Monday, October 28, 2002

"KT," a Golden Maile nominee, guesses at what might have happened to Korean leader Kim Dae-Jung for the five days he was missing in Tokyo in 1973. It shows Nov. 6 and 9.

Movie award nominees
cover wide range
of human drama

Free screenings
Movie magic
Salute to the Kamaes
Schedule of highlights

These are the nominees for the Hawai'i International Film Festival's Golden Maile Awards.

Best feature film

"Eyes of a Beauty" (China PRC): Mortality and morality dissolve in this film that details the ways in which the lives of three women intersect randomly around one event - the opening of a historic site in a rural town in China.

"KT" (Japan): In 1973, Kim Dae-Jung, then a politician opposed to South Korea's military dictatorship and later president of South Korea, disappeared for five days. Kim (code name KT) was on a secret fund-raising visit to Tokyo when he was snatched from his hotel room.

The film, a speculative reconstruction of this never-fully-explained incident, suggests the kidnappers were Korean CIA men abetted by Japan's "Self-Defense Force," the Jieitai, both working with U.S. approval.

"Mr. & Mrs. Iyer" (India): Who are we supposed to hate or love? Although from very different cultural and religious backgrounds, Meenakshi Iyer (Konkona Sensharma), a Hindu, meets Raja Chowdhary (Rahul Bose), a Muslim, in a bus packed with angry Hindu villagers looking for Muslims to punish. The two forge a relationship of interdependence, and eventually, love.

"Somewhere over the Dreamland" (Taiwan): This tale of intense, unrequited love involves three eclectic characters who embark on voyages of self-discovery. The film tries to find music in what appears to be everyday noise.

"Women's Prison" (Iran): Imprisoned by a misogynistic government, women find solace and sympathy amidst the danger of rape and ever-present drug-dealing.

Best Documentary

"Daughter from Yan'an (Japan): In addition to having its place in history as the destination of Mao Zedong's 1935 Long March, the province of Yu'unan was also the end of the line for more than 20,000 urban adolescents sent down as a result of the diaspora resulting from the Cultural Revolution. Born in a relocation program where love and intimacy were against the law, He Haixia attempts to meet her biological parents, who disowned her for her own safety.

"A Dream in Hanoi: A True Story of Love, Stage Fright and Noodle" (USA/Vietnam): Twenty-five years after the Vietnam War's end, U.S. scholar Lorelle Browning seeks to build on recent strides in diplomatic relations by following the struggle to stage an American/

Vietnamese production of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" in Hanoi.

"Georgie Girl," a nominee for a Golden Maile Award in the documentary category, is the story of Georgina Beyer, a former prostitute who is now a member of the New Zealand Parliament. It shows Nov. 2 and 3.

"Georgie Girl" (New Zealand): Georgina Beyer, a former prostitute and entertainer, was a late bloomer, rising in politics during the '90s. She currently serves as a member of New Zealand's Parliament. The film juxtaposes scenes from the Maori woman's daily schedule with scenes from her pop and underground lifestyle to show a politician connected to the people.

"Spellbound" (USA): In catching the final rounds of the National Spelling Bee, director Jeff Blitz realized there was something more interesting going on than spelling. He creates a fascinating portrait of America, touching on issues of cultural history, race, parenting and the American Dream.

"A Wedding in Ramallah" (Australia): During peace talks in July 2000, Bassam Abed returns from Cleveland to his home in the Palestinian territory of Ramallah for an arranged marriage after his first marriage "for love" failed. Within a month he meets and marries Mariam, who has never been away from her village. Able to speak only in the Arabic language, she finds a personal exile after coming to America.

The jurors

Chris Lee: Co-chairman, University of Hawaii cinematic and digital arts degree program/University of Hawaii film school; founder of Chris Lee Productions and former president of production for Columbia-TriStar studios. Lee was responsible for Academy Award-winning films such as: "As Good As It Gets," "Jerry Maguire" and "Philadelphia."

Keiko Araki: Director of the Pia Film Festival, a founding member of the Canadian Scholarship Trust Plan and chairwoman of the CST Graduate Awards Committee.

Mabel L. Cheung: Directing credits include "The Illegal Immigrants" featuring Chow Yun-Fat, "An Autumn's Tale," "Eight Tales of Gold," "City of Glass" and "Beijing Rocks."

Richard Chew: A documentary cameraman and editor. He edited films for Francis Ford Coppola, Milos Forman and George Lucas. Documentaries include "The Redwoods," made for the Sierra Club, which won an Oscar for Best Short Documentary in 1967. He won an Academy Award as a co-editor on "Star Wars" and was nominated for "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest." He edited "Shanghai Noon," "Waiting to Exhale," "Risky Business" and "I Am Sam."

Ahmed Lateef: The Hollywood Foreign Press Association representative is an award-winning director of television commercials.


Free for all

These panels and screenings are free on a first-come, first-served basis, although a ticket is required. To reserve a seat, complete the ticket order form on page 17 in the HIFF catalog, available at the festival box office at Dole Signature Theatres and all Starbucks and Blockbuster outlets. There is a two-ticket limit per person.

Democracy in the Dark

Film critic Roger Ebert offers a shot-by-shot analysis of Orson Welles' "Citizen Kane," using DVD technology, which allows him to stop the film at any moment, enabling the audience to contribute observations at any time. Discussions involve visual strategy, theme, story, acting, dialogue and settings.

>> DVD screening: 6 p.m. Sunday, Doris Duke at the Academy; two-hour analysis sessions at DDA at 3:30 p.m. Nov. 4, 5 and 6.

Masters of Japanese Cinema

Film critic and cultural scholar Donald Richie analyzes the Japanese film "The Men Who Tread on the Tiger's Tail," considered the greatest of Akira Kurosawa's wartime films.

>> Screening and seminar: 6 to 8 p.m. Nov. 4, Doris Duke at the Academy.

Myths, Terrorism and Justice

The 27th Annual University of Hawaii Pacific Islands Studies Conference is subtitled "Themes in Pacific and Asian Literature in Film."

In addition to films from Pacific and Asia, including several Hawaii premieres, the conference will feature interviews with filmmakers and panels exploring themes of terrorism, justice, healing, community building and militarism in a post-9/11 world.

Films to be premiered: "A Poet" (Indonesia), "The Wrestlers" (India) and "The Maori Merchant of Venice" (New Zealand), with appearances by filmmakers Garin Nugroho, Buddhadeb Dasgupta, Marilou Diaz-Abaya and Don Selwyn. The conference will also feature "Utu" (New Zealand) and "Act of War (Hawaii)."

>> The conference runs Nov. 5 to 8. Check catalog for exact times.

Eastman Kodak Cinematography Seminar

Peter Pau ("The Killer," "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon") conducts a seminar on the art and technique of cinematography. Pau won an Oscar for his work on Ang Lee's "Crouching Tiger." He will discuss lighting techniques, camera moves and angles used to create his vision.

>> Seminar: 3:30 p.m. Nov. 8, Doris Duke at the Academy.

>> Screening of "Crouching Tiger": 6:30 p.m. Nov. 7, Signature Dole Cannery 18.

Screenwriters/Producers Film and Television Panel

Find out how to break into the film industry from professionals who have had major roles in the shaping of TV and film for the past 30 years. Confirmed panelists: Chris Lee, former president of production for Columbia/Tri-Star Pictures; Margaret South, co-founder with Bette Midler and Bonnie Bruckheimer of All Girl Productions; and Frank South, who wrote and produced "Hill Street Blues," "Fame," "Cagney & Lacey" and "Melrose Place."

Sponsored by the Hawaii Screenwriters Association.

>> Panel discussion: 5 p.m. Nov. 9, Waikiki Elks Lodge, 2933 Kalakaua Ave. Call 923-5722.

The Art & Technique of the American Television Commercial

The Association of Independent Commercial Producers presents this screening recognizing the craftspeople who produce commercials. American TV commercials are presented in the fields of cinematography, production, visual style, sound design, student productions, ad campaigns, public service announcements and low-budget.

>> Screening: 6 p.m. Nov. 9, Doris Duke at the Academy.

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