The digital age has redrawn the entire map when it comes to short films. Today’s aspiring filmmaker has new terrain and trade routes, involving everything from webcasting to community-based marketing, to navigate. That much open space to move around in means constant innovation on the part of the artists and that means cool, new kinds of flicks on the screen for the audience.

“It’s going to be really exciting,” says Chris Weatherhead, producing director for Moving Images. “We have some wonderful entries this year.”

Now in its fourth year, the Felder Film Fest at Folly was put together by a triptych of outside-the-box thinkers: Broadway and television veteran Clarence Felder, director of photography Michael Givens, and director, writer, and actor (not to mention regular CP contributor) Nick Smith.

The idea of the festival is to provide incentive, in the form of cash and other prizes, as well as encouragement to the filmmakers of tomorrow. This year’s crop of short (15 minutes or less) films will compete for The Golden Palmetto ($500), Silver Palmetto ($200), and Bronze Palmetto ($100). Films in the running for these prizes have made their way to Charleston from places as varied as Malibu, Calif., and Myrtle Beach.

The real reward is not the money but the chance for the competitors to see the audience experiencing the final result of their efforts. Those unfamiliar with just how much story can fit into 15 minutes of film are in for a pleasant surprise. In a time when “director’s cut” feature films can drone on for hour after hour after hour in major theaters, short film is a reminder that editing is done for a reason. With the fat snipped away, the story can swing like a well-trained athlete in his or her prime right across the screen.

Of course, the screening is just part of the event. Those with a mind to better their own understanding of the craft will have the opportunity to do exactly that.

In addition to the free screenings of the short films, Folly Felder will host special workshops ($25 per person) on Sun. June 3 and Mon. June 4 from 4:15–6:15 p.m. featuring American Film Institute instructor Ron Mangravite. Mangravite, a Hollywood veteran, will help independent filmmakers learn how to use target markets and new technology to their advantage. For more information on the workshops, call 588-9636.

A free seminar for parents of children who are in the film industry, hosted by Lisa Morelli and Chris Weatherhead, will be held on Sun. June 3 from 1–1:45 p.m.

Folly Felder Film Festival • Piccolo Spoleto’s Film and Literary Arts • Free for film screenings • June 3, 4 at 7 p.m. (Special family-friendly all G-rated show: June 3 at 2 p.m.) • Holiday Inn Ballroom, One Center St., Folly Beach • 588-9636

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