HAWAII INT'L FILM FESTIVAL
BRYANT FUKUTOMI / BFUKUTOMI@STARBULLETIN.COM
The Golden Maile feature film nominees represent filmmaking from Korea, the Philippines, Mongolia and Japan.
25 years of cinema
Hawaii International Film Festival shines in its silver year
It's 25 -- and thriving.
Find program guides at Starbucks outlets.
The Hawaii International Film Festival was created in 1980 as an outreach project of the East-West Center. Founding director Jeannette Paulson used it to illustrate the center's mandate of promoting understanding among the peoples of the Pacific, Asia and the United States. It was academics made palatable through the popular medium of cinema.
In this silver-anniversary year, that philosophy of bridging East and West still holds, but the choices in international fare are much broader in style and subject matter, bringing ever larger audiences.
The festival staff, led by executive director Chuck Boller, approach the next 25 years in good financial shape. The remnants of a potentially crippling debt have been pretty much erased, thanks to an increase in ticket revenue in 2004 and the continued sponsorship of Louis Vuitton.
Hawaii International Film Festival
Dates: Thursday to Oct. 30
Venues: Dole Cannery Stadium 18 Theatres, Hawaii Theatre and Doris Duke Theatre, Honolulu Academy of Arts
Tickets: $9; $8 miltary, students, seniors and children; $7 HIFF Ohana members
Call: 528-4433 or visit www.hiff.org
» Highlights of the 260 films, documentaries and shorts to be featured, day-by-day
» The Golden Maile feature film nominees.
» A Top 10 list of the must-see Asian films of the festival.
The festival's star power has risen as well. Last year, Hong Kong veteran Maggie Cheung came to collect the inaugural Achievement in Acting Award; the versatile Samuel L. Jackson is in line to receive it this year. Asian action icon Shinichi "Sonny" Chiba will receive this year's first ever Maverick Award.
Director Zhang Yimou, a longtime supporter of the festival, will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award. The director of "Hero" and "House of Flying Daggers" also will host a screening and Q&A session.
Another longtime supporter, movie critic Roger Ebert, returns after a couple of years' absence to lead his always popular "Democracy in the Dark" seminar as he analyzes the sci-fi cult film "Dark City."
Chinese hottie Bai Ling will introduce her film "Dumplings"; the amazing Yoshida Brothers play their rock-styled Tsugaru shamisens in a closing night concert at the Hawaii Theatre; and our West Oahu champions will attend the world premiere of the U.S. Little League film "Rounding First."
Things will be jumping at HIFF. For constantly updated information -- as well as, for the first time, staff blogs -- check out www.hiff.org.