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Spring Showcase Opening Night Film: MAO’S LAST DANCER

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MAO’S LAST DANCER tells the inspirational true story of a small boy’s extraordinary journey from poverty to international stardom. From a grueling apprenticeship as a classical dancer in communist China, to the glory of creative freedom in America. But, there is a painful price to be paid for his quest for self expression. MAO’S LAST DANCER captures the intoxicating effects of first love and celebrity, the pain of exile, and ultimately the triumph of individual endeavor over ideology.

Friday, April 16th – 6:30pm at Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18 Theaters

Thank you, Oscar Night America Sponsors!


Stoli • Stella Artois • Waiwera


Apartm3nt • Barbara Brown’s Nails • Better Brands/William Grant • Bobbi Brown Cosmetics • Bonsai • Chocolate Creative • Christina Hom • Clark Takashima • The Contemporary Museum • cre808 Film Production Services • Dan’s Guitar • Elle Couture Jewellers • Fendi • Formaggio • Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay • Ginger 13 • Halekulani • Hands Toward Heaven • Harry Kasanow • Hawaiian Chair Covers • Hermes • Hildgund Jewelry • Hingkie Han • Honolulu Magazine • Indru Watumull • John Michael White • Daniel K • KA • Kaiwa • KBFD • Susan Kutzman • Roz Kwon • La Mer • Louis Vuitton • Manoa Valley Theatre • Martin & MacArthur • Media 5 Architecture • Mercedes Benz • Michael Chan • Moana Surfrider • Modern Luxury • Paul Brown Salon & Day Spa • Pearl Ultralounge • Phil Bossert • Azure at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel • Royal Lahaina Resort • Roz Kwan • RumFire • Salon Blanc •Shawn Fields • Sheraton Maui Resort • St. John • STAGE • Sweet Paradise Chocolatier • Tiffany & Co. • Toys & Joys • Volkswagen • W Salon • Whole Foods Market • Director Takita Yojiro


Aloha Salads, Christopher Lufrano • April Garcia • Better Brands, Christa Wittmier • Cutter Ala Moana Volkswagen, Ron Wright • First Hawaiian Bank • Hawaii Pacific Entertainment, Chimaine Pouteau • Hawaiian Chair Covers, Stacey Hayashi • KBFD, Jeff Chung • KITV, Michael Rosenberg & John Wray • Kyler Kwock, Photographer • Modern Luxury Hawaii, Jennifer Kurano • Platinum Limousine • Royal Hawaiian Hotel, Louise Abilla • Show and Tell, Mike Higgins • Starwood Hotels & Resorts Hawaii, Michael Troy • Stella Artois, Ty Sakaguchi • Steven Bern, Photographer • Sweet Paradise Chocolatier, Melanie Boudar • Waiwera, Philana Bouvier

Winners of Quick Picks Contest

Here are the winners of our Quick Picks Contest. They picked the most winners in 8 Academy Awards categories. These lucky people each won a bundle of 5 tickets to HIFF’s Spring Showcase, April 16-22 at the Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18 theaters. Congratulations! Stay tuned for more information, we’ll be announcing the full film program and schedule next week on Monday, March 15th.

  • Elizabeth Suzuki
  • Glenn Liu
  • Lynne Taogoshi
  • Matt Prellberg
  • Nancy Kishi

DEPARTURES Director Yojiro Takita talks at HIFF’s Oscar Night America party

DEPARTURES Director Yojiro Takita – 2010 HIFF Oscar Night America from HIFF on Vimeo.

The director of 2009 Oscar award-winning film DEPARTURES, Yojiro Takita attended HIFF’s Oscar Night America party on March 7, 2010. He spoke about how HIFF premiered his film in the USA in October 2008, and how the exposure led to his film being nominated for Best Foreign Language Film.

Quick Picks Contest Ended – Winners announced March 9th.

HIFF’s Quick Picks Contest has now ended, thank you to everyone who entered. To qualify to win one of five bundles of five tickets to the Spring Showcase, you must have gotten all 8 categories correct. If no one manages to get all of them correct, we’ll choose the entries that have the most answers correct. Winners will be announced here on the blog, on our twitter account and facebook page on Tuesday, March 9th. Winners will be contacted by email to receive their prizes.

Oscar Winners for the 8 categories highlighted in our Quick Picks Contest:

  • Best Picture: THE HURT LOCKER – Kathryn Bigelow
  • Leading Actor: Jeff Bridges – CRAZY HEART
  • Leading Actress: Sandra Bullock – THE BLIND SIDE
  • Directing: Kathryn Bigelow – THE HURT LOCKER
  • Documentary (Feature) – THE COVE – Louie Psihoyos and Fisher Stevens
  • Foreign Language Film: THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES – Argentina
  • Short Film (Animated): LOGORAMA – Nicolas Schmerkin
  • Short Film (Live Action): THE NEW TENANTS – Joachim Back and Tivi Magnusson

Two more films announced for Spring Showcase

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HIFF’s 13th Annual Spring Showcase is fast approaching, and here are two more films that will be playing April 16-22. AJAMI is a look at the conflicts between Jews and Arabs in Jaffa, Israel (near Tel Aviv), while FATHER AND GUNS is a Canadian comedy about a bickering father/son pair of cops who have to go undercover together. Also of note, AJAMI is one of the nominees for Best Foreign Language Film in this year’s Academy Awards.

The full film program for HIFF’s Spring Showcase will be announced March 15th. See more information on these films after the break.

Silent Auction Items at Oscar Night America 2010

Here is just a sampling of the fabulous items that we will have at the Oscar Night America 2010 Silent Auction. We will have over 100 items to bid on. See you at Oscar Night America!

  • Louis Vuitton Monogram Kalahari PM Handbag (retail value $2,500)
  • Hermes “Les Cles” Silk and Cashmere Shawl (retail value $980)
  • Fendi “Selleria” Stainless Steel Watch with Signature Hand-Stitched Grained Calfskin Strap (retail value $875)
  • Halekulani Table One Dinner for 6 at Orchids (retail value $750)
  • Azure at The Royal Hawaiian – Dinner for 4 in a Cabana (retail value $600)
  • Napa Valley Wine Tour (starting bid $4,500)
    • 3 Night Stay at Luxurious Villagio Inn and Spa in Napa Valley
    • Customized 8-Hour Private Napa Valley Wine Tour including luxury car service with personal guide for the day, pre-select your choice of wineries and lunch menu, tour state of the art wine making facilities, gourmet picnic lunch
    • Your choice of Hot Air Balloon Ride and Champagne Brunch or Dinner for two at REDD Restaurant
    • (2) 50 minute wellness massages


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THE MOST DANGEROUS MAN IN AMERICA: DANIEL ELLSBERG AND THE PENTAGON PAPERS, is about and narrated by Daniel Ellsberg (speaker in photo above) who leaked to the press a 7,000 page study by the Defense Department about America’s Southeast Asia strategies during the Vietnam War. Known as “The Pentagon Papers”, it ended with the resignation of President Nixon in 1974.

HIFF Proudly Congratulates Oscar Nominees Featured at 2009 Festival

HONOLULU, HI (February 11, 2010) – The Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF) is pleased to announce that six films featured at the 2009 fall festival have been nominated for Academy Awards garnering a total of 12 Oscar nominations.

“Every year we strive to bring the best films to share with our audiences in Hawaii and we are so pleased that several of the films from HIFF 2009 are being recognized by the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences,” says HIFF executive director Chuck Boller.  “We were thrilled at last year’s HIFF Oscar Night® America party to experience DEPARTURES’ win as Best Foreign Language Film, since the only place one could have seen the film in the entire United States prior to its Oscar win was at HIFF 2008, which presented DEPARTURES’ US Premiere.  We hope a HIFF film wins again this year.”

The 2009 Oscar nominated films include THE YOUNG VICTORIA, which received 3 nominations for art direction, costume design and makeup; PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL ‘PUSH’ BY SAPPHIRE, which received 6 nominations for best actress in a leading role for Gabourey Sidibe, best actress in a supporting role for Mo’Nique, director, film editing, best picture and adapted screenplay; MIRACLE FISH, which received a nomination for best live action short; and FOOD INC. and BURMA VJ, each of which received a nomination for best documentary feature.

Spring Showcase Preview: A GOOD RAIN KNOWS

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This cross cultural romance set in Sichuan (China) stars Korean heartthrob Jung Woo-sung (The Good, The Bad, The Weird – HIFF 2008) and mainland Chinese actress Gao Yuanyuan.

Korean executive Park Dong-ha (Jung) goes to Sichuan for a business meeting and encounters May (Gao), an English language tour guide whom he knows from their time studying at a college in the U.S. Only together for a short, intense period, they re-explore their feelings for each other.

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