You are using an outdated browser. For a faster, safer browsing experience, upgrade for free today.

Lander University Announces 2023 Lander Film Festival

Lander University’s 13th Annual Film Festival short-film competition for high school, college, and open division film makers kicks off on February 10. Winners of the competition will be announced at the festival’s main event on March 18.

Kickoff Workshop (Friday, February 10)

Film makers from all levels of experience are invited to a workshop on February 10 to learn more about the short film competition. The session begins at 5 p.m. in LC-200 of the Carnell Learning Center, and will be streamed online for those who cannot attend in-person.

Sam Thomas, a Lander alum and eight-time winner of the competition, will lead the workshop with a brief discussion about film production and provide guidelines for the festival’s short film entries. Thomas is co-founder of Bessie, a video production company based in Greenwood that produces broadcast commercials and corporate documentaries.

Lander Film Festival (Saturday, March 18)

The afternoon and evening hours of March 18 will be filled with programs featuring guest experts in the field of acting, stage and film production. An awards ceremony for the short film competition will conclude the festivities.

“We are excited to have Shelly Reid, Grainger Hines and Michael Genevie join us as guest speakers,” said Festival Chairman Dr. Robert Stevenson, a professor of media and communications at Lander. “They bring a wealth of experience and industry knowledge, and it’s going to very entertaining.”

Program #1

Beginning at 3 p.m. in LC-200 of the Carnell Learning Center, guest speaker Shelley Reid will hold an hour-long session for audiences. This session is open to the public.

Reid is an experienced actor and screenwriter who began acting at the age of 12 on the stage of the Abbeville Opera House. He has a number of feature film and television roles, including being cast as the character “Cracker” alongside Rick Schroder in the CBS television movie “Too Young the Hero” (1988).  Shelley was also cast in “Love Field” (1990), “The Almost Perfect Bank Robbery” (1997), “Radio” (2003), and “Dear John” (2011).

Off the big screen, Reid has more than 80 stage productions under his belt, as well as experience writing multiple award-winning screenplays. His most recent, which is currently under production, will be the focus of his presentation at the Lander Film Festival.

Program #2

Beginning at 6 p.m. in the Abney Cultural Center Auditorium, guest speakers Grainger Hines and Michael Genevie will share the stage in an hour-long presentation. This session is open to the public.

Grainger Hines, a Greenwood native, sang and played saxophone for the original Swingin’ Medallions. “I’ve always held a warm place in my heart for Lander,” said Hines.

He celebrates his 50th anniversary as a member of the Screen Actors Guild. To date, he has 111 acting roles to his credit, and has experience working as a producer, writer and director. He has been featured in “Ballad of Buster Scrugs,” “Mr. Lincoln” and “The Final Interview,” among others.

Michael Genevie is a stage director, film and television actor who holds a Master of Fine Arts in Directing from Florida State University.

Genevie has been a member of the Screen Actors Guild for 30 years and has directed hundreds of stage productions. He recently retired, after 40 years, as the Executive Director of the historic Abbeville Opera House. He has held many acting roles over his lifetime, including being cast in the hit movie “My Cousin Vinny” (1992), and popular television series such as “Matlock” (1993-94), and “In the Heat of the Night” (1991-93), among others.

Short Film Awards Ceremony

Film makers, families, friends and the public are invited to a special ceremony recognizing the top entries in the short film competition. Prizes will be awarded to winners in each division: $100 for first, $50 for second and $25 for third. The ceremony begins at 7 p.m. in the Abney Cultural Center Auditorium, followed by a reception.

For More Information

Organizers of the Lander Film Festival frequently update their Facebook page at To learn more about the Film Festival or reserve your spot as a contestant in the short film competition, contact Dr. Robert Stevenson by email at