Film festival

The inaugural Charleston International Film Festival runs through Sunday at the Terrace Theatre on James Island with several East Coast premieres. The screening schedule is broken into blocks, with a ticket price of $8 per block. Passes and tickets are available at the Terrace Theatre box office, 1956 Maybank Highway or online at www.charlestoniff.com.

Day One, SRO.

The opening salvo of the inaugural Charleston International Film Festival got off to a resounding start Thursday night with a sell-out audience at the Terrace Theatre.

The ever-so-slightly nervous smiles of festival director Summer Spooner, partner Brian Peacher and their associates got broader and brighter as the crowd swelled and settled in for debut screenings of "Pivot," a short film featuring Ron Rifkin, and the feature-length "Camille," starring Sienna Miller and James Franco.

Many of the Charleston filmmaking and film support community's stalwarts were on hand to take in the scene and lend their support, among them director Brad Jayne, Southeast Coast Film Guide editor-publisher Tommy Melton, cinematographer Keith Sherer, Carolina Film Alliance chief Robbin Knight, screenwriter and documentary filmmaker Margaret Ford and screenwriter Marsha Rhea, among others.

Most attendees seemed to be of the opinion that a new film festival, well organized and mounted, was not only welcome but needed.

Today's slate, which unspools beginning at 4 p.m., showcases two feature films, two "featurettes" and seven shorts.

One of the festival's more-topical features, apart from movies with a social conscience or a political point of view, is Saturday's recently announced Film Finance Workshop from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the American Theater downtown.

Sponsored by the South Carolina Film Commission and the Media Arts Department at the University of South Carolina, the seminar will be presented by former Miramax production finance executive John Hadity, now president and CEO of Hadity & Associates Inc., a consultancy firm specializing in risk management and production finance for film and television. Registration is limited to 75 people.