Film Fund Fun
It’s action time for anyone wanting to get in on the S.C. Film Commission’s second annual Film Production Fund grant award. The Film Commission created the grant last year as a way to promote collaborations between S.C. filmmakers and the three academic institutions with film programs: Trident Technical College, USC, and Clemson University. In Feb. 2006, the commission awarded $200K of $300K in total grant dollars to local Brad Jayne and Columbia resident Matthew Sefick. The remaining $100K was rolled over to this year’s program, so there’s a potential $400K out there for the right filmmakers — though they’ll only provide funding to those projects that look like honest-to-god enterprises worthy of the investment.

The deadline for submission of script and project ideas is Aug. 31, which means if you’re planning on participating in August’s 48-Hour Film Project hereabouts, there’s that much less time to waste. Jayne’s 30-minute short Song of Pumpkin Brown, the Fund’s first baby, hit local screens this spring, and by all accounts the Film Commission figures that $100K investment a success. Pumpkin earned big props here in town for its both hi-def, beautifully filmed portrayal of a fictional young black jazz artists with the Jenkins Orphanage Jazz Band and its Quentin Baxter-arranged score. It’s since been traveling the festival circuit and making Charleston look good.

Not sure how to apply? Tonight, Wed. July 11, the Film Commission and Trident Tech will host a free seminar for filmmakers hoping to apply for grants from the new initiative. The huddle-up takes place at 6 p.m. at TTC North on 7000 Rivers Ave., Building 410, Student Center, Room 214. It’s gratis, and if you’re there, you’ll get specific advice and guidance on how to apply for the grant and get your short film funded up to $100K. For more info get in touch with Raymond Moody in the Film, Media, and Visual Arts department at TTC: (843) 574-6852. —Patrick Sharbaugh

Afternoon delight
Maybe its a reaction to Bevery Sill’s death last week; the Charleston County Public Library’s A/V Department is all about opera this month. At 1:30 p.m. on the next three consecutive Mondays they’ll screen DVD recordings of three classic live operatic productions. On Mon. July 16, it’s Luciano Pavarotti as Radames in Aida from his first appearance at La Scala in 1985. On Mon. July 23 it’s Mirella Freni and Placido Domingo in a 1974 Madama Butterfly. Finally, from a Metropolitan Opera performance on Nov. 7, 1977, the series wraps with Domingo’s acclaimed take on Verdi’s Rigoletto on Mon. July 30. Bring your own hankies and popcorn. —PS