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Hero Complex Film Festival

If you didn’t know, the geeks have inherited the Earth. Catering to geek culture is a Hollywood mantra now, with superhero movies coming out of the yin yang for summer blockbuster season, graphic novels and other comic properties being picked up and adapted for big screen annihilation and Comic Con becoming the Mecca of Geekdom every year, where every studio will head south to San Diego and evangelize and cock tease the masses in the hallowed Hall H.

But, with news today of several studios opting out of Comic Con presentations this year, because of hype in a vacuum, we may have crossed a tipping point with geek and fanboy-dom. But, that’s not going to happen anytime soon and thank the Maker, because the 2nd annual Hero Complex Film Festival presented by the Los Angeles Times was held this past weekend, and it was hella fun. This film festival was created by LA Times reporter Geoff Boucher, who also runs the Hero Complex blog, a news site on all things geek (movies, TV, comics, multimedia).

Read more about the Hero Complex Film Festival below…

Movie nights are baaaack!

The best part about actually making it out of my bedroom to see a film (can’t seem to find the energy to put on pants lately), is going to see it for free.  Monday Movie Nights at Morning Brew in Kailua offers up a monthly night where cinephiles and broke folk alike can join forces and get real weird with it.  

This coming Monday, Morning Brew will be showing Czechoslovakian film Sedmikrasky (1966) – a surrealist flick by director Vera Chytilová.  Come hang out in the loft area, grab a glass of Cabernet and make plans with me to revive this whole modern surrealism movement, because it has to happen, you guys. IT HAS TO. 

HIFF’s Free Educational Programs

Every year in October, educators around the state of Hawaii have the opportunity to get their students engaged with the film festival. HIFF has three youth-based free educational programs that it provides every year, with support from local and national foundations, as well as the Department of Education. See the Educational Program pages on our site for more details, and to sign up for teacher email lists.

  • Guest Filmmaker Program – Filmmakers make classroom visits on Oahu to talk about their experiences and show clips from their films, and speak to students statewide via video conference. 
  • Cultural & Visual Literacy Program – Films with cultural significance are hand-picked for free screenings available to Oahu schools. 
  • Student Showcase – Offers student filmmakers (high school & younger) the opportunity to have their films shown on the big screen.

In the past 5 years, visiting filmmakers have included: Kal Penn (HAROLD & KUMAR series), Jason Scott Lee (DRAGON: THE BRUCE LEE STORY), director Justin Lin (BETTER LUCK TOMORROW, FAST FIVE), Katsuhito Ishii (TASTE OF TEA), as well as local filmmakers Anne Misawa, Gerard Elmore, and Ryan Kawamoto. Each year from 8 to 12 filmmakers participate in the Educational Programs, and 3 films are chosen for the student CVLP screenings. Additionally, approximately 8-10 student filmmakers have the opportunity to show their work at the free Student Showcase screening.

Anderson’s report from the 64th Cannes Film Festival

The 64th Festival de Cannes wrapped up this weekend and I have to say, it was a stellar year. A festival with multiple strands, ranging from the official selection (Competition and Out of Competition screenings), the Un Certain Regard, Critics Week and Director’s Fortnight sidebars, and the Marche du Film (a film convention with over a thousand film screenings from film companies of all shapes and sizes from around the world), it’s a virtual cinema bazaar of some of the best (and worst) cinema. But it was a good, maybe even great, selection of films including and all the award winners, which were announced this weekend, were all worthy of their accolades.

Read more below for Anderson’s views on this year’s Cannes Film Festival titles, including film trailers. If you’re interested, also check out his report from 2010 Cannes.

HIFF visits the 1st Annual Bejing International Film Festival

Chuck Boller (Executive Director of the Hawaii International Film Festival since the year 2000) recently visited the 1st Annual Bejing International Film Festival (April 23-28) as a special guest, along with other film festival directors (such as Sundance, Berlin, Toronto, Busan). He also attended a special film festival director’s panel which was held to help the new festival get ideas and learn from a variety of experienced professionals.

Read more for his take on this first edition and his experiences, since he has traveled to China often over the years.

I <3 Far East Film Festival (Udine, Italy)

I had the great pleasure to attend the Far East Film Festival, located in a small mountain town called Udine, which is about 90 minutes from Venice. Why have an Asian film festival in the middle of nowhere Italy? Well, why not? The inception of the festival began in 1999, when a retrospective of Hong Kong cinema was presented to local cineastes. It was wildly successful and from then on, the Centro Espressioni Cinematografiche, a presenting organization of film events around Udine, started the Far East Film Festival. Now in its 13th year, it is considered a true destination point for Asian film aficionados and has launched international spotlights on Asian auteurs like Johnnie To, Quark Henares and Feng Xiaogang, just to name a few.

Read more below (full size photos included).

Films Announced for Celebrate Culture + Arts @ Ko Olina Film Series

The films for May’s Celebrate Culture + Arts @ Ko Olina Film Series have been announced. This event takes place on the lawn at Ko Olina Resort’s Ulua Lagoon (#4) at sunset, rain or shine. Grease (Sing-a-long version) will be playing on Friday, May 13th and The Princess Bride will be playing on Saturday, May 14th. For more information on these films, please click the ‘read more’ link below.

See Two Feature Films For Free This Month On Drama Fever

Thanks to a partnership between Asian Cinevision and Drama Fever, you can see two feature length films for free in May to celebrate Asian Heritage Month. These films were featured at the 2010 Asian American International Film Festival (New York City) in 2010. Both of these films are for mature audiences, so viewer discretion is advised. Read more below to learn about these films.


LEGEND OF THE FIST: THE RETURN OF CHEN ZHEN Opens in Honolulu on April 22nd at Consolidated Theatres Pearlridge 16. If you missed the Hawaii premiere of this film at HIFF last October, here’s another chance to see Donnie Yen & Shu Qi in action.

HIFF is giving away 4 pairs of tickets to see LEGEND OF THE FIST: THE RETURN OF CHEN ZHEN, the contest starts today and winners will be announced next Monday 4/18 and Tuesday 4/19. The tickets will be good for any screening of LEGEND OF THE FIST as long as it isn’t sold out in pre-sale.

To enter, please follow @HIFF on Twitter and send us an @ message with your answers to the two trivia questions below. Example: @HIFF 1) Answer One 2) Answer Two To qualify to win, you must get both trivia questions correct. HIFF will contact the winners via a Twitter direct message and request their email addresses.

Contest Trivia Questions:

  • Which HK martial arts actor has either worked behind-the-scenes or acted in IP MAN, IP MAN 2 and THE LEGEND IS BORN: IP MAN?
  • What other big name HK actor is playing IP MAN in a film directed by Wong Kar Wai?


Film Synopsis
Shanghai, 1925.  As the Japanese prepare to invade, the city has become a hotbed of spies, gangsters, foreigners, and military officials, all jockeying for control. Into this den of intrigue enters Chen Zhen (Donnie Yen, Ip Man 2). During the day, he’s known as “Qi”, and appears to be just another wealthy playboy.

But at night, he takes to the street as a masked warrior, determined to subvert the Japanese invasion and protect the citizens of Shanghai- all while becoming entangled with the sultry Kiki (Shu Qi, The Transporter), who has a dangerous secret of her own.  When his past catches up to him, Chen Zhen is faced with near impossible odds- but his kung-fu is formidable, and he’s up to the challenge.

For More Info, Please Visit:

HIFF @ KO OLINA – April 22 + 23, 2011

Hawaii International Film Festival and Ko Olina Resort & Marina are launching a series of Art, Culture, Music and Film presentations with two outdoor movie screenings. Picnic baskets, blankets, low beach chairs or cushions are welcome. Proceeds from refreshment sales to benefit educational programs at Waianae High School. Complimentary parking available at Lagoon 4 and Ko Olina Marina beginning at 5 pm.

April 22 & 23, 2011
Ulua Lagoon – Grand Lawn (Lagoon 4) 
Ko Olina Resort & Marina
Kapolei, Hawai’i 96707

The featured films will be MAKE BELIEVE on Friday, April 22 and HACHI: A DOG’S TALE on Saturday, April 23. For more information on the films and to buy tickets, please visit our page for the HIFF at Ko Olina event.

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