By Steven Mark / email@example.com
Get a preview to some of the Asian filmmakers whose work will be featured at this year’s Hawaii International Film Festival at the University of Phoenix’s downtown Honolulu campus over the next three Fridays.
Screening this Friday Sept. 24 is “Raise the Red Lantern,” Zhang Yimou’s epic tragedy of a young woman who becomes the fourth wife of a wealthy man.
The political maneuverings of the plotline, the lavish cinematography, and the powerful acting in this 1995 film have made it one of the most requested at HIFF and a work that is considered seminal to the new Chinese cinema.
Zhang, who went on to direct big-budget productions like “Hero” and “House of Flying Daggers,” as well as the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympic Games, returns to the smaller, more intimate storytelling at this year’s HIFF with “The Love of the Hawthorne Tree.”
Screening Oct. 1 is “The Taste of Tea,” Katsuhito Ishii’s comedy about a housewife-turned-filmmaker and her domestic problems. Ishii worked with Quentin Tarantino on the animated sequences of “Kill Bill Vol. 1.” His latest release, “Red Line,” an animated feature, will be premiered at HIFF.
On Oct. 8, Chinese documentary maker Jia Zhangke will be featured in a screening of his 2000 film “Platform.” The film follows a troupe of amateur actors and how the socioeconomic upheavals of the 1980s affected them. Jia will be the Filmmaker in Focus at this year’s HIFF, which will be screening the U.S. premiere of his documentary “I Wish I Knew.”
The free screenings are at 7 p.m. in room 101/102 at the University of Phoenix’s Honolulu campus on the ground floor of the Topa Financial Center, 745 Fort St.
Call 535-9099, ext. 104 for information.
Photos by Cindy Ellen Russell / firstname.lastname@example.org
Actor James Hong made a special appearance at the 2010 festival launch reception held at NextDoor in Chinatown last Thursday. Pictured with Hong are HIFF executive director Chuck Boller, middle, and HIFF manager Joshua Nye.
Wine-tasting event will aid film festival
After seeing the documentary “Blood Into Wine” at the Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18, viewers can remain in the mood for vino by heading down to Fujioka’s for “Sip With HIFF,” a wine tasting and fundraiser to benefit the Hawaii International Film Festival.
Besides an assortment of wine and pupu, patrons also will get a custom wine glass as a gift.
The pupu menu will include Sterling Silver Steak Chili, Chicken Enchilada with Salsa Verde, Salmon Poke with Corn, Cherry Tomato & Avocado, Jicima Salad Parisienne, Tres Leches Cake and Chocolate Pistoles.
>> Where: Fujioka’s Wine & Spirits, Market City, 2919 Kapiolani Blvd.
>> When: 6 p.m. April 23
>> Cost: $50 general admission, $40 for HIFF Ohana members
>> Info: 792-1577 or www.hiff.org
Spring fever strikes at HIFF
“The Chef of South Polar” is one of the films being screened at this year’s HIFF Spring Showcase.
He’s more than a little biased, but ask Hawaii International Film Festival director Chuck Boller about this year’s Spring Showcase and he’ll explain how attractive this year’s lineup is to hard-core movie buffs.
“You can make the argument that each film is a gem,” he said. “This year, we’re picking up movies from (the) Sundance (Film Festival), now that they’re available to us.”
More than 30 films will be screened at the Regal Dole Cannery Theatres over the next week, the majority of them for the first time in Hawaii, if not North America. “Mao’s Last Dancer,” directed by Bruce Beresford and starring Chi Cao and Amanda Schull, will make its Hawaii debut tonight as the Spring Showcase’s opening-night featured film; French director Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s “Micmacs” will also make its Hawaii debut as the closing-night film on Thursday.
“People don’t realize we offer European cinema,” said Boller, noting that a number of films this spring come from that region instead of Asia. “I think this is the most films we’ve ever offered in the spring, which is a challenge because it takes away from screen time, since we only have two screens available to us this time around.”
Click here to read the rest of this story and capsule reviews of selected movies from this year’s festival.
HIFF 2010 SPRING SHOWCASE
Presented by the Hawaii International Film Festival
» Where: Regal Dole Cannery Theatres, 650 Iwilei Road
» When: April 16 through 22
» Cost: $12 general admission; $10 for seniors, military and students; $8 for HIFF members (VIP memberships available)
» Info: 792-1577 or www.hiff.org
More than 20 films to be screened this spring
A scene from the Academy Award-nominated film “Ajami.” (Courtesy Kino International)
Two Academy Award nominees are among the films that will be screened at this year’s Hawaii International Film Festival Spring Showcase from April 16 through 22.
“Ajami,” Israel’s entrant into the Best Foreign Language Film category, and Best Documentary Film nominee “The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers,” join already-confirmed films “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” (Sweden) and “A Good Rain Knows” (South Korea) on the schedule.
Oscar winners will be announced on Sunday, and all four films will make their Hawaii debut at the showcase. Nearly two dozen films are expected to be screened when the complete Spring Showcase schedule is released.
Screenings will be at the Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18 Theaters. Tickets go on sale for HIFF Ohana members on April 5 and to the general public on April 7.
Ohana member tickets will be priced at $8, and general tickets for the public are $12 general and $10 seniors, students and military. They can be purchased at the HIFF box office located at 650 Iwilei Road, suite 100, across from the Dole Cannery multiplex, or online at www.hiff.org and charge-by-phone at 792-1577. Read more
The Princess Kaiulani biopic, directed by Marc Forby and partially filmed in Hawaii, premiered at the Hawaii Theatre last year and won the Hawaii International Film Festival’s Audience Award.
According to the report:
Roadside will release in theatres in late spring and Lionsgate will handle the DVD and other ancillary markets through Roadside’s output deal.
Hawaii-based Island Film Group and the UK’s Matador Pictures produced and Contentfilm International is handling international sales.
Roadside co-presidents Eric d’Arbeloff and Howard Cohen negotiated the deal with Island Film Group founders Roy Tjioe and Ricardo Galindez on behalf of the film-makers.
John Berger / email@example.com
Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, second from left, was the guest of honor as the 2009 Hawaii International Film Festival opened Oct. 15 with a reception hosted by HIFF Executive Director Chuck Boller and Halekulani Hotel public relations director Erika Kauffman, right, at the Halekulani.
Philippine film actress Manilyn Reynes, center, and her manager, Olive De Jesus, joined them for a photo.
Click here to see the rest of this week’s photos.
From the folks at HIFF:
The 29th annual Hawaii International Film Festival presented its 2009 awards this afternoon at the Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18 Theaters.
The Halekulani Golden Orchid Award for Narrative Feature was awarded to “Empire of Silver,” directed by Yao Shuhua.
The Halekulani Golden Orchid Award for Documentary Feature was presented to “Petition,” directed by Zhao Liang.
Feature and documentary feature winners were chosen for best expressing artistic and technical excellence and for promoting cross-cultural understanding.
The Netpac Award was awarded to “Castaway on the Moon,” directed by Hey-jun Lee. The film was a participant in HIFFs Halekulani Golden Orchid Award showcase.
The Netpac Award is given at select international film festivals to promote Asian cinema by spotlighting exceptional works and discovering new talent.
The Puma Emerging Filmmaker Award was presented to “Children of Invention,” directed by Tze Chun.
The Video-On-Demand Viewers Choice Award Powered by Oceanic Time Warner Cable and presented by Central Pacific Bank went to “Ajumma!!! Are You Crazy?” by Brent Anbe.
The Audience Choice Award will be given to the film that audience members voted as their favorite film; awards for Favorite Feature, Documentary and Short will be announced on November 2.
This years Film jurors at HIFF represent various careers and talent within the film industry. Jurors for the narrative competition were: Toa Fraser, filmmaker; Peter Britos, PhD; and actor Daniel Dae Kim. Jurors for the documentary competition were: Karin Chien, producer; Martin Wong, editor at Giant Robot Magazine; and Leanne Ferrer, programs manager at Pacific Islanders in Communications.
Jurors in the NETPAC competition were: Do Yong Lee, filmmaker; Vilsoni Hereniko PhD, chair of Pacific Island Studies at UH-Manoa; and Ian Conrich, scholar and founding director of the Department of New Zealand Studies at the University of London.
One more award will be handed out Saturday at HIFFs closing night. International superstar Maggie Q. will receive HIFF’S Maverick Award, given in honor of a cinema artist who defies the rules, forging a unique film career, and transcending labels and thresholds to vacillate between Hollywood and global cinema.
Screens at 8:15 p.m. Oct. 21 and 8:30 p.m. Oct. 23
Fans of professional surfer Rob Machado will love The Drifter, a 55-minute documentary about his spiritual journey through islands in Indonesia.
It opens with a brilliant sequence that juxtaposes the soulful aspects of surfing with the traveling circus of competition. Despite plenty of epic footage of the graceful Machado on his board, however, its not really a surf film.
Then again, its not really a travelogue in the vein of classics like Endless Summer, because Machado doesnt seem to have a plan. In fact, we dont really even know where he is most of the time.
But thats the point of drifting, right? And you have to love when he tosses his ringing cell phone on the side of the dirt road and leaves it behind. Read more
“First Squad: The Moment of Truth”
Screens at 10 p.m. Oct. 21 and 3:45 p.m. Oct. 23
Two and a half stars
Anime goes Great Patriotic War in this cross-cultural pastiche hammered out in Japans Studio4C and sickled by a Russian script and production money. First Squad The Moment of Truth involves a group of Communist teens in the early days of World War II, and how they combat the Nazi menace.
This being anime, the teenagers have extrasensory powers, and theyre dead, and they fight the invaders in a kind of war-hell. And the Germans are actually warlock Teutonic knights from the 13th century, still smarting about being bested by the pre-Russian Novgorodians in the famous Battle of the Ice in 1242. Read more