About the Festival
The Charleston International Film Festival (CIFF) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization created in 2007 to bring people together through the art and science of film. Through this unique art, which has the power to touch our emotions and provoke thought like no other, we intend to promote the exchange of ideas, a greater cross-cultural awareness, and inspire others around the world.
CIFF accomplishes this with an international film and screenplay competition, dedicated to showcasing the art and talent of emerging filmmakers and writers from the U.S. and around the world, in an amazing city known for its deep-rooted American history.
Over the five day spring event which attracts visitors and aficionados from across the region and U.S., all genres of film including a wide range of subject matter are explored. The latest sneak previews and premieres of some of the best new features, documentaries, shorts and animations of local, national and international filmmakers are screened. After the shows, be our guest at the finest select venues around town for nightly after-parties and deal making opportunities. In addition to films and special events, insightful industry panels and educational workshops are offered. The festival closes on a high note at the formal Awards Gala, when the finest in filmmaking and writing displayed during the competition are recognized and honored for their outstanding efforts.
Who We Are
Summer Spooner Peacher – President / Co-Founder
Summer Spooner Peacher is experienced in producing and getting things done. She received her BA in Communications from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and over the years has worked on many films, commercials and music videos, as well as the Academy Awards, Emmy Awards, and MTV Awards. She was the Production Manager for the Beverly Hills Film Festival in 2003 and the Producer/Managing Director in 2006, 2007, and 2008. She has worked at Creative Artists Agency in the Motion Picture Talent Department, been involved with successful projects for Steele Films, Bulls Eye Entertainment, New Ground Productions, Heavy Dialogue Pictures, Think Tank Productions, American Film Institute and Apples and Oranges Productions, and is an active member of Women in Film.
Brian Peacher – Vice-President / Co-Founder
Brian Peacher was raised in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. He is a graduate of the College of Charleston with a BS of Economics, and avid traveler with over 10 years experience dealing in international business and relations. Brian contributed to the success of both the 2006 & 2007 Beverly Hills Film Festivals in California. He has always had a passion for art and creativity in all forms, but believes the art of film is one of the most unique and powerful mediums for touching the hearts and emotions of people. Brian is excited to help bring the projects of filmmakers from around the world to the city he holds close to his heart.
Jim Bush – Director of Festival Operations
Jim Bush has been part of the Charleston International Film Festival for the past few years, and has devoted his professional career to serving the nonprofit community. Jim grew up in Virginia Beach, VA, and made his home in NC for many years after graduating from Elon College with a B.A. in Political Science. Jim’s work with the YMCA in North Carolina eventually brought him to Charleston, where he worked with local leaders to expand the YMCA here. Now, Jim is a senior fundraising consultant with Winkler Group, a full-service fundraising firm based in Mount Pleasant. As Director of Festival Operations, Jim is responsible for making sure you have a great festival experience, and overseeing festival venues and logistics and directing volunteers.
Genna Shelnutt – Marketing Director
Genna Shelnutt joined the Charleston International Film Festival team in 2012 as Marketing Director. Originally from Marietta, Ga, Genna has lived in Charleston for four (glorious) years working at Rawle Murdy Associates, a local marketing and communications firm. At Rawle Murdy, Genna works with clients on the account service side of advertising and public relations, as well as on the creative side, as a copywriter. Her areas of specialty include social media community management, web content development and search engine optimization. In her spare time, Genna enjoys running, blogging and creative writing, reading, painting, drinking red wine and soaking up Charleston. Her interest in CIFF came from a passion for supporting local or undiscovered art and artists. She has a B.A. in Journalism and B.A. in Business from the University of Georgia.
Lee Barbour – Musical Director
Lee Barbour is a local musician with a degree in jazz guitar performance from the University of South Carolina. After college, he moved to Charleston where, within a year of graduating, became the youngest adjunct professor of jazz guitar at the College of Charleston. During his six years there, he played for several groups including a gypsy swing band, several jazz ensembles, and a touring rock band. He has played the Austin City Limits Festival, recorded with jazz guitar legend, Joe Beck, and toured with indie rockers, Band of Horses. He has been featured in Jazz Times, Spin magazine, and The New York Times. He currently resides in Charleston after a recent year spent teaching, playing, and freezing his southern bones in New York City. Lee has released four albums; his latest, ‘nonfiction’, is his most ambitious project to date. When not playing, teaching, or writing music, Lee plays competitive-level table tennis, the shakuhachi flute, and occasionally sits in silence.
Angie Pitts – Special Events Coordinator
Angie Pitts has been a volunteer for the Charleston International Film Festival for four years. She has lived in Charleston for thirty years and has been involved in planning and executing events for numerous non-profit groups. She has worked with Pour it Forward, Earthforce, LEAF, Southern Women Animal Taskforce, Charleston Green Fair and Louie’s Kids. She most recently was on the committee that organized and executed Big Chef Little Chef for Louie’s Kids. Her passion is cooking and entertaining and has worked in catering and food and beverage as a second job for most of her time in Charleston. She has a B.S. and Master’s degree in Special Education from the College of Charleston. She is currently a resource teacher at James Island Middle School where she is the chair of the Outreach Committee, which plans all the faculty and staff events.
Gabrielle Schecker – Festival Liaison
Gabrielle Schecker is a senior at the College of Charleston pursing a BA in English with a concentration in Creative Writing and a minor in Film Studies. Raised in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, she first began working with CIFF in 2011 as the festival’s Intern. Gabrielle is currently the Director of Operations for CofC’s student-ran media network, Cistern Yard Video and in 2012 was inducted in CofC’s Hall of Leaders. She has multiple volunteer experiences including a counselor and educational assistant at Camp Air Waves, a camp devoted to the education of children who have Bronchial Asthma. For the past 15 years, she has been a volunteer in a variety of capacities for the Myrtle Beach Marathon and most recently developing a videography of the event. In the Fall of 2012, she will work as the Assistant Lighting Designer for CofC’s Department of Theatre’s production of Flyin West and will serve as the Lead Light Designer for the College’s Spring Dance Concert. In the future, she plans to continue her involvement in non-profit organizations and pursue a career that most comprehensively utilizes her creative writing talents.
The Charleston International Film Festival encourages people of all ages and backgrounds to participate, and works to partner and integrate community groups and educational institutions into aspects of the festival. We hope to provide a platform for other non-profits and organizations to further their mission through film and to promote a greater cultural understanding, philanthropy and volunteerism in the community.