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Poke Stop's Guzman gets props from TV chef


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POSTED: Thursday, October 29, 2009

There was some excitement last week at Poke Stop Mililani Mauka, where chef Elmer Guzman shot a segment for the Food Network's “;Diners, Drive-ins and Dives”; with show host Guy Fieri.

“;One thing about him, he's a real chef, and he knows the business side of it as well as the showman side,”; Guzman said after the two-day production. In every location, Fieri checks the back of the restaurant, the freezer and the products and “;tells you if you're doing a good job.”;

This never appears in the actual episode. It's just that Fieri doesn't want to promote any place he doesn't think is clean and well-run. Guzman scored high marks, especially for managing a seafood restaurant that doesn't smell fishy. “;I run a tight ship,”; he confirmed.

The segment, which was one of six shot for two episodes set in Hawaii, is slated to air in early spring, and the Poke Stop will definitely host a party to celebrate the screening.

Poke Stop crossed Fieri's radar thanks to fans of the restaurant, who apparently wrote to the Food Network urging him to feature Guzman's restaurant.

“;I know that I have a great product, but it's nice to know that other people think so, too,”; said Guzman. “;The hard work is paying off.”;

IN ADDITION to hosting some amazing films from around the world, the Hawaii International Film Festival also honored “;Lost”; with awards, seminars and opportunities for audience interaction with the stars and the people who make the show happen behind the scenes. And if you weren't sure of the global impact, consider this: “;Lost”; airs in 230 countries. Is there any place it isn't available?

In a press conference and two panels, co-executive producer Jean Higgins talked about what she called the most rewarding and challenging project of her life, and spoke fondly of living in Hawaii.

The actors, she said, “;can go to the grocery store on this island and not be attacked; people give them their space.”;

But more than that, it's the location that completes everything. “;We couldn't possibly make this show anyplace else. It's a lifestyle, not a job.”;

Later, during the evening panel at Level 4 Ultralounge in Waikiki, executive producers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof commented on how much Hawaii has become a part of the fabric of the series. “;It's the only character we can guarantee will not be dead at the end of the show,”; Lindelof said.

But don't inquire about what Cuse and Lindelof will do next. “;That's like asking a woman if she's having more kids when she's crowning,”; Lindelof deadpanned. “;Don't ask us.”;

FILMMAKERS take note: The 2010 Big Island “;Talk Story”; Film Festival has issued its official call for entries before the event begins next May 12 through 16. They don't accept documentaries, but narrative shorts (30 minutes or less) and features (an hour or more) completed after Jan. 1, 2009, will be considered. Early bird (before Nov. 1) entry fees are $50 for features, $40 for shorts and $30 if you're a student. Anything shot in Hawaii by a Hawaii-based filmmaker earns a 25 percent discount. It's a great way to network, get an audience for your work and potentially win an award and transition to larger festivals.

For an application, visit http://www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com or call 808-883-0394.

Speaking of the Big Island, Kolekole Beach Park hosted the film crew for the action/adventure/sci-fi flick “;Predators,”; starring Adrien Brody (though IMDb.com lists him only as “;rumored”; on the project) this week. The feature is slated for theatrical release next summer.

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Contact Katherine Nichols at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).