HIFF 1998

18th Annual Hawaii International Film Festival

November 6-19, 1998

Award Winners

First Hawaiian Bank Golden Maile Award for Best Narrative
SPRING IN MY HOMETOWN
Director: Kwang-Mo Lee

First Hawaiian Bank Golden Maile Award for Best Documentary
NADYA’S VILLAGE
Director: Motahashi Seeichi

Hawaii Film & Videomaker Award
KAHO’OLAWE
Director: David Kalama Jr.

Kodak Vision Award for Cinematography
LAZLO KOVACS

Audience Award for Best Feature
THE BIRD PEOPLE IN CHINA
Director: Takashi Miike

Audience Award for Best Documentary
HAWAIIAN VOICES
Director: Eddie Kamae

Audience Award for Best Short
THE JOURNEY OF FLAPPER JANE
Director: Greg Cosh

1998 Program Book Cover

Opening Night

XIU XIU – THE SENT DOWN GIRL
Director: Joan Chen
USA 1998

World Premieres

RESTLESS (XIA RI QING DONG)
Director: Jule Gilfillan
USA/UK 1998, Made in Hawaii

O-NEGATIVE (RAK OK BAB MAI DAI)
Director: Euthana Mukdasanit
USA 1998, Surf Cinema

FLOWER SEASON, RAIN SEASON
Director: Qi Jian
USA 1998, Green Screen

THE PROMISE OF ENDEARMENT
Director:
USA 1998, Documentary Competition

AN UNUSUAL LOVE
Director: Tian-Ming Wu
USA 1998, American Immigrant Filmmakers

THE LAST STAND
Director: Sheila Laffey
USA 1998, Made in Hawaii

MANUEL OCAMPO: GOD IS MY CO-PILOT
Director: Phillip Rodriguez
USA 1998, Made in Hawaii

WAYFINDERS: A PACIFIC ODYSSEY
Director: Gail Evenari
USA 1998, Made in Hawaii

BLINDNESS
Director:
USA 1998, Made in Hawaii

International Premieres

BUDDY (SIP BET – BET SIP: PUEN SI MAI MI SUEWA)
Director:
Philippines 1998, Narrative Competition

THE RED BIKE STORY (CHAK GA YAN SEE DAENG)
Director:
Philippines 1998, Spotlight on the Philippines

WHEN THE WEST MEETS THE EAST
Director:
South Korea 1998, Spotlight on Korea

1998 Festival Trailer

Warm welcome to the 18th edition of the Hawaii International Film Festival. so much has changed since our humble beginnings in 1981, when we showed five films on two screens to an eager audience of about 5,000 at the beloved Varsity Theatre. 1998 will see more than 100 programs which will be seen by about 65,000 people on 26 screens across six Hawaiian islands. We are the only statewide film festival in the United States, and the only one in the world which is staged across a chain of islands.

There are perhaps five times more film festivals around the globe today than there were 20 years ago. Every region, it seems, demands a film festival to call its own. The good news is that there is a greater public awareness of their role and function, and the demand for their existence is high. Film enthusiasts realize that, in many cases, this may be the only chance to see an important film. An ad hoc distribution infrastructure for these films is then born. The bad news is that the more crowded the world becomes with festivals, the more of a challenge it is to be heard above the noise, to share film prints, to articulate a clear agenda.

Fortunately, the HIFF has had a clear focus since the day the first film lit up a screen. We show more films from the Pacific Rim than any other film festival in North America and our focus is sharp: to promote cultural understanding between the east and west through the presentation of film. Our ability to generate interest, excitement and respect around the world is built around this mission, and it has worked very well for us.

In this role, we have watched the nature of Asian film change substantially over the years. In the light of the deepening economic crisis, several Asian film industries are in shambles, even though many fine films still push through, whether produced independently or in formal state-sponsored environments. Consequently, films rooted n contemporary, urban society rather than dynastic settings are currently the norm as filmmakers struggle to interpret the changing world around them.

In Hawaii, both local and imported film production continues to blossom. Filmmaking is a consistent bright spot in the state’s economy, providing a clean and profitable industry with incalculable benefits for promoting Hawaii as a travel destination. Fortunately, the pool of production talent here is strong and seems to be getting stronger, as evidenced by the panorama of projects screening in the festival.

The recent public discussions on instituting a film school in Hawaii are timely and appropriate. A film school would be an enormous and immediate asset to any Hawaii educational institution, and the pool of incomparable Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Filipino teaching talent nearby could give it a cache and which would set it apart from other U.S. film schools.

Finally, many good things are afoot in the exhibition of films here in Hawaii. More than 150 new screens are planned within the next three years. Hopefully, this will increase the choices for Hawaii’s film fans still frustrated by lack of choice. With pleasure we welcome Signature Theaters as a new sponsor of the film festival with new screens at Pearl Highlands, and look forward to adding their planned Dole Cannery Square theatre as a major HIFF venue in 1999.

Anyway, on with the show! I hope you like the lineup. we have combed the globe to bring these films to you. I am so very grateful to the hardworking staff for the passion and energy they show each day in the face of daunting logistical challenges. I thank our re-energized Board of Directors for their generosity of resources, our volunteers for their kindness and cooperation, and our sponsors who enthusiastically provide the concrete financial means to put this all on.

Most of all, I want to thank you, our movie-going public. Your loyalty and enthusiasm have allowed us to grow (even when we started charging!), because we know we can count on you to be there to support a great film and an important filmmaker. You are a crucial part of the triangle that makes this film festival so very special.

Christian Gaines
Festival Director, Director of Programming