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Anderson’s Report from The LA Film Festival

The Los Angeles Film Festival just wrapped this Sunday, closing with the Guillermo del Toro produced DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK, a solid horror film starring Katie Holmes. Over 10 days, over 200 films unspooled in the LA LIVE Center in Downtown Los Angeles. Overall, the Festival was a major success and their programming was great, with a diverse mix of new indie features, compelling documentaries and Hollywood blockbusters. Here are some highlights from the Festival:

Celebrate Culture + Arts Ko Olina Films – June 24-25

The films for June’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. Pink Panther 2 will be playing on Friday, June 24th and 50 First Dates will be playing on Saturday, June 25th. For more information on these films, please click the ‘read more’ link below.

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.

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