Last Chance to Enter Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i

With three weeks to go before submissions close for the Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, Executive Director Leo Sears is confident that movie lovers will be captivated with a full slate of entertaining narrative films. The final deadline to enter is February 1, by direct submission with website submission forms, or via

Vincent, Mayor Kenoi and Kate at the Big Island Film Festival

Vincent Kartheiser, Mayor Kenoi and Kate McKinnon at the 2013 Big Island Film Festival

Celebrating its ninth year with the new name that comes with special partnership, the Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i continues to deliver a unique, professional film festival experience in a welcoming island style and luxurious oceanfront resort setting.

Kristina Anapau in front of the Fairmont Orchid at Mauna Lani

True Blood’s “Maurella” Kristina Anapau was awarded a Golden Honu in 2011

“My favorite part of the festival is at the beginning,” said Sears. “When the filmmakers first arrive, especially if they haven’t been to Hawai‘i before, their feet hardly touch the ground. They’re walking around with leis, and these incredulous smiles on their faces. Then later you’ll see them watching their film in a beach chair, relaxing under the stars with a cold drink in hand, surrounded by other filmmakers who are all part of the family now. It’s a beautiful thing; it’s inspiring.”

Huffington Post blogger Jennifer Grisanti, Big Island Mayor Billy Kenoi, and Actress Eloise Mumford (The River) at the 2012 Big Island Film Festival

Huffington Post blogger and NBC Story Consultant  Jennifer Grisanti, Mayor Billy Kenoi, and Actress Eloise Mumford (The River) at the 2012 Big Island Film Festival

Attended by returning visitors and independent filmmakers from around the world, as well as local residents who love movies, BIFF also hosts notable workshop leaders, such as NBC story consultant Jen Grisanti and screenwriter Ron Osborn of “Moonlighting” fame, among others. Last year’s actor honorees were Saturday Night Live’s comedic heroine Kate McKinnon, and Vincent Kartheiser of “Mad Men” who happily mingled with fans at the Fairmont’s 1960’s-themed cocktail reception and salute.

One of BIFF’s many success stories includes 2013 winner “Chasing Shakespeare” which also earned laurels in the First Glance Film Festival, SXSW, and AFI Cannes’ World Peace Initiative. Directed by Norry Niven, the film is now in distribution as “From Above,” starring Graham Greene and Danny Glover. Hawai‘i-made BIFF alumni films include wildly-popular comedy “Get A Job” by Maui filmmaker Brian Kohne, GB Hajim’s animated sci fi love story “Strange Frame,” and the poignant “Land of Eb” about South Kona’s Micronesian coffee worker community.

A celebration of narrative filmmaking, the complete BIFF experience includes not only film screenings for grown ups at The Fairmont Orchid Hawaii’s beautiful outdoor Plantation Estate, but free family films under the stars at The Shops at Mauna Lani, numerous networking and celebrity social events, feasts for foodies, screenwriting workshops and a closing night “Best of the Fest” with a top-rated Hawaiian music concert and movies chosen by the audience from Festival entries. “Golden Honu” Awards will be presented to the Best Feature and Best Short in Family, Student, Animated, Foreign, Hawai‘i and Audience Choice categories at a special Awards Brunch to honor the filmmakers and their works on Monday, May 26.

BIFF at Mauna Lani

The Big Island “Talk Story” Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i would like to thank sponsors The Shops at Mauna Lani, County of Hawai‘i, Dept. of R&D: CPEP Grant/Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, Redeeming Light International, Inc. and others.

For detailed information visit, find them on Facebook, or 808-883-0394.

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