News Item

Sixth Lander Film Festival Called ‘Extraordinary’

April 15, 2015

Sixth Annual Film Festival Photo

Winners of the Sixth Annual Lander Film Festival awards were, from left, Angela English, of Clinton, first place, college division; Russell Salter, of Greenwood, writer/director of Greenwood resident Punit Patel’s film, winner in the open division; Patel; Taylor Wilcox, of Blythewood, third place, college division; Austin Woodard, of Greenwood, director’s choice award; and Travis Diffenderfer, of Anderson, second place, college division, and writer’s choice award.


GREENWOOD — The sixth annual Lander Film Festival was “extraordinary,” according to Festival Director Paul Crutcher, who called it “the best one we’ve ever had.”

Crutcher said the quality of the films turned in by participants has improved every year. “The game just keeps getting raised, and I love that,” he said.

A screening of the winning films at Greenwood Community Theatre was followed by a question-and-answer session featuring special guest, Hollywood screenwriter Craig Titley, whose credits include Marvel’s “Agents of Shield,” “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” “Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief” and “Cheaper by the Dozen.”

Entries were judged on the basis of originality; storytelling; use of the medium; use of lighting, sound, music and special effects; and by the creativity displayed in using a line of dialogue contributed by professional screenwriters that had to be included in the production.

Winning first place in the college division was Angela English, of Clinton, for her film, “What If.” Travis Diffenderfer, of Anderson, won second place for his film, “Three Thirty,” which also won the writer’s choice award. Third place went to Taylor Wilcox, of Blythewood, for his film, “LU 373.”

Punit Patel, of Greenwood, was the winner in the open division, for his film, “No Signal,” and Greenwood resident Austin Woodard won the director’s choice award, for “The Story of Stephan Cartwright.”

Crutcher called the awards ceremony “the payoff for two weeks of a grueling process of writing, casting, shooting and editing.”

Other festival events included the showing of the 1940 film classic “The Mark of Zorro,” which was followed by a discussion led by Lander Associate Professor of English and Film Studies Dr. Misty Jameson.

A screenwriting workshop and “Hollywood Shark Tank Pitch Session,” presided over by Titley, were among the other events.

Titley, who told the audience at the awards ceremony that he began his career as a “lowly production assistant,” has taken part in the festival every year that it has been in existence. He said he has enjoyed seeing the participants grow as filmmakers.

“I love coming back,” he said. “I’ll keep coming back as long as you keep having me.”