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UNDER THE HAWTHORN TREE directed by auteur Zhang Yimou is our Opening Film at HIFF this year!

Zhang Yimou knows how to wrap up heroic cieling-to-floor costumes, tense traditional drama, jaw-dropping cinematography, and the entire color wheel up in a single frame. I mean, remember HERO? THE HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS? How about the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing Olympics?

Zhang Yimou’s latest (and our Opening Night film, don’t forget it) is a more basic return to storytelling: a coming of age tale with lost of innocence themes told through the star-crossed relationship of a young city girl and country boy from different socio-economic backgrounds set against the Cultural Revolution of 1970s China. Bring tissues!

Also, did I mention that Zhang Yimou is here?! At HIFF?! This year?! Epic!

HIFF 2010 Festival Trailer unveiled!

If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s the HIFF 2010 Festival Trailer, created by Brett Wagner; concept developed by Wagnervision and OrangeRoc. Enjoy!


The most-anticipated film at HIFF 2010 according to our online Facebook poll (100% unscientific, 200% I-don’t-care), the winner is made-in-Maui comedy GET A JOB! Job or not, get your tickets anyway!

GET A JOB directed by Brian Kohne

Willie K. and Eric Gilliom lead a cast of cuhhhraaaazy characters including Augie T., Jake Shimabukuro, Henry Kapono, Amy Hanaiali’i, Charles Ka’upu, Ernie Cruz Jr., Alaka’i Paleka, Mick Fleetwood, Willie Nelson, Pat Simmons, Marty Dread, my aunty and your uncle.


Amid the HIFF hustle and bustle, I’m here to assure you there is a grand design to its programming. The Opening, Centerpiece, and Closing films create the spine of show, with the second acting as the beating heart of it all.

This year’s Centerpiece Presentation is the much anticipated THE TEMPEST by director Julie Taymor. Taymor is the mind behind the Beatles musical ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, Broadway’s re-imagining of THE LION KING, my personal fav FRIDA, and the upcoming SPIDERMAN THE MUSICAL (I can already hear the lyric, my spidey senses are TIIIIINNNNGLINGGGG   / jazz hands).

The latest source material to get the Taymor Treatment is the play of the same name by William Shakespeare. Shot primarily on the islands of Lanai and the Big Island, these dream locations are populated by a dream cast including Helen Mirren, Alfred Molina, Russell Brand, Djimon Hounsou, Chris Cooper, Alan Cumming, Ben Whishaw and Felicity Jones. Go ahead. Soak that sentence in. And then snag your tickets for the two sure-to-sell-out screenings!

THE TEMPEST (2010) directed by Julie Taymor

HIFF Promotional Video created by WHERE TV Hawaii

Check out this quick HIFF 30 promotional video that Jermaine Fletcher at WHERE TV Hawaii created:

They’re coming to get you, Barbara!



Let me explain–ever since I was a kid, I had this weird fascination with gore, guts, blood, chainsaw hands; you know, the usual. It pleases me so that this year at HIFF, we’ll be showing a couple of rad cult-y horror films to fulfill my disgusting insatiability.  And for my not-so-kitschy friends, we’ll also be premiering a non-cult-y-regular-horror horror film that is equally impressive, and hopefully, equally disgusting.

Brains–Three movies that will make your head go, “AAAHHHH!!”


Happy October, everybody!

HIFF Executive Director Chuck Boller honored last night at Legacy Awards

Congratulations to Mr. Chuck Boller, Executive Director of the Hawaii International Film Festival. He was honored last night at the Legacy Awards, and given an award in the category of Film. Mr. Boller also received a certificate of recognition from Governor Linda Lingle.

The Legacy Awards recognizes people in Hawaii for their outstanding accomplishments in the field of business, medicine, science & technology, the arts, and philanthropy.

Take a look at the introduction for Chuck Boller, an edited version of the Hawaiian Skies HIFF Promotional Video, directed by Brett Wagner – Wagnervision:


The next time you’re in Chinatown — which better be tonight for First Friday! — be sure to pick up the killer October issue of Chinatown Newspaper.

With cutie pie and Ecila star Britney Sussman’s face on the cover, you could easily mistake this one for Vogue Italia. Except unlike that publication, this one is totally free, though just as glossy and bona fide.

[img_assist|nid=446|title=Gisele? No. Britney Sussman!|desc=|link=none|align=center|width=250|height=333]

[img_assist|nid=447|title=Let’s not forget there’s a full page print of this bad boy.|desc=|link=none|align=center|width=250|height=333]

Inside you’ll find a program list of highlighted films and film series like SOUND X VISION (see two blogs down), ART + DESIGN, and AFTER DARK — which basically sums up the equation to Chinatown’s bustling nightlife scene. Prepare to get those fingers inky!

FAVAH Networking Event — An Evening with Peter Berg

The Film and Video Association of Hawaii in conjunction with HIFF is proud to present an evening with PETER BERG. He has enjoyed success as a writer, director, producer and actor who most recently directed the 2009 action hit, “Hancock,” starring Will Smith in the title role.

[img_assist|nid=442|title=|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=240|height=160]Berg made his feature film directorial debut (from his own original screenplay) on the 1998 cult favorite “Very Bad Things,” which starred Cameron Diaz, John Favreau and Christian Slater and earned kudos at both the Deauville (France) and San Sebastian (Spain) Film Festivals. He went on to direct the actioner “The Rundown” starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Christopher Walken, and returned to the action genre with the war drama “The Kingdom,” which starred Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner and Chris Cooper. He also executive produced the offbeat independent comedy, “Lars and the Real Girl,” starring Ryan Gosling.

RSVP for this event

Event Details:
Tuesday, October 5th, 2010
Kahala Hotel – Waialae Ballroom

7pm – 7:45pm – Light Pupus / Networking
8pm – 9pm – Showtime with Peter Berg


$10 – FAVAH and HIFF members
$30 – non members



Yes, we read your mind.  This year HIFF is premiering a bunch of rad films that are guaranteed to leave that face of yours all bruised and melty.  SOUND X VSION (YEAH, with an X) is a brand new section in our festival and is the only one to have an all leather dress code (just kidding…OR AM I?). And because you just can’t get enough, there will also be a music video showcase, a LIVE music showcase at Nextdoor in Chinatown (mostly so we can party with you) AAAND–for the aspiring musicians–a meet-and-greet with folks from THE INDUSTRY (or the ‘BIZ,’ as I never call it).

Lace up those chucks and check out…FILMS TO ROCK OUT TO:


          WE'RE LIVIN' ON DOG FOOD    


Yes, I realize a couple of the films overlapped with my other list–ROCK ‘N’ ROLL HAS NO RULES, YOU GUYSS!

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