‘The Fruit Hunters’ Debuts During HIFF Spring Showcase

Partially filmed in Hawai’i, “The Fruit Hunters” move premieres at the 2013 Spring Showcase of the Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF). Appearing in the award-winning film is the Big Island’s Ken Love, executive director of the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers (HTFG).

Fruit Hunters Poster

The Hawai‘i premiere is 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 10 at the Regal Dole Cannery Stadium Theatres. As part of a fundraiser for HTFG programs, members will offer a fresh fruit display and sell HTFG videos and posters showing Hawai‘i’s many varieties of mangos, bananas and avocado, plus a poster featuring more than 160 unusual types of fruit grown in Hawai‘i.

“In ‘The Fruit Hunters’ the characters travel across culture, history and geography to illustrate how people are intertwined with the fruits they grow and eat,” says Love.

Directed by Yung Chang in 2012, the 95-minute film received the Grand Prix at the 30th edition of the Festival International du Film de l’Environnement in Paris. A cinematic odyssey through nature and commerce, “The Fruit Hunters” changes not only the way we look at what we eat, but how we view our relationship to the natural world.

Inspired by Adam Gollner’s 2008 book of the same name, the film is a documentary about exotic fruit cultivators and preservationists. It uses performers and fruit enthusiasts to stage real and imagined moments in the history of fruit.

“The Fruit Hunters” follows actor Bill Pullman’s crusade to create a community orchard near his Hollywood Hills home. Noris Ledesma and Richard Campbell of Florida’s Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden “scour the jungle for rare mangos, hoping to intervene before the plants are steamrolled by industrialization,” according to the film synopsis. Other plots include a scientist racing to breed bananas resistant to a fungus that threatens the worldwide crop and fruit detective Isabella Ragione investigating paintings for clues to rediscover lost fruits.

Love appears in the film introducing Pullman to some of Hawai‘i’s finest fruits and later appears in Pullman’s dream sequence. Hawai‘i filming was done on the Big Island, at the Keauhou Farmers Market, Manago Hotel and a number of private farms in South Kona.

Before coming to Hawai’i, the film is being featured at film festivals in Canada, Amsterdam, Berlin and Turin. It will be released in 15 U.S. cities in May and later this year in Japan. A TV version, with different footage, appeared on the Canadian TV show, “The Nature of Things.”

HIFF’s 2013 Spring Showcase offers 33 films from 15 countries April 5-11. For more info, visit http://www.hiff.org.



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