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Hong Kong action flick LET THE BULLETS FLY opens in theaters this Friday

HIFF is hosting a special event for the opening night of LET THE BULLETS FLY, at Pearlridge West 16 on Friday, March 2nd at 7:45pm. We’re giving away (4) pairs of tickets to see LET THE BULLETS FLY during its run at Pearlridge, thanks to distributor Variance Films. Here’s how to enter:

Enter on Twitter:
Tell us why you like Hong Kong action films in 140 characters or less, and start your tweet with ‘@HIFF’. The 2 most creative entries will win. Please follow @HIFF so we can direct messag…

Okinawan superhero film RYUJIN MABUYER is now playing in Hawaii theatres

“So right now, there’s no other venue in Hawai’i, except for the Hawaii International Film Festival. On the Mainland, we show four to six Japanese films per year, so we want to change the situation here.”
-Shun Ohara, Eleven Arts VP of Distribution

We saw the recent coverage of Okinawan superhero movie RYUJIN MABUYER in The Hawai’i Herald, and it is currently playing at Pearlridge West 16 Theatres through March 1st. HIFF had the world premiere of the RYUJIN MABUYER film last October, then it opened in Okinawa late last year to record opening weekend numbers. It’s a great example of incorporating local culture into a film or TV series. MABUYER was filmed and produced entirely in Okinawa, plus features an all-Uchinanchu cast.

The Hawaii International Film Festival is proud to be one of the only places to showcase Japanese films like RYUJIN MABUYER in Hawaii. MABUYER is being distributed by Eleven Arts, a Los Angeles based company that focuses on Japanese and Asian films. In the past, HIFF has shown many of their films, including: WHAT THE SNOW BRINGS (2005), COBALT BLUE (2009), THE HARIMAYA BRIDGE (2009), BEAUTIFUL ISLANDS (2010), and ALMOST PERFECT (2011). HIFF provides an excellent way to expose yourself to other countries’ cultures through the medium of film. With the multi-cultural makeup of Hawai’i, you can learn more about your own heritage, as well as your neighbors.

HIFF’s Executive Director Chuck Boller was recently honored at Pacific and Asian Affairs Council dinner

Chuck Boller with HIFF Founder Jeannette Paulson-Hereniko

At the Pacific and Asian Affairs Council’s annual dinner A Global Affair” earlier in February, HIFF’s Executive Director Chuck Boller was honored with the Paul S. Bachman Memorial Award. This award honors an individual or organization that has contributed significantly to the improvement of relations between the United States and its neighbors in Asia and the Pacific. The HIFF staff was able to attend the event due to the generosity of Gulab & Indru Watumull, who are active in the HIFF Board of Directors. See below for a couple of photos from the event.

Anderson’s 62nd Berlinale Report

Berlinale Palast

Berlinale Palast

My annual jaunt to Berlin to attend the Berlinale kicks off my programming trips for the year. It’s always a pleasure and treat to visit Berlin, truly one of my favorite cities in the world. This year it was a little tough, considering that all of mainland Europe was experiencing record low temperatures. The cold was so bitter, it was consistently in the low teens Fahrenheit with a wind chill that would just cut through your very body.

The extremely cold weather promoted me to stay indoors as much as possible, and that meant mostly in the cinemas! My days mostly consist of film screenings, as well as meetings with film sales agents, distributors, and filmmakers prospecting on what I can get for my festivals. I also track what’s coming out at the various film markets and major festivals for the rest of 2012. Usually it’s over some brautwurst or some kind of pork knuckle dish with dumplings, but even that takes a toll on the system (it still amazes me to see little office girls eat like that everyday. Kind of warms my cockles but I digress).

Anyway, here are some film highlights from this year’s Berlinale. I hope to program some of these titles at HIFF, so treat this as a special sneak peek of what may be in store for October:

Sundance Film Festival Report

Sundance 2012

Sundance 2012

This year’s Sundance was an interesting year, with the documentaries being the strongest component of the programming and some gems from the narrative feature sections. I was in full marathon mode, viewing a total of 35 films in 8 days. I am a little film fatigued. But, it was a fun year, and a couple of blizzard days aside, the weather was amazing and the atmosphere in Park City was crackling with energy as usual. I was fortunate to stay in a big cabin at Deer Valley Resorts, just a couple of miles north from Main Street. Rap star Little Wayne was my neighbor!

Anyway, here’s my top film picks (in no particular order):

Pick the winners of the Academy Awards and win a dinner for two at Halekulani!

The nominations for the 84th Annual Academy Awards were announced yesterday. As part of the excitement leading up to HIFF’s Oscar Night America gala on February 26th, we’re holding a “Pick the Winners” contest that’s open to everyone, 18 and older. The prize is a dinner for two at the Halekulani Hotel’s Orchids restaurant (up to a $200 value). Entries for the contest start today and conclude the day before the Academy Awards are hosted.

Enter HIFF’s “Pick the Winners” Contest today!

The Golden Globes are finished, now we’re gearing up for Oscar Night America!

I hope you were watching the Golden Globes this past weekend, since Hawaii walked away with the prize for the Best Motion Picture – Drama category for THE DESCENDANTS, with George Clooney also winning the Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama category. We showed many of the top nominated films here at HIFF last fall, and we’re eagerly awaiting the release of the nominations for the Academy Awards, which will happen on January 24th.

Also of note is that THE ARTIST (EuroCinema Hawaii) won the Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical category, and also Best Original Score and Best Actor for Comedy/Musical by Jean Dujardin. Not many people had heard about this film when it played at HIFF, but with the exposure from the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards we’re sure you’ll get another chance to see it in Hawaii.

Some other HIFF shown nominated films and actors/actresses which have a good shot at an Oscar nomination are: WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN (Tilda Swinton) and THE KID WITH A BIKE (Belgium), also from our EuroCinema Hawaii selection.

HIFF 31 Survey Winners Announced!

Many of you took a survey either online on in person while you were at our festival, and two lucky people who entered have won 6 tickets each to our upcoming Spring Showcase, held in April 2012! Congratulations to Donna Tamasese and Michael Morimoto!

HIFF Surveys are a great way for us to keep improving the Festival, and they help us to continue to offer exciting, cutting edge films, panels, and transmedia programs. At the same time, the information gathered in our HIFF surveys is vital for our fund raising capabilities, as we use the data acquired for grant applications and proposals. A big MAHALO to everyone who took a few minutes of their time to fill out one of our HIFF Surveys this year, we greatly appreciate your assistance!

Photos from HIFF 2011

Here is a selection of photos highlighting various events that happened during the 31st Hawaii International Film Festival presented by Halekulani.

Opening Press Conference at RumFire, Sheraton Waikiki. Opening Night Party at Halekulani

Justin Cravalho, Luke Aguinaldo, Warren Daubert – HumanHand, designers of this year’s HIFF Key Visual.

Featured bartenders at a private Disaronno Amaretto event during the festival.

Meet the Filmmakers reception at RumFire #1

Meet the Filmmakers reception at RumFire #2

An Afternoon With Hawaii 5-0 – Alex O’Laughlin, Daniel Dae Kim & Grace Park

An Afternoon With Hawaii 5-0, held at Halekulani. HIFF executive director Chuck Boller, and programmer Anderson Le with cast and crew from Hawaii 5-0.

Actress Tamlyn Tomita with Chairman of the HIFF Board of Directors, Owen Ogawa and his mother.

Vilcek Foundation Executive Director Rick Kinsel (center) with 4 filmmakers from the American Immigrant Filmmakers on Profile section.

Award winning filmmakers Adam Pesce (Splinters), Prashant Bhargava (Patang), Ruslan Pak (Hanaan) with a representative from awards sponsor Tiffany & Co.


The annual Governor’s Reception, held at Washington Place, where the HIFF awards were announced this year.

HIFF award winning filmmakers and Masato Harada (director of festival hit Chronicles of My Mother) at HIFF’s closing press conference.

Visiting filmmakers enjoying the festival’s closing party at Sam Choy’s Breakfast, Lunch and Crab restaurant.

Alexander Payne, director of HIFF’s Closing Night film THE DESCENDANTS, and Kaui Hart Hemmings, writer of the novel the film was based on.

Honolulu mayor Peter Carlisle and HIFF executive Direcor Chuck Boller present Alexander Payne with this year’s Vision in Film award.

Audience Awards for HIFF 31, presented by Hawaii News Now

The audience awards for this year’s festival, presented by Hawaii News Now, go to:

Narrative Feature:
THE DESCENDANTS directed by Alexander Payne
Documentary: ALOHA BUDDHA directed by Bill Ferehawk, Dylan Robertson
Short: TSUYAKO directed by Mitsuyo Miyazaki

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