MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - After 11 years, the Myrtle Beach International Film Festival is now one of the biggest film events in the country. The festival is gaining national attention with its creative, grass roots films.
The Myrtle Beach Film festival is being recognized as one of the best in the world by Film International, and it's ranked as one of the top 25 film festivals in the world by Movie Make Magazine.
The founder of the festival says that turning Myrtle Beach into a "film market" is what organizers want to see moving forward. So now, film-makers are sharing more stories that are making an impact right here at home.
"I met a lot of the local people here, they're extremely gracious with their time and their personalities, and just kind of learning people because that sort of what it's all about," Courier X filmmaker Thomas Gulamerian said. For example, he's learning about stories like local resident Rosemary Wolfe, whose stepdaughter was killed in the Bombing of Pan Am 103.
"We only know one percent of the truth, I've always believed that," Wolfe said. She says this story is so timely because terrorism is worse than ever, so it's important for these powerful stories be told.
"I think it'll give people a new understanding of what victims and their families have gone through," Wolfe said.
A new understanding about Adderall addiction in college students is the focus of another film. Local Dr. Dalal Akoury wants the community to know about the problem our state.
"Unfortunately South Carolina ranks very high in addiction," Dalal Akoury, MD said. The movie, titled "ADDicted," by Dan Jenski, explains how the love and support from families and teachers can be the turning point to end the statistics.
"We together as a community have to work hard to help people who are suffering from addition and stop making them look like criminals," Dr. Akoury said, which is why Dr. Akoury teamed up with filmmakers to show that this is an issue so solutions can be made.
"And that's why I love that movie, that movie is amazing because it's raising the awareness about addition," Dr. Akoury said.
Organizers say people walking out of the theater are shocked at the high quality of the film, and will sit and talk with the filmmaker afterwards - about the impact it makes on them, which is what organizers say is the connection that keeps bringing the festival back year after year.
"There just a lot of work put into these films and a lot of meaning behind them, so it's much different experience," Dalton said. "When you're here at the festival you get to talk to the people who made the films, you can ask them, What's the correlation, why did they make this film, what does it have to do with you personally?' and usually there's a personal story inside there," Dalton said.
You can find the trailer to the Pan Am film here at https://vimeo.com/136280706.
Additional information regarding the films and the festival are on http://www.myrtlebeachfilmfestival.com/.