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2014 Waimea Ocean Film Festival Unveils Films, Filmmakers, Speakers and Special Guests

The 2014 Waimea Ocean Film Festival (Ocean Film) offers an exciting lineup of films, special guests, intimate coffee talks, Q&As, exhibits, receptions and morning activities, running non-stop January 2-10.

Waimea Ocean Film Festival 2014

The festival opens on January 2, with films playing simultaneously from January 2-5 at multiple venues in Waimea (Kahilu Theatre, HPA Gates, Parker Theatre), and showings at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i January 2-4. On January 6, the festival moves to Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, where Eddie Kamae will share a few songs after the opening night film.

The festival brings over 50 films to the big screen this year, most of which are world, U.S., Hawai‘i or Big Island premieres, and all of which are exceptional. On the cultural side, the festival weaves a rich offering, with films by Eddie and Myrna Kamae about the history, culture and music of the islands, a presentation by Hula Preservation Society with historical footage and dances and discussion by hula kupuna, and the showing of the 1951 remake of the 20th Century Fox film Bird of Paradise, with an introduction by local lead Queenie Dowsett.

In this vein, KGMB’s Brother’s Cazimero shares the story of this musical duo, with producer Phil Arnone and writer Robert Pennybacker in attendance to answer questions about the film. The Voyager Exhibit features the upcoming worldwide voyage of Hokule‘a, and will include an 8×13- foot map of the world, showing Hokule‘a planned route, along with interactive exhibits about life on the canoe, and the work of National Geographic photographer Nicholas DeVore III. The exhibit opens with a blessing and ceremony at Kahilu Theatre 4 p.m. January 2. ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center also joins the festival this year, with a presentation on Wayfinding, complete with star compass and a full-dome star show.

For inspiration, speaker and author Alan Cohen returns as one of the presenters in Finding Joe, to host a workshop on the Hero’s Journey. National Medal of Arts award recipient and composer Morten Lauridsen attends the festival this year along with the film about his life and work, Shining Night, and will accompany a local chorus in a performance of one or two of his pieces. And, Botso, a beautiful film about a music teacher who made his way to Morro Bay from Stalinist Georgia against all odds, is sure to warm the audience heart.

On the thought-provoking side, Hot Water, produced by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Don Rogers, explores the legacy of uranium mining in the west, including the possibility of our Fukushima-like event. Gasland 2, an equally compelling sequel to Academy Award-nominated Gasland, comes to the festival with director Josh Fox in attendance to talk about the film. The Last Ocean is a stunning film about the Ross Sea, and GMO OMG, Plastic Paradise, and More Than Honey all provide insight into the issues around us. For those who missed them, 2013 People’s Choice winners Chasing Ice and North of the Sun will also show one more time.

For adventure, the festival offers a heart-pounding and heart-warming selection of surf films, along with a slide presentation and exhibit by 1960s surf photographer and former Reyn’s CEO Tim McCullough. In partnership with Bruce Brown films, Ocean Film launches the 50th anniversary tour of The Endless Summer. And, local HPA graduate Alison Teal premieres the latest installments in her series Alison’s Adventures: Blue Duck Station and The Lost Island of the Firewalkers.

M. Sanjayan, an Emmy nominated news contributor and the lead scientist for The Nature Conservancy, returns to the festival to share a sneak preview of a star-studded series produced by James Cameron, The Years of Living Dangerously, which will be aired on Showtime in April. Dawn Lippert, who leads the Energy Excelerator, a program of the Pacific International Center for High Technology Research (PICHTR), joins the festival to talk about innovations in energy technology and investing in a clean energy future. The Crash Reel, directed by Academy Award-nominated director Lucy Walker (The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom), and currently under consideration for an Academy Award nomination, will have its Hawai‘i premiere at the festival.

Receptions include a high-octane, surf-themed opening night at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i on January 2 (1960s surf attire optional), leading into the launch of the 50th anniversary tour of The Endless Summer. The Taste of the Island January 5 at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel again features the culinary delights of many of the island’s top chefs and has grown into a festival highlight. And, new this year, the closing night reception at Four Seasons moves to Hoku Amphitheatre on January 10, for what promises to be a beautiful evening with island fare, music and film.

Selections and film synopsis from the 2014 film lineup include:

  • Alison’s Adventures: Blue Duck Station and Lost Island of the Firewalkers (USA/Alison Teal Blehert-Koehn*)
  • Botso (USA /Tom Walters*)
  • Brothers Cazimero (USA/Phil Arnone* and Robert Pennybacker*)
  • Energy Excelerator (USA/Dawn Lippert*)
  • Finding Joe (USA/Alan Cohen*)
  • Gasland 2 (USA/Josh Fox*)
  • GMO OMG (USA/Jeremy Seifert)
  • Good Morning Miyazaki (Canada/Matt Wescott)
  • Hot Water (USA/Lizabeth Rogers)
  • Jane’s Journey (Germany/Lorenz Knauer)
  • Li‘a: The Legacy of a Hawaiian Man (USA/Eddie Kamae*)
  • Sons of Hawai’i (USA/Eddie Kamae*)
  • Maverick Moments (USA/Rocky Romano*)
  • More than Honey (Germany/Markus Imhoof)
  • Ocean Frontiers (USA/Karen and Ralf Meyer)
  • Paniolo O’Hawaii (USA/Edgy Lee*)
  • Paradise Found (USA/ Tom Swartwout)
  • Queenie Dowsett: Spirit a Dancer (USA/Qweenie Dowsett*)
  • Red Gold (USA/Ben Knight)
  • Sea of Rock (Germany/Sebastian Doerk)
  • Serendipity (Australia/Simon Lamb)
  • Shining Night: A Portrait of Composer Morten Lauridsen (Switzerland/Morten Lauridsen*)
  • Silver of the Sea (Norway/Are Pilskog)
  • Sine Qua Non (USA/Richard Yelland)
  • Snows of the Nile (USA/Neil Losin)
  • Bud Browne’s Surfing the 50s (USA/Anna Trent Moore*)
  • The Coral Reef (Spain/Pepe San Martin)
  • The Crash Reel (USA/Lucy Walker)
  • The Last Mountain (USA/Bill Haney)
  • The Last Ocean (New Zealand/Peter Young)
  • The Questions We Ask (Canada/Bruce Kirkby)
  • What If (Germany/Sebastian Doerk)

*Filmmakers attending Ocean Film and leading a discussion

Every January, this dynamic festival immerses participants in a greater understanding and awareness of the ocean and island culture through exceptional films, talks, exhibits and activities. Films fall into the basic categories of ocean experience (such as surfing and paddling); ocean environment—including things we do on land that impact the sea; and island culture. Inspirational films are also screened.

Participants can begin the day with sunrise yoga on the beach, power up with coffee at the morning talks and then head out for a day of thought-provoking film and discussion.

The Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel is offering discounted room rates to festival pass holders from January 2-10. Starbucks awards a prize to Ocean Film attendees who complete the festival’s 20-Punch card, showing they attended 20 film or presentation blocks.

For the latest updates on films and speakers, follow the festival on Facebook, www.facebook.com/waimeaoceanfilmfestival, visit www.waimeaoceanfilm.org or email info@waimeaoceanfilm.org.

The full lineup of films and the complete festival program will be available to download at www.waimeaoceanfilm.org around December 21. Festival passes can be purchased via the website or at 808-854-6095. Kama‘aina/early rates are available in advance by contacting the festival office through December 21.

Hawai‘i International Film Festival Adds Screenwriting and New Media Programs To This Year’s Festival

Hawai‘i International Film Festival (HIFF), Hawai‘i’s premier international film event – together with the Creative Industries Division (CID) of the Hawai‘i state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) – is launching new tracks in Screenwriting and Broadband Content as part of Creative Lab, which will hold Accelerator Programs in each of these two areas during HIFF in October in order to accelerate the growth of Hawai‘i’s creative content industry.


Through hands-on mentorship, panels and workshops taught by mentors from across the globe in writing, acting, music, new media and finance, Creative Lab provides entrepreneurs with the business and creative skill sets necessary to profit from their intellectual property and expand their distribution channels.

“Our vision is to establish Hawaii as a center of creative development, providing business opportunities in media, music and the arts,” said Robert Lambeth, HIFF deputy director.

“The program provides an environment to connect, collaborate and create content for export on multiple platforms, through guidance from industry leaders who are committed to mentoring talent.” said CID chief officer, Georja Skinner.

An impressive collection of organizations and strategic partners is collaborating to expand the scope of the Creative Lab @ HIFF program, which was launched at HIFF in 2012. Leading industry organizations participating in the program include the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW); Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA); SAG Indie; Hawaii Academy of Recording Artists (HARA); the State of Hawai‘i Film Office and Hawai‘i’s county Film Offices.

This year’s Creative Lab @ HIFF launches a Writers Accelerator in partnership with the Diversity Program of the Writers Guild of America West. “The WGAW Diversity Department is pleased to support the Creative Lab program in collaboration with the Hawai‘i International Film Festival and the state’s Creative Industries Division,” said Kimberly Meyers, WGAW’s Director of Diversity. “This annual program is an important outreach effort to accelerate the careers of aspiring television, film and new media writers. Our WGAW members are looking forward to serving as mentors to program participants, helping develop future writers and WGAW members at the outset of their careers.”

Additional collaborators include the executive producer and writers from CBS Productions – “Hawaii Five-0”; National Academy of Recording Artists and Sciences (NARAS); American Society of Composers; American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP); and the Hawai‘i Association of Media Artists (HAMA).

Creative Lab @ HIFF is led by Director Michael Andres Palmieri, a Los Angeles-based producer, writer and instructor, whose executive, producing and writing career spans motion pictures, television and new media. “I am thrilled to be working with HIFF, the State of Hawaii, and our partners and sponsors, to fulfill this vision of developing Hawaii as a world-class destination for creative talent in media, content and music seeking the perfect environment to collaborate and accelerate their projects and careers.” Palmieri has a long history in Hawai‘i – his first producing credit was on the feature “Six Days, Seven Nights” which was shot on Kaua‘i, and he was the Director of the Screenwriting Program for the Maui Writers Conference and Retreat for five years. He has mentored writers, taught and lectured at USC, UCLA, Chapman University, Columbia College, American Film Institute (AFI), and the University of Texas – Los Angeles.

Creative Lab @ HIFF Writers Accelerator – October 16 to 20, 2013

HIFF is seeking writers and storytellers to submit material to participate in the four-day intensive Accelerator program. A final 12 writers will be selected by a panel of industry professionals to participate. Writers in film, television, mobile and new media who have a treatment, script or concept to develop are encouraged to apply. Submissions will be accepted through Wednesday, September 11. For details visit www.hiff.org/education/creative-lab/writer-accelerator.

One-on-one instruction and mentoring by a team of industry professionals in features, television and new media include Palmieri, along with WGAW writers Dennis Leoni (“Resurrection Blvd”), Julia Cho (“Betrayal”) and Ligiah Villalobos (“Under the Same Moon”) and Peter Lenkov (CBS Productions’ Hawaii Five-0).

Up to three top writers will be selected as finalists to attend a week-long career-building program in Los Angeles, including a week in the Writers Room at CBS Productions’ Hawaii Five-0, attending WGAW workshops and meetings with leadership, as well as meeting other industry insiders designed to network these writers with people who can help advance their career goals.  All 12 writers will continue to hone their craft through a 12-month follow-up coaching process conducted by Palmieri.

In addition to the four coaches, this year’s keynote speaker will be Academy Award-winning  actor, director, producer and writer Bobby Moresco (“Million Dollar Baby” and “Crash”), who will partake in a one-on-one conversation open to general audiences entitled “A Conversation With…” as well as meet with the 12 participants. Moresco recently finished writing the feature “Hubris” for Universal, to be directed by Academy Award nominee Todd Field (“Little Children,” “In the Bedroom”). Also slated for production in 2013 is “Castro’s Daughter,” a script he wrote with Pulitzer Prize winner Nilo Cruz, to be directed by Academy Award nominee Michael Radford (“Il Postino”).

Creative Lab @ HIFF Broadband Accelerator – October 10 to 12, 2013

Broadband, as defined by the Producers Guild of America, is the platform whose primary distribution outlet is the Internet. The Broadband Accelerator is a three-day immersion workshop for up to eight pre-qualified participants with one-on-one instruction and mentoring by Palmieri, along with creatives Bernie Su, creator of the webseries “The Lizzie Diaries,” Wendy Jo Carlton, creator of the webseries “Easy Abby,” and Laura Allen, Yahoo! Head of Production for Third Party – Video & Original Programming.

Participants in the Broadband Accelerator will be instructed and coached on writing and producing, as well as intellectual property protection, licensing, marketing, distributing and monetizing content on the Internet and mobile platforms.

Up to two participants will be selected from the eight to participate in a week-long immersion program in Los Angeles in which they will visit and meet with Guild representatives and other industry insiders. All eight participants will be coached for an additional 12 months by Palmieri.

Writers/Producers/Directors/Talent interested in applying for the Broadband Accelerator are asked to visit www.hiff.org/education/creative-lab/broadband-accelerator and apply. Applications will be accepted until Wednesday, September 11.

The Modern Honolulu is the hotel partner for Creative Lab @ HIFF.

Additional programs to be offered by Creative Lab @ HIFF will be announced shortly. They will include:

  • Producers Accelerator
  • Sound X Vision
  • Acting Workshops

For more information about Creative Lab @ HIFF and HIFF from October 10-20, visit www.hiff.org.


2012 Queen Lili’uokalani Long Distance Outrigger Canoe Races – Schedule and Information

Where do the world’s best ocean paddlers gather every Labor Day Weekend? In Kona, Hawai’i at the Queen Lili’uokalani Long Distance Outrigger Canoe Races.

The world’s largest outrigger canoe races, hosted by Kai ‘Opua Canoe Club, launch on Saturday, September 1 and continue through Monday, September 3, 2012 with expert paddlers from around the world competing in hotly contested races.

And while the competition is fierce throughout the holiday weekend, the Queen Lili’uokalani Long Distance Outrigger Canoe Races are rooted in a higher purpose – to perpetuate Hawai’i’s vibrant canoe culture.

Outrigger canoes have been a primary source of transportation throughout the history of Pacific Islanders. Today, traditional outrigger canoe racing is a very popular sport in Hawai’i and other Pacific nations. In fact, the popularity of outrigger canoe racing has spread to nearly all Pacific Rim countries, Europe and Central and South America.

Early Days

How did the Queen Lili’uokalani Long Distance Outrigger Canoe Races get started?

In the 1950s, the precursor to the Queen Lili’uokalani Long Distance Outrigger Canoe Races was an outrigger canoe race held on O’ahu, from Ke’ei Beach around Diamond Head and over to Kailua Beach. Kai ‘Opua Canoe Club hosted that race and their crew, coached by Frank Enriques, beat out the other crews that included some very good crews from Hilo. Two decades later, when Kai ‘Opua Canoe Club created the Queen Lili’uokalani Long Distance Outrigger Canoe Races, this same 18 miles is the race distance they had in mind.

Kai ‘Opua Canoe Club started what was then-called the Queen’s Race in 1972 as a training race leading up to the Moloka’i Hoe, the renowned open ocean race from Moloka’i to O’ahu. Louis Kahanamoku, the fifth of six brothers of the legendary water sports family whose most famous member was three-time Olympian Duke Kahanamoku, and his wife Mary Jane acted as General Chairman and Race Secretary. It was Louis who proposed to name the race after Queen Lili’uokalani since her birthday is celebrated on September 2.

The inaugural Queen Lili’uokalani Long Distance Outrigger Canoe Race was a men only race, starting in Kealakekua Bay and finishing at Kailua Pier. The first race attracted eight 6-man crews. Two years following, the women’s division was added and the course was set with women racing from Kailua Bay to Honaunau, and then the men bring the race back – racing from Honaunau to Kailua.

2,500 Paddlers Now Gather from Around the World

Today, the 41st annual Queen Lili’uokalani Long Distance Outrigger Canoe Races embrace and celebrate Hawai’i’s ocean heritage. The Races draw more than 2,500 competitors from around the world who arrive in Kona to race the 18-mile open ocean course.

Several events unfold throughout the three-day weekend:

Saturday, September 1

  • Wa’a Kaukahi (races for single hull canoes)
  • Awards Ceremony
  • Torchlight Parade

Sunday, September 2

  • Wa’a Kaulua (races for double hull canoes)
  • OC1 (one person) & OC2 Races (two person)
  • Stand-up Paddleboards
  • Teen (single hull canoes)
  • Hawaiian luau

Monday, September 3

  • Ali’i Challenge (a blend of Survivor and Amazing Race with single hull canoes – 12 person crew)

New to the sport of outrigger canoe races? Single hull outrigger racing canoes carry six paddlers; double hulls carry 12. Add these traditional words to your vocabulary and you’ll sound like a pro in no time: wa’a (canoe, the very same word in Hawaiian, Tahitian and Maori), ama (outrigger float on the canoe), hoe (start paddling), huki (dig) and huli (flip the canoe – not what you want to do in racing).

Not a paddler? No problem. There’s plenty to do including Thursday’s “talk story” cultural walk through Historic Kailua Village. Walk with noted historians who will share rich history of the village including ancient Hawaiian cultural sites like Ahuena Heiau, Hulihee Palace and Mokuaikaua Church. Throughout the weekend check out the cultural craft and ocean fair and on Saturday, Blue Sea Cruises and Body Glove are offering spectators and race crews shuttle cruises. This is a great way to watch the race without getting wet and enjoy the scenery along the beautiful Kona coast.

The 2012 Queen Lili’uokalani Long Distance Outrigger Canoe Races are sponsored in part by the Hawai’i Tourism Authority, County of Hawai’i, Queen K Tesoro, Steinlager, OluKai, Ocean Paddler Television, King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel, Hulakai and numerous corporate and community donors.

For more race information, including a detailed slate of events, photos, history and contacts, visit www.kaiopua.org.

Queen Lili’uokalani Long Distance Outrigger Canoe Races

Summary of Overall Winners Past Five Years

  • 2011 Overall Men        Livestrong #1               Iron Open NK   1:52:26
  • 2011 Overall Women   Kalihi Kai                    Iron Open NK   2:12:172
  • 2010 Overall Men        Team Primo                Iron Open NK   1:53:56
  • 2010 Overall Women   Waikiki Beach             Iron Unlimited  2:08:52
  • 2009 Overall Men        Team Primo #2                       Iron Open NK   1:52:34
  • 2009 Overall Women   Hui Lanakila #2                       Iron Open NK   2:12:16
  • 2008 Overall Men        Team Livestrong #2     Iron Open NK   1:54:06
  • 2008 Overall Women   Waikiki Beach             Iron Open NK   2:05:47
  • 2007 Overall Men        Tui Tonga                   Iron Open NK   1:43:42
  • 2007 Overall Women   Hui Lanakila                Iron Open NK   2:18:39

The Annual Queen Lili’uokalani Long Distance Outrigger Canoe Races (QLCR) kicks off each Labor Day holiday weekend. The world’s largest long distance canoe race is organized and hosted by Kai Opua Canoe Club, started 1929 in Kona.

QLCR includes an 18-mile long distance single hull canoe race for men and women crews, double-hull canoe races, stand-up paddleboard races, OC1, OC2 and Teen long distance canoe races. The Ali’i Challenge,a blend of Survivor and Amazing Race, includes a paddling distance of almost 17.5 miles followed by each crew of 12 negotiating a land course. Other Queen Lili’uokalani events include International Paddlers Night, Torch Light Parade through Historic Kailua Village, Queen Lili’uokalani Awards Ceremonies and a traditional Hawaiian Luau.

The Queen Lili’uokalani Long Distance Outrigger Canoe Race is sponsored in part by the Hawaii Tourism Authority, County of Hawaii, Queen K Tesoro, Steinlager, OluKai, Ocean Paddler Television, King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel, Hulakai and numerous corporate and community donors.

Schedule for Sunday’s Sam Choy’s Keauhou Poke Contest

Come cheer on your favorite contestants—local chefs and amateurs—at the inaugural Sam Choy’s Keauhou Poke Contest while enjoying a full lineup of culinary activities and entertainment. Time is 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, March 18 at the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort’s Convention Center.

Like Sample? Come Sunday! (Photo by Doug Peebles)

Public admission to all contest activities is $3 at the door (keiki 12-and-under are free) and benefit “The Heart of the Campus-Equip the Kitchens Campaign” for the future Hawaii Community College Palamanui campus. Free Roberts trolley will operate from Keauhou Shopping Center (pickup near Longs Drugs) from 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Poke critiquing begins 10 a.m. with awards and public tasting at 12:30 p.m. Also on tap is a Hawai‘i Island Marketplace; a presentation titled “NELHA: a Catalyst for Sustainable Seafood Production” at 10:30 a.m., a Celebrity Poke Cook-off at 11:30 p.m. and a demo on “How to Make Poke by Sam Choy” at 1:30 p.m.

Ahi Poke (Photo by Doug Peebles)

Headlining the entertainment lineup is The ROOKI’s: Don Kauli‘a on slack key, Russell Paio on guitar, Keola Grace on electric bass and Pomaika‘i Brown on a “frypan” steel guitar. The Hawaiian group’s name is an acronym for the Royal Order of Kamehameha I.

Sam Choy’s Keauhou Poke Contest is part of Keauhou Resort’s annual Kamehameha III celebration March 16-18 that commemorates the Keauhou-born king, Lani Kauikeaouli.

The contest is sponsored by Kamehameha Investment Corporation, Kamehameha Schools, the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort Spa, Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai, Aloha Shoyu and Hamakua Macadamia Nut Company.

2011 Kona Coffee Festival Call for Entries and Schedule of Festival

Kona coffee will take center stage at the 41st annual Kona Coffee Cultural Festival coming in November. Several events are calling local residents and visitors to take part in the Festival fun. Below are Festival call for entries.

2011 Kona Coffee Cultural Festival

UCC Hawaii Kona Coffee Picking Contest
Rise early on Sunday November 6. Registration starts at 7:30 am at the Ueshima coffee farm in Holualoa. Coffee pickers of all ages and experience are welcome!

KTA Super Stores Kona Coffee Recipe Contest
Got a favorite recipe using 100% Kona coffee? Hurry up and enter in the professional, amateur, culinary student and keiki divisions for great cash prizes and bragging rights. Entry forms available at konacoffeefest.com. Deadline to enter is Wednesday, November 2.

Kona Coffee Art Show
Art must be on the theme of coffee, either by subject matter or medium. Entry form and pictures due on October 28. Entry forms available at konacoffeefest.com

WholeCup Consulting and UCC Hawaii Kona Coffee Cupping Competition
Kona Crown division entry closes November 3rd. Classic division is limited to 60 farms and entry division closes October 26.Winner of the Crown competition will receive a 2011 First Place Ribbon and will have 2000 Lbs. of their coffee sold to UCC and enjoyed by UCC customers around the World. Log onto konacupping.com for entry forms.

Kona Barista Jam and Ultimate Barista Challenge
The new Kona Barista Jam and international Ultimate Barista Challenge (UBC) ® Hawaii are looking for Hawaii barista to compete in the celebrated UBC Hawaii barista competition. The top scoring Hawaii barista will win a trip to attend the annual Specialty Coffee Association of America conference in Portland, Oregon next April.

Log onto konabaristajam.com for entry forms or email sherri@ultimatebarsitachallenge.com

Kona Coffee Lei Contest
This popular event is part of Saturday, November 12 Kona Coffee Marketplace-Festivalof Artists and Ethnic Foods at Makaeo County pavilion. There will be two categories Wili and Kui and cash prizes for 1-3 places. Entries must be submitted by 10am Saturday, November 12 at Makaeo County pavilion. Log onto konacoffeefest.com for entry forms and more information.

About Kona Coffee Cultural Festival

The award-winning Kona Coffee Cultural Festival is recognized as the oldest and most successful food festival in Hawaii.

The Kona Coffee Cultural Festival is recognized and supported as a ‘Major Festival’ by Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) as the Festival showcases Hawaii’s unique culture and diversity. Kamehameha Schools is a presenting sponsor of the 2011 WholeCup Consulting and UCC Hawaii Kona Coffee Cupping Competition; Kona Barista Jam & Ultimate Barista Challenge Hawaii; and Kona Coffee Market Day at Makaeo County Pavilion. Keauhou Resort is a presenting sponsor of the 2011 official Kona Coffee Cultural Festival events in Keauhou Resort. The Kona Coffee Cultural Festival is also supported by Ueshima Coffee (UCC Hawaii) Corp., KTA Super Stores, Kawakami Family of Captain Cook Fund at the Hawaii Community Foundation, Rapozo Kamaaina Fund at the Hawaii Community Foundation, Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union, West Hawaii Today, and numerous other corporate and community donors.

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.