HIFF 1996

16th Annual Hawaii International Film Festival

November 8-21, 1996

Award Winners

First Hawaiian Bank Golden Maile Award for Best Narrative
A HOT ROOF
Director: Min-yong Lee

First Hawaiian Bank Golden Maile Award for Best Documentary
SIX O’CLOCK NEWS
Director: Ross McElwee

Hawaii Film & Videomaker Award
LEMON TREE BILLIARDS HOUSE
Director: Tim Savage

Special Jury Award
CARDIOGRAM – Darezhan Omirbaev
BONES OF THE FOREST – Heather Frise/Velcrow Ripper

Kodak Vision Award for Cinematography
FREDERICK ELMES

Audience Award for Best Feature
SHINE
Director: Scott Hicks

Audience Award for Best Documentary
HASTEN SLOWLY: THE JOURNEY OF SIR LAURENS VAN DER POST
Director: Mickey Lemle

Audience Award for Best Short
KADOMATSU
Director: Nathan Kurosawa

1996 Program Book Cover

Opening Night

SHINE
Director: Scott Hicks
Australia 1996

World Premieres

BEHIND THE FORBIDDEN CITY (AKA) EAST PALACE WEST PALACE
Director: Zhang Yuan
China 1996, Chinese Language Films

REBOUND
Director: Eriq La Salle
USA 1996, Cultural & Visual Literacy Program

HAWAII’S LAST QUEEN
Director: Vivian Ducat
USA 1996, Hawaii Film and Video Makers

LIFE, DEATH & BASEBALL
Director: Marilyn Levine
USA 1996, American Alternatives

SIX O’CLOCK NEWS
Director: Ross McElwee
USA 1996, American Alternatives/Documentary Competition

THE STORY OF WANG LAOBAI
Director: Lu Wangping
China 1996, Chinese Language Films/Documentary Competition

United States Premieres

BUDDHA BLESS AMERICA
Director: Wu Nien-jen
Taiwan 1996, Chinese Language Films

DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL
Director: Prasanna Vithanage
Sri Lanka, 1996, Pacific/Pan-Asiatic Images

FLOATING LIFE
Director: Clara Law
Australia 1996, The Australian Wave

GONE, GONE, FOREVER GONE
Director: Ho Quang Minh
Switzerland/Vietnam 1996, Pacific/Pan-Asiatic Images

HARU
Director: Yoshimitsu Morita
Japan 1996, Discoveries from Japan/Narrative Competition

A HOT ROOF
Director: Min-Yong Lee
Korea 1995, Korean Films/Narrative Competition

THE LAST WISH
Director: Amable R. “Tikoy” Aguiluz VI
Philippines 1995, The Philippines

LEILI IS WITH ME
Director: Kamal Tabrizi
Iran 1996, Pacific/Pan-Asiatic Images

LOVE AND OTHER CATASTROPHES
Director: Emma-Kate Croghan
Australia 1996, The Australian Wave

MEMORIES
Director: Katsuhiro Otomo
Japan 1995, Discoveries from Japan

19TH APRIL
Director: Rituparno Ghosh
India 1995, India

QUEEN MANDUKHAI
Director: Begziin Bawinnyam
Mongolia 1989, Pacific/Pan-Asiatic Images

A SINGLE SPARK (JEON TAE-IL)
Director: Kwang-su Park
Korea 1995, Korean Films

THE SLEEPING MAN
Director: Kohei Oguri
Japan 1996, Discoveries from Japan

SUNSET AT CHAOPRAYA
Director: Euthana Mukdasanit
Thailand 1995, Pacific/Pan-Asiatic Images

THE COOLBAROO CLUB
Director: Roger Scholes
Australia 1996, The Australian Wave

HASTEN SLOWLY: THE JOURNEY OF SIR LAURENS VAN DER POST
Director: Mickey Lemle
USA 1996, American Alternatives/Documentary Competition

PRIVATE WARS
Director: Nick Deocampo
Philippines 1996, The Philippines/Documentary Competition

RATS IN THE RANKS
Director: Bob Connolly, Robin Anderson
Australia 1996, The Australian Wave

PILIALOHA
Takanori Toyokawa
Japan 1996, IMAX Films

1996 Festival Trailer

As you read this – perhaps in your home, perhaps in a hotel room far from home, perhaps in a theater somewhere in Hawaii waiting for a festival film to begin – I invite you to pause for a moment to consider the incredible creative energy we have harnessed for you here in the middle of the Pacific Ocean at the 16th Hawaii International Film Festival.

Our visiting delegates include film critic and film industry executives, who are finding our geographically remote but culturally strategic islands an increasingly important place to meet their counterparts from around the world. Here they can see films from a Pacific Rim bursting with talent and diversity.

Our filmmakers are storytellers who bear testimony to their cultures through a lens using light, color, images and a broad palette of passions and emotions.

Our HIFF Ohana is a rapidly expanding membership group of friends who love movies and want to see the festival prosper and expand (but want to make sure there’s still a seat left for them!) Our corporate sponsors have invested faith and dollars into an international cultural event that grows in legitimacy, value and prestige with their participation. And, most importantly, there is our audience, the people of Hawaii. They fill 65,000 empty theater seats and welcome this vital festival of images and ideas with open arms and warm aloha year after year.

These are the people we serve, to whom we extend our thanks and gratitude and with whom we share a common goal: to promote understanding among all the peoples of Asia, the Pacific and North America through the extraordinary encounter of film, filmmaker and audience.

Personally, I have never been made to feel more welcome anywhere in my life. Through the best wishes and commitments of all the people I have mentioned, through the hard work and sincere efforts of the Film Festival staff (a more committed, attentive and accomplished group of professionals I could not find), and through the attention of the board of directors with their valuable guidance, practical suggestions and personal contributions, I believe what we have put together for you accomplishes our mission admirably.

This festival represents a heady mix of over 90 films – many of them U.S. or world premieres – from the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, the Philippines, India, Vietnam, Thailand, Iran, Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Canada. These 35mm, 16mm, video and IMAX films will play for two weeks at over 300 separate showings on 26 screens across five islands. Special introductions, Q&A sessions, seminars, workshops, panels, demonstrations and receptions will complement these films and honor the filmmaking process.

Among our highlights this year is a tribute to internationally acclaimed Korean director Im Kwon-Taek, a film artist whose work has not only portrayed the unique character of modern Korea but has helped to create it.

Making its debut this year is the FILM TECHNOLOGY FORUM, a four-day conference on the effects of technology on creativity in the filmmaking process. Among many other issues, the forum will attempt to answer the question: “Sure this scriv-oscillator loads at four jillion gigabits per nanosecond, but is it art?”

Other highlights include a special section entitled “COMEDY IN FILM: EAST AND WEST.” In it, we’ll take a look at what we think is funny and why and have a laugh in the process. Also, we look forward once again to welcoming Roger Ebert in BLOW BY BLOW WITH KEATON AND CHAN – a close look at Chan’s films as they compare to the work of American stunt/comedy actors at the beginning of the film era. Panels and seminars on Independent Production, Cinematography and Creative Marketing across four islands will round out these two action-packed weeks.

Also, we are thrilled to inaugurate the HIFF Ohana Peoples’ Choice Award in 1996. If you are a HIFF Ohana member, this is your chance to vote on any single film in the festival that you believe warrants a special award. This is just another way to provide HIFF Ohana members with additional value in their memberships. Ballots will be dropped off at the HIFF Ohana headquarters at Ward Centre in time for tabulation and presentation of the HIFF Ohana Peoples’ Choice Award at the awards ceremony on Thursday in Honolulu.

We know you’re going to have to make some hard choices regarding which films to see as you make your way through the festival schedule, but frankly, that’s the way we planned it. If you are a visitor to the Islands, don’t forget to take a little time out of the theaters to make friends, breathe the air and feel the sand between your toes. If you live in Hawaii, we hope to have made you proud to host this festival.

Thanks largely to the hard work, passion and unwavering vision of co-founder and former director Jeannette Paulson, the Hawaii International Film Festival is now in a unique position as it looks to the future. We are a place apart from the hundreds of jostling festivals now finding their voices through a recent resurgence in public awareness of film festivals. The reason: A sharp focus on the culture of the entire Pacific Rim region combined with a commitment to bringing people from the East and the West together in a beautiful, culturally diverse place to celebrate the people, the commerce, the art and the bright future of this universal medium we call film.

Christian Gaines,
Festival Director