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New Gallery Offers Nightscape, Astrophotography and Space Art at Queens’ MarketPlace

Adding to its stellar collection of shops, restaurants and services, Queens’ MarketPlace announces an exciting new art experience, Starscape Gallery, scheduled to open in February 2016. Specializing in fine art, nightscape photography, astrophotography, and space art Starscape will offer an out-of-this world selection of museum-quality prints, original paintings, and more.
CullensOwner and photographer Steve Cullen sees an interesting trend in what he calls “astro-tourism” on the island—those visitors excited about the mountain summits, stargazing and the night skies. To capture their imagination, he brings together a unique group of fine artists and art photographers with a shared passion.

“The gallery features nightscape photography, beautiful landscape compositions taken under the evening sky. These could be of places you’ve visited before in daylight, like Pololū Valley but with the Milky Way, a constellation, or perhaps a moonbow delivering a perspective that can only be captured with a camera at night,” said Cullen. “We also have some amazing astrophotography of deep space objects like galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters as well as stunning space art which is a more traditional artist’s interpretation of space phenomena.”
Cullens Milky Way

Cullen says that astrophotography is a more challenging, more technical process, to produce a different kind of art photos. “We might take 200 pounds of equipment out, set it up and leave the shutter open anywhere from eight hours to hundreds of hours,” said Cullen. “The telescope, and thus the camera, precisely tracks the sky as Earth rotates to capture the imagery in fantastic colors and clarity.”

A retired technology executive from Silicon Valley whose first love was astronomy, he moved to New Mexico in 2006, built three observatories and started doing his own research and astrophotography. He soon realized there was a business opportunity and created LightBuckets, the first “online telescope service”, a subscription-based business catering to citizen scientists, astrophotographers, and researchers around the world.

When that operation was sold to a French company, Cullen and wife Cindy (Starscape Gallery’s Gallery Director) moved permanently to Hawai’i Island, one of his favorite places on the planet. Since then, they have been working enthusiastically to open the new gallery.

“Visitors will be treated to a magical visual experience that inspires one to dream of distant worlds, ponder the enormity of the cosmos, and embark on a journey back to the beginning of time,” said Cullen. “Everywhere you look there’s a captivating view of distant galaxies, nebulae, stars, and planets or incredible horizon-to-horizon vistas of the night sky from amazing locations around the globe. The familiar takes on an air of other worlds under the infinite light of the universe.”

Starscape Gallery at Queens’ MarketPlace will be open 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily. For more information, call (808) 430-5864, visit our website at www.starscapegallery.com, or follow Starscape Gallery on Facebook at www.facebook.com/starscapegallery.

Since it opened in 2007, Queens’ MarketPlace in Waikoloa Beach Resort has earned a reputation among visitors and kama‘āina as “the gathering place of the Kohala Coast,” full of shopping opportunities, services and great food, along with entertainment and arts programs, movies under the stars and large-scale concerts in Waikoloa Bowl at Queens’ Gardens. For more information, visit www.QueensMarketPlace.net or call 886-8822.

Free Chinese New Year Event at The Shops at Mauna Lani

The Shops at Mauna Lani invites the community to its third annual Fortune Festival on Friday, February 19, 5-8 p.m. To ring in the Year of the Monkey, the colorful Lion Dancers of Big Island Shaolin Arts will perform, and participants can “feed” the lions with  red lai envelopes for new year’s blessings.

Lion Dance

Other highlights include martial arts performances, fire blowing, I Ching fortune telling, relaxing Chinese acupressure, and a Chinese Dragon display where visitors can pose for photos. In addition, the shopping center will offer a good luck “Hang Sau Zung Grab Bag” and various Chinese New Year sales at participating locations.

A variety of foods will be available for purchase during the festival including Chinese chicken salad, Dragon Bowls and Chinese snacks to support Hālau Manaola, plus favorite local flavors from Miranda’s Malasadas, Kona Ice Truck, specialty hot dogs from Kona Dogs, and more.

The Fortune Festival at The Shops at Mauna Lani is free, and all are welcome. Additional event parking will be available with continuous shuttle service during the event. For more information, visit www.shopsatmaunalani.com, or call (808) 885-9501.

Building and Design Expo Feb. 12-14 – Live Cooking Demo and Book Signing with Sam Choy

The Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce presents the 11th annual Building & Design Expo February 12 – 14 at the Sheraton Kona Resort at Keauhou Bay‘s Kaleiopapa Convention Center.

Celebrity Chef Sam Choy, known for his Hawaiian cuisine, will feature his newest kitchen accessories line, Sam Choy’s Hawaiian Kitchen. He will also do a live cooking demo and book-signing.

Abbas Hassan of Tiki Shark Art, Sam Choy and Kirstin Kahaloa, Executive Director of the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce

Abbas Hassan of Tiki Shark Art, Sam Choy and Kirstin Kahaloa, Executive Director of the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce

Touted as “Hawai‘i Island’s largest home show,” more than 40 vendor booths will exhibit their goods and services in the three-day event. From general contracting and materials to home design and décor including fine art, the expo often features furnishings, blinds and shutters, window-tinting, kitchen countertops, cabinets and flooring, pest control PC solar and financing.

Event sponsors include Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union, Hawaii Gas, P.A. Harris Electric, Renewable Energy Services, Sam Choy & Tiki Shark Art and West Hawaii Today. Contact the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce office at marketing@kona-kohala.com or 808.329.1758.

Big Island Chocolate Fest Seeks Culinary Participants

The fifth annual Big Island Chocolate Festival is looking for culinary participants to share sweet and savory tastes to attendees at the event’s gala on Saturday, May 14 at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel.

chocolate fountainTo honor the centennial anniversary of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, the festival’s theme this year is “Lavalicious-A Chocolate Salute to the 100th Birthday of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.”

Participating chefs, chocolatiers and confectioners can enter the free culinary competition, vying in a variety of “best” judged categories: bonbon, savory, bean-to-bar, plated dessert, Hawaiian cacao, sweet people’s choice, savory people’s choice and best decorated booth.

Folks enjoying the Big Island Chocolate Festival

Folks enjoying the Big Island Chocolate Festival

Culinary participants are encouraged to decorate their booth for the centennial theme to be judged by Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Superintendant Cindy Orlando. Booth elements could include Kilauea and Mauna Loa volcanoes, Hawaiian culture and the park’s native plants and animals.

Members of the winning culinary station will receive four tri-park passes good for free entrance to all three, fee-charging national parks in Hawai‘i for an entire year: Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, Haleakala National Park and Pu‘uhonua o Honaunau National Historic Park.

Big Island Chocolate Festival 095Presented by the Kona Cacao Association (KCA), the event benefits the ACF Kona Kohala Chefs Assn./University of Hawai‘i Foundation endowment fund for the culinary program at Hawai‘i Community College-Palamanui and programs at Kona Pacific Public Charter School in Kealakekua.

Culinarians interested in participating can signup for free now by filling out the Culinary Participant form at www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com/chef-guidelines. Questions? Phone 808-324-6100.

Big Island Chocolate Festival 089

The Big Island Chocolate Festival is presented by the Kona Cacao Association, Inc. The mission and goal of KCA is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawai‘i by presenting BICF as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts. For information, visit www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com.

 

Meet Celebrity Chef Sam Choy at the 11th Annual Building & Design Expo

The Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce will hold its 11th annual Building & Design Expo February 12 – 14 at the Keauhou Convention Center at the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay. Celebrity Chef Sam Choy will make a special appearance and demonstrate his cooking skills all three days of the Expo.

Building and Design Expo 2016

Friday evening the expo is open to the public from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. Saturday expo hours are from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Visit numerous exhibits featuring home design, construction and remodel ideas including home decorating; fine art; windows and doors; flooring and window treatments; kitchen and baths, home energy products and more. The booths will present products, services and information relating to the building and improvement of homes, apartments and condos. Enter to win giveaways and drawings at vendor booths.

Attendees can also enter to win a grand prize: a 2-night stay at the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa.

For additional information regarding the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce Building & Design Expo, go to www.kona-kohala.com or call the Chamber office at 329-1758.

Deadline for Films and Screenplays – Big Island Film Festival at The Farimont Orchid, Hawai’i

Now in its eleventth year, the Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i (BIFF) invites filmmakers and screenwriters to enter their project before the final deadline, Feb. 1, 2016. Complete rules and submission guidelines are available at www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com, for entering by mail or online via www.FilmFreeway.com.

Arielle Kebbel at the 2015 Big Island Film Festival.

Arielle Kebbel at the 2015 Big Island Film Festival.

BIFF takes place May 26-30, 2016 at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i and The Shops at Mauna Lani, giving residents a unique chance to meet and talk story with the people behind the movies they see. Attended by hundreds of filmmakers and their families from Hawai’i and around the world, BIFF has become known for its unique film festival culture that is relaxed, uncrowded, and engaging, where everyone interacts like family.

In addition, BIFF’s script contest can open the door for one winning screenplay to be considered for representation by the Paradigm Agency, one of the industry’s best, with divisions in Beverly Hills, Monterey, Nashville and New York. The contest is open to all completed narrative film scripts that meet submission guidelines.

Will Estes, Tiki Torch Guy and Arielle Kebbel at the 2015 Big Island Film Festival

Will Estes, Tiki Torch Guy and Arielle Kebbel at the 2015 Big Island Film Festival

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 celebrity honorees were Arielle Kebbel of “The Vampire Diaries” and HBO’s “Ballers” with Dwayne The Rock Johnson, and Will Estes of “Blue Bloods,” who enjoyed interacting with island audiences during in-depth interviews and informal garden receptions.

The complete BIFF experience includes not only film screenings for grown ups at The Fairmont Orchid Hawai‘i’s beautiful outdoor Plantation Estate, but free family films under the stars at The Shops at Mauna Lani, numerous networking and celebrity social events, 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 30.

BIFF would like to thank sponsors The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, The Shops at Mauna Lani, County of Hawai‘i, Dept. of R&D: CPEP Grant/Hawai‘i Tourism Authority and others.

2015 BIFF Folks

For detailed information visit www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com.

2016 Waimea Ocean Film Festival Announces Lineup of Films

The action-packed 2016 Waimea Ocean Film Festival (Ocean Film) offers a stunning lineup of films, special guests, intimate coffee talks, Q&As, exhibits, receptions and morning activities, running non-stop January 1-8. The annual event opens January 1, with films playing simultaneously January 1-4 at multiple venues in Waimea (Kahilu Theatre, HPA Gates, Parker Theatre) and at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i January 1-4. On January 5, the festival moves to Four Seasons Resort Hualalai.

Waimea Ocean Film Festival 2016

Ocean Film brings over 50 films to the big screen this year—most of which are world, U.S., Hawai‘i or Big Island premieres—with many filmmakers in attendance to answer questions following the showing of each film. The format of this dynamic festival immerses participants in a greater understanding and awareness of the ocean and island culture through exceptional films, talks, exhibits and activities. Films fall into the basic categories of ocean experience (such as surfing and paddling); ocean environment—including things we do on land that impact the sea, and island culture. Inspirational, thought-provoking films and those that shed light on who we are infuse the program, sharing the extraordinary.

Producer Phil Arnone returns with the KGMB production, Hokule`a: Proud Journey Home, filmed at the time of the 1985 voyage when Hokule‘a sailed throughout the Pacific, as far as New Zealand. This year, Hokule‘a left the Pacific Ocean for the first time, in a momentous sail from New Zealand, to Australia, Bali, Mauritius and finally Cape Town, South Africa. Voyagers will discuss the 2015 Worldwide Voyage (WWV), following the showing of this film, and throughout the festival.

The Voyager Exhibit, including the 8×13-foot world map developed as part of the festival to highlight the WWV route, opens at Kahilu Theatre with a blessing and ceremony 4 p.m. January 1. ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center also joins the festival, with a presentation on wayfinding, using an interactive star compass guide and a full-dome star show on January 8 at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai.

For the surf line-up, Deeper features jaw dropping footage of big wave surfers Andrew Cotton, Garrett McNamara and Kealiʻi Mamala as they charge into the enormous swells pounding the European coastline in winter—from Nazaré in Portugal to Mullaghmore, Ireland. Haleiwa-raised Garrett McNamara, who holds the world record for the largest wave surfed, at 78 feet, joins the festival this year to answers questions following his film, Nazaré Calling.

Ocean Driven chronicles the life of South African big-wave surf champion Chris Bertish as he rises determinedly to the forefront of big wave surfing, becoming a pioneer of paddling into larger waves. A corporate keynote speaker inspiring others to tackle the impossible, Chris Bertish joins the festival this year to answer questions following the film and sign copies of his book, Stoked. The Fisherman’s Son shares the life of Ramon Navarro, winner of the Monster Drop award at The Eddie, with his own true Eddie Aikau story. Nine-time world bodyboard champion, waterman and Waimea resident Mike Stewart joins the festival this year to speak after the showing of Come Hell or High Water, in which he is featured.

Bud Browne Film Archives’ Gun Ho shares a window into surfing in the 60s. Anna Trent Moore, curator of the collection, presents the first annual Bud Browne Surf Film Award during the festival January 4. And, marking the 125th year since his birth, KGMB’s Duke Kahanamoku: Hawaii’s Soul shares the life of Hawai‘i’s legendary waterman and hero.

A Sakada Story tells the tale of Filipino plantation worker Cipriano Erice, who immigrated to Hawai‘i in 1946 to work for Waialua Sugar Plantation, with O‘ahu-based filmmaker and former Miss Hawai‘i Filipina Maribel Apuye in attendance to answer questions. Canefield Songs: Holehole Bushi, hosted by Jake Shimabukuro, tells the story of the Japanese immigrants who sang as they worked on Hawai‘i’s sugar plantations, creating a Japanese-American equivalent of “the blues.”

The Birth of Saké shares the story of what it takes to make world-class saké in the traditional way at Yoshida Brewery, a 144-year-old family-owned small brewery in northern Japan, with filmmaker Erik Shirai in attendance. The Roots of ‘Ulu explores the importance of the breadfruit tree to Hawaiian culture, and its potential role as a food source, with John Antonelli, Matt Yamashita and Jerry Konanuit to answer questions.

Dr. Greg Stone, Ph.D., executive vice president of Conservation International, Oceans, and one of the world’s leading authorities on marine conservation policy and ocean health issues, speaks after the inaugural episode of Ocean Stories: Greg Stone, along with Ocean Stories producers Susan and Greg Goggin.

Inspired by Jacques Cousteau, Dr. Stone began his work in the ocean deep-sea treasure hunting alongside Bermuda legend Teddy Tucker. He has since written some of the world’s most important texts on marine biology, helped establish the Phoenix Islands Protected Area, and been named a hero by “National Geographic” for his work. Dr. Stone also answers questions following Teddy Tucker: Adventure is My Life and Paradise Found: Phoenix Islands.

London filmmaker Tom Mustill brings a stunning BBC production that follows Mexican biologist Dr. Rodrigo Medellin, aka “The Bat Man of Mexico,” as he tracks endangered “Tequila” bats on their 1,000-mile migration to the U.S. border, along with How To Win the Grand National, produced by Oxford Scientific Films.

Tad Fettig, producer of an on-going PBS series E2, which shares solutions to energy issues, speaks following episodes on London-Price of Traffic, Paris-Vélo Liberté, Architecture 2030, Affordable Green Housing, Portland – Sense of Place and Harvesting the Wind. Along these lines, Containment asks the question as to whether we can contain some of the deadliest, longest-lasting substances known to man for 10,000 years, let alone for 240,000 years, when they will no longer be radioactive?

The Diplomat tells the remarkable story of the life and legacy of Ambassador Richard Holbrooke whose crowning achievement, the Dayton Peace Accords, brought an end to the war in Serbia and peace to Bosnia. Told through the perspective of his eldest son, David, who joins the festival to answer questions, The Diplomat takes a riveting look behind-the-scenes at international diplomacy, as it follows Holbrooke’s career from Vietnam to Afghanistan.

When Voices Meet is about South African musician Sharon Katz and educator Nonhlanhla Wanda, who risked everything to form a 500-voice multiracial student choir on Nelson Mandela’s release from prison, intent on helping lead the way for a peaceful transition to democracy. Sharon Katz and producer Marilyn Cohen join the festival, with guitar in hand, ready to share songs from the choir.

Dr. M. Sanjayan, an Emmy nominated news contributor and executive vice president for Conservation International, returns to the festival to share stories from his dialogue with E.O. Wilson, considered one of America’s greatest living thinkers, around the showing of Of Ants and Men. Sanjayan also shares a clip from his coverage for PBS of Big Blue Live, the first live television show featuring ocean wildlife.

Set in the waters of Alaska, Hawaiʻi and Tonga, the MacGillivray Freeman Films’ Humpback Whales provides an up-close look at how and why these whales communicate, sing, feed, breach, play, take care of their young and migrate nearly 10,000 miles each year.

Audubon: John James Audubon and the Birds of America tells the story of this man and the birds that captivated him, and his work. Medicine of the Wolf shares the insight of “National Geographic” photographer Jim Brandenburg, from his study and work with wolves over the past 45 years.

Dr. Drew Harvell, Ph.D., Cornell University professor and curator of the Blaschka Marine Invertebrates collection, brings A Fragile Legacy, which visualizes the story of the 1885 Cornell University purchase of over 500 Blaschka Glass models of marine invertabrates for use in teaching marine biology. These exquisitely crafted models enabled study of delicate creatures that could not otherwise be documented or preserved. Forgotten, the collection is receiving new attention as we try to understand the changes occuring in the ocean.

Unbranded is the spectacular story of Texas cowboy Ben Masters, who recruits three friends and develops a plan to adopt, train and ride a string of wild mustangs 3,000 miles from Mexico to Canada, through the heart of the American West.

Big Island-raised Alison Teal brings another episode from her Alison’s Adventures series. Returning to the island where her Naked and Afraid episode was filmed, Alison finds it covered with plastic trash. Realizing the trash must have washed ashore with the currents, and that it had been cleared prior to filming, Alison embarks on a quest to understand how to reduce the use of plastic overall, and repurpose what we do have into useful material. On the shortlist for an Oscar nomination, Meru provides an edge-of-your-seat account of a first ascent of the 21,000-foot Shark’s Fin on Mount Meru in the Himalayas.

Art weaves its way throughout the 2016 festival. Bonnie Cherni offers classes in ocean-inspired origami January 1-4 at The Fairmont Orchid. Mollie Hustace, HPA faculty member and director of Isaacs Art Center, offers tours and discussion of art works 10 a.m. and noon January 4. Isaacs will also host a tribute to Mary Koski 11 a.m.-3 p.m. January 3.

Painter Sophie Twigg-Smith Teururai, granddaughter of noted artist William Twigg-Smith, presents a full exhibit of recent works at The Fairmont Orchid January 1-4 and at Four Seasons Resort January 5-8.

Tiffany’s Art Agency, founded by Tiffany DeEtte Shafto, offers an exhibit based around the book “Aloha Expressionism by Contemporary Hawaii Artists.” The display features the artwork of Kristie Kosmides, Timothy Allan Shafto, Marlene Louchheim, Kate & Will Jacobson and new works by Kathy Long at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel in the Lloyd Sexton Gallery January 1-4 and at Four Seasons Resort, near the Ballroom where the festival takes place, January 5-8. Please contact the festival for details, info@waimeaoceanfilm.org.

Book signing events for Aloha Expressionism, with these and other Hawai‘i Island artists represented in the book on hand, is 4 p.m. January 1 at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel and 4 p.m. January 7 at Four Seasons Resort.

Print-maker Caren Loebel-Fried shares an exhibit of 20 x 26 framed pieces and a demonstration on printmaking at The Fairmont Orchid January 1-4 and at Four Seasons Resort January 5-8. Loebel-Fried has published six books to date retelling Hawaiian legends with words and art.

Puako-based painter Christian Enns displays his work at the new Enns Gallery in the lobby at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel and offers the chance to observe him in action to gain a sense of his process, 8 a.m.- 10:30 a.m. January 2-4 at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. Enns will is donating the painting he created during last year’s festival, which depicts the vantage point of the 18th hole at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai. It will go to the highest bidder at the Waimea Ocean Film Festival Silent auction during the Four Seasons component of the event.

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Friends of the Natural Energy Laboratory Hawaii Authority Names New Executive Director

Candee Ellsworth is the new executive director of the Friends of the Natural Energy Laboratory Hawaii Authority (FON). A new Hawai’i Island resident, Ellsworth most recently worked as executive director of the Nature’s Nursery Center for Wildlife Rehabilitation & Conservation Education in Ohio.

Candee Ellsworth

Candee Ellsworth

The Midwest native also served 16 years as conservation coordinator of the Toledo Zoo and was a graduate program adjunct professor at Miami University. Ellsworth has a master’s degree in biology from Miami University and a bachelor’s degree in zoology from The University of Findlay.

As executive director, Ellsworth will oversee the organization’s operations, which includes weekday public tours and presentations focusing on cutting edge renewable energy and aquaculture at the ocean science and technology park. Tour volunteers are needed; phone 329-8073 for details.

FRIENDS of NATURAL ENERGY LABORATORY of HAWAII AUTHORITY

FON is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization providing education and outreach at NELHA for the responsible and sustainable use of renewable resources for energy, aquaculture and ocean technology. It offers weekday tours and presentations headquartered from NELHA’s Gateway Visitor Center—a LEED Platinum, sustainable, zero-net energy facility located in Keahole-Kona on Hawai‘i Island. www.FriendsofNELHA.org

 

27th Annual Christmas With The Chefs Holiday Gala

A stellar lineup of Big Isle chefs will be wowing attendees for the 27th annual Christmas with the Chefs holiday gala Saturday, Dec. 5. The American Culinary Federation (ACF) Kona Kohala Chefs Association fundraiser is again on the balmy, seaside grounds of the Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel from 5:30-8 p.m.

Chocolate Fountain by The Cocoa Outlet

Chocolate Fountain by The Cocoa Outlet

Culinary participants to date include the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar, the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows, the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel, Kailua Candy Company, Pueo’s Osteria, Huggo’s, The Feeding Leaf, Lava Lava Beach Club, Red Water Cafe and Habaneros Bar & Grill along with new participants Kohala Burger & Taco and Mai Grille by Chef Allen Hess. Host property Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel will also be decking the halls with a special culinary offering.

In addition, the holiday gala offers handcrafted ales by Kona Brewing Company, Mehana Brewing Company and Big Island Brewhaus; fine wines and 100 percent Kona coffee.

Attendees can enjoy live music by the Bill Noble Trio, dancing under the stars and an exciting silent auction.

Christmas with the Chefs benefits local culinary students attending Hawaii Community College-Palamanui and members of the Kona Kohala Chefs who want to further their education.

Tickets are $85 pre-sale or $90 at the door. Charge tix by phone at 808-329-2522, online at www.konakohalachefs.org or purchase with cash at Kailua Candy Company, Kona Wine Market, Westside Wines Kona, Kamuela Liquor and Bentley’s in Waimea. Reserve VIP table seating for 10 for $1000 by phoning 808-329-2522.

American Culinary Federation Kona Kohala Chefs Association: ACF is the largest, professional, non-profit organization for chefs and cooks in the nation. Founded in 1980, the Kona Kohala chapter is comprised of food service professionals, vendors, growers and culinary enthusiasts: www.konakohalachefs.org.

“Uncorked” Food & Wine Festival at The Shops at Mauna Lani

The Shops at Mauna Lani “Uncorked” Food & Wine Festival on Saturday, November 14, 2015 is a one-night getaway for those who love exceptional food and wine, in the friendly, open-air atmosphere of The Shops at Mauna Lani. Running from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m., attendees are invited to sample special dishes from eight top Hawai‘i chefs as well as a variety of wines from around the world, craft beer and other libations. The festival benefits the Visitor Aloha Society of Hawai‘i Island (VASH) which assists Hawai‘i visitors touched by adversity during their stay.

VASH, a volunteer-driven 501(c)(3) nonprofit, provides supportive services to help visitors cope with adversity, from a lost wallet to a serious medical situation or the death of a loved one. In 2015 so far, VASH has seen a significant increase in visitor requests, increasing the need to train and recruit people to help handle the increased workload while maintaining spirit of Aloha in difficult situations.

Mele‘uhane

Mele‘uhane

A highlight of this year’s festival is “Mele‘uhane,” the melodic collaboration of Keikilani Lindsey and son Leokani, fifth and sixth-generation Hawaiian musicians and storytellers. Their first duo album, “Mele‘uhane” (spirit of the music) was a Hōkū Hanohano nominee this year, and they are often invited to play with John Cruz, Henry Kapono and other Hawaiian music stars.

The “Uncorked” dining experience features food tastings from the “izakaya-style” menu of Monstera, European flavors of The Blue Room, upscale vegan cuisine from Under the Bodhi Tree, contemporary island style by Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar, and the traditional sizzle of Ruth’s Chris Steak House.

Guests will also be among the first to taste selections from the new Mai Grille by Allen Hess, plus items from Village Burger of Waimea and Shiono Sushi Mauna Lani.

Young’s Market and Southern Wine and Spirits will be presenting wines from around the world, while craft brews from Kona Brewing Company will be available to toast the occasion. Tickets are $50 in advance, $70 on the day of the event. A silent auction will be held the night of the event. As a special bonus, ticket holders will not only receive great offers from participating stores and restaurants at The Shops at Mauna Lani on the night of the event, they will also be able to show their “Uncorked Passport” during future visits for additional discounts valued at over $100.

Tickets are limited and may be purchased from participating stores and restaurants at The Shops at Mauna Lani including Tommy Bahama Restaurant, The Blue Room, Monstera, Under the Bodhi Tree, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, The Fine Hawaiian Gift Gallery, Third Dimension Gallery, Lahaina Gallery, or buy online at www.BrownPaperTickets.com. Tickets will also be available for sale from VASH members.

For more information, call 808-885-9501, or visit www.ShopsAtMaunaLani.com.

New Home Decor Boutique Opens in Queens’ MarketPlace

Chic, beachy designs, unique gifts and home décor have created a winning formula for SoHa Living’s quick success with Hawaii’s visitors and residents. SoHa Living opened for business at Queens’ MarketPlace in Waikoloa Beach Resort on Saturday, October 10, 2015.

Soha living

Their first on Hawai‘i Island, this soon-to-be-favorite shop joins a family of four boutiques, which are located in Kahala Mall and Kailua, O‘ahu and The Shops at Kukuiula in Koloa, Kaua‘i which opened in August.

The brand was was founded in 2002 by sisters Brooke Watson and Shyrah Maurer, who created SoHa (short for “South of Hawai‘i”) to personify “a lifestyle of leisure, vacation, discovery, coastal chic and tropical luxury.” Specializing in unique gifts that evoke relaxing ocean imagery, SoHa Living’s shelves are filled with exotic seashells and decorative signs, pillows, linens, gourmet foods, jewelry, artwork, and anything that epitomizes the beach lifestyle.

SoHa is open 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily. For more information, visit www.sohaliving.com or call (808) 464-4268.

 

Since it opened in 2007, Queens’ MarketPlace in Waikoloa Beach Resort has earned a reputation among visitors and kama‘āina as “the gathering place of the Kohala Coast,” full of shopping opportunities, services and great food, along with entertainment and arts programs, movies under the stars and large-scale concerts in Waikoloa Bowl at Queens’ Gardens. For more information, visit www.QueensMarketPlace.net or call 886-8822.

 

 

New Activities Mark 20th Taste of the Hawaiian Range

While “grazing” at over 60 culinary stations and exhibit booths, attendees at the 20th Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range can get in on some new activities that all promote local and sustainable food production on Hawai‘i Island.

The Taste of the Hawaiian Range is one of my sons favorite events!

The Taste of the Hawaiian Range is one of my sons favorite events!

The anniversary event is 6-8 p.m. Friday, October 9 at the Hilton Waikoloa Village and boasts a stellar lineup of participating chefs from O’ahu, Maui and Hawai‘i Island—plus sampling by local food producers and compelling exhibits presenting topics related to our island agriculture.

Each attending family will receive a complimentary copy of the Taste of the Hawaiian Range 20th Anniversary Cookbooklet, filled with recipes by local chefs and members of the local beef industry. Find out how the Arakis of Kuhio Grille make Miso Pork Pot Roast and what’s the secret for Merriman’s Kahua Ranch Lamb Jook.

taste2015

Also new in 2015 is a digital scavenger hunt where up to 500 guests can answer questions, take photos and learn more about Big Isle agriculture—using their smart phones —for a chance to win prizes like restaurant gift certificates and local food products.

In addition, attendees will be able to connect with exhibit booths through a QR code image posted at each table. The code will connect smart phone users to online product discounts, coupons and links for educational resources.

“These digital activities will enable attendees to take advantage of discount offers from our participating local food producers for up to a year after the event,” explains Christine Osterwalder, Taste exhibit chair. “Guests will also be able to download digital handouts from our educational exhibitors. Info will be conveniently accessible at the click of a button and celebrates the amazing variety of agricultural products here on the Big Island.”

taste2015a

Anniversary festivities will include honoring the event’s 20-year participants and others who have been long-term Taste supporters.

Culinary headliners for this year’s event include Bravo’s “Top Chef” Fan Favorite Sheldon Simeona of Maui’s Migrant Restaurant; Kevin Hanney of Oahu’s 12th Avenue Grill, the 2015 Hale Aina Best Restaurant of the Year; and the host of TV’s “Family Ingredients,” Ed Kenny of Honolulu’s Town Restaurant.

These celebrity chefs, and 30-some others, will be preparing delectable dishes using pasture-raised beef, lamb, goat, mutton and pork. A variety of beef cuts—from tongue to tail— are utilized so chefs and attendees can get acquainted with not-so-familiar cuts while having fun. The pasture-raised beef is sourced from local, humanely raised cattle that are free of antibiotics and hormones. Enjoy familiar cuts like sirloin tip and ribs, plus tripe and the infamous “rocky mountain oysters” or bull testicles.

The Rocky Mountain Oyster Display

The Rocky Mountain Oyster Display

Hawaii Regional Cuisine founders Roy Yamaguchi and Peter Merriman will lead the pre-gala’s educational offerings, which are open to the public. Using oxtail and beef tenderloin, Chef Yamaguchi of Roy’s instructs the 2015 edition of Cooking Pasture-Raised Beef 101 at 3 p.m. Peter Merriman of Merriman’s Restaurants offers a presentation on purchasing local for the professional kitchen that is geared for college culinary students at 1:30 p.m.

Pre-sale tickets for Taste are $45 and $60 at the door. Entry to Cooking 101 is $10 while the 1:30 p.m. class is free. Tickets are on sale at island-wide locations and online. Tickets locations include Kuhio Grille in Hilo, JJ’s Country Market in Honoka‘a, Kamuela Liquors and Parker Ranch Store in Waimea, Kona Wine Market in Kailua-Kona and Kohala Essence Shop at the Hilton Waikoloa Village. Purchase tickets online at www.TasteoftheHawaiianRange.com.

Watch for ticket giveaways on Facebook at Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Twitter #TasteHI.

A free parking and shuttle service to Taste is available from ‘Anaeho‘omalu Bay noon-10 p.m.; follow parking signs on Waikoloa Beach Drive. Guests are encouraged to come early to avoid shuttle lines. For general event information, phone (808) 969-8209.

Anyone who requires an auxiliary aid or service for effective communication or a modification of policies and procedures to participate in this event should contact Russell Nagata at 808-969-8209 no later than September 7.

taste2015bMealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Agriculture Festival provides a venue for sustainable agricultural education, encouragement and support of locally produced ag products. The premiere ag-tourism event is a partnership between CTAHR, Hawaii Cattlemen’s Association, Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council, Kulana Foods, UH-Hilo CAFNRM, County of Hawaii Dept. on Environmental Management and community volunteers. Sponsorship also includes the Hawaii Tourism Authority, the Hawaii County Research and Development, Hawaii Community College Food Service & Culinary Program, Kamehameha Schools, KTA SuperStores, West Hawaii Today and Pacific Radio Group. The quality and growth of this event are rooted in small business participation, sponsorship and in-kind donations. For more information, visit www.TasteoftheHawaiianRange.com.

 

Kohala Kai – Big Island’s Newest Development Being Touted

Kohala Kai, an exclusive, new low-density “green” oceanfront development in North Kohala is being touted to media folks next week on the north side of the Big Island of Hawaii.

Kohala Kai being developed

Kohala Kai being developed

Possibly the last, large private oceanfront ranch available in North Kohala.  498+ acres of gently rolling pasture land with over 4,100 feet of ocean frontage and 11 separate parcels.

Kohala Kai3

Ranch Location

The North Kohala Oceanfront Ranch includes a 59 + acre, immaculate and fully functioning nursery with a large storage building, greenhouse, exotic bamboo; multiple varieties of fruit trees, pineapples and nursery stock.

kohala kai location map

RANCH Location

Highlights includes a state-of-the-art, 100kW wind turbine powering a 50 HP pump from a 480 foot deep well; this system pumps 300 gallons per minute! With high quality well water and power independence this parcel of land can be used for sustainable agricultural ventures including (but not limited to) aquaculture, ranching, animal husbandry, orchard and nursery crops.

KOHALA KAI Development Location:

Kohala Kai

Big Island Film Festival Now Accepting New Films

Submissions will open September 1, 2015 for Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid Hawai‘i (BIFF), accepting new, narrative films for its 11th Annual event, May 26-30, 2016. BIFF is also hosting an original screenplay contest, with entries juried by a panel of industry professionals.

Some of the participants and winners of the 2014 Big Island Film Festival

Some of the participants and winners of the 2014 Big Island Film Festival

Acclaimed by NBC story consultant Jen Grisanti in The Huffington Post, Peter Caranicas in Variety.com, and numerous MovieMaker Magazine kudos, BIFF offers the film community in Hawai’i and beyond an easygoing island environment for networking, movie-watching under the stars, food and music happenings and more.

Deadlines. Narrative short films (30 minutes or less) and feature length (60 minutes or more) completed after January 1, 2015 will be considered. Deadlines are:

  • Early Bird – November 1, 2015. Early Bird Entry Fees: $50 Feature, $40 Short, $30 Student
  • Regular – January 1, 2016. Regular Entry Fees: $60 Feature, $50 Short, $35 Student
  • Late/Final February 1, 2016. Late Entry Fees: $70 Feature, $60 Short, $40 Student

All films shot in Hawai‘i or created by filmmakers who live in Hawai‘i receive a 25% discount on entry fees (verification required), with direct submission—as do BIFF alumni from everywhere.

BIFF uses www.FilmFreeway.com for its film submissions and screenplay contest entries. An easy and affordable process, Film Freeway offers free HD online screeners, Vimeo and YouTube integration, and more.

Awards

“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, 2016.

Ariel Kebbel was awarded a Golden Honu last year.

Ariel Kebbel was awarded a Golden Honu last year.

The Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i is a celebration of narrative filmmaking, with free family films under the stars, international features and shorts, stellar social events, celebrity receptions, screenwriting workshops, film awards and much more in an outstanding island setting. Anchor sponsors include: The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, The Shops at Mauna Lani, Hawai‘i Tourism Authority/Hawai‘i County Department of Research and Development CPEP, and many other generous sponsors and supporters. For submission rules and application visit www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com or call 808-883-0394.

Two Accidents Kill Big Island Man and Visitor from China at a Waikoloa Resort

A 34-year-old man died Wednesday (July 22) as the result of an industrial accident at a Waikoloa resort.

69-400 Waikoloa Beach Drive

69-400 Waikoloa Beach Drive

South Kohala officers responding to an 8:44 a.m. call learned that a subcontractor had been doing renovations at the resort on the 69-400 block of Waikoloa Beach Drive when he suffered a fatal electric shock. He was taken to North Hawaiʻi Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 9:40 a.m.

He has been identified as Aaron Barrett of Honokaʻa.

An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

AND

A Chinese national apparently drowned Wednesday (July 22) at a Waikoloa resort.

South Kohala police officers responded to a 12:36 p.m. report of a possible drowning at a resort on the 69-400 block of Waikoloa Beach Drive and found a man unconscious on the shore with medics attempting cardio-pulmonary resuscitation. The medics were unable to revive him. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 1:30 p.m.

He has been identified as 44-year-old Cong Guo of Shanghai, China.

An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

Waikoloa Beach Resort Restaurants Earn National Acclaim

In June, Lava Lava Beach Club, the oceanfront restaurant at Anaehoomalu Bay, and Kamuela Provision Company (KPC) at the Hilton Waikoloa Village, won recognition on a national level from premier restaurant reservations provider, Open Table.

Kamuela Provision Company in Hilton Waikoloa Village and Lava Lava Beach Club, among the Top 100 Al Fresco Dining experiences, according to Open Table. (Courtesy photos)

Kamuela Provision Company in Hilton Waikoloa Village and Lava Lava Beach Club, among the Top 100 Al Fresco Dining experiences, according to Open Table. (Courtesy photos)

In selecting its “Top 100 Best Al Fresco Dining in America,” more than five million reviews were surveyed from over 20,000 restaurants nationwide, between May 1, 2014, and April 30, 2015. To be included, restaurants were evaluated for excellence in outdoor dining experience, as well as overall service and food/beverage quality.

“The quality of restaurants within our destination resort is outstanding,” said the Resort’s Vice President Scott Head. “It’s great to know that reviews from visitors around the country are reflecting what we’ve known from the beginning. The combination of our Island’s beautiful settings, its first-class fresh foods from local sources and a warm, natural service style makes them winners. I am proud to congratulate Lava Lava Beach Club and Kamuela Provision Company.”

Statewide, 17 Hawaii restaurants made the list, eight from Hawaii Island. Earlier this year, CNN named Lava Lava Beach Club as one of Hawaii’s Top 10 Best Beach Bars.

Lava Lava Beach Club

Lava Lava Beach Club

Established in 2012, Lava Lava Beach Club is presented by the Von Platen Luder family of restaurateurs that includes the venerable Huggo’s in Kailua-Kona. They also offer overnight accommodations in four beach front cottages. For information and reservations, call 808-769-5282 or visit www.lavalavabeachclub.com.

Kamuela Provision Company’s signature Hawaii Regional Cuisine features prime steaks and fresh local produce and seafood is served in a matchless ocean sunset setting. For reservations, call 808-886-1234 or visit www.hiltonwaikoloavillage.com.

Waikoloa Beach Resort is a complete destination resort that encompasses two championship golf courses and over 3,000 guest rooms in two upscale hotels, and seven luxury condominiums and vacation home properties. The Resort also includes award-winning Queens’ MarketPlace and Kings’ Shops, offering a wide variety of shopping opportunities, services and dining experiences, plus free entertainment and cultural programs. For more information visit www.WaikoloaBeachResort.com or call (808) 886-8822.

Police Officer and Woman Shot – Man Barricades Himself in North Kohala

At 7:48 p.m. Monday (July 13), patrol officers responded to a report of a domestic disturbance at a home on the 53-4200 block of Akoni Pule Highway in Halaula, North Kohala.

53-4200 Block Akoni Pule Highway

53-4200 Block Akoni Pule Highway

Responding officers contacted several neighbors in the area who reported loud yelling and screaming coming from the residence. Several people were then seen running from the house as officers approached from the driveway. A gunshot was fired at the officers, striking one officer in his right forearm.

A woman from the house approached the officers and said she had been shot in her outer thigh by her boyfriend.

Both the officer and the woman were taken to North Hawaiʻi Community Hospital for treatment of their injuries.

The 37-year-old man barricaded himself in the house and remains there. He is believed to be the only occupant.

The Hawaiʻi Police Department’s Special Response Team responded and neighboring residents were evacuated as a precaution.

The wounded 43-year-old officer is a 14-year veteran with the Hawaiʻi Police Department. He is listed in stable condition. The 32-year-old woman is also listed in stable condition.

Detectives with the Area II Criminal Investigations Division are continuing the investigation.

Because of this ongoing incident, Route 270 in North Kohala is closed in both directions near the 25-mile marker.

“Summer Is Upon Us” – Free Fashion Show at Queens’ MarketPlace

Queens’ MarketPlace brings summer styles and fashion fun together for the whole family, with a free event, the “Summer Is Upon Us” Fashion show on Sat., May 23, 12:30-2:30 p.m. at the Coronation Pavilion. Presenting the “hottest” and trendy fashions for teens, men, women and children, the show is designed to help the whole family get ready for the beach, surf and sun.

The shopping center’s featured retailers that will be showcased include Volcom, Local Motion, Mahina, Quiksilver/Roxy and Kona Surf N’ Sandals. Wearing these top designs will be models representing Larson Talents Hawaii, with makeup and hairstyles by Salon 808.

Sandy and Kapena

Sandy and Kapena

Adding to the fun, MC for the day will be The Wave’s own Sandy and Kapena, with award-winning DJ Tiger playing the hits.

“The school year is almost over and families like to spend a little more time together,” said Sales & Operations Manager Margo Mau Bunnell. “Maybe you’re planning a vacation, working more beach time into your schedule, or talking about summer parties and graduations. However your summer is shaping up, we’ve got a terrific selection of styles at Queens’ MarketPlace, to help you and your family look their best.”

The “Summer Is Upon Us” fashion show is free and open to all. For more information, visit www.QueensMarketPlace.net or call 886-8822.

Since it opened in 2007, Queens’ MarketPlace in Waikoloa Beach Resort has earned a reputation among visitors and kama‘āina as “the gathering place of the Kohala Coast,” full of shopping opportunities, services and great food, along with entertainment and movies under the stars and large-scale concerts in Waikoloa Bowl at Queens’ Gardens.

Big Island Chocolate Festival Announces Winners

Culinary entries from across the state were tapped winners at last night’s Big Island Chocolate Festival. Chefs, chocolatiers and students were critiqued on taste, texture, appearance and creativity by a team of celebrity judges during the three-day festival.

Professional winners of the BICF gala were from left: Hilton Waikoloa Village Chef Dayne Tanabe, Gini Choobua of Likao Kula Farm, Nat Bletter of Madre Chocolate, Fairmont Orchid Pastry Chef Daniel Sampson and Executive Fairmont Orchid Chef Hubert Des Marais.

Professional winners of the BICF gala were from left: Hilton Waikoloa Village Chef Dayne Tanabe, Gini Choobua of Likao Kula Farm, Nat Bletter of Madre Chocolate, Fairmont Orchid Pastry Chef Daniel Sampson and Executive Fairmont Orchid Chef Hubert Des Marais.

Event host The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i was cited in three categories for best plated dessert, bean to bar and the People’s Choice award. The Hilton Waikoloa Village earned best savory while Madre Chocolate took top bonbons.

Likao Kula Farm of Holualoa bested 11 entries to win the inaugural cacao processing category.

“The processing of the cacao bean—its fermenting and drying—is an important step in the flavor and quality of chocolate and we’re happy our local growers competed in this new competition category,” said Farsheed Bonkadar, president of the Kona Cacao Association.

UH-Maui College won the morning community college culinary competition led by Chef Instructor Teresa Shurilla (with plaque). Students from left are Devin Galloway, Noelle Bender, Yi Song, Taylor McGraw and Clarissa Logsdon.

UH-Maui College won the morning community college culinary competition led by Chef Instructor Teresa Shurilla (with plaque). Students from left are Devin Galloway, Noelle Bender, Yi Song, Taylor McGraw and Clarissa Logsdon.

Culinary students from University of Hawai‘i-Maui College won the morning student competition besting second place Hawai‘i Community College-Hilo and third place Hawai‘i Community College-West Hawai‘i. Students prepared elaborate plated desserts using chocolate.

Commenting on the competitions, Bonkadar added, “The caliber of entries continues to improve and it’s rewarding to see how both student and professional culinarians use chocolate in both sweet and savory recipes.”

Heading the team of judges for the two competitions were celebrity chefs Stanton Ho, Guittard’s Donald Wressell, Valrhona Chocolate’s Derek Poirier and Sam Choy of Keauhou’s Kai Lanai restaurant. Other team judges included Elizabeth McDonald of Maui’s B3 A Beach Bunny Bakery; Ricky DeBoer of The Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui; Steven Arakaki of Kukio Golf & Beach Club; Chris Speere of UH-Maui College and Daniel Sampson of The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i. Teresa Shurilla of UH-Maui College oversaw the judging.

The real winners of the fourth annual festival are two beneficiaries: the Equip the Kitchens campaign for the future Hawai’i Community College-Palamanui and Kona Pacific Public Charter School.

Presented by the Kona Cacao Association, the Big Island Chocolate Festival not only heralds Hawai’i’s growing cacao industry, but also the culinarians who masterfully create foods featuring chocolate.

In addition to last night’s gala, the three-day festival offered a full lineup of chocolate decadence from planting to plating: a Kona cacao farm tour, plus growing and processing seminars and how-to culinary demonstrations.

Visit www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com for updates on next year’s event.

The mission and goal of KCA is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawai‘i by presenting BICF as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts. For information, visit www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com.

 

Stars From “The Vampire Diaries” Meet “Blue Bloods” & Rough Riders at the Big Island Film Festival

Only in Hawai‘i can a bloodthirsty vampire come together with a blue-blooded policeman in peace, for movies under the stars and music by Henry Kapono, John Cruz and Brother Noland.

Ariel Kebbel

Arielle Kebbel

Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i (BIFF) invites the  community to meet actress Arielle Kebbel (“Lexi” from “The Vampire Diaries”) and actor Will Estes (“Officer Jamie Reagan” from “Blue Bloods”) during the tenth annual festival May 21-25, 2015.

Will Estes

Will Estes

The BIFF wraps with Best of the Fest, starring the new Rough Riders trio in concert on Monday, May 25.

Kebbel, 30, grew up in Florida and started her acting career with “CSI” in 2003. Numerous TV credits include “Gillmore Girls,” “Life Unexpected,”  and “90210,” before taking the role of “Lexi” in “The Vampire Diaries.” Kebbel is presently working with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson on a new HBO series, “Ballers,” about professional football.

Estes, 36, costars as Officer Jamie Reagan, son of Police Commissioner Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck) on “Blue Bloods.” His career began at age 6 on “Santa Barbara,” and in 1989 he was chosen to star in “The New Lassie,” using his real name, Will Nipper.  His prolific career has included “Kirk,” “Full House,” and other TV roles, and films such as his most recent, “The Dark Knight Rises.”

The public is invited to exclusive soirées in honor of Kebbel and Estes on Saturday and Sunday, respectively, 5-7 p.m. at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i. Events begin in the Lehua Theatre with a video retrospective of the actor’s career, in-depth interview and Q&A, then stroll into Wailana Gardens for elegant pupu reception, with beverages including Kona Brewing Company beers and Pau Maui Vodka, and an opportunity for informal networking in a luxury resort setting. Advance tickets are required ($35).

Kebbel and Estes will also attend the exciting Golden Honu Awards Brunch on Monday, May 25, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. in the Kilohana Room. The elegant brunch buffet, with beverages including Pau Maui Vodka, is open to the public with advance reservations required ($50).  Winning films and Audience Choice Feature and Short will be announced during brunch.

Audience Choice films will be presented Monday evening at Best of the Fest—kicking off with the Hawai‘i Island concert debut of new and exciting trio The Rough Riders, Henry Kapono, John Cruz and Brother Noland.  The powerhouse trio named themselves for legendary paniolos who took the Cheyenne Frontier Days rodeo by storm over 100 years ago.

More highlights of BIFF include free family films at The Shops at Mauna Lani, daytime movies in the cool Lehua Theatre and nightly double features at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i Plantation Estate, screenwriting workshops and numerous opportunities to meet and interact with filmmakers and film-lovers from near and far.

Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i is a celebration of independent narrative films and filmmaking, taking place May 21-25.  Major sponsors include The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, The Shops at Mauna Lani and Hawai‘i County CPEP/Hawaii Tourism Authority.  For complete schedule information and tickets, visit www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com or call (808) 883-0394.