Thursday, December 19, 2002

Hawaii films get chance
to shine at local festival

Star-Bulletin staff

The Art House at Restaurant Row presents "Beyond the Beach," a film series featuring work by local filmmakers.

The series starts tomorrow at the theater with a reception hosted by the Film and Video Association of Hawaii from 5:30 to 7 p.m. for the films "Kiho Alu," by Maui filmmaker Kenneth Martinez Burgmeier, and "Gemhunter in Afghanistan," with Gary Bowersox. Both filmmakers will be present.

There will also be a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday for "Rough Cut," a free program of high school videos showing at the Art House from 7 p.m. The videos will be repeated 4 p.m. Sunday and 1 p.m. Tuesday.

Cost -- unless noted -- is $5 for matinees until 6 p.m. and all day Tuesday. Evening shows are $7.75. For program information call 526-4171.

The programs in the series:

"Kiho Alu (Loosen the Key)": This feature-length documentary explores the hypnotic stylings of Hawaiian slack-key guitar with of one of the world's recognized masters, Keola Beamer. Screens 7 p.m. tomorrow and next Thursday, 4 p.m. tomorrow and Tuesday, and 9:30 p.m. Wednesday.

"Paul Horn in Tibet" and "Mount Kailish: Return to Tibet": The first offering from director Tom Vendetti documents Lama Tenzin's return to Tibet to visit his family for the first time in 40 years with renowned musician Paul Horn, who records in the Potala Palace and other sacred Buddhist monasteries. In the second, Horn and Vendetti trek 32 miles around the sacred Kailish mountain, reaching an elevation of 18,600 feet. Screens 7 p.m. Saturday and 9:30 p.m. Sunday and next Thursday.

"Gemhunter in Afghanistan": Filmed in August 2001, director Paul Radish's beautifully shot work follows gem hunter Gary Bowersox over the high mountain passes of the Hindu Kush to the emerald mines of Afghanistan. Along the ancient Silk Road he meets the northern alliance commander Ahmed Shah Massoud, 21 days before his assassination by the Taliban. Screens 9:30 p.m. tomorrow, 7 p.m. Monday and 4 p.m. next Thursday.

"Paniolo o Hawaii" and "A Tribute to Hawaii Firefighters": In the first film, Edgy Lee documents Hawaii's cowboys of the last generation who remember "the old days." Her film is a tribute to these old-timers, whose lives have been sculpted by hard work, good fun and a wisdom that comes from living close to nature. The second honors Hawaii's 1,700 firefighters with a look behind the scenes at the danger and dedication in each day's work. Interviews with old-timers, female firefighters and wives shed rare insights into the job and the people. Screens 9:30 p.m. Saturday, 7 p.m. Tuesday and 4 p.m. Wednesday.

"Wakiki: In the Wake of Dreams": Another work by Edgy Lee chronicles the evolution of a small beachside community from ancient spiritual haven to playground for Hawaii's royalty to its current status as the world's most famous beach. Waikiki's 500-year history is brought alive with archival photographs, Hollywood film clips and oral histories. Screens 1 p.m. Wednesday.

"Biography Hawaii: Aunty Maiki": Kumu hula Maiki Aiu Lake played an influential role in revitalizing participation and interest in hula during the last half of the 20th century, part of a widespread cultural renaissance. Joy Chong-Stannard's film charts Lake's role in bringing hula to the world stage.

"Ke Kulana He Mahu: Remembering a Sense of Place": This award-winning film by Kathryn Xiang and Brent Anbe takes viewers on a historical journey as scholars illustrate what life and culture was like in the Hawaii for the mahu (homosexual and hermaphrodite individuals). Screens 9:30 p.m. Monday and 7 p.m. Wednesday.

"Scenes from Contemporary Hawaii": This 88-minute program features Joan Lander's "Caretakers of Ka Lae," about a family's crusade to protect a South Point heiau; Jackson Bauer's short "Kaho'olawe: Breath of our Ancestors," about a small group's effort to reforest and expand erosion control programs on the tiny island; Irene Yamashita's "Kamehameha the Great: Revolutionary, Reactionary, Reformer," offering an overview of the man who unified the Hawaiian Islands and set a course for the islands' future; and Genie Joseph's "We Are the Peacemakers," tracing the determination of 13 Waianae students to do something about the violence in their public school. Screens 1 p.m. tomorrow, Sunday and next Thursday.

HAWAII BRIEFS screen free at 4 p.m. tomorrow and Sunday as follows:

"Da Beginning": Pidgin retelling of the creation myth shot by director Natalie Cross on the island of Kauai, 7 minutes.

"Christmas in the Countryside": Music video by John Allen III depicts the celebration of the season on Oahu's leeward coast, 4 minutes.

"Forgotten Promise": A young man intervenes in an abusive relationship with unexpected consequences, in Ryan Kawamoto's film, 16 minutes.

"Eagle Song": Music video by Lurline McGregor features "Eagle Song," by poet Joy Harjo of the Muskogee/Creek tribe, 3 minutes.

"Obake Yashiki: A Japanese Ghost Story": Michele Opitz offers a retelling of the 16th-century Japanese ghost story about the spirit of a tormented woman, 11 minutes.

"I Scream, Floats & Sundays": Leah Kihara delivers a meditation on the problems facing Hawaiian women in Westernized Hawaiian society, 11 minutes.

"Entrée Nous": Two waiters go mahi a mahi to win the tip of a high-rolling couple at an upscale restaurant, in Don Brown's 11-minute film.

"Chicken Skin Tales: The Lost Little Girl of Manoa Valley": Steven Katz offers the true story of a girl discovered at a Chinese cemetery by an unknowing resident, 15 minutes.

IN ADDITION, a "Hawaii Filmmakers to Watch" segment will screen at 1 p.m. Saturday featuring two works:

"R.E.M.": A college student suffering from nightmares suffers side effects from medication that cause him to slip into an altered state, causing him to reassess his belief system, in Kamuela Kaneshiro's hourlong work.

"Code Chaotic": Girlfriends reassess their relationship after one becomes romantically involved, in Lena Kaneshiro's 50-minute tale.

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