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Passes for “HawaiiCon 2016” On Sale Now

Kama’aina passes for HawaiiCon 2016 go on sale today. This year’s science and sci-fi convention takes place September 15-18 on the beach at the luxurious Mauna Lani Bay Hotel. Highly discounted rooms are available to all attendees who book through the HawaiiCon website.

Hawaiicon2016Beyond an exciting array of panels and workshops, HawaiiCon, will be offering fans the most unique celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Star Trek, featuring: a lu’au under the Milky Way with sci-fi stars on the beach, a hula lesson with Star Trek crew members, and amazing, real adventures with the crew of the Enterprise. Go snorkeling with Leeta (Chase Masterson) from DeepSpace 9, or night diving and snorkeling with giant manta rays next to both Rod Roddenberry (son of Star Trek’s creator Gene Roddenberry) and Next Generation’s Number One Will Riker (Jonathan Frakes).

hawaiicon 2016 membersOriginal Star Trek crew members Chekov (Walter Koenig) and Uhura (Nichelle Nichols) will also be on hand to meet fans and you can celebrate Walter‘s 80th birthday at a delicious gourmet dinner at Daylight Mind Waikoloa. If you are a Battlestar Galactica fan, go ziplining via Kapohokine Adventures with Helo (Tahmoh Penikett) and the Chief (Aaron Douglas).

HawaiiCon 2016 brings together leading cast members from the various Star Trek series, as well as over twenty other celebrity guests including New York Times Best Selling Author John Scalzi (Red Shirts).

HawaiiCon 2016 will be held at the Mauna Lani Resort.

HawaiiCon 2016 will be held at the Mauna Lani Resort.

The event also features well-known cosplayers, space scientists, visionaries, gamers, comicbook artists, and writers. Each day of the convention offers scores of panels and workshops to choose from. A popular day to come to the event is Saturday because of the Keiki and Adult Cosplay contests that draw hundreds of costumed fans. This year, a special category has been added to the contest, Star Trek, with prizes for the best costumes of characters from the original series.

Rod Roddenberry calls HawaiiCon, “The best convention I’ve been to.”

HawaiiCon, a non-profit, helps children of the Big Island ‘Reach for the Stars’ in science and the performing arts.

For more information and booking go to www.hawaiicon.com and follow them on Facebook www.facebook.com/hawaiicon and @HawaiiCon on Twitter/Instagram.

Meet Hawaii Island’s New Film Commissioner

Hawaii Island has a new film commissioner and his name is Justin Finestone.

Justin Finestone introduces himself to filmmakers at the Big Island Film Festival

Justin Finestone introduces himself to filmmakers at the Big Island Film Festival

He introduced himself as the new commissioner at the Big Island Film Festival recently where he welcomed the filmmakers to the Big Island and talked to them about the benefits of filming here on the Island.

He has only been in the position for about a month now and I asked him the following questions as a follow-up to the festival:

Where are you from and what is your background?

I grew up in the Los Angeles area and attended the University of Southern California.  I graduated with degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Political Science.  I worked in television news and production for 16 years before starting a career in public sector marketing and communications.  Before moving to Hawai’i Island, I spent the past eight years as the Communications Director for the City of Bend, Oregon.

What goals do you have for the County of Hawaii as our Film Commissioner?

We want to grow the film and television industries on Hawai’i Island.  Even small productions spend money here on things like hotels and meals.  That type of spending helps provide jobs for the people who live here.  In addition, there are talented people who live here that work in the film industry.   The more productions that are here, the more industry workers can make a living.  We want to accomplish all this with cultural sensitivities in mind, making sure productions are doing the right thing and respecting the culture and the land.

What are the duties of a county film commissioner?

It’s a pretty diverse job.  I market Hawai’i Island’s incredible locations and resources to filmmakers, help filmmakers connect with local workers and talent, assist filmmakers while they are here, make sure they are aware of and respecting cultural sensitivities, issue permits for shooting on county property, and pretty much anything else that comes up!

Are there any films or projects currently filming on the Big Island and if so what are the names of the projects and where are they being shot at?

There is always something going on, whether its film, television or print photography.  Many productions want to stay under-the-radar, but I can say that the Nickelodeon show Paradise Run is wrapping up at the Hilton Waikoloa and the HGTV show Hawai’i Life is returning soon.

Why is the Big Island of Hawaii an ideal place for filmmakers to make films?

There are so many reasons.  Nowhere else in the state can match the diversity of locations on Hawai’i Island.  We have 11 of the world’s 13 climate zones.  The state offers generous tax credits to filmmakers who come to Hawai’i Island.  It’s 25 percent and includes all aspects of a production.  If you shoot on Oahu, you only receive a 20 percent credit.

We have the infrastructure filmmakers need, like a world class facility, Honua Studios.  Private, dedicated fiber connections worldwide, great local crew, consistent weather all year, top-rated hotels, and it’s a very safe place to work.

Are there any large budget films planned for the Big Island in the near future?

Nothing scheduled for production at this time.

What are your impressions of our home-grown film festival, the Big Island Film Festival, which happened recently at the Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii?

I’ve attended a few film festivals over the years but nothing like the Big Island Film Festival.  Everything from the venues to the people that put on the festival was first-class.  The films I saw were very good.  I think one of my favorite parts was hearing the filmmakers talk about their productions.  You could feel the passion that they had for their craft, and they were just really nice people.

 

Catching Up With Local Actress Kristina Anapau

The 2016 Big Island Film Festival held at the Fairmont Orchid was attended by the most participants ever with 58 films shown as well as celebrity salutes and receptions for Bellamy Young and Michael Gross.

This year, 2011 Golden Honu Award Recipient and Hawaii Islands own actress Kristina Anapau (“True Blood”, “Black Swan”) made a surprise guest appearance as she happened to be working on a project over on Maui and was able to get away for a couple days.

Kristina 2016(1)

I’ve continued a dialog with Kristina since I first met her in 2011 and I asked the former model if I could do a photo shoot and interview with her and she agreed.

kristina 2016(2)

I asked her what she has been up to since the 2011 Big Island Film Festival and Anapau stated:

“Since 2011? Quite a lot! I’ve completed about a half a dozen feature films, played the faerie Maurella on the HBO series True Blood for a few seasons, and appeared on a handful of other great shows like Grimm and Anger Management.

I also developed and launched a fashion product, Color It New, which has done really well. It’s an aerosolized colorant that that permanently change the color of shoes, handbags, belts, and other accessories without any chipping, cracking, or peeling— it’s pretty amazing.”

My next business endeavor is called Enlight Lifestyle and is set to launch January 2017. It’s a lifestyle website, brand, and content streaming platform focused on stylish, conscious, and informed living. Readers can visit www.enlightlifestyle.com to find out more!

kristina 2016(3)I asked her how she would recommend up and coming actors and actresses from the Big Island to get noticed by mainland filmmakers?

I’d probably recommend that they move to LA or NYC if they are really serious. You hear about fairytale “discovery” stories where an actor is spotted by an agent or producer who launches them into stardom, but in actuality, even after such a discovery, you are still going to have to move to where the action is and be prepared to put in a lot of hard work. As for getting noticed? Work on your craft, be open to opportunities as they arise…and be tenacious when it comes to achieving your goals. Often times its tenacity and not talent that causes one actor to be successful and another to not be. Oh…and write old-fashioned, pen and paper thank you notes to everyone.

Kristina 2016(4)When asked what she liked most about the Big Island Film Festival?

Leo and Jan Sears have created such a special festival over the years with BIFF.  A film I was in called Self Medicated won the Grand Jury prize at the the very first BIFF back in 2006, and I was honored with the Actress No Ka Oi Award in 2011. It’s always been a meaningful event for me and of course it’s great to get to come home!

Kristina and her father who lives here on the Big Island.

Kristina and her father who lives here on the Big Island.

I asked her what the current projects she is working on and when does she expect the film(s) to be released and Anapau replied,

“I’m currently filming a feature here on Maui! I met the director, Brian Kohne, at the 2011 Big Island Film Festival as a matter of fact. It’s a culturally rich mystery/drama set in Hawaii in 1971. A really beautiful film. I have several things lined up after we wrap on Kuleana, none of which I can talk too much about yet, but one of which shoots in Oregon, which I am very exited about. I have a lot of family in Oregon and love spending time up there.”

Kristina 2016(5)

When asked if there were any former teachers here on the Big Island that she would like to say mahalo to in particular for one reason or another she stated,

“I always want to give a mahalo to Celeste Anderson-Staton, my ballet teacher on the Big Isle who inspired me tremendously and taught me so much — wouldn’t have been cast in Black Swan without her training!  Also a mahalo to Desiree Moana Cruz for helping me so much when I was first starting out as a model at age 14!”

Kahilu Theatre Presents the Smash Hit Musical – GREASE

On Friday, June 17, at 7pm, Saturday, June 18, at 7pm, and Sunday, June 19, at 4pm, Kahilu Theatre presents the full production of GREASE (the Musical) with the Kahilu Theatre Youth Troupe.

grease logoTravel back in time to 1959 with Rydell High’s senior class, as the duck-tailed, hot-rodding “Burger Palace Boys” and the gum-snapping, hip-shaking “Pink Ladies” in bobby sox and pedal pushers, evoke the look and sound of the 1950’s in this rollicking Kahilu Produced musical.

Head “greaser” Danny Zuko, and good girl Sandy Dumbrowski, try to relive the romance of their “Summer Nights,” as the rest of the gang sings and dances its way through classics such as “Greased Lightning,” “Summer Nights,” “We Go Together,” and “You’re the One that I Want,” recalling the music of Buddy Holly, Little Richard, and Elvis Presley.

With an eight-year run on Broadway, and two subsequent revivals, along with innumerable school and community productions, GREASE is among the world’s most popular musicals, and the Kahilu Youth Troupe is sure to delight audiences!

GREASE is directed by Beth Dunnington, with musical direction by Phil Kadet, choreography by Dr. Angela Alforque, costumes by Maia Tarnas, and vocal coaching by HPAF Artistic Director Val Underwood. Kahilu Theatre enjoys artistic collaboration with the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival in this production.

Grease Rehearsal

The cast of GREASE includes P.T. Mahoney, Angela Mihelich, Noelani Anderson, Seraphim Benoist, Grace Bostock, Leilani Bostock, Sienna Byrne, Colby Camero, Michael Chu, Simon Dunlap, Sean Dunnington, Deb Goodwin, Daniel Gregg, Ryan Hooley, Hunter Kalahiki, Anna McFarland, Michelangelo McPeek, Walker McMullin, Sofia Ribeiro, Kat Rose Sullivan, Cameron Supplee, Grace Todd, and Alianna West.

The Kahilu Theatre doors open at 6pm for the Friday and Saturday performances and at 3pm for the Sunday performance. There will also be food and beverages available for sale. The Waimea Schools Art Exhibit will be showing in the Kohala Gallery.

GREASE follows the 25th Annual Putnam Spelling Bee and Godspell, both directed by Grease director Beth Dunnington, as the third annual Kahilu Youth Production in two decades.

This performance is made possible by sponsorship from Roy and Frances Simperman, Tim Bostock and Melanie Holt, Regan and Shoshana Matsumura, Zaheva and David Knowles, Bob and Donna Povich, Duncan Dempster, Mimi and Brian Kerley, and Bob and Nancy Male.

Tickets are $33 / $27 / $22 / $16 and available for purchase online at http://www.kahilutheatre.org, by calling (808) 885-6868, or at the Kahilu Theatre Box Office, at 67-1186 Lindsey Road, Kamuela, HI 96743, Monday-Friday, from 9am to 1pm.

Big Island Film Festival Announces Class of 2016 Award Winners

The 2016 Big Island Film Festival at the Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii announces the 2016 Award Winners:

Best Student Short: Breathe
Best Hawai’i Short: Surrender Call
Best Family Short: Rated
Best Foreign Short: Regression

Producers Milan Andrjasevic, Leanne Melissa Bishop and Michael P. Mason of the film "Regression". Milan was also the Director and writer.

Producers Milan Andrjasevic, Leanne Melissa Bishop and Michael P. Mason of the film “Regression”. Milan was also the Director and writer.

Best Short: Monty and the Runaway Furnace

Film Producer Vinnie Taranto from Florida. He produced the film "Monty and the Runaway Furnace"

Film Producer Vinnie Taranto from Florida. He produced the film “Monty and the Runaway Furnace”

The Barbara Award: New Generations
Best Foreign Feature: Psychoanalysis

James Raue

Film Director/Writer James Raue of Psychoanalysis

Best Hawai’i Feature: THROUPLE The Movie

Zoe Eisenberg and Phillips Payson from Throuple.

Zoe Eisenberg and Phillips Payson from Throuple.

Best Family Feature: Catfish Blues
Best Feature: The Closer

Audience Choice Short: Water Girl

Producer Richard Gonzalez (Right) writer Karen Rose (lei) and cast of the film "Water Girl". Emily Lathrop (age 11, center) is the star.

Producer Richard Gonzalez (Right) writer Karen Rose (lei) and cast of the film “Water Girl”. Emily Lathrop (age 11, center) is the star.

Audience Choice Feature: Catfish Blues

Catfish Blues

The festival concludes tonight with a “Best of the Fest” concert from 5-7 p.m. where there will be a silent auction to benefit Fisher House at Tripler Army Medical Center. Auction items will be on display at the Tennis Pavilion of Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i while the legendary band HAPA will entertain folks.

Winning bids will be announced at 7 p.m. then at 7:30 p.m. the festival will show the Audience Choices for Short (Monty and the Runaway Furnace) and Feature Films (Catfish Blues). These films were selected by votes during the previous four days.

$45 general admission, $35 kama’āina, $10/5 keiki 7-12. All seats are $5 more at the door.

Purchase tickets online.

Films only: Adult $8, Keiki $5. All seats are $5 more at the door. (Doors Open 7 p.m.)

Bellamy Young Receives 2016 Golden Honu Award From Big Island Film Festival

Last night at the Big Island Film Festival at the Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii… actress Bellamy Young was awarded a 2016 Golden Honu Award.

Big Island Film Festival Director Leo Sears and Bellamy Young after Bellamy received the Golden Honu Award.

Big Island Film Festival Director Leo Sears and Bellamy Young after Bellamy received the Golden Honu Award.

Bellamy has been at the festival since Thursday interacting with fans and enjoying the films being presented.

Actor Michael Gross and Bellamy at the Mayor's Reception.

Actor Michael Gross and Bellamy at the Mayor’s Reception.

Last night she also had a question and answer session with Variety Magazines Features Writer Peter Caranicas where she talked about her career and the current hit show “Scandal” where she plays the lead character of the First Lady of the United States, Melody “Mellie” Grant.

Bellamy talks about her career with Variety Magazine Features Editor Peter Caranicas

Bellamy talks about her career with Variety Magazine Features Editor Peter Caranicas

After the question and answer session inside the Fairmont Orchids Lehua Theater, Bellamy went outside where she met with filmmakers, producers, writers, and fans.

Bellamy was literally "blown" away by the guys that I have penned the Tiki Torch Guys.

Bellamy was literally “blown” away by the guys that I have penned the Tiki Torch Guys.

You can watch full episodes online of “Scandal” anytime here: http://abc.go.com/shows/scandal/episode-guide

This is the 11th year the Big Island Film Festival has entertained and promoted films from around the world and tomorrow from 5-7 p.m. there will be a silent auction to benefit Fisher House at Tripler Army Medical Center.  Auction items will be on display at the Tennis Pavilion of Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i while the legendary band HAPA will entertain folks.

Winning bids will be announced at 7 p.m. then at 7:30 p.m. the festival will show the Audience Choices for  Short and Feature Films. These films were selected by votes during the previous four days.

$45 general admission, $35 kama’āina, $10/5 keiki 7-12. All seats are $5 more at the door.

Purchase tickets online.

Films only: Adult $8, Keiki $5. All seats are $5 more at the door. (Doors Open 7 p.m.)

Big Island Film Festival Offering Educational Component

The Big Island International Film Festival will present an educational component at this year’s 11th annual event. The festival is again showcasing outstanding indie cinema, music, culinary events and the world class hospitality presented by the Fairmont Orchid Resort.

Photo by Kirk Aeder

Photo by Kirk Aeder

The Big Island International Film Festival is hosting two special industry workshops on Friday May 27, 2016. These added value events are free and have appeal to all emerging filmmakers, entertainer’s, students and cinema lovers alike. The seminars take place at the Fairmont Orchid Hawai’i, and there will be daytime film screenings, indoors at the Lehua Theatre and evening movies under the stars at Plantation Estate.

First off, at 9:45 a.m., Jen Grisanti will be presenting, “TELLING AND SELLING YOUR STORY”.

Jen Grisanti

Jen Grisanti

She will illustrate proven techniques to raise the elements of a screenplay and increase your opportunities for marketability. A longtime television programmer, Grisanti will highlight how to bring emotion into your script.

At 4:30 p.m., Raymond Rolak, veteran sports producer and content provider, will be speaking on, “THE HARMONY OF MUSIC AND CINEMA”.

Ray RolakRolak will also showcase new trends in product placement, trans-media and the important implications of IRS Section-181 for indie investments.

The BIIFF will have 58 films, with seven from the State of Hawai’i and three produced on the Big Island. Speaking at a recent announcement of the festival Executive Director Leo Sears said, “I am so impressed with the quality of films this year.” He added, “Picking the Official Selections was very difficult. The features are excellent, and the shorts are so good that we added an extra film block so we could show six more. This is a great selection that any movie-lover will enjoy and we hope everybody will come and support indie films with us.”

There are also receptions with featured guests Bellamy Young and Michael Gross. Also there are free children’s films at, The Shops at Mauna Lani. A host of events can be accessed thru the BIIFF website. http://www.bigislandfilmfestival.com/wp/

The BIIFF concludes with a “Best of the Fest” concert featuring HAPA on Memorial Day, Monday, 5-7 p.m. at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii Plantation Estate, near the Tennis Park. It will be followed by the Best Short Film and Best Feature, chosen by audience votes. There’s also a silent auction to benefit Fisher House at Tripler Army Medical Center.

Puna Film Green Lake Selected for Big Island Film Festival

The Big Island Film Festival at the Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, which celebrates independent narrative filmmakers and their movies, has selected Green Lake as part of its slate of films. Only 58 short and feature films from around the world were chosen for its tenth year of the Festival.

Green Lake

Green Lake draws inspiration not only from the beauty and mysticism of Hawai’i, but also from B-Horror/Monster movies, The Twilight Zone and The X-Files. It’s a micro-budget Creature from the Black Lagoon meets Picnic at Hanging Rock, shot entirely in remote areas on the Big Island of Hawai’i.  The film was directed and produced by Derek Frey from a screenplay by Leah Gallo.  It features a multitude of Big Island talent, including cast members RaVani Flood, Thom Durkin, Valery Nuttall and Carmen Richardson.  The score was composed and performed by Matthew Reid with original songs from Big Island bands Technical Difficulties and Delight Talkies.

GREEN LAKE – Teaser Trailer from Derek Frey on Vimeo.

Filmed over a grueling nine day and night shoot, the core group of six cast and crew played multiple roles in front of and behind the camera.  They weathered the elements, without sleep to the point of exhaustion and mental breakdown – all for the sake of creating. Frey says the Green Lake shoot was his mini-Apocalypse Now. “It was the most challenging shoot I’ve ever been part of but also the most rewarding and I’m so proud of the result.” Green Lake is more than your typical horror film, it’s a warning to everyone that we must maintain our balance with and respect nature, or face the terrifying consequences.

Film Director Frey wrote:

The Big Island of Hawai’i has been a great source of inspiration for me. I’ve had the unique opportunity to become friends with many artists and musicians on the island. These friendships have led to a number of music video and short film collaborations. Many of these projects showcase the beauty of the land and the mystical power that surrounds it.

I’m fascinated with the supernatural aspect to Hawai’i and the tales found in Glen Grant’s Obake Files. I also love horror films and in 2010 created a short on the Big Island titled The Curse of the Sacred Stone. It was a horror/comedy that lightly depicts the implications of disturbing sacred land when an unsuspecting tourist removes a lava rock from a sacred site.

I still felt the impulse to create more of a straightforward horror film on the Big Island. Since my first visit to Hawai’i in 2001, I had heard about Green Lake, an unspoiled fresh body of water located in a crater within a mountainous rain forest in Kapoho. Green Lake is the largest of only two lakes in Hawai’i. Apparently Jacques Cousteau conducted a diving expedition in the 1970’s and couldn’t find the bottom. We don’t know if this is true, but one thing is certain, the towering walls of the crater make the lake seem bottomless. Discussion of Green Lake was almost one of urban legend. The fact is many people that live in Hawai’i have never visited the lake, though it’s beauty and power is incomparable.

My first visit to Green Lake, a few years ago, was incredibly inspiring. It’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to. Accompanying that beauty is a deep and powerful mystical vibe. This place demands that you respect it and it feels like there are protective energies present. During that initial visit a group of us ventured onto the lake via a small paddleboat and our first jump into the water was met with excitement, exhilaration and downright fear. It’s dark water and though we know there are no snakes or other predators to fear in Hawai’i it certainly feels as though something lurks below.  Looking into the history of the lake I came across a legend directly associated with it.  The ancient Hawaiian legend says that Green Lake was guarded by a female Mo’o that had never been conquered and anytime a chief got close to doing so she transformed herself into a beautiful woman and distracted him. Upon reading the legend something clicked and a story started to form in my head.

From that visit the seed for a film was firmly established and I returned the next year with the Green Lake script in hand. Thus began a grueling 9 day shoot, pulling upon friends from the Big Island I’ve made over the years to play the roles and double up as crew. Our core group of 6 played multiple roles in front of and behind the camera, weathering the elements, without sleep to the point of exhaustion and mental breakdown – all for the sake of creating. Green Lake was my mini-Apocalypse Now. It was the most challenging shoot I’ve ever been part of but also the most rewarding and I’m so proud of the result. Green Lake is more than your typical horror film, it’s a warning to everyone that we must maintain our balance with and respect nature, or face the consequences.

A special mention must be expressed to the wonderful music that accompanies the film. Big Island band’s Technical Difficulties as well as the Delight Talkies provide the songs written specifically for the film. Matthew Reid’s terrific original score is more than I could have ever hoped for.

Enjoy the swim and remember “Horror Dwells Deep!”

The Big Island Film Festival runs May 26–30 at the Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i and The Shops at Mauna Lani on the beautiful Kohala coast. The festival also includes food and beverage events, celebrity guests, an awards brunch, filmmaker/audience interaction, screenwriting workshops, Hawaiian music and culture. Green Lake will screen Saturday, May 28th at 7.30pm outside The Shops at Mauna Lani in Waikoloa.

Award Winning Film “Psychoanalysis” to Screen at Big Island Film Festival

Australian filmmaker, James Raue’s own life is somehow weirder than his latest comedy, “Psychoanalysis”. The film is coming to Hawaii to play at The Big Island Film Festival in late May after taking out awards at festivals across the world.

“I grew up hating Psychologists,” Raue said, recalling how much of his life had inspired the film.  “Dr Phil was just getting popular when I was a kid, so psychology was seen as this easy solution to all of life’s problems.” Any normal family issue, such as arguing with siblings or not cleaning your room could land Raue or his siblings in front of a shrink.

“Then my girlfriend became a psychologist.” Raue revealed, finally being able to see the world of psychology from “the other side of the couch”. “I saw that not all psychologists were simplistic and the impact on those who truly care about their clients can be overwhelming.”

Raue attempted to show these two sides of the industry through the most comedic, yet tragic story he could think of. The tale of a psychologist who’s lost five clients to suicide and is determined to prove he’s still the best.

Raue attributes his history with psychologists to the success of the film.

“We made it on a tiny budget, with unknown actors and it would play at these festivals where nobody knew anything about it. But audiences couldn’t stop talking about it. It raises questions not normally heard and has an authenticity to it. So word slowly spread.”

In order to get the film finished James had to work assembling bounce houses for birthday parties. “The worst part of the day was when you have to take it down. These houses have your favorite Disney characters on them, so this little girl is watching as Elsa collapses. Most of the time they burst into tears.”

So far Psychoanalysis has won Best Of The Fest at the Victoria Texas Independent Film Festival, Best Comedy at the Canada International Film Festival, Best International Film and Best Screenplay at the Manchester International Film Festival.

When asked why such a dark subject matter was good for comedy, Raue replied. “When you’re dealing with death everyday, sooner of later you have to see it for how absurd it really is or you’ll snap.”

Psychoanalysis

Psychoanalysis plays The Big Island Film Festival at Fairmont Orchid on Friday, May 27 at 2pm.

For more information and exclusive clips, please visit: www.psychoanalysisfilm.com.

‘Scandal’ and ‘Tremors’ at Big Island Film Festival

In a good way, celebrity guests at Big Island Film Festival may stir up scandal and create tremors over Memorial Day Weekend at the Fairmont Orchid Hawai’i.

Bellamy Young

Bellamy Young

Acclaimed actress and singer Bellamy Young currently stars as “First Lady Mellie Grant” on ABC/Shonda Rhimes’ Peabody Award-winning series, “Scandal,” which Rolling Stone Magazine described as “the most badass first lady in TV history.” Young’s TV credits include CBS’ long-running series “Criminal Minds,” “CSI: Miami,” “Scrubs,” and the long-running NBC soap opera, “Another World.” A talented singer, her debut album Far Away So Close is a collection of contemporary covers influenced by her North Carolina roots.

Michael Gross

Michael Gross

Michael Gross, “Burt Gummer” of the “Tremors” movies will also attend the festival as an honoree. Perhaps most familiar as “Steven Keaton,” Michael J. Fox’s dad on the long-running sitcom “Family Ties,” Gross’ 40-year career spans a remarkable range of characters, including recurring roles on the Drew Cary Show, ER, How I Met Your Mother, USA Network’s Suits, Netflix’s Grace and Frankie, and YTV Canada’s The Stanley Dynamic. Gross stars in the BIFF Official selection “Last Call at Murray’s,” a new, indie film about an unlikely gathering of folks stranded in a snowbound karaoke bar.

Michael Gross and Michael Worth with BIFF Executive Director Leo Sears at last year's fest.

Michael Gross and Michael Worth with BIFF Executive Director Leo Sears at last year’s fest.

BIFF will honor Young and Gross at a special Salute & Reception in their honor on Saturday and Sunday respectively. Audiences will have a chance to participate in an in-depth interview with the star led by Peter Caranicas of Variety magazine, then join in a sunset cocktail reception with elegant pupus in the Wailana Gardens. Salutes & Receptions are open to the public and tickets may be purchased by May 25 at www.bigislandfilmfestival.com.

Now in its eleventh year, Big Island “Talk Story” Film Festival is a celebration of independent narrative films and filmmaking, taking place May 26-30. Major sponsors include the Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i and The Shops at Mauna Lani and Hawai‘i Tourism Authority/Hawai‘i County CPEP. For complete schedule information and tickets, visit www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com.

Big Island Film Festival Announces 2016 Official Selections

Now in its eleventh year, Big Island Film Festival (BIFF) has announced its 58 Official Selections, to be screened May 26-30, 2016. BIFF, the “talk story” film festival is a celebration of narrative filmmaking in the luxury resort setting of the Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii and The Shops at Mauna Lani.

Photo by Kirk Aeder

Photo by Kirk Aeder

The new, independent shorts and feature-length films are widely diverse, with something for every movie fan genre from sci fi to all kinds of romance, belly-laugh comedy, zombie suspense, martial arts action, captivating mysteries, family stories, and a short, “Cosmopenguin,” by a 7-year old Austrian filmmaker.

Michael Gross

Michael Gross

Michael Gross, best known as Steven Keaton, Michael J. Fox’s TV dad in “Family Ties,” stars in the new feature “Last Call at Murray’s,” showing Sunday night. Gross will attend in person, following a salute and reception in his honor. Bellamy Young, who plays ambitious First Lady on “Scandal,” will also be honored at BIFF, with a salute and reception on Saturday. Tickets for both events are available online.

Bellamy Young

Bellamy Young

Of note are feature films to be screened at the Fairmont Orchid’s Plantation Estate, where no-host bar and snacks make movie-watching even more fun, and beach chairs are welcome. On Saturday, “Winter’s Dream,” a futuristic sci fi drama pairs with “Plan Z,” a gripping trip through the zombie apocalypse, with soundtrack by artists like Rhianna, the Black Eyed Peas and more. Friday’s lineup includes a hilarious defense of family leave, “The Bad Mother,” and a multi-level love story filmed on our island, “Throuple.” On Sunday, “The Closer” is an intense drama about super high stakes real estate during the boom and bust of Brooklyn’s subprime meltdown.

A scene from "Throuple"

A scene from “Throuple”

“I am so impressed with the quality of films this year,” said Executive Director Leo Sears. “Picking the Official Selections was very difficult. The features are excellent, and the shorts are so good that we added an extra film block so we could show six more. Many of the daytime movies are good enough to be shown in the prime Festival Venue, but we only have so much space. This is a great selection that any movie-lover will enjoy and we hope everybody will come and support indie films with us.”

The Official Selections for BIFF 2016 are:

A Mighty Nice Man
As You Like It
Bernie and Rebecca
Between The Miles
Beyond Shattered Lenses
Blue borsalino
Boomerang
Breathe
Catfish Blues
Cosmopenguin
Cuddle Party
Danny Boy
Diablo (Devil)
Dream Land
Ellis
Fade
Frankie – Italian roulette
God Is A Dog
Green Lake
Hook Man
Indigo
Instance
Jack’s Apocalypse
Jagon
Last Call At Murray’s
Market St.
Monty and the Runaway Furnace
New Generation
OUT OF THE VILLAGE
Plan Z
Popolo
Prick
Psychoanalysis
Rated
Regression
Reservations For Three?
Ribbons
Romantic Rouse
Speaking of Fairies
Spunkle
Stoked Steves
Superior The Movie
The Bad Mother
The Bench
The Boy
The Closer Movie
The End aka John Doe
The End of Blessings
Kidnapping of a Fish
The Light Thief
The Schoolboy
The Surrender Call
THROUPLE The Movie
Water Girl
West of Her
White Lies, Blue Dream
Wifey Redux – A Short Film Based on the Story by Kevin Barry
Winter’s Dream

The five-day schedule includes free Opening Night and family films at The Shops at Mauna Lani, daytime movies and screenings under the stars at Plantation Estate, special events, screenwriting workshops, Awards Brunch and more.

A limited number of ballots will be given to audience members during each screening. Votes are tallied at the end of the festival, to determine the Audience-choice Feature and Short to be screened at Best of the Fest on Monday, May 30. An exciting closing night event, Best of the Fest will kick off with a Hawaiian music concert, and two ways to give back: a silent auction for Fisher House at Tripler Army Medical Center, and a portion of each ticket sold donated to Hawai‘i Island Food Basket.

The Big Island “Talk Story” Film Festival is a celebration of independent narrative films and filmmaking, taking place May 26-30. Major sponsors include the Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i and The Shops at Mauna Lani and Hawai‘i Tourism Authority/Hawai‘i County CPEP. For complete schedule information and tickets, visit www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com.

Hawaii Public Schools Score Big in National TV Competition

Hawaii schools walked away with 34 awards at the 13th annual Student Television Network (STN) competition in Atlanta, held March 10-13. Scroll down for the complete list of Hawaii winners.

stn

Close to 3,000 middle and high school students from across the U.S. gathered to compete in on-site, time-restricted contests in video journalism, television production, filmmaking, music videos, commercials, and public service announcements. All of the Hawaii schools that attended the competition are public schools and participants in PBS Hawaii’s HIKI NŌ student news network.

Last year, Hawaii schools brought home 28 awards from the STN Convention. As in the last few STN competitions, the number of awards won by Hawaii schools was notably high in comparison to states with larger populations, such as California, Florida, and Texas.

“Without a doubt, the stellar performance by Hawaii schools at STN is due to the work our schools have done with HIKI NŌ and PBS Hawaii,” said Kevin Matsunaga, Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School media teacher and STN regional board member. “Our students have developed solid technical and storytelling skills through our workshops throughout the year. Our Hawaii media teachers have worked tirelessly, as well, and the outstanding work their students have done at these competitions is proof that HIKI NŌ is making a huge difference in the lives of our students.”

The Hawaii school awards count was led by Maui Waena Intermediate’s nine, followed by Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School with eight, and Waianae High School with six. There were a number of first-time awardees among the Hawaii schools, including Kapolei High School, Waipahu Intermediate School, and Ewa Makai Middle School.

Ewa Makai media teacher Ethan Toyota said his students were “in shock” when they won two honorable mention awards in the commercial and public service announcement categories. “We wouldn’t be here without all the training and help HIKI NŌ has contributed in getting us off the ground,” he said.

“HIKI NŌ offers students the ideal preparation for this national competition and it also readies them for different professional paths — by teaching them to work their way through challenges and deliver quality work on tight deadlines,” said Leslie Wilcox, PBS Hawaii President and CEO.

“Congratulations to all of the students that participated in this rigorous competition in which they represented their schools and our state well,” said Kathryn Matayoshi, Hawaii Department of Education Superintendent. “PBS Hawaii is a valued partner for providing opportunities like HIKI NŌ. The teamwork and use of technology needed to create these quality productions align with the Department’s mission to help our students connect with their communities and be lifelong learners.”

2016 Student Television Network – Hawaii Winners:

MIDDLE SCHOOL CONVENTION RE-CAP

2nd Place – CHIEFESS KAMAKAHELEI MIDDLE SCHOOL (Kauai)

3rd Place — MAUI WAENA INTERMEDIATE (Maui)

HIGH SCHOOL CONVENTION RE-CAP

Honorable Mention — WAIANAE HIGH SCHOOL (Oahu)

MIDDLE SCHOOL SPOT FEATURE

2nd Place — CHIEFESS KAMAKAHELEI MIDDLE SCHOOL (Kauai)

3rd Place — MAUI WAENA INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL (Maui)

LEAD STORY

3rd Place — MOANALUA HIGH SCHOOL (Oahu)

MAN ON THE STREET

3rd Place — MOANALUA HIGH SCHOOL (Oahu)

MIDDLE SCHOOL MOVIE TRAILER

Honorable Mention — CHIEFESS KAMAKAHELEI MIDDLE SCHOOL (Kauai)

MIDDLE SCHOOL NAT. PACKAGE (No announcer, only interview soundbites and natural sound)

1st Place — WAIANAE INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL (Oahu)

2nd Place — CHIEFESS KAMAKAHELEI MIDDLE SCHOOL (Kauai)

Honorable Mention—MAUI WAENA INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL (Maui)

MIDDLE SCHOOL COMMERCIAL

1st Place — MAUI WAENA INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL (Maui)

Honorable Mention — EWA MAKAI MIDDLE SCHOOL (Oahu)

MIDDLE SCHOOL PSA (Public Service Announcement)

1st Place — CHIEFESS KAMAKHELEI MIDDLE SCHOOL (Kauai)

3rd Place — MAUI WAENA INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL (Maui)

Honorable Mention — EWA MAKAI MIDDLE SCHOOL (Oahu)

MIDDLE SCHOOL BREAKING NEWS

1st Place — MAUI WAENA INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL (Maui)

MIDDLE SCHOOL ANCHOR TEAM

1st Place — CHIEFESS KAMAKAHELEI MIDDLE SCHOOL (Kauai)

MIDDLE SCHOOL MUSIC VIDEO

1st Place — WAIPAHU INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL (Oahu)

2nd Place — MAUI WAENA INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL (Maui)

Honorable Mention — CHIEFESS KAMAKAHELEI MIDDLE SCHOOL (Kauai)

HIGH SCHOOL MUSIC VIDEO

Honorable Mention — KAPOLEI HIGH SCHOOL (Oahu)

CRAZY 8’s (In these categories, schools had eight hours to complete an eight-minute show)

MIDDLE SCHOOL BROADCAST NEWS MAGAZINE

Honorable Mention — MAUI WAENA INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL (Maui)

TV SCRIPTED SITCOM PILOT

Honorable Mention — WAIAKEA HIGH SCHOOL (Hawaii Island)

MIDDLE SCHOOL SHORT FILM—FICTION

1st Place — CHIEFESS KAMAKAHELEI MIDDLE SCHOOL (Kauai)

2nd Place — MAUI WAENA INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL (Maui)

3rd Place — WAIPAHU INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL (Oahu)

STN FILM EXCELLENCE AWARDS (entries submitted prior to the competition)

BEST FILM – LIVE ACTION – Waianae High School (Oahu)

BEST FILM – ANIMATED –Waianae High School (Oahu)

BEST MONTHLY NEWS BROADCAST – SOUTH PACIFIC REGION – Waianae High School (Oahu)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY – Waianae High School (Oahu)

BEST SOUND DESIGN – ORIGINAL SCORE & MUSIC – Moanalua High School (Oahu)

BEST WRITING – Waianae High School (Oahu)

BEST DIRECTING – Moanalua High School (Oahu)

“Aloha From Lavaland” to Premier at Hawaii International Film Festival

Hawaiian Anthropological documentary Aloha From Lavaland is set to premiere on April 7 at the Hawaii International Film Festival.

lavaland2

Produced by three Big Island-based production companies, the film follows the aftermath of the 2014 eruption of Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano, which sent a flow of lava directly toward the center of Pahoa, a small rural town on the Big Island of Hawai’i. Hard to predict and impossible to stop, the flow threatened to cut off the town’s only access road, leaving the residents of this remote community to rely heavily on  one another as they prepare for possible isolation.

Produced in conjunction by Gift Culture Media, Larkin Pictures and Pure Mother Love, this 52 minute documentary explores an inner community perspective of the lava flow, following residents as they ask and answer important questions about community, sustainability, harmony, and what it really means to live in such an unpredictable paradise.

lavaland

In addition to street interviews and news coverage, the documentary follows a local Hawaiian kumu (healer), a sustainability expert and the leader of a sovereign Hawaiian community over a period of seven months as they attempt to prepare for the unpreparable.
“Puna is unlike any place I’ve ever lived,” says co-director Suzenne Seradwyn, who has created films in Los Angeles, New Mexico and Hawaii. “The people here have different values because of the natural elements at play, and the rich cultural history surrounding those elements. There is a very important message to share about what happens when you allow yourself to trust these elements.”

“This film is important for anyone living in a state of change, whether it be due to external elements or an internal shift,” says the film’s co-director, Phillips Payson. “Part of what this film explores is how one’s attitude toward change can make all the difference.” Before moving to the Big Island, Payson worked in the film industry in New York and Los Angeles. This is his fourth film.

The film will premiere at the Hawaii International Film Festival at the Dole Cannery on Thursday, April 7 at 6:15pm.

For more information, visit www.alohafromlavaland.com.

 

Special Presentation by Big Island Film Festival at Aloha Theatre

In a special presentation of award-winning films, the Big Island Film Festival will screen two dynamic, award-winning films at the Aloha Theatre in Kainaliu. The short film, “Our Father,” and feature “Honeyglue” will screen at 7 p.m. on Saturday, January 30, 2016.

Acclaimed for strong acting and impactful story, “Our Father” chronicles an aging father, estranged from his family and suffering from late stage dementia. In a fleeting moment, he reveals to his son secrets that begin to heal a broken family.

Our Father

The film stars Michael Gross, who played “Burt” in the “Tremors” movies, and is still recognized worldwide as Michael J. Fox’s father from “Family Ties.” “Our Father” is a short film, under 30 minutes, and would be considered R-rated.

Feature film “Honeyglue” won Audience Choice Feature at last year’s Big Island Film Festival at the Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i.

Honeyglue

Honeyglue

Winner of numerous film festival awards, including Cannes World Cinema Initiative Best Feature, “Honeyglue” is a story of love that steps out of all boundaries. In the only three months they have, Morgan, a protected young woman with terminal cancer, and Jordan, a gender-defying adventurer, make every second worth more than the last. This film would be rated PG13.

Tickets are $10 adults, $5 children, available at the door.

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 detailed information, visit www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com or call 808-883-0394.

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.

Video: Fly HI with The Maka Project – Big Island of Hawaii

The Maka crew enjoying life on the beautiful Big Island of Hawaii.

MAKA PROJECT 2

Capturing the Big Island of Hawaii from a slightly different perspective!

Full of aloha and adventure, the Island of Hawaii is an epic place to call home- especially for the Maka crew. Filmed by Joshua Lambus and Eric Franke.

Hawaii Becomes First State to Accommodate Hearing & Visually Impaired at Movie Theaters

Pioneering event marked by showing of Star Wars: The Force Awakens at Ward Theatres

Star Wars LogoA bill introduced by Kauai Representative James Tokioka (Wailua Homesteads, Hanamaulu, Lihue, Puhi, Old Koloa Town, Omao), and signed into law by Governor David Ige will make Hawaii the first state in the nation to accommodate for the hearing and visually impaired at movie theatres statewide.

HB1272 requires anyone that operates a motion picture theater in more than two locations in the state to provide open captioning during at least two showings per week of each motion picture that is produced with open movie captioning. It also requires them to provide an audio description of any motion picture that is produced and offered with audio description. The measure takes effect Jan. 1, 2016 and sunsets Jan. 1, 2018.

The law allows equal access to movie theaters for the deaf, blind, deaf/blind and hard-of-hearing communities.  It also brings Hawaii closer to achieving full inclusion for our deaf and blind communities that was first initiated with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.

The law removes communication barriers and provides equal access to persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind or have poor vision through reasonable accommodations at movie theaters. It will also help seniors who have trouble hearing, as well as individuals who are learning English as a second language by providing the written dialogue on screen.

  • WHO:  Aloha State Association of the Deaf
  • WHAT: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (12:15 pm) to be the first open captioning and audio description movie showings for deaf and visually impaired movie goers   Reception to follow (media availability at reception)
  • WHEN: Saturday, January 2, 2016 3:00 p.m.
  • WHERE: Dave and Busters, Pa’ina Room (2nd Floor), 1044 Auahi Street,          Honolulu, Hawaii

Waimea Ocean Film Festival Begins Friday

Welcome the New Year with a superb lineup of films, special guests, intimate coffee talks, Q&As, exhibits and more January 1-8 at the 2016 Waimea Ocean Film Festival (Ocean Film).

Waimea Ocean Film FestivalFind the 2016 program posted online, where you can also purchase festival passes, at www.waimeaoceanfilm.org. Program copies and pass sales will be available starting 9 a.m.-3 p.m. December 31 at the festival hospitality desk at Kahilu Theatre in Waimea. Also find programs at concierge desks at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Hapuna Prince Beach Hotel, The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i and Four Seasons Resort Hualalai.

Films are shown starting 9:30 a.m. January 1, and play simultaneously January 1-4 at multiple venues in Waimea (Kahilu, HPA Gates and Parker Theatres), plus at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i. The festival moves to Four Seasons Resort Hualalai the evening of January 4, where passes will also be sold.

Ocean Film brings over 60 extraordinary 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 films and films that shed light on who we are, or give pause for thought, form part of the mix.

The Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel is offering discounted room rates to festival pass holders from January 2-11.

For the latest updates on films and speakers, follow the festival on Facebook, www.facebook.com/waimeaoceanfilmfestival, visit www.waimeaoceanfilm.org or email info@waimeaoceanfilm.org.

The Waimea Ocean Film Festival is a 501c3 organization made possible through the support of patrons, sponsors and the community. Mahalo to the 2016 Ocean Film partners: Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel, Holualoa Inn, Matson, K2 Imaging, Sushi Rock, Palani French Bakers, Big Island Brewhaus, Big Island Traveler, Maile Charters, Starbucks Coffee, Anna Ranch Heritage Center, Hawaii Preparatory Academy (HPA), Parker School, West Hawaii Today, Hawaii Tribune Herald, Kona Law, Emily T Gail Show, The Beach FM and The Wave FM.

Preview of Film on Hawaii Labor Pioneer Katsu Goto on Nippon Golden Network

Discover the story about Katsu Goto, an early Japanese immigrant who came to Hawai‘i in 1885 aboard the City of Tokio, the first ship of the Kanyaku Imin (contract laborers) to work on the sugar plantations in Hawai‘i. After enduring a three-year labor contract at Soper, Wright & Co. along the Hamakua coast of Hawai‘i Island, Goto became a successful businessman and labor leader. He was killed via a lynching in Honoka‘a, Hawai‘i in 1889 while helping Japanese sugar plantation workers.

Katsu Goto

Katsu Goto

“Bringing the Legacy of Katsu Goto to Life” is the first documentary of his story presented by the Katsu Goto Memorial Committee (KGMC) of the Honokaa Hongwanji Mission. This special is a 25-minute preview as well as a behind the scenes look at the “making of” the documentary on Katsu Goto featuring a fundraising campaign to document his story on film. The preview will run four times on Nippon Golden Network (NGN Channel 677):

  • 9:35 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 2, 2016
  • 12 a.m. Sunday, Jan 3, 2016
  • 6 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016
  • 3:15 p.m. Sunday, Jan 3, 2016

The previews are airing during the Nippon Golden Network “Freeview” period (Dec. 30 – Jan. 3) when NGN will be available for free to all Oceanic Time Warner subscribers in the state of Hawai‘i. Interviews will be captioned for Japanese and English speakers.

In the preview, experience interviews with his descendants, academic and historical scholars, community members and the film’s production team.

“As a film director, you look for those really beautiful stories that come together to make a movie and I think we really have those powerful stories in this film,” says Director and Editor Danny Miller.

“We still have new immigrants coming to Hawai‘i all the time so it is important for us to remember our history so we do not repeat some of the mistakes we have made in the past,” said Baron Sekiya, producer and writer.

It was Goto’s knowledge of the English language and Western laws that thrust him into his role as a bridge between Japanese contract laborers and plantation management as he fought for workers’ rights. “I feel that my life is in danger by being here . . . but I am not afraid,” said Goto while meeting Japanese laborers accused by plantation management of arson of a canefield, according to court documents. Goto was ambushed then lynched from a telephone pole in the town of Honoka‘a after this late night meeting.

Goto’s death in 1889 at 27 was tragic, but his legacy didn’t end there. Dr. Fumiko Kaya, Goto’s niece and a survivor of the bombing of Hiroshima, learned about the lynching of her uncle in 1985. Kaya admirably turned the tragedy into the Goto of Hiroshima Foundation in 1993 to benefit Hawai‘i scholars and improve cross cultural communication. The foundation continues today through the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa’s American Studies Department.

The KGMC is now seeking individual, foundation, corporate or organizational sponsors to provide production and completion funds and welcomes your participation to bring this important story to film. Executive Producer and Writer Patsy Iwasaki strongly believes “His story has become a legacy. It’s a Hawai‘i story, it’s an immigrant story, it’s a national story, it’s a story that needs to be told.”

If you have any questions or for more information, please contact Patsy Iwasaki at patsy@KatsuGotoMovie.org. The KGMC was created under the fiscal sponsorship of the Honokaa Hongwanji Mission, an affiliate of the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawai‘i, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. To make a tax deductible contribution to the Katsu Goto film project, please make checks payable to: Katsu Goto Memorial Committee, ℅ Honoka‘a Hongwanji Mission, P.O. Box 1667, Honoka‘a, HI 96727 or you can make a contribution via Paypal on the website: KatsuGotoMovie.org

 

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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