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New York filmmaker K. Lorrel Manning’s Happy New Year won the Best Feature Film award at the 6th Beaufort International Film Festival in Beaufort, South Carolina. In Happy New Year, Sgt. Cole Lewis, mentally and physically scarred by his time served in Iraq and Afghanistan, finds humanity, compassion and friendship in a group of similarly injured veterans in the psychiatric ward at a remote Veterans Hospital. Through humor and pathos, Lewis becomes a ray of hope in the ward, as the men find a way to combat their post-war grief. However, just as their luck starts to change, Lewis soon faces his fiercest battle yet. Happy New Year will also screen at the upcoming South by Southwest Film Festival.

Awaken The Dragon

Awaken the Dragon directed by Liz Oakley won the award for Best Documentary. Awaken the Dragon, a 90 minute documentary, filmmaker Liz Oakley introduces us to an unlikely crew of cancer survivors who have found an unconventional path to wellness through the ancient Chinese sport of dragon boating. Through a stunning array of colors and sounds, nail-biting competition, and intimate revelations, the film will take viewers on a journey of hope and healing. Awaken the Dragon is a story beyond survival… a story of reclaiming life… a story of awakening the dragon within.

2012 Beaufort International Film Festival Winners

Jean Ribaut Award for Excellence in Acting
Powers Boothe

Jean Ribaut Award for Excellent in Stunt Coordination
Cal Johnson

Jean Ribaut Award for Excellence in Editing
Craig McKay

Best Screenplay
“The Wedding Photographer,” Teresa Bruce, Beaufort

Best Animated Film
“Stitched and Sown,” Austin Taylor, Winston-Salem, N.C.

Best Student Film
“The Road to Jacob,” Matt Allen,” Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah.

Best Short Film
“Quirk of Fate,” Marco J. Riedel, Cologne, Germany

Best Documentary
“Awaken the Dragon,” Liz Oakley, Charleston.

Best Feature Film: “Happy New Year,” K. Lorrel Manning, New York, N.Y.

Audience Choice Award
“Awaken the Dragon,” Liz Oakley, Charleston.

Best Director
Feliz Martiz, Southgate, Calif., “Santiago”

Best Actor
Jesus Guevara, “Santiago”

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