‘Chief’ called a Sundance hit by producer
Hawaii director and writer Brett Wagner
is with producers Dana Hankins
and Christina Simpkins
at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, where his film "Chief" has been named one of the top 10 "Must-See Sundance Shorts." IndieWire describes it as "an engaging drama about an exiled Samoan chief slumming as a taxi driver in Honolulu." Simpkins reported in a brief e-mail that all showings of "Chief" sold out, and the reps from Honolulu rubbed shoulders with major movie stars. In short, she wrote, "Chief is a hit!"
NBC has invited an improvisational group from Honolulu to participate in its 2008 Nationwide Sketch Showdown next Tuesday at the Ivar Theatre in Hollywood. An NBC rep saw "Screwbuki," an improvised kabuki play, at the Chicago Improv Festival in 2006. Group members Robb Bonnell, Chris Doi, R. Kevin Garcia Doyle, Garrick Paikai and Michael Traylor will perform a 10-minute version of "Screwbuki," along with five other acts from around the country.
"We're really lucky to be invited," said R. Kevin Doyle, who noted that the industry event will attract an audience full of agents, producers and other entertainment executives. Doyle added that he checked with the Writers Guild to make sure they were not crossing picket lines with their improvisational work, and they aren't.
I've mentioned the "Lost: Missing Pieces" mobisodes before, but try to watch them before Season 4 starts Thursday. Some are better than others, of course, yet most feature strong writing. In "Buried Secrets," Sun (Yunjin Kim) and Michael (Harold Perrineau) share a semi-intimate moment that almost leads to a kiss. Sun reveals tearfully that she believes "this place -- it's my punishment. It's my destiny."
In another, a golf game between Jin (Daniel Dae Kim) and Hurley (Jorge Garcia) is particularly amusing. When Jin can't make a putt over lumpy, wild-island grass, he loses control. "No, you horrible ball!" he screams. "Why couldn't you go in the hole?" Every golfer can relate. Hurley watches this scene and says in his typical deadpan tone, "Maybe we should take a break from golf for a while."
At 7 p.m. Tuesday the rRed Elephant Cafe will host a screening of "The World of a Soul Savior," a locally produced supernatural drama about the psychological war between good and evil, with religion at its core. The animated film follows "average humans chosen by God to save human souls," and the battle they face against Satan in a game setting. "Demons are still infiltrating the human race and scheming to inhabit human souls," the Web site notes. "God has chosen reliable humans to challenge Satan's followers on Earth and save mankind. And they are called Soul Saviors." It was created and written by Jeff Katts. Co-writers include Katharin "Lady K" Dombrow and Mark Ganialongo. Voices include Rene Garcia, Piilani Crabbe Jones and Katts. It's definitely off the beaten path. Get a preview at www.soulsavior.com.