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Star-Bulletin Features

Monday, October 23, 2000

Honolulu International Film Festival photo
"Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" stars Chow Yun Fat, pictured,
and Michelle Yeoh, who play Wudan warriors whose lives are
entwined with that of a young aristocrat who longs for adventure.

Fest For The Eyes

Sneak preview Wednesday signals
the start of the Hawai'i International
Film Festival's 20th year

By Tim Ryan

THE Hawaii International Film Festival is back for its 20th go-round -- which should be cause for excitement considering the turmoil the organization went through earlier this year with the forced resignation of executive director Christian Gaines.

NewHIFF leader Chuck Boller and company have assembled about 150 feature and short films from 25 countries in the Pacific basin, and planned special events, seminars, parties and award ceremonies that will be squeezed into two weeks -- Nov. 3 through 12 in Honolulu and Nov. 14 through 19 on the neighbor islands.


Oct. 25
Bullet "Stanley's Gig," sneak preview at Waikiki Theatres, 7:30 p.m.; $7

Nov. 3
Bullet Opening night presentation of Ang Lee's "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," 8 p.m. at Waikiki 1 Theatre. Tickets are $25 ($15 tax deductible); Also: "The Yards," 10:30 p.m. at Waikiki 1Theater; $10

Nov. 10
Bullet Awards Night, Hawai'i Convention Center, 6 p.m., grand prizes awarded to top films.

Nov. 11
Bullet Closing Night Films TBA, Hawaii Theatre

Full festival guides will be available Wednesday at Blockbuster Video and Starbucks stores. Tickets also go on sale beginning Wednesday. Order by calling 528-HIFF (4433) on Oahu. On Kauai call 246-9770; Maui/Lanai/Molokai, 876-0576; Hilo, 969-9412; Kona, 324-1334.

Individual tickets on Oahu will be $7 general, $6 for HIFF ohana members. Neighbor island tickets are $5 and $4 respectively.

Bullet Online:

As in the 19 previous festivals, more than 65,000 fans are expected to attend.

Oahu's opening night films include Ang Lee's "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," starring Chow Yun Fat, at 8 p.m. at the Waikiki 1 theater, and "The Yards," starring Mark Wahlberg, Joaquin Phoenix, James Caan and Faye Dunaway at 10:30 p.m. at Waikiki 1.

HIFF officials hope some of the films' actors will attend, but none have been confirmed. The closing night's main film showing also has not been confirmed and will be announced Wednesday.

Honolulu International Film Festival photo
In "Chunhyang," the privileged son of an 18th century Korean
governor falls in love with Chunhyang, a concubine's daughter
who also catches the eye of a cruel new governor.

Honolulu International Film Festival photo
In "Breaking the Silence," acclaimed actress Gong Li plays
a mother in modern China, who must raise her mute son
alone after her husband divorces her.

Earlier this month, a HIFF official announced "Oh Brother Where Art Thou" was going to be the closing film, but no one checked with Disney's Buena Vista studio, which produced the film. Instead, "Oh Brother ..." was the opening night film last week Thursday at the AFI Los Angeles Film Festival where Christian Gaines is the new executive director.

"Somebody released that information before the film had been confirmed," said Bruce Fletcher, the Hawaii festival's programmer.

There will be a sneak preview of "Stanley's Gig," at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Waikiki Theatres. The film tells the story of Stanley Myer, a down-on-his-luck musician with one dream: to play his ukulele on a cruise ship to Hawaii. It stars William Sanderson and Faye Dunaway as a mysterious former jazz singer. Tickets are $7, available through HIFF or at the door.

Honolulu International Film Festival photo
A beloved professor leaves his university to dedicate his life
to writing in "Madadayo," the last film made by legendary
Japanese director Akira Kurosawa.

Film critic Roger Ebert returns to HIFF after a one-year absence to conduct the seminar "Democracy in the Dark," a shot-by-shot analysis of notable feature films during 7 to 9 p.m. presentations Nov. 5, 6 and 7 at the Hawai'i Convention Center. The Nov. 5 presentation will be preceded by a laser disc screening of "Vertigo." Admission is free on a first come, first serve basis, but a ticket is necessary. HIFF officials suggest calling for an advance ticket.

A retrospective of Hawaii filmmakers, "Made in Hawaii," will take place noon to 5 p.m. Nov. 3 at the Hawaii Convention Center. Featured will be the premier of the first Hawaiian language feature film -- "Ka'iliauokekoa," about a Kauai chiefess -- and a showcase of Hawaii film highlights of the last century.

The event is a preview of the "Hawaii Panorama" segment of the festival, which will feature films, documentaries and shorts, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Nov. 4 through 10 in Hawai'i Convention Center's Hawai'i Room.

Honolulu International Film Festival photo
Hokule'a's voyage to Rapa Nui is celebrated in
"Hokule'a: Guiding Star."

Included in the Hawaii showcase will be the world premier of "Sons of Hawaii" by Eddie and Myrna Kamae at 6 and 8:30 p.m. Nov. 9.

A special treat for fantasy game players will be a 15-minute sneak preview of the much anticipated "Final Fantasy" film with a short piece called "A Work in Progress" on Nov. 9 at Dole Cannery theaters at 6:45 p.m.

Other festival highlights:

Bullet U.S. premiere of the original director's version of "The Prince of Light," a Japanese-Indian animated feature film that tells the story of the ancient Indian legend of Ramayana, a classic triumph of good over evil;

Bullet Hawaii premier of Akira Kurosawa's final film, "Matadayo";

Bullet Gala presentations of China's "Breaking the Silence," South Korea's "Chunhyang; Australia's "Looking for Alibrandi" and "Parlami D'Amore;" the Philippines' "Reef Hunters" and "Anino;" Japan/India's "The Prince of Light;" and Japan/France's "Taboo";

Bullet An "At the Fringe" selection of six adult-oriented films, including "The Beyond;" "3-D Disco Dolls in Hot Skin;" "I.K.U.," billed as a "Japanese sci-fi porn feature;" and "Money Shot," an exploration of the hard-core porn business. Viewers must be 18 or older.

Two new awards debut

HIFF will introduce two new awards this year: The Film in Hawaii Award presented by the state, and the NETPAC Award for Best Asian Film.

These will be presented in addition to the festival's traditional four awards: Golden Maile; Blockbuster Video Audience Award; Aloha Airlines Hawaii Film & Videomaker Award; and the Eastman Kodak Award for Excellence in Cinematography.

Golden Maile Award nominated films for Best Feature are "Chunhyang" (Korea); "Fleeing By Night" (Taiwan); "George Washington" (United States); "Jubaku" (Japan); "Muro Ami" (Philippines). Best Documentary Golden Maile nominees are: "Amargosa" (U.S.); "Conscience & The Constitution" (U.S.); "The Diplomat" (Australia); "The Moth Loves Doodie" (Australia); and "Sons of Hawaii" (U.S./Hawaii).

Jurors for the Golden Maile award are: Yuka Sakano (Japan); Gayle Lake (Australia), Paul Yi (Korea), Temuera Morrison (New Zealand) and Freida Lee Mock (U.S.).

The winner of the Film in Hawaii Award will be selected by Hawaii Film Office manager Georgette Deemer.

The Eastman Kodak Award winner is Roger Deakins, whose films have included "Barton Fink," "The Hudsucker Proxy," and "Fargo."

The other winners will be announced Nov. 10 at Hawaii Convention Center.

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