Saturday 15 December 2018
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2018 Film & Digital Media Symposium

story by Cindy Reid

Back by popular demand, the second annual Film and Digital Media Symposium will be held at USCB’s Center for the Arts (CFA), in conjunction and partnership with the Beaufort International Film Festival (BIFF) on Saturday February 24. The symposium is lead by Topher Maraffi, Assistant Professor of Media Arts at USCB. In addition to teaching digital media, animation, broadcast and game design classes at USCB, Topher Maraffi is an animation judge for the Beaufort International Film Festival. “The symposium is a logical extension to build up the partnership between BIFF and USCB. This event is a natural progression and could grow over time. We can continue to make it a little better every year,” he says, “This year’s event should be really fun and it is very exciting to have Mark Kirkland as our keynote speaker.”

     The symposium’s featured Key Note Speaker is Mark Kirkland. Mark Kirkland is a fine artist and a three-time Emmy award-winning director The Simpsons, and an award-winning filmmaker, writer/director. He studied drawing, animation, and filmmaking and received a BFA degree from The California Institute of The Arts. Kirkland is an associate member of the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) and a former Governor for the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Kirkland‘s short documentary film, Bud’s Odyssey, is an official selection for the BIFF.

Symposium Schedule of Events

11AM | Lightning Round Talks | Ten-minute presentations by USCB faculty and film & media professionals in the Lowcountry

Noon | Break for lunch with speakers (catered lunch  provided to attendees)

1PM | Keynote Speaker | “A visit with Mark Kirkland, Filmmaker & Director for the Simpsons”.

2PM | BIFF Director’s Panel | Q & A with three award-winning directors

     Film maker VW Scheich, Interwoven, Wallenda, returning for a second year, will be on hand for the Lightning Round Talk, discussing his current film project Carpe Vegan. Symposium organizer, Maraffi, will be speaking about the documentary he is making about swing dancing from the 1920’s to the 1950’s, and its roots in the Beaufort, South Carolina Gullah culture.

     The Directors Panel will include award winning filmmakers John Schwab, The Hide, The Applicant, Felix Martiz, Santiago, Mia and Amanda Renee Knox, Rajam, Night Call.

Open to All

     Anyone is welcome to attend. There is no charge and a film festival pass is not needed. Lunch will be provided free of charge and coffee will be served in the afternoon. Maraffi says “There is a wide range of people interested in film making in general and in the film festival. People are curious and as we continue to build on this, we want to include as many people as possible and let them know what is going on here in the film making and digital world.”

Screenings of Participants Films

     Bud’s Odyssey (26min) (USA) Burbank, CA (SC Premiere) Director:  Mark Kirkland. Synopsis: The epic WWII survival story of 1st Lt Robert “Bud” Kingsbury. Screens: Feb 23, Friday, 2:30pm

     Night Call (18min) (Dodge) Los Angeles, CA (SC Premiere) Director: Amanda Renee Knox. Synopsis:  When on a routine patrol, a Black female cop living in and patrolling Inglewood gets called to a disturbance she is forced to make an unprecedented life altering decision. Screens: Feb 22, Thursday, 1:10pm

     In conjunction with the symposium is the Sea Island Center Gallery Reception on Friday February 23 from 5-7 PM. The event is open to the public and is free of charge.

What When & Where

     Film & Digital Media Symposium – The event is open to the public and is free of charge.

     Saturday February 24, 11:00am-3:00pm

     USCB Center for the Arts, 801 Carteret St Beaufort, SC, Classroom 101 – Room capacity is limited and seats will be available on a ‘first come’ basis. There is an interactive simulcast at Library 243, USCB Bluffton campus.

     For further information: