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.

Hawaii’s Big Island Film Festival 2013 Accepting Entries

Hawaii’s Big Island Film Festival (BIFF) 2013, one of MovieMaker Magazine’s “25 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee” and “25 Coolest Film Festivals,” is now accepting entries for the May 23-27 events at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i.  A celebration of narrative filmmaking in inspiring Hawai‘i Island settings, BIFF includes screenings, social events and networking opportunities, celebrity receptions, screenwriting workshops and more.  A closing night “Best of the Fest” features a top Hawaiian music concert and movies chosen by our audience from Festival entries. Last year’s celebrity honorees included Eloise Mumford (“The River”) and NBC’s award-winning Story/Career Consultant Jennifer Grisanti.

Eloise Mumford at the 2012 Big Island Film Festival

Deadlines.  Narrative short films (30 minutes or less) and feature length (60 minutes or more) completed after January 1, 2012 will be considered.  Deadlines are:

  • Early Bird – November 1, 2012.  Early Bird Entry Fees: $50 Feature, $40 Short, $30 Student
  • Regular – January 1, 2013.  Regular Entry Fees: $60 Feature, $50 Short, $35 Student
  • Late/Final February 1, 2013.  Late Entry Fees:  $70 Feature, $60 Short, $40 Student

All films shot in Hawai‘i or created by filmmakers who live in Hawai‘i receive a 25% discount on entry fees (verification required).

Outdoor evening screenings (Kirk Aeder photo)

Awards.  BIFF 2013’s “Golden Honu” will be awarded to the Best Feature and Best Short in Family, Student, Animated, Foreign, Hawai‘i and Audience Choice categories at a special Awards Brunch to honor the filmmakers and their works on Monday, May 27, 2013.  Numerous alumni films have won awards at prestigious film festivals around the world, and achieved commercial success in the industry.

Kristina Anapau in front of the Fairmont Orchid at Mauna Lani

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

Success stories.  The made-in-Hawai‘i comedy “Get A Job,” was screened in Spain during the Marbella Film Festival and numerous other festivals around the world.  “Get A Job” is currently being shown in Hawai‘i theatres, prior to mainstream DVD release this fall.  From Canada, “Irvine Welsh’s Ecstasy” continues to garner acclaim at international film festivals, and both the film DVD and its soundtrack are enjoying commercial success.

Get a Job... The Movie

2012 films “Searching for Sonny”, “Qwerty”, “The Italian Key” and numerous others have enjoyed success on film festival circuits, as have 2011’s “The Dead Inside”, “Uncle Melvin’s Apartment” and numerous other BIFF alumni film projects.  “The Drummond Will” (2011) has been acquired by House Lights Media Partners for Theatrical and Non-Theatrical North American distribution.  “Lunatics, Lovers, and Poets” (BIFF 2009) was distributed in 10 states through Carmike Cinemas, and by North American Home Entertainment DVD contract with Seminal Films.  “Remarkable Power” starring Kevin Nealon (2009 BIFF Best Feature) was released through most cable outlets as a PPV title before DVD release.  “Two Tickets to Paradise” (BIFF 2008), and “Rain in the Mountains” and “Sixes and the One-Eyed King” (BIFF 2007) have been released on DVD.

Leo Sears presents Sarah Wayne Callies the "No Ka Oi" Award

Leo Sears presents Sarah Wayne Callies the “No Ka Oi” Award in 2011 (Photo Courtesy of Devany Vickery-Davidson)

“It’s hard to believe we’re in production for the eighth annual Big Island Film Festival with our resort partners at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i,” said Executive Director Leo Sears.  “Thanks to them, and to our wonderful audiences, filmmaker family and supporters, we’re able to bring a little bit of the ‘Sundance’ experience to Hawai‘i.  Filmmakers from around the world have told me it’s one of the most inspiring and rewarding film festivals they’ve been to, and that’s what it’s all about.”

Jennifer Grisanti, Mayor Kenoi and Eloise Mumford at the 2012 Big Island Film Festival

The Big Island “Talk Story” Film Festival is a celebration of narrative filmmaking, with free family films under the stars, international features and shorts screened days and evenings at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, stellar social events, celebrity receptions, screenwriting workshops, film awards and much more in an outstanding island setting.  Anchor sponsors include: The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i Tourism Authority/Hawai‘i County Department of Research and Development CPEP, Kenwood Vineyards, Redeeming Light International Inc. and many other generous sponsors and supporters.

For submission rules and application visit www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com.  For further information call 808-883-0394.

Eloise Mumford Awarded Golden Honu at the 2012 Big Island Film Festival

On Saturday at the 2012 Big Island Film Festival there were more movies and films that included “Nobody’s Child” and “Steve Phoenix – The Untold Story” in the morning followed by “Buzkashi Boys” and “Donkeys’.  Then in the afternoon the films “Election Day”, “Found” and “Searching for Sonny” were shown.

The big event of the day was the “Reception and Salute” to actress Eloise Mumford.  The reception included a carving station that had roasted turkey and then this steamed platter of Chinese food.

After the reception and salute, there was a celebrity awards ceremony where Big Island Film Festival Director Leo Sears presented Mumford with a 2012 Golden Honu Award for Acting.

Maui film producer Brian Kohne (Get a Job) interviewed Mumford about what it was like to work in the industry and she mentioned how fortunate she feels to be so far along at such a young age.

While only a few weeks ago Mumford learned that the current show she stars in “The River” has been cancelled, she remained upbeat and talked about a current project she is working on entitled “Waikiki”.

Eloise with the producers of “Waikiki”

She talked about the auditioning process and how many auditions folks really need to go out and do before they may even get picked up. Of course Kohne tried to convince her to come play a part in one of his upcoming movies.

After the awards ceremony, I had the opportunity to go on a walk with Eloise and ask her a few more questions about herself.

Eloise Mumford and Singer/Songwriter/Producer RJ Kaneao

When she was talking to Kohne earlier in the evening she mentioned that she graduated from High School in Olympia, Washington and that struck a nerve with me as I attended a High School there as well my freshmen year.

Well it turns out that she went to Capital High School and I went to a high school on the opposite site of Olympia called Tumwater for a brief time during my younger days.  Of course I really didn’t want to ask her how old or young she was… but with this connection I was having with her… I just had to ask her what year she graduated, but with respect for how young she really is… I won’t say what year she graduated in!

Of course all the guys want to know if she is single.  Well she does have a boyfriend that arrived just in time for her to receive an award.

Sorry guys… taken!

Later on in the evening the “family films” held at The Shops of Mauna Lani, were “Dissolving Destinies”, “A Finger”, “Two Dots”, “Giant Monsters” and ” Miss Minoes”.    The festival films held at the Plantation Estate of the Fairmont Orchid were ” Technicality”, “Nani”, “Silver Case”, “Scenen” and “Irvine Welsh’s Ecstasy”.

I had to leave early the next day to go to Oahu but according to the Big Island Film Festival Facebook site… The previous attendance record of 1954 patrons was smashed this year with 2202 patrons and visiting filmmakers visiting this year.

2012 Big Island Film Festival Kicks Off With Reception Hosted by Mayor Kenoi

The 2012 Big Island Film Festival kicked off today with workshops by Brian Kohne and Jennifer Grisanti, then from 5:00 – 7:00, the festival had an opening reception hosted by Mayor Billy Kenoi which included light pupu’s, wine from Kenwood Vineyard and Hula performed by a local Halau.

Mayor Kenoi flanked by Hollywood consultant Jennifer Grisanti (Left) and television star Eloise Mumford (Right)

The festival continues for the next few days ending on Monday night with a concert by Kohala.

You can click on the pictures below to make them larger:

NEW Lineup of Hollywood Stars for the Big Island Film Festival

The 7th annual Big Island Film Festival will host two very special celebrity guests during the Festival, May 24-28 at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i and The Shops at Mauna Lani.

Honorees are Eloise Mumford (“The River”) and NBC’s Story/Career Consultant Jennifer Grisanti, replacing actor David James Elliott whose last-minute family commitments keep him away.  Mumford and Grisanti will appear in person at a special “Meet the Stars” gala on Friday, and receptions in their honor on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.  (Ticket prices vary. Visit www.bigislandfilmfestival.com for complete information.)

Eloise Mumford

Eloise Mumford, an NYU graduate, appeared on Broadway and played opposite Dennis Hopper in STARZ acclaimed series “Crash,” before going on to guest star in “Law and Order SVU” and “Mercy.”  She stars in the new Dreamworks/ABC series “The River” and has leading roles in feature films, coming soon.

Jennifer Grisanti

Jennifer Grisanti is a Story/Career Consultant and Writing Instructor for Writers on the Verge at NBC.  Prior to that, she worked with Spelling Television Inc. for 12 years, covering all of Spelling’s shows including “Beverly Hills, 90210,” “Melrose Place” and “Charmed.”  As Vice President of Current Programs at CBS/Paramount, she worked with “Medium,” “Numbers,” “NCIS,” “4400,” “Girlfriends” and many others.

Jen Grisanti Consultancy was launched in 2008 and has since helped 350 writers, 24 of which have staffed as writers on television shows and ten have sold pilots, two that went to series.  (http://jengrisanticonsultancy.com.)  She’s also a Blogger for The Huffington Post and author of the new books, Story Line: Finding Gold In Your Life Story and TV Writing Tool Kit: How To Write a Script That Sells.

Celebrity appearances at Big Island Film Festival:

  • “Meet the Stars” gala, Friday, May 25, The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i Kilohana Room, 5-6:30 p.m.
  • Reception & Salute to actress Eloise Mumford, Saturday, May 26, The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i Wailana Gardens, 4:30-6:30 p.m.
  • Reception & Salute to Jennifer Grisanti, Sunday, May 27, The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i Wailana Gardens, 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Ticket prices vary. Visit www.bigislandfilmfestival.com for complete schedule and ticket information.

The Big Island “Talk Story” Film Festival is a celebration of independent narrative films and filmmaking, taking place May 24-28, 2012. 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 to print-your-own-tickets from Ticket Derby, visit www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com or call (808) 883-0394.

Big Island Film Festival Bringing in Hollywood Stars

Big Island Film Festival invites fans and friends to come and meet celebrity guests during BIFF 2012, May 24-28 at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i and The Shops at Mauna Lani.  The 7th annual Festival honorees are Eloise Mumford (“The River”) and David James Elliott (“JAG”) who will appear in person at a special “Meet the Stars” gala for everyone on Friday, and receptions in their honor on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.  (Ticket prices vary. See below)

Eloise Mumford

Eloise Mumford, an NYU graduate, appeared on Broadway and played opposite Dennis Hopper in STARZ acclaimed series “Crash,” before going on to guest star in “Law and Order SVU” and “Mercy.”  She stars in the new Dreamworks/ABC series “The River” and has leading roles in feature films, coming soon.  Mumford’s Reception & Salute is Saturday at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, 4:30-6:30 p.m.

David James Elliott

Canadian-born actor David James Elliott is best known for his starring role in “JAG” and is currently featured on “GCB (Good Christian Belles).” An Ironman triathlete and long distance stand up paddle boarder, Elliott is always in demand for television roles and feature films.  He has appeared in “Scoundrels,” “Close to Home” (Jerry Bruckheimer), and in a recurring role in “CSI: NY.”  Elliott’s Reception & Salute is Sunday at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, 4:30-6:30 p.m.

On Monday, Memorial Day, BIFF’s “Best of the Fest” grand finale will star the Big Island’s own “Kohala” in concert, with GRAMMY® award-winning producer Charles Michael Brotman, whose song “Hapuna Sunset” which was featured on “The Descendants” sound track.  Best of the Fest includes the Kohala Concert and Audience-voted Best Feature and Best Short Films of BIFF 2012, plus a Silent Auction to benefit the Tripler Army Medical Center’s Fisher House for military families. It 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 24-28, 2012. 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 to print-your-own-tickets from Ticket Derby, visit www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com or call (808) 883-0394.

Daytime movies, free family films, special documentaries, evening screenings, filmmaking workshops and other events are not shown—for complete schedule, ticket purchase and information, please visit www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com

Friday, May 25

5:00-6:30 p.m.

“Meet the Stars”

The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i Kilohana Room ($60 advance ticket required)

Saturday, May 26

4:30-6:30 p.m.

Reception & Salute to Eloise Mumford

The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i – Wailana Gardens and Amphitheatre ($35 advance ticket required)

Sunday, May 27

4:30-6:30 p.m.

Reception & Salute to David James Elliott

The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i – Wailana Gardens and Amphitheatre ($35 advance ticket required)

Monday, May 28

5:30 p.m. (doors open 4:40)

“Best of the Fest” featuring KOHALA in Concert

The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i Plantation Estate

(Adults $35, kama‘āina $25, Keiki 7-12 $10.  $5 more at the door)

www.bigislandfilmfestival.com