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.

Cosplayers Invited to Enter Epic Bowling Battle and Costume Contest at KBXtreme for Glory and Big Prizes

HawaiiCon is partnering with KBXtreme for the Big Island’s first cosplay event, ever.

HawaiiConCosplayers from around the Big Island are invited to the KBXtreme Kona Bowl on July 19th, 2014, from 5pm until closing for a family-friendly event full of bowling, tabletop gaming, and costume contests. Those looking to participate in the cosplay events can register that night. The cosplay event is free for all ages. The bowling contest is available for $6.25 or less depending on age.

For the costume contest, outfits will be judged based on originality, craftsmanship, and accuracy. The top cosplayers will win passes to HawaiiCon and other prizes. The cosplayer with the most points in bowling will also win a day pass.

All passes will allow winners to participate in the main cosplay contest at HawaiiCon in front of stars Holly Conrad and Jessica Merizan from Syfy’s Heroes of Cosplay to compete for even bigger prizes.

“Our desire is to strengthen the local cosplay community on the Big Island,” says HawaiiCon CEO, GB Hajim. “This is something the Big Island has wanted for a long time, and we want HawaiiCon to be a catalyst that keeps the cosplay community connected and involved.”

The Royal Kona Resort is supporting the event by offering rooms for $105 with single and double occupancy for those traveling. Game demos provided by Lava Top.

No weapons, including cosplay weapons, are allowed at this event.

About HawaiiCon:
HawaiiCon is a non-profit organization whose mission is to increase public awareness of science, the science fiction genre, and mythologies, past and present, which guide humanity. HawaiiCon will emphasize education and uniquely Hawaiian contributions to science, including navigation, and ensure that Native Hawaiian culture is accorded an honored place in the conversation of science and science fiction.

HawaiiCon will take place at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel on September 12-14th, 2014. Kama’aina rates are available starting at $50 a day. For a full list of Guests, Events, and other information please visit the website at http://www.hawaiicon.com.

2014 Big Island Film Festival Highlights

The 2014 Big Island Film Festival at the Fairmont Orchid wrapped up last night.

Here is a video of the pictures I compiled:

[youtube=http://youtu.be/w8wWbsTsbpk]

Mahalo to everyone that came and participated this year!

2014 Big Island Film Festival Announces Winning Films

Congratulations to all fimmakers in the BIFF Class of 2014:

Big Island Film Festival Class of 2014

Big Island Film Festival Class of 2014

And the winners are!

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

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

SHORTS:

  • Best Hawai’i Short: NO MORE ALOHA
  • Best Animated Short: LIGHT ME UP
BIFF Executive Director Leo Sears and the Filmmakers of Poison Apple.

BIFF Executive Director Leo Sears and the Filmmakers of Poison Apple.

  • Best Family Short: POISON APPLE
  • Best Foreign Short: SURINAME GOLD
  • The Barbara Award: RAVI & JUNE
  • Best Short: TUESDAY MORNING

Winning FEATURES!

Leo Sears and Keo Wolford of Haumana.

Leo Sears and Keo Wolford of Haumana.

TONIGHT:

“Best of the Fest!” It’s an epic night of great Hawaiian music, hula and movies!

First up, Willie K. LIVE in Concert at “Best of the Fest,” Monday May 26 at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii Plantation Estate, 5-7 p.m.

After the show, enjoy the Audience Choice movies from BIFF 2014: Audience Choice Short is POISON APPLE by Dane Neves, and Audience Choice Feature, THE HAUMĀNA by Keo Woolford.

Online tickets still available for $35 general admission, $25 kama’aina. $5 more at the door. bigislandfilmfestival.com

Tix include Concert and Audience Choice movies, free parking. No host bar and snacks for sale. (No coolers please) Some chairs available, or bring your own beach chairs.

Best of the Fest is a fundraiser for Hawai’i Island Food Basket and includes a Silent Auction for Tripler Fisher House.

In case of rain, Best of the Fest will move indoors. No worries! bigislandfilmfestival.com

Portia Doubleday Receives Golden Honu Award at Big Island Film Festival

Last night at the Big Island Film Festival, there was a celebrity salute and reception for actress Portia Doubleday.

Big Island Film Festival Founder & Executive Leo Sears presents Doubleday with a Golden Honu Award

Big Island Film Festival Founder & Executive Leo Sears presents Doubleday with a Golden Honu Award

Portia was awarded a “Golden Honu” award for being a “Star to Watch”.   She answered questions from folks attending the Festival and then afterwards people got to meet with her and have a reception that was sponsored by Kenwood Wines and the Fairmont Orchid.

The reception sponsored by Kenwood Wines and the Fairmont Orchid

The reception sponsored by Kenwood Wines and the Fairmont Orchid

Portia most recently co-starred opposite Chloe Moretz in CARRIE as bad girl Chris Hargensen and has a cameo opposite Joaquin Phoenix as the sex surrogate in Spike Jonze critically acclaimed film HER.

A star to watch!

A star to watch!

Portia also co-starred alongside Martin Lawrence and Brandon T. Jackson in 20th Century Fox’s BIG MOMMAS: LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON.  She starred in her first leading role opposite Michael Cera in Miguel Artera’s film YOUTH IN REVOLT, which was named one of the ten best films of the year by the National Board of Review.

Portia with Photographer Kirk Aeder

Portia with Photographer Kirk Aeder

I had an opportunity to have a one-on-one interview with Portia and here are some of the things she shared with me:

Deep Thoughts with Doubleday!

Deep Thoughts with Doubleday!

Aloha Portia welcome to Hawaii… have you been here before?

The first time I came to Hawaii was six months ago and I stayed in Maui but I love the Big Island, I went “Snubaing” today on a boat and supposedly went to one of the ten most beautiful places in the world… It’s paradise here, I love it!

So you’re here for the Big Island Film Festival, can you tell me about some of the projects you are working on?

I just got finished with a movie called “Act of All” filmed in Montreal where I play a girl and a boy and that movie should be coming out in about six months or so… I literally just got through filming it about 7 days ago so this is a really nice little vacation for me.

Where are you from in California and what High School did you go to?

I grew up in Hancock Park and went to Laces on 18th street which was a college-prep school where I did drama, choir and dance there.

What got you into acting?

I come from an acting family as both my parents were actors, my plan was that I would go to school and get my degree and then when I was trained when I was like 30 I would start acting around then… I hadn’t planned on acting as young as I am at all… it just kind of happened that way.

I went to a program at Cal Arts and Academy of Dramatic Arts and studied while I was in school and to me auditioning was just for fun as a I was a psychology major… and I just kind of jumped into the game. I’m still in school, I have been now for 6 years and I’m determined to get my degree.

Out of all the projects that you have worked on what was your favorite?

It’s really hard to say because I have a different taste in my mouth for all of them… I love what I do so I’m most comfortable on the set… I love all the projects for different reasons but I really loved doing “Carrie”.

So for all single guys out there… are you married or are you in a relationship?

Not married… I am single…. (laughs)

What do you plan on doing after you leave the Big Island?

Crying… because I’m going to miss it here… tomorrow I’ll be swimming with the dolphins.

How can fans follow you in the future?

Well I’m on Instagram at @PortiaDD. I have a twitter account but I don’t know how to use it. I think the last tweet I sent out said “I don’t know how to use Twitter”…. But I know how to use instagram.

Portia and some dude!

Portia and some dude!

Big Island Film Festival Workshop – “Adding Fiction to the Truth in Your Writing”

This morning at the Big Island Film Festival at the Fairmont Orchid, a Filmmaker Workshop was held with Story/Career Consultant Jen Grisanti about “Adding Fiction to the Truth in Your Writing”.

Jen Grisanti leading a filmmaker workshop at the 2014 Big Island Film Festival.

Jen Grisanti leading a filmmaker workshop at the 2014 Big Island Film Festival.

When you come from a place of emotional truth in your writing and add fiction to it in your story, you connect with your audience.  Grisanti spoke about how to take inventory of your history and identify your universal life moments through looking at your dilemmas, your failures and your successes.  After taking the time to mine your creative well, you will find your gold.

Celebrity Portia Doubleday and Jen Grisanti

Celebrity Portia Doubleday and Jen Grisanti

International speaker Grisanti is an acclaimed Story/Career Consultant at her company Jen Grisanti Consultancy Inc., Writing Instructor for Writers on the Verge at NBC, former 12-year studio executive, including VP of Current Programming at CBS/Paramount, blogger for the Huffington Post and author of the books, Story Line: Finding Gold In Your Life Story and TV Writing Tool Kit: How To Write a Script That Sells and the upcoming book, Change Your Story, Changer Your Life: A Path To Your Success.

Big Island Film Festival Workshop – “The First 10 Pages” With Ron Osborn

Going on now at the Big Island Film Festival at the Fairmont Orchid, writer/producer Ron Osborn is giving a workshop entitled “The First 10 Pages”.

Ron Osborn

Ron Osborn

The workshop is focused on getting the attention of folks that will actually buy scripts that are written by folks and catching the attention in the first 10 pages of your script that you may decide to write.

Osborn was the first Golden Honu Award recipient for Screenwriting back in 2009 and has presented workshops at the annual Talk Story film festival ever since.

Folks enjoying the Big Island Film Festival Night Films

Folks enjoying the Big Island Film Festival night films from last night

A writer/producer for 30 years. Osborn has worked in half-hour comedy and animation, hour-long comedy and drama, feature originals and feature rewrites, on such series as Moonlighting, Duckman, Cupid, and The West Wing, as well as such features as Meet Joe Black, and has developed with Stephen Spielberg, Ron Howard, and George Lucas.

He has been nominated for 7 Emmys, 3 Cable Ace Awards and 2 Writers Guild Awards.  He has written pilots for every primetime American network, as well as for such cable networks as Showtime, FX, USA, ABC Family, Lifetime and Disney.

Special Message from Governor Neil Abercrombie In Recognition of 9th Annual Big Island Film Festival

Governor Neil Abercrombie has this special message for filmmakers, sponsors, guests and patrons of the 9th Annual Big Island Film Festival that began last night at the Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii.
Abercrombie BIFF Recognition

Tonight’s Free Family Films at The Shops at Mauna Lani are: Poison Apple, Shadow, and Sophia Grace & Rosie’s Royal Adventure (with special permission from Warner Bros.)

The Festival Films at the Fairmont Orchid Plantation estate begin at 7:30 with screenings of Day For Night, The New Neighbor and The Haumana. At 9:30 the films Solace, If We Were Adults, and Druid Peak will be shown.

Festival films are $16 or $12 Kama’aina rate. Late films only are $7.50.   Upgraded seating is available for an additional $10, space available only.

There will be concessions available.

Free Films Featured Tonight at the Big Island Film Festival

At 7:30 p.m. tonight at The Shops at Mauna Lani is where the official grand opening of the festival will take place.

BIFF Leo on Stage

The event is free and open to the public where the Festival will welcome the 2014 filmmakers and watch a sampling of short films from Hawaii and around the world.

Films featured tonight at the Mauna Lani Stage will be: Meet Anna, Prinsesa, Take a Deep Breath, We are Enemies, Horse for Sale, Little Girl’s War Cry, The Maury Island Incident, Honey Brown Morgan, and Posey.

All films are appropriate for all audiences.

Big Island Film Festival at the Fairmont Orchid Begins – Mayor Kenoi’s Message

The 2014 Big Island Film Festival is kicking off tonight at the Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii on the Kohala Coast of the Big Island.

Here is Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi’s message inside the program guide welcoming folks to the festival:
Mayor Kenoi Message to BIFF

 

Big Island Film Festival Workshops Filling Up – Tickets Still Available

The 2014 Big Island Film Festival at the Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i kicks off this Thursday with a welcoming reception by Big Island Mayor Billy Kenoi.

Click to view the program guide

Click to view the program guide

A lot of folks may think that the festival is all about films, however, the festival offers filmmakers and folks interested in making movies educational workshops over the course of the festival.

On Friday there will be a workshop on “Trade Journalism as it relates to Film & Television” put on by Peter Caranicas.  Caranicas is Deputy Editor of Variety. His responsibilities include managing the paper’s features sections, which are published over 200 times a year. These specials cover film festivals, celebrate industry anniversaries, provide in-depth analysis of awards shows such as the Oscars and the Emmys, identify up-and-coming talent, and list key players among youth, women and lawyers in entertainment.

Saturday there will be a workshop on “The First 10 Pages” presented by Ron Osborn.

Ron Osborn

Ron Osborn

A writer/producer for 30 years, Ron has worked in half-hour comedy and animation, hour-long comedy and drama, feature originals and feature rewrites, on such series as Moonlighting, Duckman, Cupid, and The West Wing, as well as such features as Meet Joe Black, and has developed with Stephen Spielberg, Ron Howard, and George Lucas. He has been nominated for 7 Emmys, 3 Cable Ace Awards, and 2 Writers Guild Awards. He has written pilots for every primetime American network, as well as for such cable networks as Showtime, FX, USA, ABC Family, Lifetime, and Disney.

Finally, on Sunday there will be a workshop on “Adding Fiction to the Truth in Your Writing” presented by Jen Grisanti.

Jen Grisanti

Jen Grisanti

International speaker Grisanti is an acclaimed Story/Career Consultant at Jen Grisanti Consultancy Inc., Writing Instructor for Writers on the Verge at NBC, former 12-year studio executive, including VP of Current Programming at CBS/Paramount, blogger for The Huffington Post and author of the books, Story Line: Finding Gold In Your Life Story and TV Writing Tool Kit: How To Write a Script That Sells and the upcoming book, Change Your Story, Change Your Life: A Path To Your Success.

This will be the third year that Grisanti has presented at BIFF and I asked her about what her favorite thing is about the Big Island Festival and Grisanti said, “My favorite part of my last experience at the Big Island Film Festival was seeing films that really resonated with the audience on an emotional level. It was a tremendous feeling to be able to celebrate the massive accomplishments of these incredible filmmakers.”

Jen Grisanti at the Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii

Jen Grisanti at the Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii

I asked Jen what she has been up to since the last Big Island Film Festival and she’s been quite busy.
She has launched a new book, “Change Your Story, Change Your Life: A Path To Success”, Taught in Israel, participated in The Great American Pitchfest, the Story Expo and the TV Writers’ Summit in Los Angeles.  This was also her 5th year as the Writing Instructor for Writers on the Verge at NBC.

 

Mayor Kenoi flanked by Hollywood Consultant Jennifer Grisanti (left) and television star Eloise Mumfort (right)

Mayor Kenoi flanked by Hollywood Consultant Jennifer Grisanti (left) and television star Eloise Mumfort (right)

I asked her what her workshop would be covering this year and she said, “My workshop is about adding fiction to your truth in your writing and defining your voice. In my career, I’ve found that the writers who know their voice and how to utilize their emotional truth are the ones that succeed. I will also cover story structure and how to write strong personal arcs for your life and in your story.”

You can check out some of her recent books she has written here:

Jennifer Grisanti

Here are five recent blogs that she wrote for The Huffington Post that she feels link with the upcoming workshop:

The deadline to purchase entrance fees to these workshops is May 20, 2014  and you can purchase online or Call: 808 883-0394

‘Twilight’ and ‘Carrie’ Stars Come Out to Shine at Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i

Portia Doubleday, “Carrie’s” nemesis in the current re-telling of Steven King’s wildly popular story, and Jackson Rathbone, star of the epic “Twilight” film series, will attend Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i next week as celebrity honorees. Seeming to specialize in the darkly complex characters that today’s movie-lovers crave, Doubleday and Rathbone are young actors on the rise.

Portia Doubleday

Portia Doubleday

Portia Doubleday most recently co-starred as bad girl Chris Hargensen in “Carrie,” and played a cameo role as the sex surrogate in Spike Jonze’ critically acclaimed film “Her.” She also co-starred in 20th Century Fox’s “Big Momma’s: Like Father, Like Son,” and had a recurring role on the ABC comedy series “Mr. Sunshine.” Her first leading role was with Michael Cera in “Youth in Revolt,” named one of the ten best films of the year by the National Board of Review.

Jackosn Rathbone

Jackson Rathbone

Best known for his role as Jasper Hale in the hugely successful “Twilight” franchise, Jackson Rathbone has been an international presence in film since 2007. Originally from Texas, Jackson quickly found roles in both movies and television, earning recognition for his turn as a serial killer in “Criminal Minds.” Starring in major international box office hits such as the blockbuster “Twilight” series and “The Last Airbender,” Rathbone will also appear in the upcoming super-natural independent suspense thriller “The Dead Men.”

BIFF invites the public to exclusive soirees in honor of Doubleday and Rathbone on Saturday and Sunday, respectively, 5-7 p.m. at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i. Events begin in the Lehua Theatre with a video retrospective of the actor’s career, in-depth interview and Q&A, then stroll into Wailana Gardens for elegant pupu reception, with wines from Kenwood Vineyard, Kona Brewing Company beers, and an opportunity for informal networking in a luxury resort setting. Advance tickets are required ($35).

Doubleday and Rathbone will also attend the exciting Golden Honu Awards Brunch on Monday, May 26, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. The champagne brunch buffet in the Kilohana Room is open to the public with advance reservations required ($50). Winning films and Audience Choice Feature and Short will be announced during brunch. Audience Choice films will be presented Monday evening, following a stellar concert by award-winning Hawaiian musician WILLIE K.

Willie K

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

Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i is a celebration of independent narrative films and filmmaking, taking place May 22-26, 2014. Major sponsors include The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, The Shops at Mauna Lani and Hawaii Tourism Authority/Hawai‘i County CPEP. For complete schedule information and tickets, stop by the information desk at The Shops at Mauna Lani starting May 21, visit www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com or call (808) 883-0394.

 

Professional Writing, Filmmaking Workshops at Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i

Presenting a rare opportunity for island filmmakers and writers to learn from and be inspired by some of the best in the business, Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i offers three relevant workshops, presented by top entertainment industry professionals, May 22-25, 2014.

Ron Osborn. Photos courtesy Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai'i.

Ron Osborn. Photo courtesy Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i.

Writer, producer Ron Osborn (DUCKMAN, MEET JOE BLACK, THE WEST WING, MOONLIGHTING) has been nominated for seven Emmys, three Cable Ace Awards and two Writers Guild Awards. He has written pilots for every primetime American network, as well as for such cable networks as Showtime, FX, USA, ABC Family, Lifetime, and Disney. Osborn’s workshop, “The First 10 Pages,” focuses on the most important part of any script, and how to grab readers from the opening moments. Sat., May 24, 8:30-11 a.m. in the Lehua Theatre, $50.

Jennifer Grisanti

Jennifer Grisanti

Jen Grisanti, writing instructor for NBC’s “Writers on the Verge,” and acclaimed story/career consultant, will talk about “Adding Fiction to the Truth in Your Writing.” Since she launched Jen Grisanti Consultancy in 2008, Grisanti has worked with over 500 writers specializing in television, features and novels with numerous successes.

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

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

Her approach emphasizes the use of a writer’s personal history and emotional “gold” to key in to universal dilemmas, failures and successes that immediately connect with an audience. Sun., May 25, 8:30-11 a.m. in the Lehua Theatre, $50.

Advance registration is required by May 20, and registration forms may be found online at www.bigislandfilmfestival.com

Peter Caranicas

Peter Caranicas

In a special session, Peter Caranicas of Variety will discuss “Trade Journalism as it relates to Film & Television” on Fri., May 23, 9:45- 11 a.m. As Deputy Editor, Caranicas is responsible for the features sections (published over 200 times a year), covering film festivals, up-and-comers, industry anniversaries, in-depth analysis of awards shows such as the Oscars and the Emmys, and key players in entertainment. Immediately following Filmmaker Orientation in the Lehua Theatre, Caranicas’ presentation is open to the public at a cost of $20 per person.

Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i is a celebration of narrative filmmaking, May 22-26, 2014. 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 a closing night “Best of the Fest.” Best of the Fest is a fundraising event for Hawai‘i Island Food Basket, with WILLIE K in concert, silent auction for the Tripler Army Medical Center’s Fisher House for military families, and the audience-voted Best Feature and Best Short films of BIFF 2014.

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.

Willie K Headlines “Best of the Fest” – Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i

Blues man, jazz artist, Hawaiian songwriter, slack key master, rock & roll, reggae and occasional opera singer, Hawaii’s own Willie K brings his considerable talents to the stage on Monday, May 26, 2014, for Big Island Film Festival’s “Best of the Fest” concert at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i. Willie Kahaiali‘i, (Willie K) has been entertaining audiences around the world since age 10; won multiple Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards—most recently for “Warehouse Blues”–and a Grammy Award nomination.

Willie K

An eclectic and charismatic guitarist, Willie K has been called “a Hawaiian Jimi Hendrix,” by Honolulu Weekly, who also said, “he’s Gabby Pahinui, Andres Segovia and Eddie Van Halen rolled into one. Willie can mimic seemingly any style, moving easily between screaming Stratocaster, sweet slack key and jazzy, almost baroque, acoustic 12-string.”

In 2011, Willie K appeared on screen at BIFF in “Get a Job,” the outrageously funny comedy written and directed by Brian Kohne.

Willie K and Eric Gilliom

The Maui-created film boasted an all-star lineup of top Hawai‘i entertainers that also included Eric Gilliom, Augie T, Jake Shimabukuro, Carolyn Omine, Slam Poet Kealoha, Ernie Cruz, Jr., Amy Hanaiali‘i, Mick Fleetwood, Pat Simmons, the late Charles Ka‘upu, Willie Nelson, and Henry Kapono.

An entertainer with a generous heart, Willie K finds numerous ways to give back to the community. His annual Celebrity Golf Tournament for the Maui Memorial Medical Center’s Oncology Department is now in its eleventh year; and he is Hawai‘i spokesperson for the National Kidney Foundation. And, he can add Fisher House at Tripler Army Medical Center to his credit, as “Best of the Fest” includes a silent auction benefit for this important resource for military families.”

Tickets for “Best of the Fest” with Willie K can be purchased online at www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com. Admission is $40 at the door ($30 kama‘āina) and $35 in advance ($25 kama‘āina), $10 keiki 7-12. Some chairs will be available as will no-host bar, gourmet pupus and other movie snacks (no coolers please).

Best of the Fest includes:

  • Silent Auction to benefit Fisher House at Tripler Army Medical Center, 5-7 p.m.
  • Willie K in Concert, 5-7 p.m.
  • Audience-voted Best Feature and Best Short Films of BIFF 2013, 7:30-9:30 p.m.
  • Best of the Fest is also a fundraiser for Hawai‘i Island Food Basket.

The Big Island “Talk Story” Film Festival is a celebration of independent narrative films and filmmaking, taking place May 22-26, with celebrity guests Jackson Rathbone (the “Twilight” series) and Portia Doubleday (“Carrie,” “Youth in Revolt”). Major sponsors include The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, The Shops at Mauna Lani and Hawai‘i Tourism Authority/Hawai‘i County CPEP grant. Admission to films is free for active-duty military service members with I.D. For complete schedule information and tickets, visit www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com or call (808) 883-0394.

“The Volcano Kilauea” – 1918 Rare Silent Movie Surfaces

This original 1918 film, The Volcano Kilauea, is a version updated through 1924.  Filmed using the Prisma Process, this was the first Hawaii film produced in color on the Islands.

The Volcano

No audio as words/lines were inserted; thus, a silent film. Rare film documented as being ‘lost’.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/hwIrODo9L_A]

Ray J Baker was the producer; he was an early Hawaii photographer who progressed into moving film. Produced in Los Angeles by William Horsley Company.

Official Selections: Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i

Now in its 9th year, the Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i (BIFF) has announced its 48 Official Selections, to be screened May 22-26, 2014. The “talk story” film festival is a celebration of narrative films and filmmaking, with free family films at The Shops at Mauna Lani, daytime movies and nightly double features for grown-ups with no-host bar and pupus, plus “meet-the-stars” celebrity social events and more at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i.

BIFF Logo

On Thursday, May 22 at 7:30 p.m., BIFF’s Grand Opening at The Shops at Mauna Lani will include a free sampler of short films, and a chance to welcome filmmakers to the Island.  Celebrity guests Portia Doubleday (“Her,” “Carrie” and “Youth in Revolt”) and Jackson Rathbone (“Jasper” in the “Twilight” series) will appear in person, to give fans a chance to show their aloha.

BIFF at Mauna LaniBy special arrangement with Warner Brothers, “Sophia Grace and Rosie’s Royal Adventure” will be presented at The Shops at Mauna Lani Center Stage at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 23. The brand-new film stars British cousins, Sophia Grace Brownlee and Rosie McClelland, Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Award Winners and frequent guests of The Ellen DeGeneres Show. In the movie, to be released May 20 on DVD, the girls are Ellen’s special correspondents, sent to cover the coronation of a new queen.

Sofia Grace

Other notable BIFF Official Selections include the time-travel mystery-thriller “Time Lapse,” the intense and intimate portrait of homelessness, “3:13,” drama “Pretty Rosebud,” about an ambitious career woman whose unorthodox choices unravel her carefully constructed world, and comedy “Welcome to the Lucky Country” a laughable look at an Australian reality show.

Screenshot from "The Haumana"

Screenshot from “The Haumana”

Contenders from Hawai‘i include Keo Woolford’s acclaimed “The Haumana,” which chronicles the journey of a new Kumu Hula and his high school men’s hālau, with choreography by Robert Cazimero, Lanakila Casupang, Maelia Loebenstein-Carter and Kaipo Hale.  From the Big Island, “Bullitt and the Curse of the Blood Ring” is the next chapter of the continuing island action-adventure,  produced, acted, and directed by Kona filmmakers Richard Gonzalez and Rockwood.

The Official Selections for BIFF 2014 are:

  • 3:13
  • BULLITT and the Curse of the Blood Ring
  • Butterfly Dreams
  • Courting Chaos
  • Day For Night
  • Druid Peak
  • Great
  • Helen Alone
  • Horse for Sale
  • If We Were Adults
  • Light Me Up
  • Limit
  • Little Girl’s War Cry
  • Lost Island of the Firewalkers
  • Makua Charley
  • Meet Anna
  • Mirror
  • Missing Child
  • No More Aloha
  • One Weekend
  • Poison Apple
  • Posey
  • Pretty Rosebud
  • Prinsesa
  • Ravi & Jane
  • Rise Again
  • Rose, Mary and Time
  • Shadow
  • Sheltered Love
  • Solace
  • Sophia Grace and Rosie’s Royal Adventure
  • Suka
  • Suriname Gold
  • Take a Deep Breath
  • The Bathroom Attendant
  • The End
  • The Haumana
  • The Haunting of Heather
  • The Honey Maple Morgan
  • The Maury Island Incident
  • The New Neighbors
  • The Pimp & The Rose
  • Time Lapse
  • Tuesday Morning
  • We Are Enemies
  • Welcome to the Lucky Country
  • Wolf Summer
  • Zone 7

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 26.  Best of the Fest also includes a silent auction to benefit Fisher House at Tripler Army Medical Center, and exciting concert by award-winning Hawaiian musical artist WILLIE K.

The Big Island “Talk Story” Film Festival is a celebration of independent narrative films and filmmaking, taking place May 22-26. 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.

Best of Vine HAWAII 2013 Compilation

Best of Vine Hawaii 2013 compilation featuring some of Hawaii’s best videos on Vine from Hawaii viners:
[youtube=http://youtu.be/Sl_PmATGYT4]

Showdown In Chinatown, Honolulu’s Premiere Underground Film Challenge Returns

Showdown in Chinatown presents the launch of the 2014 Showdown in Chinatown Short Film Series, with a 48-hour Challenge! Honolulu’s premier underground short film challenge & showcase is designed to provide a creative outlet to those interested in careers in broadcast, film, and television production.

Showdown in Chinaton

Filmmakers will have 48-hours to write, shoot, and edit a short film, seven minutes or less. Filmmakers will also be given a topic, two props, and a line of dialogue they must use in their film. The top 12 films will premier on the big screen at Wade Warehouse screening hall, 449 Cooke Street, in Kakaako, Saturday March 8 at 7:00pm. The topic will be announced on Wednesday March 5, at 5pm online at www.ShowdownInChinatown.com and at Showdown in Chinatown’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Films are due Friday, March 7 between 5-8pm, the drop-off location to be announced online.

Some of our participants, dubbed “Showdown Graduates”, had never written a story or even picked up a video camera prior to entering their first competition, and are now producing broadcast quality films and showing in festivals around the world. Neil Sauvage and Kurt Loney of Cheap Rental Productions were the winners of our 2013 Championship Challenge with their short Cineparadoxia. Their team received a $15,000 grand prize from Hawaii Photo rental and will have their short entered into Hawaii International Film Festival and other film festivals all over the mainland. Here is a link to their short film https://vimeo.com/81869964

Showdown In Chinatown appeals not only to aspiring actors and filmmakers, but also to ordinary people who have never thought of visual storytelling as a possible means of expression.  Young and old alike… professional and amateur… all are given the opportunity to do something creative and have their work premiered on the big screen.

The aim of Showdown In Chinatown is to improve the talent and strengthen the community within Hawaii’s independent film and storytelling network.  We hope that this creative exercise is a launch pad for filmmakers to discover their talent, try new things and push their own creative boundaries.

Showdown is open to the public and relies on contributions, in-kind donations, and its volunteers to operate.  Visit www.ShowdownInChinatown.com to give today.  Showdown in Chinatown is a registered LLC. Donations are not tax-deductible.

For more information, contact Neil Sauvage or SIC Producer, Cyrina D Hadad.