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Long-Awaited ‘KULEANA’ Opens Today

“KULEANA” is here. PC: BIN

The award-winning film KULEANA began its statewide theatrical release today, Friday, March 30, 2018, at Regal and Consolidated Theaters throughout Hawai‘i.

The film opened the Regal Keauhou Stadium 7 at the Keauhou Shopping Center in Kailua-Kona and the Regal Prince Kuhio 9 in Prince Kuhio Plaza in Hilo.

Big Island Now attended the noon showing at the Regal Prince Kuhio, where 90 of the 100 seats in theater were filled.

Moviegoers enjoyed the film, sharing their comments with Big Island Now—”great,” terrific,” “brilliant,” “it was wonderful,” “loved it,” “it gave me chicken skin.”

Produced entirely in Hawai‘i, KULEANA has received the Audience Choice Award in the Santa Cruz Film Festival, the Maui Film Festival and the San Antonio Film Festival, as well as “Best of Fest” in the Guam International Film Festival.

Boasting high production values in picture, performances and music, KULEANA has earned the faith of mainland theater giants Reading International (Consolidated) and Regal, which will also open the movie in Guam.

“Kuleana” is the Hawaiian word for spiritual responsibility. In KULEANA, set in Hawai‘i in 1971, a disabled Vietnam vet rediscovers the Hawaiian warrior within to protect his family, defend their land, and clear his father’s name.

Kristina Anapau (True Blood, Black Swan), one of the film’s stars and executive producers, is a Hilo-native, now living and working in Hollywood.

The film also stars Moronai Kanekoa, Stefan Schaefer, Sonya Balmores (Marvel’s INHUMANS), Vene Chun, Augie T, Marlene Sai, Branscombe Richmond (CHICAGO MED) and Mel Cabang.

KULEANA was written and directed by Brian Kohne and produced by Stefan Schaefer.

Willie K provides an original score; the soundtrack boasts hit songs by Joni Mitchell, Procol Harum, and Tony Orlando and Dawn, with Hawaiian classics of the era by Genoa Keawe, Lena Machado, Sunday Manoa, Sons of Hawaii, Marlene Sai and more.

REVIEWS

MAUI TIME, Barry Wurst II: “Brian Kohne’s eagerly awaited KULEANA is a film island audiences deserve but might not be expecting… Ambitious and more absorbing than most 2017 films, [Director Brian] Kohne infuses magical realism, social commentary and Hawaiian history into a dense, busy, but coherent narrative… An original blend of Hawai‘’s history, spirituality and culture. Kuleana introduces a unique new film genre: Hawaiian Noir. While the setting may be tropical paradise, it’s set against a shocking and densely plotted mystery that twists and turns like a Raymond Chandler thriller.

THE MAUI NEWS, Rick Chatanever: “This is heady, heartfelt stuff, a vision of Hawai‘i very different from the Hollywood version. While the plot is sometimes convoluted, and the film’s subtleties, including extensive use of Hawaiian language, might not be as resonant elsewhere… KULEANA’s message is universal. It’s a work of powerful emotions, rich imagination, uncommon cultural sensitivity, and performances and production values belying its tiny budget.

The film received an MPAA PG-13 rating, and also holds a spot on popular movie review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.

Keauhou Shopping Center is located at 78-6831 Ali‘i Drive, H-24. Prince Kuhio Plaza is located at 111 E Puainako St., #400.

Mainland residents can sign up to host/attend a screening in their city at www.hawaiicinema.com via Gathr.

For more information, go online.

Pacific Media Group, Big Island Now’s parent company, is a shareholder in the film KULEANA.

Catching Up With ‘KULEANA’ Star Kristina Anapau

The Big Island’s own local actress, Kristina Anapau, returned home to present an acting and producing workshop at the Hilo Palace Theater on Saturday, March 3, 2018.

Kristina Anapau at the Hilo Palace Theater. PC: BIN

Anapau has starred in many films. Her most recent, KULEANA, is set to be released statewide here in Hawai‘i on Friday, March 30, 2018, on the Big Island at the Regal Keauhou Stadium 7 in Kailua-Kona and the Regal Prince Kuhio 9 in in Hilo.

Big Island Now (BIN) had the opportunity to talk with Anapau about some of her latest projects, as well as do a photo shoot with the actress.

Anapau on stage at the Hilo Palace Theater. PC: BIN

BIN: How many folks attended the workshop?

About 40 people. It was the perfect amount to be able to really speak with everyone, do some cold reading and answer everyone’s questions. We were also so lucky to have special guest Writer-Director-Producer Brian Kohne Skype in from Maui on the big screen and talk about the process of making KULEANA! KULEANA is a Hawaiian-made film that I starred in and exec produced—it opens in theaters March 30.

BIN: Anything that you wanted folks to take away from the workshop in particular… without giving away the workshop?

So much! I really tried to condense all the information as much as possible. Eight hours seems like a lot of time up there talking about acting and producing, but there are so many topics to cover, so many details… enough for eight days!

BIN: Who created your dress and haku?

I wore a silk dress by Badgley Mischka and my haku was made by Hilo’s own Haku O Hawai‘i! Matt and Mandy are awesome—we worked together to create a perfect haku for the dress—they did an absolutely beautiful job!

BIN: What are you up to these days? Most recent movie and/or current projects you are working on?

I’ve spent the past year co-creating and producing a kids show with award-winning host John Kerwin. It’s essentially, The Tonight Show for kids—we have all the young stars from Disney, Nickelodeon and more—kids in the audience—it’s a lot of fun! The John Kerwin Kids’ Show currently airs nationwide and is being acquired by several major online streaming platforms in the coming months—follow us at @johnkerwinkidsshow on Instagram to find out all the latest news!

BIN: Any future projects in the works that you can discuss?

There is a lot more in the works for The John Kerwin Kids’ Show this year, which will keep me very busy. I also have both a feature film and TV series in development.

Backstage with Kristina Anapau. PC: BIN

BIN: Any plans to return to the Big Island for good?

Too much going on on the mainland right now, but it’s always nice to come home for a rest!

BIN: Are you married yet… dating… single? You know, all the tabloid stuff!

Haha… I like to keep all of that off the internet. But it’s the stuff of novels, Damon, the stuff of novels—I’m very happy.

BIN: Any plans on coming back to the Big Island in the next year for any particular projects.

Not anything as of now, but you never know!

KULEANA Trailer #1 from Hawai’i Cinema on Vimeo.

*Pacific Media Group, Big Island Now’s parent company, is a shareholder in the film KULEANA.

Award-Winning ‘Kuleana’ to Open on Big Island March 30

The award-winning film KULEANA will begin its statewide theatrical release on Friday, March 30, at Regal and Consolidated Theaters throughout Hawai‘i.

KULEANA Writer-Director Brian Kohne told Big Island Now that the film will open at the Regal Keauhou Stadium 7 at the Keauhou Shopping Center in Kailua-Kona and the Regal Prince Kuhio 9 in Prince Kuhio Plaza in Hilo.

Produced entirely in Hawai‘i, KULEANA has received the Audience Choice Award in the Santa Cruz Film Festival, the Maui Film Festival and the San Antonio Film Festival, as well as “Best of Fest” in the Guam International Film Festival.

Sonya Balmores and Hilo Native Kristina Anapau at the “Kuleana” world premier at the Maui Film Festival. Courtesy photo.

“Kuleana” is the Hawaiian word for spiritual responsibility. In KULEANA, set in Hawai‘i in 1971, a disabled Vietnam vet rediscovers the Hawaiian warrior within to protect his family, defend their land, and clear his father’s name.

Kristina Anapau (True Blood, Black Swan), one of the film’s stars and executive producers, is a Hilo-native, now living and working in Hollywood.

The film also stars Moronai Kanekoa, Stefan Schaefer, Sonya Balmores (Marvel’s INHUMANS), Vene Chun, Augie T, Marlene Sai, Branscombe Richmond (CHICAGO MED) and Mel Cabang.

The film was produced by Stefan Schaefer.

Willie K provides an original score; the soundtrack boasts hit songs by Joni Mitchell, Procol Harum, and Tony Orlando and Dawn, with Hawaiian classics of the era by Genoa Keawe, Lena Machado, Sunday Manoa, Sons of Hawaii, Marlene Sai and more.

The film received an MPAA PG-13 rating, and also holds a spot on popular movie review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.

Boasting high production values in picture, performances and music, KULEANA has earned the faith of mainland theater giants Reading International (Consolidated) and Regal, which will also open the movie in Guam.

KULEANA opens on O‘ahu in the Consolidated Theaters at Pearlridge, Kapolei, and also Kahala Mall, where a question-and-answer session with Writer-Director Brian Kohne and star Moronai Kanekoa will follow the March 30, 7:30 p.m. opening night screening, with another question-and-answer following the March 31, 7:30 p.m. screening with other members of the cast participating.

The film also opens in the Regal Maui Mall in Kahului and Wharf Cinema Center in Lahaina.

Kukui Grove Cinema is a likelihood on Kauai, and Mainland residents can sign up to host/attend a screening in their city at www.hawaiicinema.com via Gathr.

Keauhou Shopping Center is located at 78-6831 Ali‘i Drive, H-24.
Prince Kuhio Plaza is located at 111 E Puainako St., #400.
For more information, go online.

Acting and Producing Workshop with ‘True Blood’ Star

Interested in acting or producing movies? The Hawai‘i Island Film Office and the Palace Theater is offering a workshop on acting and producing for film and television at the Palace Theater in Hilo on Saturday, March 3, 2018, from 8:30 a.m to 4:30 p.m.

Leading the class is Hilo native, Kristina Anapau, who is an actress, writer and producer with over 20 years’ experience in the motion picture and television industry.

Kristina Anapau. PC: Damon Tucker

Anapau has had leading roles in features and television including Black Swan, True Blood, Anger Management, House, Monk, CSI NY and many more. She first stepped behind the camera in 2013, co-producing the thriller, 5 Souls, and recently completed Kuleana, a mystery drama on which she served as executive producer.

Kuleana, an independent film shot in Hawai‘i, has gone on to receive audience and critical acclaim at several prestigious film festivals around the country.

Anapau is also the creator and executive producer of The John Kerwin Kids’ Show, a Tonight show for kids which airs nationwide on DirecTV.

In the acting session, Anapau will cover training, marketing, getting an agent, audition technique, working on set and will set aside some time for participant cold readings and critiques. In the producing session, she will cover selecting and developing material, packaging your project, getting financing, budgeting, physical production and distribution.

This workshop is intended for those who seek professional level training in these areas so as to pursue career opportunities in these fields, or for those seeking a broader understanding of how these skill sets and functions relate to the overall motion picture production process.

For more information, contact johnmasonkona@gmail.com or to register or call (808) 464-4379.

Information can also be found at the Hawaii Island Film Office web site

The workshop price is $15 for students, $20 for SAG members and $25 for the general public. Light breakfast refreshments and a pizza lunch is included in the price.

Hilo Native Stars in ‘Kuleana’ at HIFF

Kealani Warner and Kristina Anapau star in “Kuleana.” Courtesy photo.

Kuleana, directed by Brian Kohne, is the opening-night movie at the Hawaii International Film Festival kick-off in Hilo on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017, at 7 p.m. at the Palace Theater.

Kristina Anapau (True Blood, Black Swan), one of the film’s stars and executive producers, is a Hilo-native, now living and working in Hollywood.

The film also stars Stefan Schaefer, Sonya Balmores, Vene Chun and Branscombe Richmond.

“Kuleana” is the Hawaiian word for spiritual responsibility. In 1971, few understood the concept of kuleana, as the Hawaiian Renaissance, a reawakening of island culture, had yet to begin and ancient customs and values teetered on the precipice of extinction.

In Kuleana, which takes place on Maui, childhood friends Nohea and Kim share a common nemesis: Kim’s father, Victor Coyle, a real-estate developer who blatantly exploits the land and the people he has managed to usurp and control. Ancestral spirits and modern day warriors also contribute to the fight as Nohea and Kim learn the most important lesson: kuleana is not a burden; it is a privilege.

Burt Sakata and Hawai‘i State Film Commissioner Donne Dawson. Courtesy photo.

Burt Sakata is the production designer for Kuleana and Get a Job, the previous feature comedy from Writer-Director Kohne and Producer Stefan Schaefer.

He will attend the Big Island premiere, introduce the movie and be on-hand for a Q&A sessions after the screening.

Sakata is also a member of the Protect Kaho‘olawe ‘Ohana since the 1970s. He served as an island commissioner through the 10 years clean-up through 2004.

HIFF will be held from Nov. 16 through 19. As the vanguard forum of international cinematic achievement in the Asia-Pacific region, HIFF endeavors to recognize new and emerging talent, promote career development and original collaborations through innovative education programs, and facilitate dynamic cultural exchange through the cinema arts.

The Palace Theater is proud to be a part of the Hawaii International Film Festival with 10 full-length films and nine shorts to offer this year, including Kuleana.

Sonya Balmores and Kristina Anapau at the “Kuleana” world premier at the Maui Film Festival. Courtesy photo.

TICKETS: $8 General; $7 Seniors & Students. Purchase a HIFF PASS for $35 and see ALL HIFF films. Tickets can be purchased at the Palace Theater box office or over the phone with a credit card at (808) 934-7010, Monday through Friday, between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Kealani Warner and Big Island native Kristina Anapau at the O‘ahu Premier of Kuleana at the Hawaii International Film Festival. Courtesy photo.

Burt Sakata and Hawai‘i State Film Commissioner Donne Dawson (also a member of Protect Kaho‘olawe ‘Ohana) at the O‘ahu Premier of Kuleana at the Hawaii International Film Festival. Courtesy photo.

The theater is located at 38 Haili St.

’KULEANA’ Wins Best of Fest at the Guam International Film Festival

‘KULEANA’ was honored with a fourth top festival award taking home “Best OF Fest” in the Guam International Film Festival on October 1. In June the motion pictured was honored as “Audience Choice” in the Maui Film Festival, where it screened outdoors for a record 3,100 viewers. Then in August the mystery/drama earned another “Audience Choice Narrative Feature” award, followed in September with “Best Feature” in Oklahoma’s Tribal Film Festival.

Writer/director Brian Kohne

In ‘KULEANA’, set on Maui in 1971, a disabled Vietnam vet rediscovers the Hawaiian warrior within to protect his family, defend their land, and clear his father’s name.

Writer/director Brian Kohne now sets sights on attending the Santa Cruz Film Festival screening on Friday, October 13 in the Collegian Plaza Theater, apart of the Tannery Center for the Performing Arts. One of the stars, Kristina Anapau (TRUE BLOOD) will also attend and both will take part in a postscreening Q&A. For more visit the Film Festival website: https://www.santacruzfilmfestival.org

Kristina Anapau

‘KULEANA’ makes its long-awaited Oahu Premiere on Friday, November 3 at 8pm in the Regal Dole Cannery 18 in Honolulu as part of the Hawaii International Film Festival’s opening weekend.

The deeply cultural work will hold an Encore Screening on Sunday, November 5 in the same venue. For more visit the Film Festival website: http://www.hiff.org The critically acclaimed, crowd-pleasing motion pictures will open in Hawaii Theaters in early 2018.

‘KULEANA’ is the Hawaiian word for Spiritual Responsibility. The provocative new mystery/drama was written and directed by Brian Kohne, produced by Stefan Schaefer, and stars Moronai Kanekoa, Sonya Balmores (Marvel’s INHUMANS), Kristina Anapau (TRUE BLOOD), Augie T, Marlene Sai, Branscombe Richmond (CHICAGO MED), and Mel Cabang. Hawaii’s legendary Willie K provides an original score; the soundtrack boasts recordings by Joni Mitchell, Procol Harum, and Tony Orlando and Dawn, with classic Hawaiian hits of the sixties by Genoa Keawe, Lena Machado, Sunday Manoa, Sons of Hawaii, and Marlene Sai.

Award-Winning Hawaiian Mystery ‘KULEANA’ Set for North American Premier

‘KULEANA’ is the Hawaiian word for Spiritual Responsibility. ‘KULEANA’ is also a provocative new mystery/drama written/directed by Brian Kohne that stars Moronai Kanekoa (Gary Kubota’s one-man show LEGEND OF KO’OLAU), Sonya Balmores (Marvel’s INHUMANS), and Kristina Anapau (TRUE BLOOD, BLACK SWAN). ‘KULEANA’ holds its North American Premiere August 1 at 6pm in the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts as an opening night selection in the 23rd San Antonio Film Festival. A Hula performance will precede the screening, the Texas Premiere of WIND RIVER, starring Jeremy Renner, follows at 8pm.

In ‘KULEANA’, set on Maui in 1971, a disabled Vietnam vet must rediscover the Hawaiian warrior within to protect his family, defend their land, and clear his father’s name. ‘KULEANA’, presented by Hawai’i Cinema, held its World Premiere screening for an attendance-record 3,100 enthusiastic viewers outdoors at the 2017 Maui Film Festival in June, and was honored with an Audience Choice Award.

Critics report of ‘KULEANA’: “An original blend of Hawaii’s history, spirituality and culture. Kuleana introduces a unique new film genre: Hawaiian Noir. While the setting may be tropical paradise, it’s set against a shocking and densely plotted mystery that twists and turns like a Raymond Chandler thriller.” And: “With its easy-going pace, lived-in characterizations, emphasis on domestic cruelties and layered, twisty storytelling, the movie this most reminded me of was Chinatown.”

‘KULEANA’ is written and directed by Brian Kohne, and produced by Stefan Schaefer. The unrated 95-minute mystery/drama stars native Hawaiian Moronai Kanekoa, Sonya Balmores of Marvel’s TV series INHUMANS, Kristina Anapau of TRUE BLOOD, and island entertainers Marlene Sai, Augie T, and Branscombe Richmond. The legendary Willie K provides an original score with Johnny Wilson; and the soundtrack boasts hits by Joni Mitchell, Procol Harum, Tony Orlando and Dawn and more, with classic Hawaiian recordings of the sixties from Genoa Keawe, Lena Machado, Sunday Manoa, Sons of Hawaii, Marlene Sai, and more.

The San Antonio Film Festival runs Tuesday August 1, to Sunday August 6, with an array of shorts and features, workshops and panels, VIP events, and fun for all ages. Tickets are on sale at the Tobin Center Box Office. For more information, visit: SAFilm.com.

 

‘KULEANA’ Trailer (2017) from Hawai’i Cinema on Vimeo.

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!”

A Special Message to Hawaii Residents From True Blood Star and Big Island Native Kristina Anapau

Big Island native Kristina Anapau has a special message for all of us:

[youtube=http://youtu.be/pYU9uJhymk0]

Please go to http://4g4hope.modernluxury.com/hawaii-anapau/ to vote now!

Kristina Anapau at the 2011 Big Island Film Festival

Kristina Anapau at the 2011 Big Island Film Festival

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.

Kristina Anapau, Maurella on “True Blood”, Participates in the 4G4HOPE Competition

Former Big Island resident and actress Kristina Anapau, known for her role as faerie Maurella on True Blood, is competing against three fellow Hawaiian celebrities to snare $10,000 in a competition run by Verizon Wireless and Modern Luxury Hawaii.

Modern Hawaii

Also participating are Hawaiian natives surfer Jamie O’Brien, artist Heather Brown, and musician Jake Shimabukuro.

Anapau, whose mother was diagnosed with Cancer in 2012, says she will donate the money to the Stand Up to Cancer Foundation should she win.

Islanders Away

“Now more than ever, as funding for cancer research is disappearing, every single one of us must stand up and be heard. My mother was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer just four months ago”, says the actress. “I am proud to support SU2C and its efforts to raise funds for groundbreaking cancer research that can get therapies to patients quickly and save lives.”

Stand Up To Cancer, a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), was created to accelerate innovative cancer research that will get new therapies to patients quickly and save lives now.

Anapau, who hails from Hawaii, stars on TVs True Blood. In 2013, she will also star in the films BlackJacks and Sighting.

To vote for Kristina go to http://4g4hope.modernluxury.com/hawaii-vote

 

Public Invited to “Magic Of The Season” Holiday Open House

Free fun, food and festivities for the whole family will be part of the County of Hawai‘i’s 2nd Annual holiday open house – the Magic of the Season – to be held December 10-21 at the Hawai‘i County Building in Hilo.

Christmas at the County
County volunteers will decorate dozens of trees, provide refreshments and offer holiday cheer so families may enjoy a safe, community-oriented event. Members of the public may view the exciting decorations daily starting at 8 a.m. Live entertainment, refreshments and holiday activities will be available weeknights between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Cyril Pahinui, Mark Yamanaka, Darlene Ahuna and Henry Kapono will be among the Nā Hōkū Hanohano award-winning performers. Taiko drummers, hula dancers and student musicians also will take turns entertaining audiences.

Local Girl and True Blood Star Kristina Anapau made an appearance last year.

Local Girl and True Blood Star Kristina Anapau made an appearance last year.

School groups, civic organizations and individuals are invited to experience the holiday offerings by touring the office building located at 25 Aupuni St. Attendees may vote for the best displays, which will receive donated prizes.

For more details, please contact Jason Armstrong, Department of Parks and Recreation Public Information Officer, at 345-9105 or jarmstrong@co.hawaii.hi.us. Inquiries may also be sent to T. Ilihia Gionson, Executive Assistant to Mayor Billy Kenoi, at 961-8211 or tigionson@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Entertainment Lineup

Monday
December 10
5:00 – Boni & Doug
5:45 – Stan Kaina
6:30 – Puna Taiko Drums
7:00 – Ira & Dru Kekaualua
Tuesday
December 11
5:00 – Cyril Pahinui and the students of
Connections Public Charter School
6:00 – Braddah Waltah Aipolani
7:00 – Hawai‘i County Band
Wednesday
December 12
5:00 – The Young Brothers –
Moku & Kalei of the Kuahiwis
6:00 – Ben Kaili & Friends
Thursday
December 13
5:00 – Mark Yamanaka & Friends
6:00 – Hālau Nā Pua O Uluhaimālama
7:00 – Bill Noble Trio with Desiree Cruz
Friday
December 14
5:00 – Mokuleo
6:00 – Randy Lorenzo & Friends
7:00 – Darren the Lion, McGruff & Friends
Monday
December 17
5:00 – Yisa Var
6:00 – Henry Kapono
Tuesday
December 18
5:00 – Waiākea Elementary Choir
6:00 – Guy Cruz
7:00 – Cruz Family
Wednesday
December 19
5:00 – Harmony on Tap
6:00 – Hula Hālau O Kou Lima Nani Ē
7:00 – Times Five
Thursday
December 20
5:00 – Dexter & Jeff of Crescent City Band
6:00 – Darlene Ahuna & Friends
Friday
December 21
5:00 – Ol’ School Band
6:00 – Lehua Kalima

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.

Local Girl Kristina Anapau on Last Night’s True Blood – Who is the Father of Maurella’s Baby?

I’ve gotten a chance to become friends with Kristina Anapau over the last couple years and she let me in on a secret last year that she was going to be in the final episode of last years True Blood television series.

Yesterday, I noticed a lot of folks visiting that post for some reason and now today Kristina has posted the following youtube clip to her “fan page” on Facebook.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/xPF_mgh8vz8]

Kristina Anapau as Maurella on True Blood Season 5 Episode 10 ‘Gone, Gone, Gone’

Sookie found an ancient/vintage scroll under Gran’s bed and took it to Maurella so she could translate the contract. The burning question is: Who is the father of Maurella’s baby?!

My son with an autographed picture of Kristina

Local Girl Kristina Anapau in “The Stndrd” Magazine

The national magazine The Stndrd has hit the bookshelves at Barnes and Nobles across the mainland today and inside of it is an article by Big Island actress Kristina Anapau.

I had the opportunity to interview Kristina at the 2011 Big Island Film Festival and at the time I found out that she would be starring in the finale of last seasons HBO Vampire series True Blood.

Here is a clip that Kristina said I could publish on my site from the article she wrote for the Stndrd.

2012 Big Island Film Festival Begins Next Week – Interview with 2011 Celebrity Guest Kristina Anapau

The 2012 Big Island Film Festival begins next week and at last years festival I had the opportunity to meet and interview local girl Kristina Anapau (Black Swan, True Blood, Sightings, Blackjack etc).

Kristina Anapau and I

Kristina and I at the 2011 Big Island Film Festival

Unfortunately this year she Kristina was supposed to be in Cannes this week and next week, however, she is stuck in Los Angeles working on some other projects so she won’t be able to make this years Big Island Film Festival.

Kristina Anapau in front of the Fairmont Orchid at Mauna Lani

Kristina Anapau in front of the Fairmont Orchid at Mauna Lani

She recently emailed me and sent me a link to the following article from the Italian fashion and design website Marie Claire entitled “Kristina va a Hollywood“.

Kristina translated the following and said I could use the pictures that were taken by photographer Aaron Heck.

Hi Kristina, here some little questions:

– Studying something completely different and then leaving the Hawaii’s sea for your dream on a big city: what are your suggestion for the new actresses?

I would encourage everyone to follow their passion, no matter what it is.  This is a very short life and there is no time to waste doing anything but what you absolutely love. 

Photo by Aaron Heck

– How was going back to your dance world, then in front of a camera for Black Swan?

I always had an element of regret about not having realized my childhood dream of being a classical ballerina.  Being given the opportunity to portray one in Black Swan, and with such an amazing cast and director, was a dream. The filming process and all of the dance training required to prepare helped heal a part of me that still wished I had followed that path.  It was an amazing experience.

Photo by Aaron Heck

– You once said that playing a blind woman was one of the most “rewarding acting experiences” of your career. Tell us something about that experience…

I studied at the Los Angeles Braille Institute with the same woman who trained Al Pacino for the film Scent of a Woman.   Having to “loose my sight” for a month opened my eyes to something entirely different.  My other senses became very well developed.  I would turn all the lights off in my hotel room at night and after a few days, didn’t ever feel the need to turn them on when I walked in. An almost extra-sensory perception developed in me.  I could feel the energy of all the objects in the room…I could almost hear them.  The need to see them became irrelevant.  This heightened perception eventually started to occur in daylight with my eyes wide open.  This world is much more interesting when you open yourself up to observe every detail…there are so many delicate intricacies that go unnoticed by us in daily life.  

– From the big screen to the TV with True Blood: what do you prefer? And how was playing in such a successful series of our days?

Both film and television have their respective pleasures and challenges.  I can’t say that I prefer one to the other….I love them both.  True Blood is such an fantastic show, great cast, a very smoothly run production.  I just love my job.  I feel very grateful to wake up every day and do what I love in life.

 

Photo by Aaron Heck

– Sighting is your last project: how do you felt acting in an horror movie?

Sighting was a great experience in every way.  The emotional extremes that are required daily when filming a thriller can be taxing of course, but  also an incredible release.  There was something very rewarding and freeing about delving into the depths of fear and panic on an almost daily basis.  I left set each morning (because we were filming at night) feeling very expressed emotionally and very much at peace.    

– And…What’s next?

I did a military action film called BlackJacks which is going to be absolutely spectacular.  We are finishing up additional photography for the film this week.  I have also just formed a production company based in LA called Amygdala Films (www.amygdalafilms.com) and we have several projects in development that I am very excited about.  There are some other projects that I have coming up that I’m not allowed to discuss yet.  My days are very busy!

– What’s your relationship with fashion? What cannot ever be missed in your bag and what’s your fashion/style obsession?

My relationship with fashion is like a chameleons relationship with it’s skin… to protect and transform myself.  I do have quite a love affair with exquisitely made things.  I definitely have a bit more of an old world sensibility in that way…always quality over quantity.  In my bag, you will always find kiehl’s #1 lip balm with SPF and a little travel bottle of their SPF 50.  My phone and iPad are always in there as well…and always a book of some sort.  I’m currently reading Arnon Milchan’s biography, Confidential.

My son with an autographed picture of Kristina

Maurella Meets Pele – Going on a Lava Tour with Kristina Anapau and Lava Ocean Adventure Tours

Local “True Blood” celebrity Kristina Anapau has been back on the Big Island during this holiday season and she has been getting a chance to do more stuff on the island now that she has more then a few days on the island.

Kristina Anapau at the County of Hawaii's Magic of Christmas Celebration

The other day she had the opportunity to go check out the Gemini Astronomy Center up on top of Mauna Kea and today she got invited to go on a lava tour with Lava Ocean Adventures.

Captain Shane and Kristina

We arrived at Isaac Hale park at 5:00 this morning and signed in with Captain Shane Turpin and then we were off for our adventure.

Getting ready for the tour at Isaac Hale Park (Pohoiki)

The newspaper was correct in their statement this morning:

…”Compared to the past two nights, the flow field and ocean entry plume seemed quite inactive yesterday afternoon and overnight,” geologists wrote in their daily activity update, posted Thursday morning. “The webcams picked up no surface activity on the pali, weak, sporadic surface flows near the coast, and a weak ocean entry plume generated by lava entering the ocean at the West Ka’ili’ili lava delta within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.”

The lava flow may be reached by foot from the national park side, by tour helicopter or fixed-wing aircraft, or by one of the tour boats that provide viewing opportunities along the coast

While the lava wasn’t pumping as much as the last time I visited… there were still at least three lava fingers entering the ocean while we were down there.

Pele meets the ocean

One thing about Pele is that you never really know how much lava is going to be flowing into the ocean until you actually get out to the site as the flows can stop and start at anytime.

Picture taken a couple of days ago from Lava Ocean Adventures Facebook page

Captain Shane mentioned that just a few days ago… there was much more lava visible then there was today.

Lava enters the ocean

Here is a video of the flow from last week:

[youtube=http://youtu.be/BvPSv9VjM0c]

Recorded on the south shores of the Island of Hawaii Saturday morning, December 17, 2011. Video shot from a boat without any stabilization can tend to roll around a bit … so I kept it short so you won’t get seasick :)

The volume of surface lava being sent from fissures at Pu`u O`o Crater through insulating tube systems seven miles south to the ocean changes daily, but yesterday I went by boat to witness this. For more information on how to see the lava by boat and to see some of the still images that I took there, go to my Hawaiian Lava Daily blogspot website.

I’d like to thank Captain Shane for taking us out there and providing us with a great seat at the back of the boat where we were allowed to stand up and get an even better view of things.  Mahalo Shane!

To learn more about Lava Ocean Adventure Tours or to book your own tour click here.

 

Celebrate With a Local “True Blood” Celebrity… Kristina Anapau to Make Appearance at Hawaii County Magic of Christmas

The Magic of Christmas has been happening this past week at the Hawaii County Council building from 8 am to 8 pm each day with entertainment happening in the evenings.

Tonight’s entertainment will be provided by the Andrew Stevens Group at 5, followed by Yisa Var at 6 and rounding the night out will be ‘Old School.

I just got wind that tomorrow evening, Friday December 23rd, Hollywood Celebrity and Local Girl Kristina Anapau will be making an appearance at the Magic of Christmas.

Mayor Kenoi and Kristina Anapau at the 2011 Big Island Film Festival held at the Fairmont Orchid

She was last on the Big Island back in October for less then 24 hours where she lead an acting and directing workshop at UH Hilo.

I arrived late to the class and had to leave early so I didn’t get a chance to talk with her directly back in October but I did talk to some folks that attended the class and they were very stoked to be getting acting and directing lessons from someone like her.

The last time I had a chance to actually speak with Kristina she had just finished filming her role of Maurella in the seaon finale of last years HBO hit series “True Blood”.

Don't mess with Maurella!

So come check out the Magic of Christmas tomorrow night as the little bird told me that she would be making an appearance sometime between 5 pm and 6 pm.

Besides Kristina making an appearance, Victor Chock and Island Harmony will be on hand to entertain folks so come check things out at the County Building.

2012 Big Island Film Festival Call for Entries

One of MovieMaker Magazine’s “25 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee” and “25 Coolest Film Festivals”, Big Island Film Festival (BIFF) 2012 is now accepting entries for the May 24-28 events at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i and The Shops at Mauna Lani.  A celebration of narrative filmmaking, BIFF 2012 includes screenings, social events and networking opportunities, celebrity receptions, screenwriting workshop and a closing night “Best of the Fest” with a top Hawaiian music concert and movies chosen from Festival entries.

Last year’s celebrity honorees included Hawai‘i actresses Kristina Anapau (“Black Swan”, “True Blood”) and Sarah Wayne Callies (“Prison Break”, “The Walking Dead”).

Sarah Wayne Callies and Kristina Anapau

Sarah Wayne Callies and Kristina Anapau

Narrative short films (30 minutes or less) and feature length (60 minutes or more) completed after January 1, 2010 will be considered.  Deadlines are:

  •  Early Bird – November 1, 2011.  Early Bird Entry Fees: $50 Feature, $40 Short, $30 Student
  •  Regular – January 1, 2012.  Regular Entry Fees: $60 Feature, $50 Short, $35 Student
  •  Late/Final February 1, 2012.  Late Entry Fees:  $70 Feature, $60 Short, $40 Student

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

BIFF 2012’s “Golden Honu” will be awarded 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 28.  Numerous alumni films have won awards at prestigious film festivals around the world, and achieved commercial success in the industry.

Some of the 2011 winners of the Big Island Film Festival

Big Island Film Festival Director Leo Sears (in red) and some of the 2011 winners of the Big Island Film Festival

BIFF 2011 Best Foreign Film “The Drummond Will” has been acquired by House Lights Media Partners for Theatrical and Non-Theatrical North American distribution.  Audience Choice 2011, the made-in-Hawai‘i comedy “Get A Job”, was screened in Spain during the Marbella Film Festival and has enjoyed a successful festival circuit release, as have “The Dead Inside”, “Uncle Melvin’s Apartment” and numerous other BIFF alumni film projects.  “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.

“We are extremely grateful and very excited to be working on the seventh annual Big Island Film Festival with our resort partners at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i and The Shops at Mauna Lani.  There aren’t too many places more beautiful and inspiring—than here under the stars and the tropical palm trees—to watch your film and enjoy the company of fellow artists from all over the world,’” said Executive Director Leo Sears.  “With our new dates over the Memorial Day holiday, we’re hoping filmmakers and film-lovers will start a new Memorial Weekend tradition, come join us, relax, and enjoy meeting fellow artists and appreciative audiences.”

Kristina Anapau in front of the Fairmont Orchid at Mauna Lani

Kristina Anapau in front of the Fairmont Orchid at Mauna Lani

The Big Island “Talk Story” Film Festival is a celebration of narrative filmmaking, with free family films under the stars at The Shops at Mauna Lani, 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.

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

Latest True Blood Cast Member Kristina Anapau to Present Workshop at UH Hilo Sunday

The Big Island Film office and the University of Hawaii at Hilo Performing Arts Department have teamed up to bring local girl Kristina Anapau home for a one-day acting workshop covering the business of film and television.

The workshop will be held this Sunday, October 9th from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm at UH Hilo.

Kristina Anapau Workshop

Anapau’s most recent role on television was the character of “Maurella” in the HBO series True Blood and when I asked her if she would be returning to the role next season she stated, “The creators of the show like to keep what is to come a secret and I honor that completely.”

Anapau did send me a few still shots from the episode that she was in:

Maurella

Kristina Anapau playing the role of Maurella on True Blood

I asked Kristina what her initial reaction was when she found out that she had been chosen to play the role of “Maurella” on True Blood and she stated,  “I was thrilled.  I absolutely love Alan Ball’s work and True Blood is one of the best shows on television.

Maurella

Maurella captured fans attention during last seasons True Blood and wonder if she will be back for the next season

I noticed that Anapau seems to play characters in a lot of suspense type of movies and so I asked her what her favorite suspense movies were and she noted that “Sea of Love” and “Witness” were two incredible suspense films that she favorites.

Don't mess with Maurella

Don't mess with Maurella

I had the opportunity to meet Kristina at last years Big Island Film Festival and when I asked her if she was going to be present for this years film festival she said, “I love the festival and adore Leo and Jan Sears.  If I’m not filming at that time, I’d love to attend next years fest.”

Kristina at the Big Island Film Festival

Kristina at last years Big Island Film Festival

I asked Kristina if she believes in vampires and she said, “Yes, but not the kind that suck your blood.”

Maurella

Dang Blood Suckers!

I asked Anapau what she would like to say to Big Island residents in general about the upcoming workshop at UH Hilo and she said,  “I’m very excited to be able to share a bit of what I’ve learned throughout the years.  There is a lot of talent on the Big Island…I hope my experiences and guidance will inspire the attendees to go out and make their own dreams a reality.”