I Won 5 Free Tickets to Hawaii International Film Festival! Mahalo @InsideOutHawaii


“Hi Damon,

Hope you had a great weekend. I was just informed that the tickets can only be used on Oahu. I’m so sorry about the inconvenience. I had already sent the prize package before I knew, so you’ll be receiving it in the mail.

I hope you still get a chance to experience HIFF when it arrives on the Big Island. Thanks again for your support.

Take care,”

I entered a Twitter contest for tickets to the Hawaii International Film Festival by Re-tweeting the following to @InsideOutHawaii:

Inside Out

Well it turns out I scored and won big by receiving 5 tickets to screenings of movies!

HIFF tickets

The festival moves from Oahu to the Big Island beginning on October 24th.

Established in 1981, the Hawai’i International Film Festival is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of cultural exchange and media awareness in the Pacific Rim. HIFF is a premier international film event that has won the praise of governments, filmmakers, scholars, educators, programmers and film industry leaders across the globe. HIFF’s programming has two specific mandates: to be a festival of record for emerging films from Asia and the Pacific and to present the top festival films from around the world. HIFF annually screens films from over 45 countries and presents content and panels in film, music, mobile entertainment and gaming.

‘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.



“Aloha Buddha” – Award Winning Documentary Comes to North Hawaii

Aloha Buddha,” winner of “Best Documentary” at Hawaii International Film Festival last year, tells the story of Japanese Buddhism in Hawaii—from its historic temple buildings, many of which have fallen into disrepair, been demolished or abandoned altogether.  The film will be screened on Saturday, October 20 at 2 p.m. at Hawi Jodo Mission and on Sunday, October 21 at 9:30 a.m. at Kamuela Hongwanji, and 3:30 p.m. at Honokaa Peoples Theater.

In it, filmmakers have gathered interviews with priests and elder temple members across the state—including Hawi Jodo Mission in North Kohala—and painstakingly restored 16mm color film footage from the early 1900’s.  At that time, according to the website, www.AlohaBuddhafilm.com, Buddhism was a major religion in Hawaii, with about 50% of the population belonging to one of 170 temples across the islands.  However, according to the 2010 census, the number of Buddhists in Hawaii has shrunk to less than 5%.

From the site: “What has happened over the past 80 years to the people of Hawaii to cause such a shift, and why, with the tremendous upswing and interest in Buddhism on the mainland U.S. doesn’t Hawaii increase its membership even today? The answers to this are simple, yet complex at the same time, and a final question remains: is there any way to save the foreseeable death of Buddhism in Hawaii from happening?”

Filmmaker/producer Dr. Lorraine Minatoishi, PhD, AIA, will be available to talk story at informal receptions following the film screenings.  Founder and owner of Minatoishi Architects, Inc. and certified Historic Architect and Architectural Historian, Dr. Minatoishi earned her Doctorate of Engineering from Waseda University in Tokyo where she focused on ancient traditional Japanese architecture and the preservation thereof.

“I was looking at the architectural style of the temples focusing only on that,” said Minatoishi.  “However, I realized that the memberships of the temples were going down and I saw that most members were already older nisei and sansei generation.  I also realized that this story of the architecture was much broader…  The architecture reflected the story of immigration and settlement of the Japanese people in Hawaii.”

“I would like people to come away with a much greater and better understanding of the history of Hawaii—a big part of the history that has been largely untold,” said Minatoishi.  “For Japanese Americans, I would like for them to come away with a greater appreciation of the sacrifices that our ancestors have gone through.  Finally, I would like people to come away with an appreciation of Buddhism as a religion. The ministers and members were able to be flexible enough to change the religion to relate to the immigrants and to the larger society to meet the needs of the people.”

A donation of $5 is suggested for the screenings.  “Aloha Buddha” film presentation and talk story with filmmaker/producer Lorraine Minatoishi, Ph.D., AIA are presented by the Hawi Jodo Mission (889-5456), Kamuela Hongwanji (885-4481), Honokaa Hongwanji Buddhist Temple (775-7232) and the Peace Committee.


12th Annual CAPE Awards Seeking Hawaii Writers

The Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (CAPE) New Writers Awards deadline is quickly approaching on Friday, May 25, 2012.

Submissions are being accepted in Feature Film, Television Writing, and Hawaii. The Hawaii category is open to writers originally from Hawaii, currently living in Hawaii, or screenplays/ teleplays set in Hawaii.

Both CAPE and non-CAPE members are welcome to submit. Entrants can also be individuals or teams.

Multiple entries in one or more categories is highly encouraged.

Three (3) winners will each receive a $4,000 cash prize, the latest Final Draft professional scriptwriting software, a staged reading of their winning script, and exclusive meetings with entertainment industry agents, producers, and executives.

Entries must be submitted electronically by Friday, May 25, 2012 11:59PM PST.

For over a decade, the CAPE New Writers Awards has been dedicated to discovering and nurturing Asian Pacific Islander voices and talents. This unique program has helped launch the careers of numerous writers. Success stories include Aaron Ho (COUGAR TOWN), Alice Wu (SAVING FACE), Christina Choe (2012 Slamdance winner), Jaffar Mahmood (SHADES OF RAY), Ken Cheng (WILFRED), Leonard Chang (AWAKE), Thomas Wong (Fox Writer’s Intensive Finalist), and Randall Park (THE ERASISTS). This year’s sponsors include NBC Universal, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the Hawaii International Film Festival, and Final Draft.

For detailed submission guidelines and materials, please visit capeusa.org/CNWA.

Big Island Schedule for the 2011 Hawaii International Film Festival


Friday, Oct. 28

Saturday, Oct. 29

Sunday, Oct. 30
3:00 PM – THELMA


Hawaii Premiere

Herb Ohta, Jr and Keith Yoshioka will play prior to the film screening.

MY KOALOHA STORY is a Made in Hawaii “talk story” style documentary-music film about a family owned ukulele business and their special brand of old-school Aloha. What was once a failed plastics business in the midst of bankruptcy is transformed into one of the most highly regarded and beloved
ukulele companies in the world, KoAloha Ukulele.

Director: Gary San Angel
Cast: Daniel Ho, Alvin Okami


DIRECTOR: Aina Paikai

What if gasoline mysteriously vanished from the Earth?

DIRECTOR: Tammy Davis

On a night out stealing two boys break into a house and find themselves confronted with an unexpected situation.

DIRECTOR: Michael Q. Ceballos

Kehau, a young Menehune boy, and his best friend, a little elepaio bird, discover that a group of men has been killing the birds of the Kaua’i rainforest in order to harvest their feathers faster.

DIRECTOR: Laura Green

When a group of Pacific Islander women start a rugby team, they find an unexpected sanctuary on the field.

Unshaken by centuries of colonial conquest and the changing tides of occupation, the lusong has endured to heal and feed the people of the land, and to impart a sacred lesson of survival.

DIRECTOR: Sam Peacocke

A multi-stranded, narrative impression of a tragic robbery that took place in Manurewa, New Zealand.

Kekoa is a man who wants the best for his daughter, though he cannot achieve what he wants.

Three stages of dating: Boy meets girl. Boy gets girl. Boy learns the importance of knowing his roots.

DIRECTOR: Rachel House

After a troubled relationship, a son finds a reason to let his mother in again.


This is the story of a journey, both of a canoe and the men and women who paddled it 1,750 miles across the Hawaiian archipelago. It began with the kuleana, or sacred promise, of a young man to his uncle. But it became a life-changing endeavor. But before Kimokeo could fulfill his kuleana, he had to remake himself from the tough, beach bully he had become, into a leader of men and women. In the end, Kimokeo and his fellow wa’a paddlers realize they are each on their own path to Kure.

Director: Alyssa Fedele


In 1967, an American journalist and a Japanese architect rescued an ancient farmhouse found in the snow country of Japan, and their lives were forever changed. MINKA is an intimate story about architecture, memory and the meaning of home.

Screens with ALOHA BUDDHA
Director: Davina Pardo
Japanese Buddhism is fading and the temples are closing. As we talk to elders of the religion, we discover that it has played a key role in shaping Hawaii’s religious identity, the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, and in establishing Buddhism in America. There is also a movement underway to save the religion – by adding a little aloha into the practice.

Director: Bill Ferehawk, Dylan Robertson


Once a great magician, Ethan is now a popular radio host due to a spinal injury fourteen years ago. On the fourteenth anniversary of his accident, Ethan petitions the court to seek control of his own life. Shocking not only his listeners, but his beloved nurse Sofia as well. The ethics, the morality, the kindness and cruelty of this mission create a storm in all the lives that it envelops and its resolution forms the startling conclusion of Ethan’s remarkable journey.

Director: Sanjay Leela  Bhansali
Cast: Nafisa Ali, Aditya Roy Kapur, Shernaz Patel, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan


Thelma, is a mischievous and tomboyish teenage girl, who loves to run in the fields. One day, disaster strikes and her sister Hannah, is injured and faced with being crippled for life. Her only hope to walk again is an expensive operation. This sets in motion Thelma’s journey to use her gift of strength and speed, run for her sister, rise from desperate poverty, and redeem herself from the past.

Director: Paul Soriano
Cast: Eliza Pineda, Tetchie Agbayani, John Arcilla, Maja Salvador


Shot entirely on location in Hilo, Hawaii, SUBJECTIVE EXPRESSIONS is the first feature-length effort  from 19-year-old director Dominik Walczuk. The film tells the story of Pan, a young twenty-something year-old girl who is not sure what direction she wants to take with her life. But when she decides to try out working-for-housing at a local theater, she begins a path of unexpected self-discovery.

Director: Dominik Walczuk
Cast: Caroline Antilla, Nahko Bear, Caroline Heim, Mikolaj Walczuk, Dominik Walczuk

Tickets on sale: October 10 – 28, 10:00am to 3:00pm Monday through Friday October 28, 6:30 PM – until 15 minutes of the last show has begun October 29 12:30 PM – until 15 minutes of the last show has begun
October 30 11:30 AM – until 15 minutes of the last show has begun

Ticket Prices:
$7 General Admission
$6 Student, Military and Seniors (55+)
$5 Palace ‘Stars’ and HIFF Ohana Members
$35 Three-day-pass

Purchase tickets:

Online: www.hiff.org
By phone: 808.934.7010
In person:
October 10 -30
38 Haili Street, Hilo, Hawaii 96720


GET A JOB! Premiers at the Hawaii International Film Festival

Media Release:

“GET A JOB!,” the hilarious, high-spirited motion picture comedy starring Willie K and Eric Gilliom and filmed and produced entirely on Maui, will have its World Premiere at the Hawaii International Film Festival at the Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18 on Saturday, October 16, 7:15pm and again will be shown on Saturday, October 23 at 3:15pm. Tickets are on sale now for both screenings. (Check www.HIFF.org for information on ticket sales.)


“GET A JOB!,” the first of several planned collaborations between Malama Pono Productions and Cicala Filmworks, is written and directed by Maui native Brian Kohne and produced by Stefan Schaefer.

The feature film also stars Oahu’s Carolyn Omine (who now writes for “The Simspons”), and comedian and radio personality Augie T. A who’s who of the top musical talent and personalities in Hawaii today rounds out the cast including Jake Shimabukuro, Henry Kapono Ka’aihue, Amy Hanaiali’i, Kealoha, Charles Ka’upu, Ernie Cruz Jr., Kathy Collins, and Alaka’i Paleka.

It also boasts special appearances by Mick Fleetwood, Willie Nelson, Pat Simmons of the Doobie Brothers, Marty Dread, and many many more. The “GET A JOB” soundtrack includes music by the Barefoot Natives, Don Tiki, Amy Hanaiali’i, the Throwdowns, Willie K, Avi Ronen, Kealoha, and Kristen Grove.

“GET A JOB!” is a contemporary comedy set on Maui. William (Willie K) is a successful employment agent whose own career is jeopardized when, over the course of one week, he repeatedly fails to find work for a 40 something year-old, Merton (Eric Gilliom), a simpleton who surfs everyday in a spot where there are no waves. He needs to “GET A JOB!” William’s problems are compounded tenfold by his longtime bridal shop employee girlfriend, Laura (Carolyn Omine), who wants desperately to be married and chooses this particular week to achieve her goal at all costs.

At week’s end, William finds himself jobless, homeless, car-less, girlfriend-less… but more resolved than ever to make the tough choices needed to find lasting joy, love and fulfillment.

“The time is right for Hawaii to unleash a project of this nature. We have the talent in front of the camera, the experience behind it, “says writer-director Brian Kohne, “and “GET A JOB!” showcases our unique sense of humor in such a way that, I believe, is indeed accessible to mainlanders and internationals alike.

On the surface this homegrown film is an outrageous ride, but beneath it beats the heart of our beautiful people and the daily struggle we face every day to live and work in the islands.”

In its listing of the film on its website, the Hawaii International Film Festival remarks: “Kohne’s play on stereotypes is gut-breaking indeed, but there’s a grander scheme to the madness in “GET A JOB”; It’s the pursuit of the American dream.”

Hawaii International Film Festival General Info, Trailer and “One Night”

Media Release:

The 29th annual Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF) is set to be a whirlwind this year with the premiere of Barbarian Princess, a celebration of the hit ABC TV series LOST, and the screenings of films by master filmmakers John Woo and Tian Zhuangzhuang.

Among the 170 films presented this year are 14 world premieres, 14 North American premieres, 8 international premieres, and 26 U.S. premieres. The broad range of films cover timely subject matter that involve us in a local, national and international level, ranging from global warming and sustainability (Green Screen), the state of the local film industry (Made In Hawaii), Mad Men fever with the history of advertising and design (Art + Design), political and social issues, and the examination of the human spirit (Reel Life).

In addition, there are new spotlights on the Philippines and Okinawan cinema, free screenings of newly re-mastered Japanese classics as a Tribute to Madame Kawakita, and an amalgam of Extreme Asia and Midnight Dark programs into the newly christened After Dark. A new competition will be launched this year, the Puma Emerging Filmmaker Award – nominated films in this new competition are from emerging talents from around the world.

Perennial sections like the Halekulani Golden Orchid Awards for Best Feature and Documentary, Gala Presentations, unveiling high profile films gunning for the awards season, Spotlight On Japan, New Chinese Cinema, Spotlight On Korea and a celebration of American immigrant filmmakers with the American Immigrant Filmmakers On Profile section are also featured.

The festival also goes beyond the theater with the Video-on-Demand Viewer’s Choice Award powered by Oceanic Time Warner Cable and presented by Central Pacific Bank, where Hawaii-made short films can be viewed for free on Oceanic Time Warner Cable Ch. 680 (NGN-on-Demand).

The entire film program and schedule is now available online at www.hiff.org. Tickets go on sale to HIFF Ohana members Thursday, October 1st and to the public on Monday, October 5th.

What: 29th Annual Hawaii International Film Festival
When: October 15-25
Where: Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18 Cinemas, Hawaii Theater, Sunset on the Beach, Royal
Hawaiian Theater
Ticket Prices:
– $10 general public
– $9 Seniors, military, students, children
– $8 HIFF Ohana members (HIFF’s film club)

Ticket Purchases:
– In person – HIFF box office (650 Iwilei Road #101 across from Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18 Cinemas)
– Phone: (808) 548-5905
– Discount Group Rates (for 10 or more) – (808) 548-5905
– Tickets go on sale to HIFF Ohana members October 1 and to the public October 5

Festival Information

Established in 1981, the Hawaii International Film Festival is dedicated to the advancement of understanding and cultural exchange among the peoples of Asia, the Pacific and North America through the medium of film. HIFF is the premier international film event in the Pacific and has won the praise of governments, filmmakers, scholars, educators, programmers and film industry leaders throughout the world. For the discovery and exhibition of Asian and Pacific features, documentaries and short films in the nation, it is a primary source. The festival has premiered such movies as Once Were Warriors, The Piano, Shine, Shall We Dance, Y Tu Mama Tambien and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Plus, Departures, a Japanese film, had its U.S. premiere at HIFF in 2008, won the HIFF Audience Award and then went on to win the 2009 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

HIFF’s major sponsors include: Regal Entertainment Group, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Hawaii, Halekulani, Hawaii Tourism Authority and The VILCEK Foundation.

The 2009 Hawaii International Film Festival will be held October 15-25 at the Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18 Cinemas. For more information please visit our website at www.hiff.org.

ONE NIGHT, a Napkin Notes production, is selected as the winner of the Showdown in Chinatown for the month of September 2009. The entry will be screening on Oct. 23rd 2009 for a HIFF 2009 event! Congratulations MISA!!!