Charleston International Film Festival returns May 18 - 22

The 2011 official poster contest winning design.

In an effort to promote the exchange of ideas, a greater cross-cultural awareness, and inspire others around the world, the Charleston International Film Festival returns for the fourth year running from May 18th - 22nd.

For five days straight, the CIFF plays host to 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.

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 screening venues for this year's festival have been announced as follows: Cinebarre (963 Houston-Northcutt Boulevard) in Mount Pleasant as well as downtown's American Theatre (446 King Street) and Hippodrome Widescreen and Performing Arts Center (360 Concord Street).

Tickets to the screenings are on sale now on both an individual block basis or a $99 festival pass that scores you access to all films, workshops, and parties.

To make your decision easier, hop on over to the official schedule and check out the week's worth of screenings. There's a little bit of everything from music videos to documentaries to a French Cabaret.