina's own Vanna White, will take place starting with a champagne hour at 7 p.m. Feb. 13.
Tickets for both the awards ceremony and opening night are required in advance.
In addition, a Screenwriter's Workshop and Table-Read in which local actors will read excerpts from scripts is at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 11. A reception follows.
For additional information, visit www.beaufortfilmfestival.com.
Follow reporter Mindy Lucas on Twitter at twitter.com/MindyatIPBG.