2013 Big Island Film Festival – Day 1 Mayor’s Welcome Reception and Grand Opening

The 2013 Big Island Film Festival was held at the Fairmont Orchid at the Mauna Lani Resort from Thursday, May 23rd to Monday, May 27th.

Fairmont Orchid

The opening of the festival began with a Mayor’s Welcome Reception that was open to filmmakers, press, sponsors and Ali’i and Reception Pass holders.

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Attendees were treated to a welcoming performance that the Mayor has at many of the receptions he attends.

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Mayor Kenoi gave a short speech about growing up in the islands and what it meant to the Big Island to have such a great Film Festival on the Island.

Photo Courtesy of Kirk Aeder

Photo Courtesy of Kirk Aeder

Big Island Film Festival Director Leo Sears introduced some of the celebrities that were on hand and some of the folks that came from off island to attend the festival.

2013 Big Island Film Festival 142Celebrities Vincent Kartheiser (Mad Men, Untamed Heart, Little Big League, Ironwill, Indian in the Cupboard, Alaska, etc.) and Kate McKinnon of Saturday Night Live,  made themselves available to folks at the reception… and to Mayor Kenoi as well.

2013 Big Island Film Festival 148In the festival program guide, Mayor Kenoi had the following message:

“On behalf of the people of the County of Hawaii, I am honored to congratulate Big Island Film Festival Executive Director/Founder Leo Sears and Festival Producer Jan Sears as 2013 marks the 8th year of this wonderful film festival set here on the beautiful and dramatic Kohala Coast.

Set amidst stark fields of lava, just steps away from the blue Pacific with coco palms swaying beneath a Hawaiian moon, the 2013 Big Island Film Festival will showcase 54 independent narrative films, shorts and features from around the world, including 10 from the State of Hawaii and five from the Big Island.

Independent filmmakers help us learn more about the significance and depth of our culture and this event celebrates their masterful works of visual imagery and vibrant sound that preserve the rich stories of our lives and times.  The County of Hawaii is pleased to support this festival and applaud these outstanding film industry professionals.

We extend our warmest aloha to all guests and participants involved with the Big Island Film Festival.  May you enjoy a successful event in 2013, and many more in the years to come.”

Billy Kenoi, Mayor

Some of the staff was on hand to help with the registration process.

2013 Big Island Film Festival 100Of course it wouldn’t be a reception without food that included “Roasted Boar Loin” and a dessert table.

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2013 Big Island Film Festival 128Fairmont Orchid General Manager Chris Luedi was recognized at the reception as being a longtime sponsor of the festival and was given a koa bowl as the recipient of Mayor Kenoi’s “Aloha Spirit Award”.

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Danny Akaka Jr., Chris Leudi and Mayor Kenoi outside the Kilohana room of the Fairmont Orchid.

Danny Akaka Jr., Chris Luedi and Mayor Kenoi outside the Kilohana room of the Fairmont Orchid.

After the reception ended, many folks went up to the Shops at Mauna Lani where they began the series of Family Films that were free and open to the public.

BIFF at Mauna Lani

Photo by Kirk Aeder

Films that were shown at the opening were: Sway Away, The Assistant, The Regret of the Doubt, Fight Scene, The Perfection of Anna, Searching Serenade, and Spaghetti for Two.

Feel free to click on the pictures below to make them larger:

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