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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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Throuple – Film Shot on Big Island Premieres at Hawaii International Film Festival

Throuple, a dark comedy shot on the big island by big island-based filmmakers, premiered on November 15 at the Hawaii International Film Festival.

Throuple

The film will also screen at the Palace theater in Hilo on Saturday, November 21 at 8:30 pm. Produced by local Big Island-based production company Larkin Pictures, the film was shot in Puna over 23 days in July 2013.

Filming locations were spread around the famed red road and Kalapana. Cast and crew were flown in from New York, LA, and Antigua and housed summer camp style to encourage a bond that would translate on screen.

Whimsical and weird, the film follows young couple James and Lexi who find themselves washed up and estranged from one another. In the hope of a fresh start, the couple moves from New York to a secluded Hawaiian jungle town on the edge of an active volcano. Once there, the pair become entangled with the neighbors living on either side of their property: a mysterious recluse, and a young polyamorous “throuple.”

Portions of the film were also shot at Kalapana Seaview's now-infamous castle.

Portions of the film were also shot at Kalapana Seaview’s now-infamous castle.

“Throuple is the result of a calculated risk to change my life,” says director Phillips Payson. “After spending years working various roles on other productions and at a post house, I realized that no one was ever going to give me permission to go out and make my own film. I had to pull that trigger myself.” Before moving to the Big Island, Payson worked in the film industry in New York and Los Angeles. With the help and collaboration of the film’s writer and producer Zoe Eisenberg, the pair set out to make something unique, handmade, and weird.
Throuple2
“The big island is alive with the playful energy that we were trying to convey in the film,” said Payson. “We found it to be such an inspiring environment. The landscape is this beautiful blend of lush jungle, stunning coastlines and lava fields that feel alien. We identified with the weirdness of it all and felt the location brought our story to life.”

For more information, visit www.larkinpictures.com/throuple.

12th Annual Kona Surf Film Festival Accepting Submissions

The 12th Annual Kona Surf Film Festival presented by ALTRES is in prep phase and is accepting films, art, music, and interested companies!

Kona Surf Film Festival 2016The Festival is Hawaii’s premiere international surf film showcase, running Jan. 30th 2016 from 3:30 – 10pm at the Courtyard Marriott King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel, Kailua-Kona Hawaii .

The 12th Annual promises to be another awesome year of surf movies, art, live music, and good people.  Submission deadline is Christmas, 2015.  Check the website for more info:www.konasurffilmfestival.org.

Tickets range from $12-$30

New High-Speed Private Fiber Link to Link Hawaii Film, Television & Creative Media Industry with Hollywood

With brand new private fiber technology, competitive tax incentives, state-of-the-art studios, postproduction facilities and a development fund…it’s time to rethink Hawai’i’s Film, Television & Creative Media Industry.

A new Hawai’i-based digital technology is connecting the filmscape of paradise with a secure, high-speed Private Fiber back to the heart of Hollywood and more than 400 studios across three continents.

History was just made for Hawaii-in-Hollywood as GVS Connect (http://www.globalvirtualstudio.com), together with Hawai`i's Creative Industry DBEDT Officials, State Film Office and technology experts presented a dynamic, "LIVE" multimedia demonstration that connected Honua Studios in Kailua-Kona on the Island of Hawaii, with more than 100 Hollywood influencers who gathered at Jack L. Warner's personal Screening Room #5 at Warner Brothers Studios in California.

History was just made for Hawaii-in-Hollywood as GVS Connect (http://www.globalvirtualstudio.com), together with Hawai`i’s Creative Industry DBEDT Officials, State Film Office and technology experts presented a dynamic, “LIVE” multimedia demonstration that connected Honua Studios in Kailua-Kona on the Island of Hawaii, with more than 100 Hollywood influencers who gathered at Jack L. Warner’s personal Screening Room #5 at Warner Brothers Studios in California.

This new, high-speed, private fiber technology by GVS Connect is a game-changer for Hawai’i’s creative industry. This advanced connectivity, along with Hawaii’s post and VFX incentives, will enable filmmakers to conduct POST, AUDIO and VFX via remote collaboration, as well as transfer and simultaneously edit burstable gigabytes of raw, high-definition dailies to producers and studios around the world. This private fiber technology is the industry’s leader in content sharing with a commitment to security, cost efficiency and smart-device capability.

On Wednesday, October 14, 2015, representatives from the Hawai’i State Film Office, Creative Industries; GVS Connect; tech advisors and industry influencers gathered at Warner Bros. Studio to present “Hollywood – Hawai`i Film & Media Connect,” a live, point-to-point demonstration, of real-time, high-speed data transfer between Kailua-Kona (on the Island of Hawai`i at Honua Studios) and Los Angeles.  Hawai’i’s Film, Television & Creative Media industry is now well positioned to support state-of-the-art global production, as well as export creative content developed in Hawai`i.

 This never-before-seen interactive demonstration was made possible by a NEW private fiber technology that is now available in the islands which allows burstable gigabytes of HD data to be shared in real-time with global producing entities (more than 400 studios across three continents). This new, advanced technology is a GAME-CHANGER for Hawaii's creative industries allowing filmmakers to conduct POST, AUDIO and VFX via remote collaboration.  This breakthrough invites the world to rethink Hawaii's vast multimedia and broadband entrepreneurial potential and capability.


This never-before-seen interactive demonstration was made possible by a NEW private fiber technology that is now available in the islands which allows burstable gigabytes of HD data to be shared in real-time with global producing entities (more than 400 studios across three continents). This new, advanced technology is a GAME-CHANGER for Hawaii’s creative industries allowing filmmakers to conduct POST, AUDIO and VFX via remote collaboration. This breakthrough invites the world to rethink Hawaii’s vast multimedia and broadband entrepreneurial potential and capability.

“With a strong commitment from government and private investors, Hawai’i is creating a compelling environment for filmmakers and media professionals to capitalize on the state’s growing production, post, and VFX infrastructure,” says David Cunningham, founder of GVS Connect.

Hawai’i’s competitive tax incentives, are considered among the most reliable credit programs in the country:

  • 20-25% film, digital and television rebate
  • No overall spending ceiling
  • Per production credit cap of $15 million – POST, VFX, ANIMATION, GAME DEV included
  • Above-and-below-the-line/resident and non-resident salaries/wage qualification

Hawai`i is now part of a global, collaborative media network. With Hawai’i’s first private fiber technology, a production can maximize its economic potential with global reach to its producing entities. In addition, Hawai`i has an award-winning accelerator program, called the GVS Transmedia Accelerator (http://www.gvsaccelerator.com), which fast-tracks and funds development for content creation in Hawai`i, the Creative Lab which is a feeder content development program, and a follow-on development fund available for accelerator content produced in these programs.

With a long-term vision and commitment, the State of Hawai’i has allocated millions to develop a cable-landing infrastructure that will further increase Hawai’i’s global broadband connectivity and capacity.

GVS Accelerator Lands YouTube Star & Award Winning Mentors for 2015 – 2016 Cohorts

Hawai’i Island’s own YouTube star Alex Farnham represented one of the seven companies chosen to join the 2015 – ­2016 GVS Accelerator.

fYouTube sensation Alex Farnham

YouTube sensation Alex Farnham

A number of award­ winning entertainment industry mentors, Senator Glenn Wakai, Representative Nicole Lowen, Mayor Billy Kenoi, and Council Member Karen Eoff were on hand for the announcement at Honua Studios.

The GVS Transmedia Accelerator Program (GTA Program) is a partnership between Global Virtual Studio (GVS), the Hawai’i Strategic Development Corporation (HSDC), the County of Hawai’i and the GTA Development Fund, empowers creative entrepreneurs to launch original transmedia franchises for commercial audiences with an investment of $50,000 seed capital and industry mentors for each selected start­up franchise.

Accelerator Winners

Accelerators on island for Kickoff week include screenwriters Janet and Lee Batchler (POMPEII, BATMAN FOREVER), Jim Kruger (former Creative Director at Marvel, NY Times Bestselling Author, DC Comic Writer: X­Men, Batman) Frank Tate (MTV, MindQuilt, Super Franks) Mike Frank (Disney, Pepsi, Co­founder of Level 3 Communications). The selected companies represent a diverse cross­section of media and entertainment, each incorporating multiple product platforms ranging from feature films and TV series to graphic novels and mobile apps.

The seven companies selected for the 2015­2016 cohort are:

  • CAPTIVE – Founder Team: John Shepherd, Patrick Hibler; Genre: Drama/Action­Adventure; Platforms: Feature Film, Graphic Novel, Video Game -CAPTIVE is an action adventure film about a former SAS Officer who sets off on a series of suicidal adventures, traveling the Pacific on his only worldly possession – a 50+ foot sailboat.
  • THE MEDICINE RUNNER – Founder Team: Edwin Marshall, David Cunningham; Genre: Drama; Platforms: Feature Film, Book, App – THE MEDICINE RUNNER is a story about a homeless orphan boy of mixed race and a “Haole” (white) village doctor fighting for their place in the small coffee farming community of 1920’s Hawai’i.
  • MOCKSTARS – Founder Team: Alex Farnham, Richard Farnham; Genre: Comedy/ Mockumentary; Platforms: YouTube Channel, Mockumentary – MOCKSTARS is a web­driven series starring YouTube star, Alex Farnham. Each video parodies a current celebrity, movie, song, concert or happening through original music.
  • OCEANNA – Founder Team: Laurie & Wayne Nunez; Genre: Children’s Animated Series; Platforms: TV Series, Branded Products/Merchandise, Soundtrack, Book, App/Game, DVD – OCEANNA is an animated children’s TV series about a young girl whose daydreams transform her into the underwater superhero “Oceanna: Protector of the Sea”.
  • WINGS – Founder: Kaveh Kardan; Genre: Science Fiction; Platforms: Graphic Novel (Web based), Graphic Novel (Print), Feature Film – Giant robots inhabit the wilderness in WINGS, a steampunk tale about a young female pilot who sets off to solve the mystery of her parents’ disappearance.
  • NATIVE – Founder Team: Joel Angyal, Mike Leahy; Genre: Drama; Platforms: Feature Film, Clothing Line, Music Album – NATIVE is a feature film about a troubled teenage boy given an opportunity to develop his inner­warrior by connecting to his Hawaiian roots and training in mixed martial arts (MMA).
  • SURF BREAK HOTEL – Founder Team: Stefan Schaefer, Jonathan Stern; Genre: Sitcom; Platforms: Web/TV Series – SURF BREAK HOTEL is an original comedic series about a washed­up surf pro, Byron “ALL BIZ” Waggie, who’s forced to take a job as a surf instructor at a Maui beach hotel.

The addition of YouTube star Alex Farnham to the accelerator’s ranks brings one of the fastest­growing segments of media to the Program’s mix. Farnham got his start on YouTube with “one dolla” and quickly became a sensation with 68 million views and 229,000 subscribers. His project MOCKSTARS will parody current celebrities, movies and songs. Farnham said, “I think it’s great to have something like this here ­ great for the community and for the kids growing up here.”

Kaveh Kardan, founder of graphic novel project WINGS, is a graduate of sister incubator/accelerator program, Creative Lab. Stefan Schaefer (SURF BREAK HOTEL) was also a recent alternate in the program. Creative Lab was founded in 2012 by the Hawai’i State Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism’s Creative Industries Division (CID) to accelerate the growth of Hawaii’s creative entrepreneurs through immersive, hands­on training in motion pictures, television, screenwriting, broadband, new media, interactive/technology, music and design/fashion.

In addition to the $50,000 in seed funding for development, successful graduates of the accelerator program can now tap up to $250,000 in matching funds if they raise at least 25 percent of their follow­on budget in private equity and secure product distribution. Senator Glenn Wakai stated, “This is really the recipe for economic development the State has been looking for… for a small (State) investment, we partner with private investors and good things can happen.”

ABOUT THE GVS TRANSMEDIA ACCELERATOR PROGRAM

The GTA Program is a partnership between the County of Hawai’i, the Hawai’i Strategic Development Corporation (HSDC), the GTA Development Fund, and the GVS Accelerator. The GTA Program is a two­time Small Business Administration award­winner as one of the top accelerators in the U.S. and is part of Hawaii’s “Startup Paradise” community. For more information visit www.gvsaccelerator.com

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.

2015 Big Island Film Festival Announces Winners

The 2015 Big Island Film Festival held at the Fairmont Orchid is wrapping up tonight with a concert by the Rough Riders.

Arielle Kebbel received the 2015 Golden Honu Award for "Rising Actress" from Big Island Film Festival Director Leo Sears.

Arielle Kebbel received the 2015 Golden Honu Award for “Actress On The Rise” from Big Island Film Festival Director Leo Sears.

This years celebrity honorees were Arielle Kebbel and Will Estes.

Will Estes with his Golden Honu Award for Best Actor.

Will Estes with his Golden Honu Award for Actor of the Year.

This morning at a luncheon reception, winners of this years awards were announced:

Screenplay Awards
· Finalists – Debbie the Viking, War 2.0
· First Place – Garbagemen

Golden Honu Awards
· Shorts
Best Student Short – Sin Frontera
Best Hawaii Short – The Fishing Club Movie
Best Family Short – Butterfiles
Best Foreign Short – The Rabbit
Best Short – Our Father
Best Special Effects – The Sun Devil and The Princess

· Features
Best Foreign Feature – Patterson’s Wager
Best Family Feature – Under The Blood Red Sun
Best Feature – WildLike
Barbara Award – Jilel – The Calling of the Shell Microwave Films of the Marshall Islands

Audience Choice Feature – Honeyglue

Audience Choice Short – Butterflies

2015 Big Island Film Festival 110Congrats to everyone who submitted films and were selected to participate in this years festival.  All the films were excellent!

Writers, Filmmakers Learn from the Pro’s at Big Island Film Festival Workshops

Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i (BIFF) will present three contemporary screenwriting and filmmaking workshops, taught by top entertainment industry professionals, May 22, 23 and 24, 2015. Important topics in the art and business of film include creative financing, successful storytelling and the multi-faceted demands on today’s filmmaker.

Advance registration is required by May 20, at www.BigIslandfilmFestival.com, or by calling 808-883-0394.

On Friday, 9:45-11 a.m., screenwriter/producer/attorney Steve Edmiston shares 20+ years of experience in finding money for low budgets in the evolving indie filmmaking “ecosystem.” Topics include fiscal sponsorship, grant-writing, crowd-sourcing, government and non-government subsidies, “angels” and more.

Steve Edmiston

Steve Edmiston

Edmiston, a university instructor in screenwriting and film producing, presented his award-winning short film “The Maury Island Incident” at last year’s BIFF, and was inspired to return as a teacher to help up-and-coming filmmakers with their projects. His workshop follows the general filmmaker orientation and is available to the public at $25 per person.

Saturday’s workshop is “Telling and Selling Your Story,” taught by Jen Grisanti, author of “Change Your Story, Change Your Life,” writing instructor for NBC’s “Writers on the Verge,” acclaimed story/career consultant and longtime assistant to Aaron Spelling.

Jen Grisanti will be presenting again.

Jen Grisanti will be presenting again.

Since she launched her own company in 2008, Jen Grisanti Consultancy has worked with over 500 writers specializing in television, features and novels with numerous successes.

Grisanti will focus on three areas that have helped propel her writers: “Writing a Script They Can’t Ignore,” “Developing a Strong Personal Narrative,” and “Strategy, Action Plan and Creating Your Brand.” Her workshop takes place 8:30-11 a.m., at $50 per person.

Sunday features “Indie Motion Pictures: Concept to Completion,” by award-winning Maui filmmaker Brian Kohne (“Get A Job,” Kuleana”), entertainment marketing specialist, and music producer/promoter (Willie K, Hapa).

Brian Kohne Interviewing Eloise Mumford

Brian Kohne Interviewing Eloise Mumford

“Media technologies, once populated by specialists, have converged; and now, seasoned industry veterans wear multiple hats, with marketing factoring into every major creative decision,” says Kohne, who has worked in Silicon Valley with interactive television, corporate video, sports broadcasting and more. “There has never been a better time to refine, empower and unleash our own unique creative voice!”

Kohne’s workshop takes place 8:30-11 a.m., $50. Advance registration is required for workshops by May 20, at www.BigIslandfilmFestival.com, or by calling 808-883-0394.

Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i is a celebration of narrative filmmaking, May 21-25, 2015. Events include free family films under the stars at The Shops at Mauna Lani, daytime movies and nightly double features at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i (free parking), networking opportunities, celebrity receptions, awards brunch and more.

Closing night “Best of the Fest” stars The Rough Riders in concert, with Hawaiian music legends Henry Kapono, John Cruz and Brother Noland. Best of the Fest is a fundraising event for Hawai‘i Island Food Basket, silent auction for the Tripler Army Medical Center’s Fisher House for military families, and a “hana hou” screening of the audience-voted Best Feature and Best Short films of BIFF 2015.

Major sponsors include The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, The Shops at Mauna Lani, Hawai‘i Tourism Authority/Hawai‘i County CPEP and many others. For more information, complete schedule of events and to purchase tickets, visit www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com or call 808-883-0394.

Hawaii – A Time Lapse Film of Mark Twain’s Favorite Island

Hawaii – A timelapse film of Mark Twain's favorite islands from Matt Johnson @ WhoIsMatt.com on Vimeo.

“Hawaii: No alien land in all the world has any deep strong charm for me but that one, no other land could so longingly and so beseechingly haunt me, sleeping and waking, through half a lifetime, as that one has done.

For me the balmy airs are always blowing, its summer seas flashing in the sun; the pulsing of its surfbeat is in my ear; I can see its garlanded crags, its leaping cascades, its plumy palms drowsing by the shore, its remote summits floating like islands above the cloud wrack; I can feel the spirit of its wildland solitudes, I can hear the splash of its brooks; in my nostrils still lives the breath of flowers that perished twenty years ago.

It is the loveliest fleet of islands that lies anchored in any ocean.”

Mark Twain

Filmed and Edited by Matt Johnson: whoismatt.com
Music by Sleeping At Last: sleepingatlast.com/
Narration by Stan Robinowitz: voices.com/people/stanrobinowitz

Read more and download in HD at: whoismatt.com/hawaiitimelapse

Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid Announces Official 2015 Film Selections

Now in its tenth year, the Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i (BIFF) has announced its 50 Official Selections, to be screened May 21-25, 2015. BIFF, the “talk story” film festival is a celebration of films and filmmaking in a luxury resort setting.

Photo by Kirk Aeder

Photo by Kirk Aeder

A busy five-day schedule includes free family films at The Shops at Mauna Lani, plus a new food event, “Taste of the Movies,” on Friday, May 22, to honor BIFF’s tenth anniversary with ten top chefs presenting movie-themed cuisine. At The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, film buffs enjoy daytime movies and nightly double features with no-host bar and pupus, plus celebrity social events, workshops and more. Closing night Best of the Fest features The Rough Riders in concert: Henry Kapono, John Cruz and Brother Noland—all three BIFF alumni.

Jackson Rathbone at the 2014 BIFF.

Jackson Rathbone at the 2014 BIFF.

The lineup of new, independent narrative films includes 13 made in the state, six from Hawai‘i Island itself. Returning to BIFF with a new sci fi thriller, Cousins Brothers Productions of Honoka‘a will present “Hangar 52 ‘We Are Not Alone.’”
Hangar52

Kona filmmakers represent, with the new feature “Project Z” by Richard Gonzalez and the short family film “Lost Dog” by Rockwood; both longtime BIFF alumni and supporters.

“2015 is shaping up to be a great year for short films, as well as our usual fine crop of feature films. The quality is outstanding,” said BIFF Executive Director Leo Sears. “A short film only has 30 minutes or less to tell its story. It is an art of filmmaking that requires special skills. It’s not easy to do.”

Big Island Film Festival Class of 2014

Big Island Film Festival Class of 2014

Other Hawaii-made shorts include “Līhau’s Journey,” starring Leiomalama Solomon and directed by Ari Bernstein of Hawai‘i Preparatory Academy, set in the spectacular Waimea countryside, Willy Navarro’s new work “Projection” and, from Oahu, Erin Lau presents “Day Pass,” filmed on Hawai‘i Island. From Maui, Brian Kohne and the Believers of Nonsense present the world premier of their animated short, “Nothing Goin’ On But the Rent.” And, based on a story by Waikoloa author Catherine Tarleton, “The Fishing Club” by Shooters Productions is a short film starring Robert Kekaula and Keali‘i Reichel.

Keali'i Reichel and Robert Kekaula star in "The Fishing Club" based on a book by big island author Catherine Tarleton

Keali’i Reichel and Robert Kekaula star in “The Fishing Club” based on a story by Big Island Author Catherine Tarleton

Hawai‘i is well-represented in the family feature film category as well. One in particular, “Under the Blood Red Sun,” based on Graham Salisbury’s award-winning novel. Set on Oahu during WWII, two young boys grow up quickly after the raid on Pearl Harbor, and help each other deal with its impact on their families, Japanese and American. Directed by Tim Savage and starring Kyler Sakamoto, the film has already garnered numerous awards and accolades.

Under the Blood Red Sun

The Official Selections for BIFF 2015 are:

  • 34th Street Christmas
  • A Standing Still
  • Arthur
  • Bereave
  • BIRTHDAY
  • Butterflies
  • Captive
  • Day Pass
  • Demon Within…
  • Dig Two Graves
  • Dishonestly Yours
  • Flowers
  • Hamlet’s Ghost
  • Hands Off My Child
  • Hangar 52 “We Are Not Alone”
  • HoneyGlue
  • Hotwire
  • If The Trees Could Talk
  • I KNOW YOU
  • Jilel – The Calling of the Shell
  • Līhauʻs Journey
  • Listening
  • Lost Dog
  • Mother Earth
  • N. King
  • Nobody
  • Nothing Going On But The Rent
  • Our Father
  • Out of the Basement
  • Patterson’s Wager
  • Prick
  • Project Z
  • Projection
  • Seahorses
  • Sin Frontera (Without Boundary)
  • Substance
  • SURE THING
  • Take a Stand
  • The Cat’s Cradle
  • The Devil Goes Down
  • The Fishing Club
  • The Hit
  • The Lei Makers
  • The Less Fortunate
  • The Morning After
  • The Rabbit
  • The Story of M
  • The Sun Devil and the Princess
  • Under the Blood-Red Sun
  • Wildlike

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 25. An exciting closing night event, Best of the Fest will kick off with a concert by the Rough Riders: Henry Kapono, John Cruz and Brother Noland. The evening includes a silent auction for Fisher House at Tripler Army Medical Center, and a portion of each ticket sold goes to Hawai‘i Island Food Basket.

BIFF Leo on StageThe Big Island “Talk Story” Film Festival is a celebration of independent narrative films and filmmaking, taking place May 21-25. 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.

 

Last Chance to Enter Films and Screenplays for 2015 Big Island Film Festival

Now in its tenth 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, 2015. Complete rules and submission guidelines are available at www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com, for entering by mail or online via www.FilmFreeway.com.

Known as the “talk story” film festival, BIFF takes place May 21-25, 2015 at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, and presents a full slate of new, narrative feature-length and short films in a luxurious oceanfront resort setting. Specializing in narrative films, as opposed to documentaries, BIFF provides a perfect complement to Hawai‘i Island’s film festival circuit and much-needed opportunity for filmmakers locally and internationally.

For the first time, BIFF’s script contest will 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.

Photo by Kirk Aeder

Photo by Kirk Aeder

Attended by returning visitors and independent filmmakers from around the world, as well as local residents who love movies, BIFF also hosts notable workshop leaders, such as NBC story consultant Jen Grisanti and screenwriter Ron Osborn of “West Wing” fame, among others.  Last year’s celebrity  honorees were Portia Doubleday of “Carrie,” and “Twighlight” series star Jackson Rathbone who enjoyed interacting with island audiences during in-depth interviews and informal garden receptions.

One of BIFF’s many success stories last year is Best Hawai’i Feature and Audience Choice Feature, “The Haumana,” by Keo Woolford, now available on DVD after an unprecedented multi-national fesitval tour.  The intriguing sci-fi hit “Time Lapse” has continued to garner  prestigious festival awards internationally, and the haunting drama of homelessness, “3:13” (now in distribution) received accolades from the film industry as well as mental health and homeless advocate organizations.  “Druid Peak,” a drama about a young man’s relationship with wolves, is just being released in theaters after winning numerous festival laurels.

Big Island Film Festival Class of 2014.  (Photo Kirk Aeder)

Big Island Film Festival Class of 2014. (Photo Kirk Aeder)

BIFF 2013 winner “Chasing Shakespeare,” directed by Norry Niven, and starring Graham Greene and Danny Glover, is now in distribution as “From Above.” Hawai‘i-made BIFF alumni films include wildly-popular comedy “Get A Job” by Maui filmmaker Brian Kohne, GB Hajim’s animated sci fi love story “Strange Frame” by HawaiiCon’s G.B. Hajim, and the poignant “Land of Eb” about South Kona’s Micronesian coffee worker community.

A celebration of narrative filmmaking, the complete BIFF experience includes not only film screenings for grown ups at The Fairmont Orchid 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, feasts for foodies, screenwriting workshops and a closing night “Best of the Fest” with a top-rated Hawaiian music concert and movies chosen by the audience from Festival entries.  “Golden Honu” Awards will be presented to the Best Feature and Best Short in Family, Student, Animated, Foreign, Hawai‘i and Audience Choice categories at a special Awards Brunch to honor the filmmakers and their works on Monday, May 25.

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, Kona Brewing Company, and others.

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

Waimea Ocean Film Festival Unveils Films, Speakers, Guests

The not-to-be-missed 2015 Waimea Ocean Film Festival (Ocean Film) offers a breathtaking lineup of films, special guests, intimate coffee talks, Q&As, exhibits, receptions and morning activities, running non-stop January 1-9. 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 showings at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i January 1-4. On January 5, the festival moves to Four Seasons Resort Hualalai.

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. In honor of Hokule‘a’s current Worldwide Voyage (WWV), Malama Honua, the festival showcases a number of films and discussions around the voyage. Both Hokule‘a and Makali`i captains and crew are working together to navigate Hokule`a on the WWV, including Pwo and Hawai`i Island captains Chadd Paishon, Shorty Bertelmann and Chad Baybayan, who will participate throughout the festival.

Dr. Sam Low, Ph.D. and cousin to Nainoa Thompson, brings his award-winning film The Navigators: The Pathfinders of the Pacific along with his recent book, Hawaiki Rising. In honor of Hokule`a’s arrival in New Zealand, and the ceremony honoring her as sixth waka, the festival offers Te Hono ki Aotearoa, a film about Maori waka culture. Producer Phil Arnone returns with the KGMB production, Hokule`a: Passing the Torch, which describes the voyage bringing the Alingano Maisu to Mau Pialug, the teacher who brought the knowledge of celestial navigation back to Hawai`i, and the “Pwo” ceremony, which confirmed five Hawaiian captains as master navigators.

The Voyager Exhibit, which will be displayed at Kahilu Theatre for the festival, marks the 20th anniversary of Makali`i, the Big Island’s voyaging canoe, sharing her history. The exhibit also includes the 8×13-foot map of the world developed as part of the festival last year, showing the WWV route, along with past voyages of Makali`i and Hokule`a. The exhibit opens with a blessing and ceremony at Kahilu Theatre on January 4 p.m. Jan. 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.

Mark Healey and Kohl Christensen paddle into a giant swell at Cloudbreak, Fiji in the film “Thundercloud.” Photo by One Palm Media.

Mark Healey and Kohl Christensen paddle into a giant swell at Cloudbreak, Fiji in the film “Thundercloud.” Photo by One Palm Media.

Part of a heart pounding surf line-up, Behind the Lines features jaw dropping footage of British surfer Andrew Cotton at Nazarre; Thundercloud follows big wave surfers, and controversial surf history, at Cloudbreak, Fiji; Stephanie in the Water tells the story of female surf champion Stephanie Gilmore and Fading West features Switchfoot band members and surfers as they head on tour. Tierra de Patagones is a beautifully filmed story of two Argentinian brothers from Gauchos Del Mar, surfing the Patagonian frontier.

Bud Browne Film Archives Going Surfin’ and Cavalcade of Surf, with its pounding finale of epic big waves and big board North Shore wipe outs, reminds us of why Bud Browne has long been considered the godfather of the surf film genre. Anna Trent Moore, curator of the collection, brings a special exhibit of Browne’s photographs, not displayed since his passing, for a nostalgic exhibit of the 1960s surf scene at The Fairmont Orchid Jan. 1-4.

Delving into island culture, Hula: Merrie Monarch’s Golden Anniversary shares a behind the scenes look at the Merrie Monarch’s 50th Anniversary year, with filmmaker Roland Yamamoto. Lihau’s Journey is a coming-of-age hula drama and narrative film, featuring the 150-year hula legacy of Halau O Poʻohala, the Solomon-Beamer halau, plus the halau’s lead dancer, Leiomalama Tamasese Solomon. Halau members and Malama Solomon will be present, along with filmmaker and HPA faculty Ari Bernstein. Volcanoscapes: Dancing with the Goddess shares stunning cinematography and interviews, highlighting the magical beauty, geology and power of Kilauea. In her premiere of Wild Child, local filmmaker Alison Teal reveals the advice and knowledge she received from Hawaiians and other South Kona locals that enabled her to survive on an island for three weeks, after being invited to participate in Discovery Channel’s Naked and Afraid.

tefanie Brendl with a tiger shark in the film “Extinction Soup.” Photo courtesy Waimea Ocean Film Festival.

Stefanie Brendl with a tiger shark in the film “Extinction Soup.” Photo courtesy Waimea Ocean Film Festival.

O‘ahu’s Stefanie Brendl brings Extinction Soup and joins local filmmaker Bryce Groark in a discussion about sharks, their importance and Hawai`i’s leadership role in shark protection. Groark also speaks after the showing of Mission Blue, a film about Dr. Sylvia Earle’s life and mission, in which he appears and provides cinematography. Still beautiful after 30 years, Dr. Earle’s 1978 film Humpback’s: The Gentle Giants, shares stunning footage and interesting information about the whales on our shores. Presentations about Ka`upulehu Dryland Forest and shoreline, as well as traditional ‘opihi fishing practices in Miloli`i, share more about Hawaiian cultural practices and traditional resource management.

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New Screenplay Contest for Big Island Film Festival

Long before the lights and cameras come to life, movie action starts on paper, with a fine-tuned craft of screenwriting. In celebration of the screenplay, Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i (BIFF) has announced its first feature film script contest, with top entries saluted at the tenth annual festival, May21-25, 2015. The winning script will be submitted to the Paradigm Agency in Hollywood for possible representation.

Some of the winners that were present to receive their awards.

Some of the 2014 Big Island Film Festival award winners.

With a signature focus on narrative films, BIFF has nurtured the art of storytelling, both on the big screen and off, presenting screenwriting and filmmaking workshops, networking and social opportunities, and audience feedback in a casual, creative setting. The new screenplay contest is a natural outgrowth of inspiration and education planted over the last decade.

Celebrity Portia Doubleday and Consultant Jen Grisanti

Celebrity Portia Doubleday and Consultant Jen Grisanti

“Because we have writers who come to our workshops every year, we know that their film ideas are taking shape, if not actually completed,” said BIFF Executive Director Leo Sears. “This could give the right motivation to actually sit down and polish, fine-tune, give your project its best shot. Paradigm is one of the top five talent agencies in the business, and, although we can’t guarantee anything, just to have them consider representing your script is a tremendous opportunity; it’s priceless.”

BIFF Director Leo Sears gives actor Tom Berrenger the "Golden Honu" award at the 2010 BIFF

BIFF Director Leo Sears gives actor Tom Berrenger the “Golden Honu” award at the 2010 BIFF

Scripts must be submitted no later than February 1, 2015, and must be between 60 and 140 pages in standard screenplay format. Professional readers will screen all submissions, by reviewing the first ten pages, to select nine semi-finalists. Of those, three finalists will be evaluated by veteran screenwriters, instructors and consultants and one winner selected.

Saturday Night Live's Kate McGinnon received a Golden Honu Award.

Saturday Night Live’s Kate McGinnon received a Golden Honu Award.

All semifinalists will receive filmmaker passes to BIFF 2015 and finalists will receive a Golden Honu Award plate and listing on Variety.com. Only the winning screenplay, announced at the Awards Brunch on May 25, will be submitted to Paradigm Agency in Hollywood for possible representation.

Jackson Rathbone at the 2014 BIFF.

Jackson Rathbone at the 2014 BIFF.

Films may be submitted by mail or email, or on line via www.FilmFreeway.com, an easy and affordable entry service for screenwriting contests and film festivals. Deadlines are January 1, 2015 (Early Bird) and February 1, 2015 (Regular). Complete rules, fee information and entry forms are available at www.bigislandfilmfestival.com.

Kristina Anapau was another Golden Honu recipient.

Kristina Anapau was another Golden Honu recipient.

Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i is a celebration of independent narrative films and filmmaking, taking place May 21-25, 2015. Major sponsors include The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, The Shops at Mauna Lani and Hawaii Tourism Authority/Hawai‘i County CPEP.  For more information, visit www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com or call (808) 883-0394.

Under the Blood Red Sun – 20th Anniversary Celebration

Sunday, September 14, Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor presents Under the Blood-Red Sun Day, a day to join author Graham ‘Sandy’ Salisbury for a family Sunday at the Museum to celebrate the 20th Anniversary Edition of this cherished childhood book and a film screening of the new movie of the same name.

Under the Blood Red Sun

Under the Blood-Red Sun is the story of a young Japanese-American boy’s struggles with wartime discrimination and the friends who stood by him, just after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The newly released film of the same name will screen in the Museum’s theater, also.

Salisbury’s 20th Anniversary edition of Under the Blood Red Sun, his new book Hunt for the Bamboo Rat, and new reprints of Eyes of the Emperor and House of the Red Fish will all be released Sept 14 and available for purchase and author signature at the Museum that day, as well.

Also join the movie’s director Tim Savage and actors Kyler Sakamoto (Tomi Nakaji), Kalama Epstein (Billy Davis), Chris Tashima (Papa Nakaji), Dann Seki (Grampa Nakaji) and many others, for a special showing of the newly released movie version of Under the Blood-Red Sun. Meet and greet the director and cast; bring your cameras. This story has been called a heart-warming experience for young and old.

Schedule of Events

  • 12:00 to 1:00pm – Book signing, Autograph Session, Meet & Greet the Author, Actors, and Director
  • 1:30 to 3:00pm – Screening of the movie, Under the Blood-Red Sun
  • 3:00 to 4:00pm – Author, Actors & Director Panel Discussion
  • 4:00 to 5:00pm – Book signing, Meet & Greet

Free with Museum admission and free to Museum members. For more information, 808-441-1007. Tickets and event information are available at PacificAviationMuseum.org.

Another special screening of the film will occur at the WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument on Saturday, September 20 at 6:15pm on the lawn at their “Movie in the Park” event. While the no bag policy is still in effect, families are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs, blankets and food and beverages in clear, plastic bags for this presentation on the lawn. Contact: Amanda_Carona@nps.gov.