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.

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.

2011 Big Island Film Festival… And the Winners Are

The 2011 Big Island Film Festival awards were held this morning at the Fairmont Orchid Resort.

group shot

The group shot (click for larger version)

Festival Director Leo Sears addressed the group around 10:00 and folks started in on their food.

Leo Sears

Leo Sears addresses the audience

Anna Akaka, wife of Danny Akaka, Jr., lead off the opening pule and blessed the crowd and the filmmakers for making it a great festival this year.

The filmmakers enjoying brunch

The filmmakers enjoying brunch

Golden Honu Award recipient Kristina Anapau and her boyfriend Moran Cerf were in attendance.

Kristina Anapau and her boyfriend Moran Cerf

Mr. Sears began by thanking the Sponsors of the Festival such as the Fairmont Orchid, the Shops at Mauna Lani, the County of Hawaii and John Mason with the Hawaii County Film Office, “Redeeming Light International” as well as others were also thanked.

Sponsors

Kenwood Vineyards was recognized as a “big sponsor” since they have sponsored the festival for so many years.

Some Kenwood wines

Some Kenwood wines

Naketha Mattocks was recognized for her support and workshop that she put on called “The Inside Pitch” and Ron Osborn was recognized for his continual work with the festival.

Ron Osborn

Ron Osborn

Mayor Kenoi was on hand and signed a bottle of wine that all of the celebrities and filmmakers signed that would be auctioned off later for the Wounded Warriors project.

Mayor Kenoi signs a bottle of Kenwood Vineyards wine

Mayor Kenoi signs a bottle of Kenwood Vineyards wine while BIFF Director Leo Sears looks on

Actress Sarah Wayne Callies who was the recipient of the “No Ka Oi” award earlier in the week was also present.

Mayor Kenoi, Film Commissioner John Mason and Actress Sarah Wayne Callies

Mayor Kenoi, Film Commissioner John Mason and Actress Sarah Wayne Callies

An autographed picture of Kristina Anapau was auctioned off for charity as well and I just had to drop the big bucks to keep my son happy!

Hayden with an autographed photo of Kristina Anapau

Hayden with an autographed photo of Kristina Anapau

I’d like to thank all those that worked so hard to put this on and especially thank Leo Sears for working so hard at ensuring such a smooth festival happens.

Leo Sears

Mahalo Leo... Who needs drive-in movies when we have the Big Island Film Festival?

Media Release:

Twelve films received Golden Honu Awards at the 6thAnnual Big Island Film Festival today.  Best Feature went to “Queen of the Lot,” starring Tanna Frederick and Noah Wyle, written and directed by Henry Jaglom, produced by Rosemary Marks.

Celebrity actresses Sarah Wayne Callies (“The Walking Dead”) and Hilo’s own Kristina Anapau (“Black Swan”) were present to receive special “No Ka Oi” awards from Big Island Film Festival Executive Director Leo Sears.

Leo Sears and Kristina Anapau

Leo Sears and Kristina Anapau (Photo Courtesy of Devany-Vickery Davidson)

Winners were selected from 63 entries from across the country and around the world, including 10 made in Hawai’i.  The made-on-Maui film, “Get A Job,” starring Willie K, Eric Gilliom, Augie T, Henry Kapono and many other top Hawaiian entertainers, won 2011 Audience Choice Feature.

Get a Job!

Get a Job!

2011 Big Island Film Festival Golden Honu Awards:

Actress “No Ka Oi” - Sarah Wayne Callies

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

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

Actress “No Ka Oi” – Kristina Anapau

Kristina Anapau

Kristina Anapau

The Barbara Award – “Regular Kids”

Best Family Short – “The Green Tie Affair”


Best Animated Short – “Bait”

Best Hawaiian Short – “Layover, On the Shore”

Best Foreign Short – “Futility”

Best Student Short – “Thief”

Best Short – “Wounded”

The Producer of "Wounded" receives his award

The Producer of "Wounded" receives his award

Best Family Feature – “Trainmaster II: Jeremiah’s Treasure”

“Best Student Feature” – “Farmer’s Tan”

Best Hawaiian Feature – “Get A Job”

Writer/Director Brian Kohne, Leo Sears and Eric Gilliom

Best Foreign Feature – “The Drummond Will”


Best Feature – “Queen of the Lot”

Audience Choice Short – “The Historian Paradox”

The Historian Paradox

The Historian Paradox wins an award


Audience Choice Feature – “Get A Job

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

Winners

Some of the 2011 Big Island Film Festival Winners


Big Island Film Festival Coming Up Next Week!

Media Release:

Hawaii stars come out to play at the 6th Annual Big Island Film Festival (BIFF), including celebrity honorees Sarah Wayne Callies (The Walking Dead), and Kristina Anapau (Black Swan).  These women will help celebrate independent narrative filmmaking at the May 11-15 event at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i and The Shops at Mauna Lani.

Sarah Wayne Callies
Sarah Wayne Callies

Sarah Wayne Callies grew up in Honolulu, where her parents are professors at University of Hawai’i, Mānoa.  She currently stars as “Lori Grimes” on AMC’s The Walking Dead, based on the popular comic book of the same name. Past television credits include her role as “Dr. Sara Tancredi” on Fox’s popular Prison Break, as well as appearances on Queens Supreme, Tarzan, House, NUMB3RS, Law and Order: SVU and many more.  Her screenplay Elena’s Serenade, an adaptation of the children’s book by Campbell Geeslin, has been optioned by The Film Farm.

Kristina Anapau

Kristina Anapau

From Hilo, Kristina Anapau grew up studying classical ballet, began her professional acting career on TV at age 16, and last year starred opposite Oscar-winning Natalie Portman in Black Swan.  Television credits include House, Monk, CSI: NY, Without A Trace, General Hospital, and Knight Rider.  In 2006 Anapau appeared in Self Medicated, winner of over 35 International film awards, including BIFF’s Best Feature, and today she stars in a new short drama Verdict screening Wednesday, May 11 at BIFF.

More special guests include previous BIFF Golden Honu Award winners David Winning (Todd & the Book of Pure Evil) and Ron Osborn (Duckman), along with producer Naketha Mattocks, and, from Hawaii Five-0, Cary Hiroyuki Tagawa, and producers Angela Laprete and William “Chico” Powell.  Laprete and Powell will appear at a live “insider” Q&A with Big Island Film Commissioner John Mason at The Shops at Mauna Lani, Thursday, May 12, 6:00-7:00 p.m.

A true professional, producer Angela Laprete has worked on Emmy award-winning television shows and independent films and major blockbusters including ER, Blue Crush, Godzilla, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, The Tempest and the Hawaii/U.K. co-produced independent feature film, Princess Kaiulani. She is currently Production Supervisor on the #1 new TV show remake of Hawaii Five-0.

With partner William “Chico” Powell, their company cre808films produced One Kine Day and Lychee Thieves, circulating the film festival market right now, and are in development with The Tattoo, based on the award-winning book by Chris McKinney.  Powell has been production accountant for many projects over the last 10 years including Hawaii Five-0, Lost and The Tempest. He was recently Production Supervisor on Soul Surfer and was the Line Producer on Princess Kaiulani.

BIFF 2011 will showcase 63 independent narrative films from 7 countries, 10 of them filmed in Hawaii, including:

  • All Collected Things, looking back at a love story. Michael Tanji producer, director, writer.
  • Layover, on the Shore, a contemporary Honolulu filmmaker’s edgy story, A Christopher Makoto Yogi Film, Producers William Kwok, Yu Gu.
  • Mute, a deaf high school junior wants to try out for football, by Jeremy Johnson Films.
  • The Green Tie Affair, a puppet musical about identity and wardrobe

And these, from Big Island filmmakers:

  • Hawaii’s Undersea Ohana, Hawaiian proverbs put to music, includes a segment filmed on Ni‘ihau, by Fasano Underwater Productions, Charles Fasano.
  • Alison’s Adventures: Snaked, a surf adventure to Morocco, Alison Tea Productions.
  • Sproot, Produced and directed by Loring Robbins, is a whimsical animation about telekinetic power and personal strength
  • The Pick-Up Artist, two people meet in a bar, but are they who they seem to be?  Beckwood Entertainment, producer/director/writer: Rockwood.
  • Waterfall, loss and grief, embraced by nature. Keyland Productions, Braide Keyland producer, director and writer.

From Maui, Get a Job written and directed by Brian Kohne, is an outrageous comedy with an all-star lineup of top Hawaii entertainers including Willie K, Eric Gilliom, Augie T, Jake Shimabukuro, Carolyn Omine, Slam Poet Kealoha, Ernie Cruz, Jr., Amy Hanaiali‘i, Mick Fleetwood, Pat Simmons, Charles Ka‘upu, Willie Nelson, and Henry Kapono (who headlines BIFF’s “Best of the Fest” concert May 15).  Get a Job screens Thursday, May 12 at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i Plantation Estate, in the set beginning at 7:30 p.m. (free parking).

Complete schedule and individual event tickets available online. www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com

BIFF 2011 Highlights

Wednesday, May 11, 7:30 p.m.

Free Grand Opening at The Shops at Mauna Lani, to welcome the filmmakers and celebrities, and enjoy short films, including The Verdict, starring Hilo’s Kristina Anapau (“Black Swan”)

Thursday, May 12, 6:00-7:00 p.m.

“Insider” Q&A with Angela Laprete and William “Chico” Powell of cre808film, The Shops at Mauna Lani Center Stage

Thursday-Friday-Saturday, May 12-13-14

Daytime movies at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii Amphitheatre (times vary, parking validated).

Free Family Films at The Shops at Mauna Lani Center Stage, 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Nightly double-feature (up to R) at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i Plantation Estate, 7:30-11:30 p.m. (free parking)

Saturday, May 14

Filmmaker Workshops: “Inside Pitch: How to pitch effectively in an evolving marketplace” by Naketha Mattocks (9:00-11:30 a.m.) and “It’s Alive: Breathing Life into Your Characters” by Ron Osborn (12:30-3:00 p.m.)

Sunday, May 15, 5:30 p.m.

“Best of the Fest” – Henry Kapono in concert and audience-voted Best Feature and Best Short of BIFF 2011, at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i Plantation Estate. (There will be a Silent Auction on site during the concert, to benefit The Wounded Warrior Project for U.S. veterans.)  Free parking.

Lawn seating for outdoor shows, beach chairs welcome, no coolers please.  For complete schedule information, and to purchase tickets online, visit www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com.