Big Island Film Festival Announces Huffington Post Blogger Gristani and Maui Filmmaker Kohne for Workshops

The Big Island Film Festival is proud to announce an exciting lineup of professional screenwriting and filmmaking workshops during BIFF 2012, May 24-28 at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i and The Shops at Mauna Lani.  Limited space will be available on an advance registration basis, for workshops presented by Story/Career Consultant Jen Grisanti and Maui hit filmmaker Brian Kohne, on Thursday, May 24 at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i Amphitheatre.

Jen Grisanti

Jen Grisanti – A Story/Career Consultant, Writing Instructor for Writers on the Verge at NBC, former 12-year studio executive, Jen Grisanti is 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.  After starting her career as an assistant to Aaron Spelling in 1992, and with him as her 12-year mentor, Grisanti climbed the ranks to become VP of Current Programs at CBS/Paramount.


Jen Grisanti Consultancy Inc. launched in 2008 as a consulting firm dedicated to helping talented writers break into the industry. Since then, Jen has worked with over four hundred writers working in television, film and novels. Twenty-six of her clients have staffed as writers on TV shows and ten have sold pilots, two that went to series.

Grisanti’s Workshop, “How to Write TV Spec & Pilot Scripts” will help screenwriters get ten steps ahead by understanding what producers and executives are looking for in a TV spec and pilot script, including all the story components for telling the one-hour drama and half hour sitcom stories.

Grisanti says “With experience in staffing over 15 primetime shows, I will reveal secrets from the executive side and guide you to utilize your voice in your story as a way to help your TV spec/pilot scripts rise to the top of the stack.”

Brian Kohne

Brian Kohne – Named as “Person Who Made A Difference in 2011” by the Maui News, Hawaii native Brian Kohne is writer/director/editor/producer of “Get A Job,” an award-winning independent feature comedy starring islanders  Willie K, Eric Gilliom, Augie T, Jake Shimabukuro, Henry Kapono, Amy Hanaiali’i, and Mick Fleetwood. The movie won “Best of Fest” and “Best Hawaiian Feature” at BIFF 2011, along with numerous honors at festivals in the U.S. and abroad.  A Film and Art school graduate, and Music Producer of the “Barefoot Natives,” Kohne boasts a diverse work history which includes Sports Broadcasting, Interactive Television, Corporate Video, Concert Promotion, and Sales/Marketing. He is currently at work on a new independent island feature: “Brother’s Kuleana.”

Kohne’s Workshop, “From Conception to Completion: Indie Features”

“Movies were traditionally ‘made’ three times,” says Kohne.  “They were Written, Produced, and Edited. But with technological shifts, movement away from theatrical exhibition, and the evolution of distribution models, an independent auteur now ‘makes’ a movie four times. This workshop explores the necessary inter-connectivity, as Marketing/Distribution has become an integral part of the production process and equally critical to an indie’s success.”

In his interactive “Talk Story” workshop Kohne will use clips from “Get A Job” to structure the presentation and add levity.  “One of my big messages is meant to be nurturing and inspirational,” says Kohne.  “If a local knucklehead like me can do it, than you probably can too… or at least become a valued member of a team.”

Workshops cost $50 each.  Advance registration is required and participants will be accepted on a first-come first-served basis.  Workshop registration forms are available at Deadline for registration is May 20, 2012.

The Big Island “Talk Story” Film Festival is a celebration of narrative filmmaking, Memorial Weekend, May 24-28.  Events include free family films under the stars at The Shops at Mauna Lani, daytime movies and nightly double features at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i (self-parking validated), stellar social events, networking opportunities, celebrity receptions, awards and a closing night “Best of the Fest” with a celebrity Hawaiian music concert, silent auction for the Wounded Warrior Project supporting America’s veterans, and the audience-voted Best Feature and Best Short from BIFF 2012.

Major sponsors include The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i, The Shops at Mauna Lani, Hawai’i Tourism Authority/Hawai’i County CPEP and many others.  For more information and to purchase ticket online, visit or call 808-883-0394.

Hawaiian Concert Stars Raiatea Helm, Lim Family

Waikoloa Beach Resort announces the first exciting event in its 2012 Concert Series: the Big Island’s own Lim Family, and legendary Hawaiian songstress Raiatea Helm in concert, Saturday, March 3 in the Waikoloa Bowl at Queens’ Gardens.

One of West Hawaii’s best open-air concert venues, the stage at Waikoloa Bowl puts great Hawaiian musical talents on display for the large audiences who come to relax and enjoy the music, island style—under the stars in beach chairs or mats on the lawns.  The program features the music of Kevin Kealoha and Kunia Galdeira kicking off the evening at 5:45 p.m., followed by the Lim Family at 6:30 p.m. and Raiatea at 7:30 p.m.

“If you haven’t been to the Waikoloa Bowl in a while, this will be a good chance to bring the family,” said Margo Mau-Bunnell, Sales & Operations Manager for Waikoloa Beach Resort.  “It’s reasonably priced, at only five dollars for children.  And, you can pick up a picnic dinner or snacks in the Food Court, then come and spread out in the grass and listen to Kevin and Kunia, the Lim’s, Raiatea—the kind of music we all love.”

Raiatea Mokihana Maile Helm

One of the youngest performers to ever attend the 42nd Annual Grammy Awards at age 21, Raiatea Mokihana Maile Helm has already had a sensational career, including her recent $20,000 music fellowship awarded by the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation.  A two-time Grammy nominee and winner of multiple Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards including Female Vocalist of the Year, she has appeared with a galaxy of Hawaiian music stars including The Brothers Cazimero, The Makaha Sons, Keali‘i Reichel, Ho‘okena, Auntie Genoa Keawe, and Ledward Ka‘apana.

Her most recent CD, “Sea of Love,” was released late last year.  According to Inside Out Magazine, “it harkens back to the music widely heard in nightclubs and times of pre- and post-statehood in the 1950s and 1960s… Helm said it’s the music that her parents and grandparents grew up with in the cocktail lounges of Waikiki.”

“Hawaiian music is important and I want to bring that back,” Helm said. “I hope to see a resurgence of a type of sound that’s alive and filled with emotion.”

The Lim Family of North Kohala

To set the stage, The Lim Family of North Kohala will share the special performance style that has graced the stage for almost 50 years, sharing beautiful Hawaiian music with the world.  A Nā Hōkū Hanohano “Group of the Year,” this multi-talented family includes musical matriarch Mary Ann Lim, slack key guitarist Sonny Lim, Kumu Hula Nani Lim Yap and award winning vocalist Lorna Lim.

Admission to the concert is $15 adults, $5 keiki.  Bring a beach chair or mat for Lawn Seating, no alcohol permitted.  For more information, visit

Waikoloa Bowl at Queens’ Gardens is one of the Big Island’s favorite venue for year-round local and world renowned entertainment.  Located in Waikoloa Beach Resort, the Waikoloa Bowl is part of a complete destination resort that encompasses two championship golf courses and over 3,000 guest rooms in two upscale hotels, and seven luxury condominiums and vacation home properties.  The Resort also includes award-winning Queens’ MarketPlace and Kings’ Shops, offering a wide variety of shopping opportunities, services and dining experiences, plus free entertainment and cultural programs.  For more information visit or call 886-8822.

Dog Attacks in Puna… Public Safety Meeting to Address Enforcement Issues

This post is to honor Big Island resident, Wayne Joseph, who just underwent brain surgery.

Click Graph to read who has the highest risk of beng bitten by dogs

Recently, well known Puna resident Wayne “Big Dog” Joseph was attacked and bitten on the ankle by a dog as he was on one of his daily jogs.

Joseph took legal recourse against the owner of the dog and wrote on a post entitled, “Dog bite saga goes to court and the Big Dog gets the last laugh“:

Knowing that you are right and fighting for what is right sometimes requires patience and perseverance to see things through.

On April 14, 2011 a dog belonging to an irresponsible owner sunk its teeth into my leg.  I needed to follow through with legal system to insure that this would never happen again to anyone

Unfortunately another dog attack has happened and I received the following email regarding a public safety meeting that will be addressing this situation and the enforcement issues that arise because of these incidents:

There will be a public safety meeting at Leilani Community Center Feb 28, 7pm.

This meeting has been organized following a shocking (but, sadly, not rare) incident first brought to light in this letter which appeared in Big Island Weekly earlier in the month:

…On August 31, 2011, I was on my usual walk and we turned the corner to be confronted by the same four dogs. This time they were on the street and immediately proceeded to attack my dog and myself. I cannot begin to describe the terror and helplessness that I felt during this awful attack. The leader of the pack was a large pit bull that tried to get a hold on my dog’s throat, but only got her shoulder and proceeded to drag her into a ditch. While this was going on, I was being savagely attacked by the other three dogs that took turns rushing in and biting me while I was desperately trying to get the pit bull off of my dog. All the while I was screaming for help at the top of my lungs. A woman came out onto her deck and screamed that she was calling 911 and was too afraid to come to my aid. As I was being attacked I could hear the woman telling the dispatcher what was going on. Unbelievably the dispatcher wanted to send out an officer to take a report. The woman screamed that I was being torn to shreds and a life was in danger. The pit bull was wearing a collar and I managed to get a hold of it and started twisting and eventually cut off the dogs air supply causing it to let go of my dog who immediately took off running for home with the other three dogs in pursuit. I was able to subdue the pit bull by laying on top of it with a choke hold…

More here:

I have since talked with the author of the letter, Joel Foster, who was attacked by dogs in Leilani. The Hawaii County Police tried to dismiss the incident as something they could do nothing about.  Joel refused to let them ignore it.

The issue here is Police responsiveness and equal enforcement of laws.  As horrible as it may sound, dog attacks are not uncommon in Hawaii County, yet enforcement of existing laws regarding such attacks is uncommon.

If you are able, please consider being present at this meeting to show support for public safety.

Anyone who has a similar story to relate, regarding dog attacks and/or inadequate police responsiveness in a matter of public safety, will be invited to share that story so that the wider community can learn from it.