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“Sam Choy In The Kitchen” Renewed for 2017

The Big Island of Hawaii is very fortunate to have one of the best chefs in the world living on this island and I feel honored to have met him personally.  Celebrity Chef Sam Choy lives in on the Kona side of the Big Island of Hawaii and recently I had the opportunity to meet up with him over on Oahu.

Sam Choy and some of the production crew celebrate the renewal of "Sam Choy in the Kitchen".

Sam Choy and some of the production crew celebrate the renewal of “Sam Choy in the Kitchen”.

On Thursday November 3rd at the Honolulu Design Center, I learned of the success of one of Choy’s more recent projects… the television show “Sam Choy in the Kitchen” being selected for a second season.

KHON2 General Manager Kristina Lockwood

KHON2 General Manager Kristina Lockwood

KHON2 General Manager Kristina Lockwood announced  that the show would be picked up for its second season at a “Mahalo Breakfast” thrown for Chef Choy with many of the sponsors of the show in attendance.

Sam and John make a creation on the spot.

Sam and John make a creation on the spot.

Sam and the show’s co-host John Veneri entertained the folks in attendance with a quick demonstration of what kind of things goes on in the production of making an episode and Veneri even mentioned how Chef Choy was able to make a dinner out of left over McDonald Chicken McNuggets in one of his shows and after that they showed a video clip highlighting just some of the clips from this past season. “ I am so honored to be the chef’s Stew Chef for the second season” quoted John, “we have a some fun episodes planned for next year” he added.

Sam talking with sponsors of the show.

Sam talking with sponsors of the show.

Choy stated that he is “So happy the viewers enjoyed the first season, thank you all for watching.  The show and the idea behind it are both hot and fresh, just like my dishes!”

Agent Abbas Hassan, John Veneri, Sam Choy and Brad "Tiki Shark" Parker

Agent Abbas Hassan, John Veneri, Sam Choy and Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker

Some of the sponsors that were in attendance to say mahalo to Chef Choy were D.Otani Produce, Hawaiian Tel Federal Credit Union, Modelo Beer and renowned artist Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker to name a few.

Nordstrom Ala Moana Picks Up Sam Choy Hawaiian Kitchen and Tiki Shark

Located in Hawaii’s biggest and most high profile mall, Nordstrom Ala Moana has picked up Sam Choy’s Hawaiian Kitchen and artist Brad “Tiki Shark” Parkers souvenir line just in time for the 2016 Holiday Season.

sam-choy-and-brad-parker-at-nordstroms

Celebrity Chef Sam Choy and Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker getting into the holiday spirit.

“We are so excited to feature such a colorful and high quality line in our At-Home section” quoted Deja Young At-home Dept Manager “hope to see you for Chef Sam Choy’s and artist Brad Parker’s personal appearance next month” she added.

sam-choy-nordstrom-display“Wow these towels are soft and absorbent…turned out better than I expected”, “I am so excited to be a part of such a wonderful store” commented the world famous celebrity chef.

“These are embroidered designs specially manufactured for Nordstrom and other limited venues” commented Abbas Hassan – Senior Vice President of Tiki Shark Art Inc. who is also the celebrity chefs and renowned artists agent.  “We had a lot of inquiries about Brad’s art being available in Honolulu and we are so happy to be able to fill that demand thru Nordstrom’s” he quoted.

sam-in-nordstromsA public signing and personal appearance is scheduled at the 186,000 square foot store on December 4 – 2 PM to 6 PM.  General public is encouraged to arrive early to avoid the rush.

sam-in-front-of-nordstromsChef Sam Choy’s products can also be purchased on line at www.chefsamchoy.com

Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker and his artworks are currently featured in Hawaiian Airlines Hana Hou Magazine. His company Tiki Shark Art Inc was name the 10th Fastest Growing Companies in the State of Hawaii by Pacific Business News.

East Hawaii Cable Outage Is Strange

Cable problems being reported throughout East Hawaii right now.

snow-on-tvI myself only can hear things on my television and receiving snow with a faded signal and others have reported that their cable is completely down.

This outage is strange as we all seem to still have full internet connectivity as of now.

Entertainment Business Careers with CBS and Hawaiʻi Five-0

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Career Center hosts CBS On-Tour at Mānoa with two presentations, Student of the Business, November 2, and A Conversation with Hawaiʻi Five-0, November 3. Both presentations will be held in the UH Mānoa Art Auditorium at 3:30 p.m.

hawaii-5-0CBS On Tour is a community outreach program where CBS executives visit universities and junior colleges to speak with students about career opportunities in the entertainment industry. The program was created in 2011 to expose students in largely diverse regions/institutions about the vast occupational options available in entertainment. CBS On Tour, specifically, brings students awareness to the often overlooked career opportunities at CBS, focusing on positions in front of and behind the camera. The goal of this initiative is to create a direct pipeline for diverse individuals from academia to the professional world, and diversify the networks and studios on an executive level.

The speakers for Student of the Business are Tiffany Smith-Anoaʻi, executive vice president of entertainment diversity, inclusion and communications, and Jeanne Mau, vice president of entertainment diversity.

In A Conversation with Hawaiʻi Five-0, participants can get an inside look at the process of how an episode gets made.

  • What is involved in hiring the cast and crew.
  • How the storytelling comes to life.
  • Telling diverse stories that reflect the people of Hawaiʻi.
  • Insight on how to break into the business.

Panelists include:

  • Peter M. Lenkov, executive producer
  • Brian Spicer, co-executive producer and director
  • Rachel Sutton, casting director (Hawaiʻi)
  • Tiffany Smith-Anoaʻi, executive vice president of entertainment diversity, inclusion and communications will moderate.

Sign ups for the workshops are available here:  A Conversation with Hawaiʻi Five-0.

PBS Hawaii Opens Doors to New Home

Hawai‘i’s statewide public television station today opened its new home to the public, after a blessing ceremony and donor thank-you event this morning.

pbs-hawaii-new-building

PBS Hawai‘i’s new home, The Clarence T.C. Ching Campus at 315 Sand Island Access Road fronting Nimitz Highway, is a $30 million facility, the result of a successful capital campaign. Construction was completed on time and on budget. The building features three multimedia studios; the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Learning Zone, which includes the home base of the station’s statewide student news network, HIKI NŌ; and open work spaces with cheerful colors and natural light.

Event attendees included three multi-million dollar funders of the building – the State government, The Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation, and the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation. PBS Hawai‘i is offering tours of the building to all donors, large and small, totaling more than 2,000 people and organizations.

“We felt deeply the trust and aloha that people have in PBS Hawai‘i as an important part of this community,” said Board Chair Robbie Alm. “They reached out and supported the diversity of perspectives that we present and the fairness they find here.”

President and CEO Leslie Wilcox said, “We can’t thank the people of Hawai‘i enough. This new home reflects the values of people throughout the state and a vision for a closer relationship with our communities. The building design supports collaboration, creativity, culture and context.”

The mission of the educational media organization is to advance learning and discovery through storytelling that profoundly touches lives.

The two-story, 32,000 square-foot building was designed by architect Sheryl Seaman of Group 70 International. The general contractor was Allied Builders System, and Cumming served as owner’s representative.

Mayor-Elect Harry Kim On “Insights on PBS Hawaii”

On Thursday August 18th, Hawaii County Mayor-Elect Harry Kim was on PBS Hawaii’s television show “Insights on PBS Hawaii“.

Mayor Elect Kim at PBS
Mayor-Elect Kim talked about committing to the be the mayor of the Big Island for the next 4 years, some of the reasons why he ran for office, trust in government in general at all levels while even touching a bit on the Billy Kenoi p-Card legal predictions our current mayor is in.

He also spoke about this current election and the feedback he has been receiving since being re-elected as the Mayor of Hawaii County.  He spoke a little about the divide between East Hawaii and West Hawaii and part of the lack of communication that he had in his previous time in office.

The PBS Hawaii Replay is tomorrow at 2pm but you can watch it anytime here:

 

Hawaii Democratic Chair Apologizes for Actions of Hawaii Delegate During Roll Call

Yesterday at the Democratic National Convention being held in Philadelphia, as the roll call was being held to nominate the Democratic Presidential Candidate a Hawaii delegate embarrassed the state of Hawaii by flipping off the camera as Senator Brian Schatz was speaking live on camera.

Bird FlipHer name is Chelsea Lyons Kent and she even set up a gofund me page to collect funds from folks to send her to the convention where as of today, she has raised over $3500.00! https://www.gofundme.com/Chelsea4Bernie.

Aloha, my name is Chelsea Lyons Kent and I was elected as a National Delegate for Bernie Sanders at the Hawaii Democratic State Convention. 
The National Convention will be held in July in Philadelphia. I am asking for your help to cover travel costs (airfare, hotel, transportation, etc.).

The Chair of the Hawaii Democratic party sent out this email apologizing on behalf of her actions:

Earlier this evening, the delegates of our state came together to report Hawai’i’s vote in a roll call at the Democratic National Convention. It was a great moment which reflected the hard work that all delegates have put into the campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

Unfortunately, during the vote one of our delegates was seen making a gesture that was inappropriate and not in keeping with the conduct becoming a national delegate or member of the Democratic Party.

After consulting with the party leadership that was gathered on the convention floor, I made the decision to revoke this member’s floor pass for the evening and provide her an opportunity to apologize for her actions in exchange for being allowed to attend the rest of convention. She was unwilling to do so. Therefore, her floor credentials have been revoked for the duration of convention and she will no longer be a part of our delegation.

Delegates of both campaigns have expressed their shock and disappointment at the incident and have asked me to stress that this in no way reflects the sentiments of the rest of our delegation, regardless of their candidate affiliation. This incident notwithstanding, we have had an excellent convention thus far.

Moving forward, I will continue to express my desire for our Democratic ohana to work together and treat each other with respect and Aloha.

Sincerely,
Tim Vandeveer
Chair, Democratic Party of Hawai’i

Hilo Focus of Series Episode on KGMB Tomorrow Night

“Wahi pana” is defined as a celebrated legendary place or landmark of special interest and historical significance. Hilo is a place of ancient prophecy, natural disasters and the revival of Hawaiian culture. From the rise of Kamehameha the Great to the devastating tsunami on April 1, 1946 to the world-renowned Merrie Monarch Festival, Hilo is where the old and new meet.

Wahi Pana

“Wahi Pana: Hawai‘i’s Special Places” takes viewers beyond the name to get to know Hilo, airing Wednesday, July 20, at 6:30 p.m. on KGMB (re-air Wednesday, July 27, at 6:30 p.m. on KHNL).

Local nonprofit Partners in Development Foundation (PIDF) commissioned the “Wahi Pana” films as part of their Tūtū and Me Traveling Preschool program, an innovative preschool model with 28 sites statewide. PIDF partnered with Hawaii News Now to showcase the films to a broader audience.

“The sense of place is an important Hawaiian tradition that has powerful applications in the lives of our children, families and leaders,” said Jan E. Hanohano Dill, PIDF President. “Mahalo to the late, award-winning director, editor and videographer Don Mapes for directing and producing and Hawaii News Now for airing this very special program.”

“We are very proud and excited to partner with PIDF in sharing this incredible collection of beautiful programs showcasing the rich history and beauty of our islands in a way that most of us have never seen before,” said Rick Blangiardi, General Manager of Hawaii News Now.

Future episodes set to air include Hawai‘i Island’s North Kohala and Waimea; Maui’s Lahaina; and O‘ahu’s Waiheʻe Valley.

PBS Hawaii Hires Cheryl Oncea as New Advancement VP

PBS Hawaii has hired Cheryl Oncea as its new Vice President of Advancement. Oncea will head fundraising initiatives at PBS Hawaii, a non-profit media organization and Hawaii’s only statewide public television station.

Cheryl Oncea

Cheryl Oncea

Oncea has 25 years’ experience in Hawaii’s media landscape, leading sales and advertising teams at KSSK Radio, KHON2, Pacific Business News, KGMB and most recently, Hawaii News Now.

PBS Hawaii President and CEO Leslie Wilcox said, “Cheryl is very skilled and creative in generating revenue support for media enterprises. We’re her first nonprofit, but she knows us well, as an avid viewer and industry colleague.”

“I am thrilled that my career path has led me to this opportunity to join PBS Hawaii,” Oncea stated. “It is a rare chance to work at a locally owned television station with the specific mission of serving our community and advancing learning and discovery.”

Meet 90-Year-Old Dancer Dorothy Williams from America’s Got Talent #AGTDorothy

Hawaii has a new celebrity on their hands and she is 90-year-old Dorothy Williams.

Dorothy

90-year-old Dorothy Williams in her home in the Kaumana area of Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Williams gained international fame last week as the 90-year-old stripper on America’s Got Talent that was awarded the “Golden Buzzer Award” from Nick Cannon and is now moving on to the “LIVE” show.

Williams is also known around the Big Island as "Yummy the Clown".

Williams is also known around the Big Island as “Yummy the Clown”.

Today, I had the chance to ask her a few questions over a few interviews and without revealing too much about her next appearance, this is what I’m able to release at this time.

Part I:

Part II:

Dorothy Williams 059

Williams can still be seen driving this car around town!

Williams leaves again for Hollywood this Sunday and she is scheduled to appear on the live show on NBC on Tuesday, July 26th at 7:00 pm.

It will be up to the audience and judges to decide if she goes on further but we all know that no matter how she does on the show… she will always be a part of our “Welcome Wagon” here on the Big Island of Hawaii.

State of Hawaii Sues “Dog the Bounty Hunter”

Attorney General Doug Chin announced today that his office has filed petitions to enforce judgments against Da Kine Bail Bonds, Inc. (Da Kine) and Safety National Casualty Corporation (Safety) for forfeited bail bonds those companies failed to pay to the State of Hawaii (State).

Click to read legal filing

Click to read legal filing

Da Kine owes the State thirty-five thousand five hundred dollars ($35,500) from 21 separate criminal cases. Duane “Dog” Chapman is the president and director of Da Kine.

Safety is the surety that is obligated to pay if Da Kine defaults. Attorney General Doug Chin said “Bail bond companies promise to pay us when their clients skip court. Simply put, if they don’t pay we have to hunt down that money.”

Bail is a financial arrangement that a bail bonding agency makes on behalf of a criminal defendant. A bail bonding agency works with the court to have a defendant released from jail pending trial in exchange for money or collateral. This collateral can be in the form of cash, assets, or a bond. The bail agency is then responsible for ensuring that the defendant arrives in court on the day of trial. If the defendant does not appear in court, the court may forfeit the bond and the entire bail amount must be paid to the court by the bail bonding agency.

Today’s action against Da Kine and Safety resulted from a joint effort by the State Judiciary and the Department of the Attorney General to sue various bail bond companies in Hawaii for non-payment of forfeiture of bail bonds. Other bail bond companies are also being reviewed. Of the bail bond companies that the Judiciary and Attorney General have looked into, seven paid the Judiciary approximately seven-hundred thousand dollars ($700,000) upon receiving notice. Those companies are not subject to today’s action.

A hearing date of August 17, 2016 has been set by the Circuit Court. Hearing dates for the Family Court and District Court have not yet been determined.

KDEN Presents “The Music Man” – Opens This Weekend

Kilauea Drama & Entertainment Network (KDEN) presents for their annual summer musical Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man” July 8 – 24 at KMC’s Kilauea Theater in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

Music Man Poster

“The Music Man” follows fast-talking traveling salesman Harold Hill, who poses as a boys’ band organizer and leader and sells band instruments and uniforms to the naive Iowa townsfolk, promising to train the members of the new band. But Harold is no musician and plans to skip town without giving any music lessons. His plans are foiled when he falls for Marian the librarian. Musical favorites include “Seventy-six Trombones”, “Trouble”, “’Till There Was You”, and “Gary, Indiana”.

Music Man coupleA cast of 36 theater veterans and newcomers are busy with rehearsals for Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man” The cast is lead by Scott Wuscher as Harold Hill and Alyssa Ishihara as Marian Paroo. Stephen Bond plays Marcellus, Harold’s old friend who has settled in River City and has started a new life with his girlfriend, Ethel Toffelmeir, played by Hayley Pereira. The Paroo family also includes Stephanie Becher as Mrs Paroo and Hayden Konanui-Tucker as Winthrop. Mayor Shinn is Steve Peyton, with Terry Sever as his wife, Eulalie and Samantha Saiki and Fiona Broward as his daughters, Zaneeta and Gracie. Chanan Lopez plays Zaneeta’s love interest, Tommy Djilas.

The schoolboard members who are the Barbershop Quartet are  Joy Sever, Joel Kelley, Dick Hershberger and Michael Kingston. Kelley’s daughter Ariana plays Amaryllis. The Pick-a-little ladies are Asia Helfrich, Carolyn Lee, and Helie Rock. Bill Chikasuye is the anvil salesman, Charlie Cowell.

Others in the cast include Sawyer Becher, Kaulima Boyer, Kamaile Carvalho, Raina Dale, Gordon and Gracelyn Greenlaw, Susie Halemano, Jalen Hook, Katie Kluzak, Joe Miyazaki, Kathy Mulliken, Dawn Pelletier, Deakon Temple, Briana Tucker-Archie, Coral Walker and Elizabeth Young. They are led by director Suzi Bond, music director Chris Tomich and choreographer Rachel Klein. Jonathan Sudler is the set designer.

Music Man LadiesShowtimes are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 and Sundays at 2:30. Tickets are $15 general admission, $12 for seniors and students and $10 for children 12 and under. Pre-sale tickets are available at Kilauea General Store, Kea’au Natural Foods and The Most Irresistible Shop in Hilo. Tickets are also available at the door. For more information call 982-7344 or email kden73@aol.com.

90-Year-Old Stripper on Americas Got Talent is From Hilo, Hawaii!!!

Spoiler alert for Hawaii folks… the 90-year-old stripper on tonight’s America’s Got Talent is Dorothy Williams from Hilo, Hawaii!  Williams has been known to many around the Big Island of Hawaii as “Yummy The Clown” entertaining children at many birthday parties over the years.

90-Year-Old stripper Dorothy Williams earned the first-ever Golden Buzzer from host Nick Cannon on America’s Got Talent 2016 on Tuesday, July 5, 2016!

90-Year-Old stripper Dorothy Williams earned the first-ever Golden Buzzer from host Nick Cannon on America’s Got Talent 2016 on Tuesday, July 5, 2016!

Dorothy was born in 1946 26, and has been dancing virtually all her life. Honestly, she looks great for being 90-years-old. She tells her story, talking about how she hadn’t become a star by 23, so she didn’t know what to do with her life. So she worked at a supermarket for 25 years until she and her husband moved to Hawaii. But she never forgot her passion for dancing, so she’s back to give it another shot. Dorothy starts out by singing “Let Me Entertain You”…and then does a strip tease!

Read more: http://www.rickey.org/nick-cannon-hits-golden-buzzer-for-90-year-old-stripper-on-americas-got-talent-video/296216/#ixzz4DamxJNcP

Passes for “HawaiiCon 2016” On Sale Now

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

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

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

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

HawaiiCon 2016 will be held at the Mauna Lani Resort.

HawaiiCon 2016 will be held at the Mauna Lani Resort.

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

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

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

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

Meet Hawaii Island’s New Film Commissioner

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

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

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

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

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

Where are you from and what is your background?

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

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

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

What are the duties of a county film commissioner?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nothing scheduled for production at this time.

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

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

 

Catching Up With Local Actress Kristina Anapau

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

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

Kristina 2016(1)

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

kristina 2016(2)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kristina 2016(5)

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

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

Big Island Film Festival Announces Class of 2016 Award Winners

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

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

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

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

Best Short: Monty and the Runaway Furnace

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

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

The Barbara Award: New Generations
Best Foreign Feature: Psychoanalysis

James Raue

Film Director/Writer James Raue of Psychoanalysis

Best Hawai’i Feature: THROUPLE The Movie

Zoe Eisenberg and Phillips Payson from Throuple.

Zoe Eisenberg and Phillips Payson from Throuple.

Best Family Feature: Catfish Blues
Best Feature: The Closer

Audience Choice Short: Water Girl

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

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

Audience Choice Feature: Catfish Blues

Catfish Blues

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

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

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

Purchase tickets online.

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

Big Island Film Festival Offering Educational Component

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

Photo by Kirk Aeder

Photo by Kirk Aeder

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

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

Jen Grisanti

Jen Grisanti

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bellamy Young

Bellamy Young

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

Michael Gross

Michael Gross

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

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

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

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

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

Hawaii Public Schools Score Big in National TV Competition

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

stn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016 Student Television Network – Hawaii Winners:

MIDDLE SCHOOL CONVENTION RE-CAP

2nd Place – CHIEFESS KAMAKAHELEI MIDDLE SCHOOL (Kauai)

3rd Place — MAUI WAENA INTERMEDIATE (Maui)

HIGH SCHOOL CONVENTION RE-CAP

Honorable Mention — WAIANAE HIGH SCHOOL (Oahu)

MIDDLE SCHOOL SPOT FEATURE

2nd Place — CHIEFESS KAMAKAHELEI MIDDLE SCHOOL (Kauai)

3rd Place — MAUI WAENA INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL (Maui)

LEAD STORY

3rd Place — MOANALUA HIGH SCHOOL (Oahu)

MAN ON THE STREET

3rd Place — MOANALUA HIGH SCHOOL (Oahu)

MIDDLE SCHOOL MOVIE TRAILER

Honorable Mention — CHIEFESS KAMAKAHELEI MIDDLE SCHOOL (Kauai)

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

1st Place — WAIANAE INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL (Oahu)

2nd Place — CHIEFESS KAMAKAHELEI MIDDLE SCHOOL (Kauai)

Honorable Mention—MAUI WAENA INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL (Maui)

MIDDLE SCHOOL COMMERCIAL

1st Place — MAUI WAENA INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL (Maui)

Honorable Mention — EWA MAKAI MIDDLE SCHOOL (Oahu)

MIDDLE SCHOOL PSA (Public Service Announcement)

1st Place — CHIEFESS KAMAKHELEI MIDDLE SCHOOL (Kauai)

3rd Place — MAUI WAENA INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL (Maui)

Honorable Mention — EWA MAKAI MIDDLE SCHOOL (Oahu)

MIDDLE SCHOOL BREAKING NEWS

1st Place — MAUI WAENA INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL (Maui)

MIDDLE SCHOOL ANCHOR TEAM

1st Place — CHIEFESS KAMAKAHELEI MIDDLE SCHOOL (Kauai)

MIDDLE SCHOOL MUSIC VIDEO

1st Place — WAIPAHU INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL (Oahu)

2nd Place — MAUI WAENA INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL (Maui)

Honorable Mention — CHIEFESS KAMAKAHELEI MIDDLE SCHOOL (Kauai)

HIGH SCHOOL MUSIC VIDEO

Honorable Mention — KAPOLEI HIGH SCHOOL (Oahu)

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

MIDDLE SCHOOL BROADCAST NEWS MAGAZINE

Honorable Mention — MAUI WAENA INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL (Maui)

TV SCRIPTED SITCOM PILOT

Honorable Mention — WAIAKEA HIGH SCHOOL (Hawaii Island)

MIDDLE SCHOOL SHORT FILM—FICTION

1st Place — CHIEFESS KAMAKAHELEI MIDDLE SCHOOL (Kauai)

2nd Place — MAUI WAENA INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL (Maui)

3rd Place — WAIPAHU INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL (Oahu)

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

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

BEST FILM – ANIMATED –Waianae High School (Oahu)

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

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY – Waianae High School (Oahu)

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

BEST WRITING – Waianae High School (Oahu)

BEST DIRECTING – Moanalua High School (Oahu)