Lander University senior Chaz Giles and sophomore Hannah Gallant walked away with three of the top honors at the ninth annual Lander Film Festival awards April 14.
Gallant was the clear winner for Best Actress for her chillingly cool portrayal in the short film "Amore Mio Per La Cena (My Love For Dinner)."
Giles won twice for his short film "Amore Mio Per La Cena"- placing first in the College Division as Best Director, and again in the Writer's Choice Award, which spanned across all divisions. He credited Gallant for the film's success, saying "she took the vision I had and brought it to life."
"I couldn't have asked for a better actress for the part," said Giles, who also holds the title of Best Director at last year's festival. "And to be able to see the progress from my first year in the festival to now inspires to me to work harder and see where I can be in another four years."
The festival, now in its ninth year, drew a record a record number of film entries and engaged the most competitive judging so far.
The film "Love Hurts - Heart 2" placed two winners in the festival's Open Division: Sam Thomas, Best Director and Benji Greeson, Best Actor, both of Abbeville.
Jackson Rivers, of Columbia, won the Director's Choice Award for "Disco UFO," and Benjamin Hidde of Easley took first place in the Young Filmmakers Division for directing "Colors of Jay."
All division winners include:
Young Filmmakers Division:
First Place - Benjamin Hidde, "Colors of Jay."
Second Place - Michelle Espinoza, "Room #."
Third Place (Tie) - Julie Bowman, "Juliet and Juliet"; and Rahim Washington, "The Meeting."
First Place - Chaz Giles, "Amore Mio Per La Cena."
Second Place - Daniel Hudson, "In Your Vase."
Third Place - Tanner Stone, "Lich."
First Place - Sam Thomas, "Love Hurts - Heart 2."
Second Place - Jacob Wardon, "Black Mass."
Third Place - Daljit Kalsi, Jr., "Triggered."
"This year was the biggest turnout we've had since the event started in 2010," said festival director Paul Crutcher, a broadcast and emerging media specialist at Lander. "Some traveled a great distance to be with us at the awards ceremony, and I believe we are lucky to live in an area where thespians have an opportunity to display their talents."