If you go

WHAT: Fifth annual Charleston Film Festival

WHEN: Thursday-Monday

WHERE: Terrace Theatre, 1956 Maybank Highway, James Island

COST: $10 per film

MORE INFO: 762-4247 or www.charlestonfilmfest.com

The Charleston Film Festival, which runs March 13-17 at the Terrace Theatre, will feature a documentary-heavy lineup of 19 feature films alongside more than a dozen local productions.

One of the more ambitious local documentaries to premiere at the festival, "Priscilla's Legacy" was shot over seven years on two continents. The film follows James Island native Thomalind Polite as she traces her roots back to Sierra Leone through a slave girl named Priscilla, who was brought to South Carolina in 1756 at the age of 10.

"Our Man in Tehran" presents the true story of the covert operation to rescue six diplomats stranded in Iran during the Iranian hostage crisis, the highlights of which became the basis for the Oscar-winning film "Argo."

Former CIA agent Bill Daugherty, who was held hostage in Iran for more than a year, will speak after the screening.

Paul Brown, owner of the Terrace and the festival organizer, said the focus on documentaries wasn't a conscious choice, but rather the result of searching for films that would resonate with viewers.

"Charleston audiences tend to be drawn to characters who aren't afraid to speak their minds," Brown said, while pointing out that those looking for bold characters won't be disappointed with this year's picks.

"Burt's Buzz" tells the story of eccentric and reclusive Burt's Bees founder, Burt Shavitz, while "The Dog" chronicles the life of John Stanley Wojtowicz, the bank robber who inspired "Dog Day Afternoon."

Other films follow a blind man who learns to surf and a 14-year-old girl who sails around the world alone.

This year also marks the first time that a local film will open the festival.

"Shifter," by Jamie Costa and Danielle Gianakas, will premiere before the documentary "When Jews Were Funny" on the festival's opening night.

Schedule of films

Thursday

7 p.m.: "Shifter," "When Jews Were Funny"

7 p.m.: "The Double"

9:15 p.m.: "Alan Partridge"

9:15 p.m.: "Dog Day Afternoon"

Friday

Noon: "On My Way"

Noon: "Maidentrip"

2:30 p.m.: Oscar shorts

2:30 p.m.: "Omar"

4:30 p.m.: "The Double"

4:30 p.m.: "Following the Ninth"

7 p.m.: "Wings," "Dom Hemingway"

7 p.m.: "Beyond Sight"

9:15 p.m.: "Omar"

9:15 p.m.: "Knights of Badassdom"

Saturday

Noon: "Burt's Buzz"

Noon: Oscar Shorts

2:30 p.m.: "Goldtooth," "Alan Partridge"

2:30 p.m.: "The Dog"

4:30 p.m.: "On My Way"

4:30 p.m.: Regional Shorts

7 p.m.: "Our Man in Tehran"

7 p.m.: "Blood Ties"

7 p.m.: "Kiss the Water"

9:15 p.m.: "Dom Hemingway"

9:15 p.m.: "Bethlehem"

Sunday

12:30 p.m.: "Following the Ninth"

12:30 p.m.: "The Zigzag Kid"

12:30 p.m.: "Dog Day Afternoon"

2:30 p.m.: "Bethlehem"

2:30 p.m.: "Burt's Buzz"

2:30 p.m.: Indie Grits

4:30 p.m.: "Helpless," "Maidentrip"

4:30 p.m.: Oscar Shorts

7 p.m.: "A Plush Life," "Alan Partridge"

7 p.m.: "Priscilla's Legacy," "Amy Winehouse: The Day She Came to Dingle"

Monday

7 p.m.: Audience choice