Oct. 15--The 20-year anniversary of "Forrest Gump," filmed in part in Beaufort County, is giving the 8th Annual Beaufort International Film Festival one more reason to celebrate.
Among the nods to the film and its role in Beaufort film history will be an award for film editor Arthur Schmidt, who won an Oscar for his work on the movie. Schmidt also received an Oscar for "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?"
Schmidt will receive the Jean Ribaut Award for Excellence in Film Editing during the festival, set for Feb. 12 to 16, according to Ron Tucker, president of the Beaufort Film Society, which conducts the festival.
Tucker said organizers are attempting to bring in other famous faces who worked on "Forrest Gump." While it's unlikely Tom Hanks will attend -- Tucker has asked and been turned down twice because of scheduling conflicts -- he hoped to persuade others to come.
"I'll keep knocking on doors, so there's a few surprises that we might be able to announce," he said.
The festival is seeking local people who were involved with the production of "Forrest Gump," and Tucker said organizers are interested in arranging an event along the lines of the screening done last year for the movie "Radio."
In addition to "Forrest Gump" and "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" Schmidt has 25 film credits between 1977 and 2005 and worked with director Robert Zemeckis on films such as "Back to the Future" and "Cast Away."
In 2009, Zemeckis presented him with the American Cinema Editors Career Achievement Award.
His other awards include "Eddies" from the American Cinema Editors for "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl," "Forrest Gump" and "The Jericho Mile." He was nominated for several major editing awards for "Coal Miner's Daughter," "Back to the Future," "Last of the Mohicans" and "Cast Away."
His last visit to Beaufort was for the filming of "Forrest Gump," which celebrates its 20th anniversary next year.
"I'm happy and honored to be the recipient of the Jean Ribaut Award for Film Editing," Schmidt said in a news release. "I look forward to attending the festival in February. I have many happy memories of beautiful Beaufort and look forward to revisiting your very special town."
The deadline for film festival entries is Oct. 31. The categories are features, documentaries, short films, student films, animation and screenplays. About 8,000 people attended the 2013 festival, according to organizers.
Follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/IPBG_Erin.
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