2013 Big Island Film Festival Day 2 – “Meet the Stars: Aloha Hollywood”

Last week at the Fairmont Orchid over on the Kohala Coast, the 2013 Big Island Film Festival took place.

The South Tower at the Fairmont Orchid

The South Tower at the Fairmont Orchid

On the second day of the festival the morning began with a “Filmmaker Orientation and Talk Story” held with Big Island Film Commissioner John Mason and Big Island Film Festival Director and Founder Leo Sears.

Filmmakers talk to to John Mason and Leo Sears

Filmmakers talk to to John Mason and Leo Sears

Sears and Mason talked about how the Big Island was an ideal place to make movies and how the festival was run amongst other things.  After the orientation and talk story, the daytime films that were scheduled were shown.

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Films shown were “Coffee, God & Gasoline” “Caterpillar’s Kimono” “Hangdog” “Last Call” “Shoot the Moon” “Stigma” and “If I Were a Bell”.

One of the many waterfalls at the Fairmont

One of the many waterfalls at the Fairmont

I went back to my room and relaxed for a bit before the evening events began.  They added a day to the festival this year and with that came a new event.

A chocolate film reel

A chocolate film reel

At 5:00 in one of the Fairmont’s Ballrooms, the public was invited to meet and take pictures with celebrities and filmmakers on hand at an event dubbed “Meet the Stars:  Aloha Hollywood”.

The Paparazzi!

The Paparazzi!

Some of the celebrities that were on hand were Brad Turell from Paradigm Agency, Kate McKinnon from Saturday Night Live and Hollywood Story Consultant Jennifer Grisanti among others.

Brad Turell, Kate McKinnon and Jennifer Grisanti

Brad Turell, Kate McKinnon and Jennifer Grisanti

Screenwriter Ron Osborn (Night Court, The West Wing, Duckman, Meet Joe Black, etc.) and Vincent Kartheiser (Mad Men, Little Big League, Iron Will, Indian in the Cupboard, etc) were also was on hand to take pictures and talk to the general  public.

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Veteran Screenwriter Ron Osborn, Vincent Kartheiser and Jennifer Grisanti.

And of course there was food and wine provided by Kenwood Vineyards.

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Fried Ahi Panko Rolls

Lobster Rolls

Lobster Rolls

Dessert Bar

Dessert Bar

After the event, folks headed to either the Shops at Mauna Lani for free family films that included “The Invention” and “Upside Down, or folks headed to the Plantation Estate for the Festival films where folks watched “Home”, “A Perfect Day” and “The Land of Eb”.

The "hidden" hot tub

The “hidden” hot tub

I myself ended up taking a late night soak in the Fairmont’s “Hidden” hot tub.

2013 Big Island Film Festival – Day 1 Mayor’s Welcome Reception and Grand Opening

The 2013 Big Island Film Festival was held at the Fairmont Orchid at the Mauna Lani Resort from Thursday, May 23rd to Monday, May 27th.

Fairmont Orchid

The opening of the festival began with a Mayor’s Welcome Reception that was open to filmmakers, press, sponsors and Ali’i and Reception Pass holders.

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Attendees were treated to a welcoming performance that the Mayor has at many of the receptions he attends.

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Mayor Kenoi gave a short speech about growing up in the islands and what it meant to the Big Island to have such a great Film Festival on the Island.

Photo Courtesy of Kirk Aeder

Photo Courtesy of Kirk Aeder

Big Island Film Festival Director Leo Sears introduced some of the celebrities that were on hand and some of the folks that came from off island to attend the festival.

2013 Big Island Film Festival 142Celebrities Vincent Kartheiser (Mad Men, Untamed Heart, Little Big League, Ironwill, Indian in the Cupboard, Alaska, etc.) and Kate McKinnon of Saturday Night Live,  made themselves available to folks at the reception… and to Mayor Kenoi as well.

2013 Big Island Film Festival 148In the festival program guide, Mayor Kenoi had the following message:

“On behalf of the people of the County of Hawaii, I am honored to congratulate Big Island Film Festival Executive Director/Founder Leo Sears and Festival Producer Jan Sears as 2013 marks the 8th year of this wonderful film festival set here on the beautiful and dramatic Kohala Coast.

Set amidst stark fields of lava, just steps away from the blue Pacific with coco palms swaying beneath a Hawaiian moon, the 2013 Big Island Film Festival will showcase 54 independent narrative films, shorts and features from around the world, including 10 from the State of Hawaii and five from the Big Island.

Independent filmmakers help us learn more about the significance and depth of our culture and this event celebrates their masterful works of visual imagery and vibrant sound that preserve the rich stories of our lives and times.  The County of Hawaii is pleased to support this festival and applaud these outstanding film industry professionals.

We extend our warmest aloha to all guests and participants involved with the Big Island Film Festival.  May you enjoy a successful event in 2013, and many more in the years to come.”

Aloha,
Billy Kenoi, Mayor

Some of the staff was on hand to help with the registration process.

2013 Big Island Film Festival 100Of course it wouldn’t be a reception without food that included “Roasted Boar Loin” and a dessert table.

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2013 Big Island Film Festival 128Fairmont Orchid General Manager Chris Luedi was recognized at the reception as being a longtime sponsor of the festival and was given a koa bowl as the recipient of Mayor Kenoi’s “Aloha Spirit Award”.

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Danny Akaka Jr., Chris Leudi and Mayor Kenoi outside the Kilohana room of the Fairmont Orchid.

Danny Akaka Jr., Chris Luedi and Mayor Kenoi outside the Kilohana room of the Fairmont Orchid.

After the reception ended, many folks went up to the Shops at Mauna Lani where they began the series of Family Films that were free and open to the public.

BIFF at Mauna Lani

Photo by Kirk Aeder

Films that were shown at the opening were: Sway Away, The Assistant, The Regret of the Doubt, Fight Scene, The Perfection of Anna, Searching Serenade, and Spaghetti for Two.

Feel free to click on the pictures below to make them larger:

Big Island Film Festival Kicks Off Thursday

Movies under the stars, “Mad Men” and “Saturday Night Live” celebs, stellar Hawaiian music, multi-star cuisine and more make the Big Island Film Festival (BIFF) memorable, May 23-27, 2013, at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i and The Shops at Mauna Lani.

BIFF Leo on Stage

Kicking off Thursday, May 23, at 7:30 p.m. with a free Grand Opening at The Shops at Mauna Lani, BIFF welcomes filmmakers representing 54 new movies from Hawaii and around the world, celebrity guests Vincent Kartheiser aka Pete Campbell from “Mad Men” and Kate McKinnon from “Saturday Night Live.”  Eleven of the films selected are made-in-Hawai‘i, seven shorts and four features.

and Kate McGinnon

Vincent Kartheiser and Kate Mckinnon

After the introductions, seven short films (PG) will be shown:

  • “Sway Away” (Hawaii-made), an unlikely love story that plays out on the clothes line
  • “The Assistant.”  A disgruntled photographer’s assistant pretends to be his boss when a young actress arrives early for her photo shoot.
  • “The Regret of the Doubt,” the trajectory of a man who dreams of a paradise, but when he reaches it, the old dream fades and soon others are born.
  • “Fight Scene.”  A man decides to walk home after his car breaks down in a bad part of town.
  • “The Perfection of Anna.”  When a stroke leaves Anna’s left side paralyzed, daughter Jesse witnesses her courageous struggle to dance ballet again.
  • “Searchlight Serenade: Big Bands in the Japanese American Incarceration Camps,” an animated tale told in song, based on true stories of young detainees during WWII who escaped from their reality came through Big Band music
  • “Spaghetti for Two.” How a seemingly ordinary day becomes a significant turning point for an unremarkable man, thanks to a minimal shift of fate.

At the Grand Opening, free programs are available, and tickets, passes and tee shirts are available for sale at the information table.  BIFF continues through Monday.  Events include:

Film Screenings, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

  • Daytime movies.  A selection of shorts and features are screened in two-hour blocks, indoors in the newly renovated Lehua Theatre at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i.  Validated parking.
  • Free Family Films.  Nightly, beginning at 7:30 p.m. at The Shops at Mauna Lani.  Admission free for two hours of short and feature films up to PG.  Some chairs provided, or bring your own.
  • Festival Films.  Nightly, beginning at 7:30 p.m.  Double feature shown under the stars at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i Plantation Estate, near the tennis park.  Validated parking.  No-host bar, pupus and movie snacks available for purchase.  Some chairs provided or bring your own.

Tickets are available for individual events, or passes.  Each film will be rated by audience members to determine the Best Short and Best Feature that will screen again at Monday’s “Best of the Fest.”

From the Big Island's Planet One Productions, "Strange Frame" is an animated sci fi feature film, with voices of Claudia Black, Tara Strong, Ron Glass, Tim Curry, Alan Tudyk, Michael Dorn, George Takei and others.  It will be screened at Big Island Film Festival on Sunday, May 26 at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai'i.

From the Big Island’s Planet One Productions, “Strange Frame” is an animated sci-fi feature film, with voices of Claudia Black, Tara Strong, Ron Glass, Tim Curry, Alan Tudyk, Michael Dorn, George Takei and others. It will be screened at Big Island Film Festival on Sunday, May 26 at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i.

Social events to meet and mingle with the stars, at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i.

  • Friday, May 24, Party-goers get a taste of film festival glamour, as well as stellar cuisine, and a chance to rub shoulders with celebrity guests at “Meet the Stars: Aloha Hollywood” reception.  Guests are encouraged to dress in their finest aloha wear, bring cameras and meet up at the red carpet to generate some silver screen buzz.  The VIP menu features butler passed hors d’oeuvres, action stations and “Chef Daniel’s Chocolate Film & Stars Dessert Display,” a chocolate centerpiece with Chocolate Silk Tarts, Chocolate Lollipops & Truffles, Chocolate Pop Rock Strawberries and more.
  • Saturday Night, May 25, “Saturday Night Live” comedienne Kate McKinnon, known for her doppelganger impersonation of Ellen Degeneres, is in the spotlight at a Reception & Salute in her honor, with onstage interview by Maui filmmaker Brian Kohne (“Get A Job”).
  • Sunday, May 26, Vincent Kartheiser aka Pete Campbell will appear at his Reception & Salute, with a cool mid-century vibe and “Mad Men” themed menu that includes mini Beef Wellingtons, Oysters Rockefeller and “Dr. Arnold Rosen and Sylvia’s Fondue.”
  • Monday, May 27, Golden Honu Awards Brunch.  Posh buffet brunch, Awards presentations and announcement of the Audience Choice films that will be screened at Best of the Fest Monday evening.

Advance reservations required for all social events.  Visit www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com for details and tickets.

Screenwriting workshops.

Saturday, May 25, veteran screenwriter Ron Osborn shares his tried and true techniques and insider tips to create winning screenplays, in two workshops, “What’s So Funny?” and “Ripped from the Newspapers” at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i.  Limited space is available at $50 per session, with advance registration required (www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com).

“Best of the Fest.”

Monday, May 27, at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i Plantation Estate.

  • Silent Auction to benefit Fisher House at Tripler Army Medical Center, 5-7 p.m.
  • HAPA Concert, 5-7 p.m.   Ten-time Nā Hōkū Hanohano award-winners Barry Flanagan and Ron Kuala‘au
  • 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

Tickets are available for individual events, or as inclusive passes.  For complete schedule information and to purchase tickets on line, visit www.bigislandfilmfestival.com.

The Big Island “Talk Story” Film Festival is a celebration of independent narrative films and filmmaking, taking place May 23-27, 2013.  Major sponsors include The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i and The Shops at Mauna Lani and Hawaii Tourism Authority/Hawai‘i County CPEP.

For complete schedule information and tickets, visit www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com or call (808) 883-0394.

2013 Big Island Film Festival Coming in May

Acclaimed as one of MovieMaker Magazine’s “20 Can’t-Miss Festivals,” the Big Island Film Festival (BIFF) 2013 will take place May 23-27 at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i and The Shops at Mauna Lani.  A celebration of narrative filmmaking, BIFF 2013 includes film screenings, social events, screenwriting workshop and a closing night “Best of the Fest” with a top Hawaiian music concert and movies chosen by the audience from Festival entries.

Photo by Kirk Aeder

Photo by Kirk Aeder

“There are hundreds of film festivals around the country,” said Executive Director Leo Sears, “but how many offer the audience a resort setting like The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i?  Their Plantation Estate is this incredibly beautiful lū‘au area by the tennis garden.  They set up a 20-foot screen and superb sound system, gourmet food stations, a beer and wine bar—all out there under the stars, surrounded by palm trees.  It’s just a magnificent way to spend Memorial Day Weekend.”

The majority of BIFF events take place at various locations within The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, including daytime film screenings in the air-conditioned amphitheatre, filmmaker workshops, celebrity receptions and salutes, as well as “festival films” (up to R) and Best of the Fest, at Plantation Estate.  Family films (up to PG-13) are shown at The Shops at Mauna Lani Center Stage, where admission is free.

“We’re not quite ready to announce the celebrities for this year yet,” said Sears.  Generally, one filmmaker and one actor are invited to attend BIFF, where attendees can meet and interact with them at receptions and salutes in their honor, and other social occasions.  “But I can tell you that we’re getting a lot of interest from stars who’ve heard about the Festival and want to experience the Big Island.”

Kristina Anapau in front of the Fairmont Orchid at Mauna Lani

True Blood’s “Maurella” Kristina Anapau was awarded a Golden Honu in 2011

Past years celebrity honorees have included Hawai‘i actresses Eloise Mumford (The River), Kristina Anapau (“Black Swan”, “True Blood”) and Sarah Wayne Callies (“The Walking Dead”), Tom Berenger, Cary Hiroyuki Tagawa, D.B. Sweeney, John Saxon and filmmakers Ron Osborn, Rick Stevenson, David Winning and Scott Stewart.  And, such noted Hawaiian musicians as Makana, Brother Noland, John Cruz, Henry Kapono and Kohala have graced the stage.

Eloise Mumford was honored in 2012

Eloise Mumford was honored in 2012

BIFF 2013’s “Golden Honu” Awards will be presented to the Best Feature and Best Short in Family, Student, Animated, Foreign, Hawaii and Audience Choice categories at a special Awards Brunch to honor the filmmakers and their works on Monday, May 27.  Numerous alumni films have won awards at prestigious film festivals around the world, and achieved commercial success in the industry.  One of BIFF’s alumni short films, “The Buzkashi Boys” is a current Oscar nominee, and another, “The Sea is All I Know” starring Academy Award-winner Melissa Leo, was a nominee last year.

The Big Island “Talk Story” Film Festival is a celebration of narrative filmmaking.  Sponsors include The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, The Shops at Mauna Lani, County of Hawai‘i, Dept. of R&D: CPEP Grant/Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, Redeeming Light International, Inc. and others. For detailed information visit www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com, find them on Facebook, or 808-883-0394.