The 31st Annual Hawaii International Film Festival started with a bang on Thursday! The morning press conference was well attended, I counted over 75 press in atttendance. There was a variety of special guests as speakers including representatives from major sponsors of the festival: Halekulani and the Hawaii Tourism Authority, as well as representatives from movies and the Eurocinema organization.
Spring Showcase 2014
Last night was the Opening Night Gala for HIFF 2011 and I was pleasantly there. Don’t worry, I DVR-ed Millionaire Matchmaker for everyone who attended, so you can breathe your sighs of relief now.
It took place at the Halekulani, which I read in the news today (something I do every morning while nibbling on a biscotti like an uber cultured individge) was ranked 36th in the 2011 “Top 200 Hotels in the United States” by Condé Nast Traveler readers. Not surprised! I mean, did you see their desserts table last night?!
If you were vulture-ing that buffet for a good 45 minutes then maybe I stole a Tiramisu tart from you—nice to meet you! I was with the “Korean Jackie O” (awesome George Drakoulias’s own words) and our Hawaii Fav-0 Chinatown clubowner, Chris Kahunahana who’ll be hosting 9TH WONDER at Nextdoor tonight.
Speaking of 9th Wonder, in between Chuck Boller’s very gratious welcome speech and the attentive Disaronno bar courtesy of Young’s Market, I got to meet the hip-hop DJ (bucket list: check). Feeling jacked on inspiration, I even tried to spit a few rhymes of my own and asked him if he was enjoying the O.N.G. (Opening Night Gala). Whoops, that was embarrassing…
Next time I promise to take more photos, but as you can see I kind of had my hands full (pictured), so instead scroll through Hawaii RED Magazine’s photos of the night’s FASHUNZ here. On the Dole Cannery Theater side, here’s some shots via Honolulu Pulse.
In conclusion, have a feeling this year’s festival is gonna be the sweetest ever.
Instead of lead with a block of text, I thought I’d just let this trailer speak for itself.
#RealTalk: The film, THE WONDER YEAR, is probably the movie I’m most excited for. Patrick “9th Wonder” Douthit is an alt-hip hop game changer who’s spun rhymes with Mary J. Blige, Lil Wayne, Wale, Jay-Z, Chris Brown and basically every one else in your “Gettin’ Cray 4 da Club” playlist (just me?) on your iPod. Hey, don’t take my word for it, take Drake’s.
Since I KNOW I DONT’ HAVE TO TELL YOU WATCH THE TRAILER, it’s pretty clear that 9th Wonder is a solid beat machine. Go to the Hawaii premiere tomorrow at 8:30pm and follow the luminary through a year of his producing life, working with artists and industry peers, to teaching at Duke University.
And then follow him to Nextdoor in Chinatown for a—wait, what?!
That’s right. Following the premiere, literally follow 9th Wonder to Nextdoor in Chinatown for a Live Music Showcase because he will be here to DJ you into your weekend! This one night only appearance is the kick off to HIFF’s SOUND x VISION film section—in it’s second year and seriously better than ever. I mean, 9TH WONDER, yo!
I know you’re just amped on endorphines right now reading this, so here’s the best outlet we can offer ’til ‘morrow night: his music.
The most overused saying all of time ever regarding time ever, but: Can you believe it’s already been another year? About to spit Cliche: Part 2 right now, but seriously, HIFF 2010 feels like it was “just yesterday!” Since I’m in this sentimental fugue, thought I’d share with you what is officially the FIRST FILM of the 2011 festival schedule.
And it’s called TOGETHER.
I mean, c’mon, how perfect is that?! (Here, take a tissue.)
Screening at 6pm today, this documentary weaves an honest tapestry of very different lives—all impacted by HIV/AIDS in modern Chinese society. Embracing the Internet, direcor Zhao Liang is able to contact these individuals and tell their stories… Which is kind of what HIFF is all about—being able to tell people’s stories—so its billing as a the unofficial “kick off” to 2011 is too fitting.
Trailer for TOGETHER
If you wanna see the rest, hurry… it screens in less than 3 hours!
So as some of you may have noticed there are 22 feature-length Japanese films at HIFF 2011! With such a huge selection, and limited time you mast be asking yourself how can I ever decide what to watch!
Between the Spotlight on Japan section, and a slew of other Japanese films placed throughout the different film sections, there is truly something for everyone. There are the kid-friendly RYUJIN MABUYER, NINJA KIDS!!!, and A LETTER TO MOMO, family dramas KAASAN: MOM’S LIFE, CHRONICLE OF MY MOTHER, and WIFE OF GEGEGE NYOUBOU, and strange-wonderful-extreme fare such as MILOCRORZE: A LOVE STORY, SMUGGLER, and THE WARPED FOREST. This is not to mention all the anime…..phew!
So to help a little with your decision making, here is a list of five of my personal J-Favs at HIFF 2011….
Remember when I said HIFF is really easy about two posts back? Well, for argument’s sake/this post, I’m now going to tell you that it’s also kind of confusing! (Forgive me. Third latte. Can’t make up my mind.)
Luckily, the festival is propped up by three films, so you don’t lose your balance throughout the 10 day timeline:
Someone is clearly excited about Opening Night…
OPENING NIGHT FILM
THE FRONT LINE (pictured)
Thur., October 13, 8pm
Wed., October 19, 8:15pm
CLOSING NIGHT FILM
Sun., October 23, 6pm
They add a sense of form and structure to the fun-in-the-chaos that is HIFF. Since the OPENING NIGHT FILM is tomorrow, some myths we want to clean up (after the jump)…
It’s the day before the festival, so we thought we’d take a peek into the eyes of society’s soul: Twitter. Turns out much of Honolulu’s getting excited for #HIFF re: some of our hashtag favs!
…and the account stream keeps flowing. If you want to interact with us, @ or hit us up on Facebook and let’s see some movies together!
You can follow @HIFF on Twitter here, and get wired in with some of us below:
@Sarah_Honda (Sarah Honda/Development Director)
@ale808 (Anderson Le/Director of Programming)
@atmarketing (Toby Tamaye/Party Planner)
@annapage47 (Anna Page/Education and Grant Coordinator)
@ChrisHall78 (Christopher Hall/Web & Social Media Coordinator)
You know it’s gonna be a good day when a Starbucks barista gets your name right. (“Wait, you’re letting me be me, not “Ben” or “Max” or “Mortimer” (true story) this morning? Holla.”) An even better day when you have your HIFF catalog with you—which you can conveniently pick up at your neighborhood Starbucks (aka, any corner on any street anywhere) among other places.
The free program guide, which came out ~1 week ago, is like water for the film festival goer. It has everything in it to survive!
Page 2-3 has Festival at a Glance: an index of every category, every film, every event—a shortlist of special sections and who to stalk visiting filmmakers and actors at this year’s fest. Pages 5-31 is the Program Guide: a list of all the films w/ synopses in alpha order. Pages 34-36 lays out the entire Film Timetable and How to HIFF. What I’m saying is there’s really no reason to be out of the loop. You have a comprehensive guide to HIFF and a cup of caffeine!
PS – when you wake up this time tomorrow morning, it’ll officially be time to HIFF. Good morning, Hawaii!
Do you know what today is? If you don’t know, open your fridge, pull out that leftover Mediterranean orzo and flip on your TV right now to see Anderson Cooper intervieweing Careé Otis, Kim Kardashian’s *~*fairtytale~*~ wedding or reruns of RHOBH (Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, duh) to realize it’s…
Still not getting it? Fine, just press play on the video below so we can hit you over the head with the fact today is…
…National Coming Out Day. (That’s it. That’s your answer. You can stop murdering the “play” button now.) That said, Happy National Coming Out Day!
At HIFF 2011 we have a special section named after the original “Born This Way” anthem: EXPRESS YOURSELF.
Capsule summaries of the three films after the “Read More” jump/pirouette…
We are a few days away from the festival and I’ve got my tickets for the movies that I really wanted to see. As my schedule starts to fill in this week, we will see what other movies I have time to enjoy. What I am really looking forward to is Thursday, a big day for the festival as the morning they host an Opening Press Conference at Rum Fire at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel, and in the evening is the Opening Night Party at the Halekulani Hotel. That party is followed by the Opening Night movie “The Front Line” at Dole Cannery Theaters. It is going to be a very busy day!