Big Island filmmakers in spotlight
By CHELSEA JENSEN
Three local films, including an animated sci-fi romance, a slice-of-real-life drama and a murder mystery, are among the 54 selections for the eighth annual Big Island Film Festival, which opened Thursday in South Kohala.
One of the top contenders from Hawaii Island is “Strange Frame” produced and directed by G.B. Hajim, of Island Planet One Productions based in Papaikou. The animated science fiction romance features work by animators and paid interns from Hilo High School, Waiakea High School, the University of Hawaii at Hilo and Hawaii Community College.
“Strange Frame” explores the theme of the transformative power of love between two women, according to Hajim. The story begins 200 years after the Great Exodus of Earth with Naia X, a feisty, young singer-songwriter being forced to work as a miner to pay back debt incurred by her ancestors. When she hooks up and starts a band with Parker C. Boyd, they have to not only make it as musicians but also fight for their freedom.
It stars Tim Curry (“Rocky Horror Picture Show,” “FernGully”); Claudia Black (“Stargate SG1,” “Farscape”); George Takei (“Star Trek,” “Heroes”); Michael Dorn (“Star Trek,” “Transformers”); Ron Glass (“Barney Miller,” “Firefly,” “Serenity”); Alan Tudyk (“Firefly,” “Serenity,” “I, Robot”); Juliet Landau (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Ed Wood”); Cree Summer (“Rugrats,” “Drawn Together,” “Transformers”); Tara Strong (“My Little Pony,” “Rugrats,” “Princess Mononoke”); and Claudia Christian (“Babylon 5,” “Starhyke”).
The film has been screened around the world, including 20 cities in America; it won Best Feature Film at the 2012 Drag*Con Independent Film Festival in Atlanta.
“It’s thrilling, sexy, entertaining due to its massive amount of music and visual stimulation, but more importantly, a story that has a deep meaning and a refreshing plotline. This film has cult classic written all over it,” wrote AJ Garcia of entertainment website Shakefire.
“The Land of Eb,” produced by Kailua-Kona filmmaker Andrew Williamson, is a fictional story that highlights the hope and tenacity of Marshallese coffee workers in South Kona.
Shot exclusively in Kona and Ocean View, “The Land of Eb” tells the story of Jacob, a man diagnosed with stomach cancer who keeps his illness a secret and resolves to pay off his family’s debts before his death. It explores the frustrating, day-to-day difficulties of living in a world that doesn’t share your native tongue, culture or values, Williamson said.
“Bullitt and the Mystery of the Devil’s Root” is an island adventure, produced, acted and directed by Kona filmmakers Richard Gonzales and Rockwood. It features local actors including Shawn Lathrop, Darrin “DC” Carlson and Mary Croix.
“Bullitt,” a private investigator who specializes in cases even the police won’t tackle, sets out on a twisted adventure to find the murderer of his longtime friend and informant in this film. While concurrently investigating a missing persons case, he discovers that things are not quite what they seem.
The three films are among 54 official selections to be featured during the five-day “talk-story” film festival being held at The Fairmont Orchid and The Shops at Mauna Lani. The festival celebrates independent narrative films and film-making and features free family films, nightly double features for adults and gourmet food, drinks and entertainment. It draws thousands to the South Kohala resort area annually.
This year’s festival’s honorees are celebrities Kate McKinnon, of “Saturday Night Live,” and Vincent Kartheiser, of “Mad Men.” The two will first appear at a “Meet the Stars: Aloha Hollywood” gala – $75 in advance – at 5 p.m., at The Fairmont Orchid’s Hawaii Theatre. McKinnon and Kartheiser will also take part in a reception and salute on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
Ticket prices vary by event. Movie admissions range from $8 to $16 with some kamaaina rates available. Special passes are also available; prices range from $30 to $400, depending on the package. Reservations are needed for awards-related events and receptions. Prices at the door may be higher. Family films are free and offered two hours nightly.
For more information, visit bigislandfilmfestival.com or call the film festival office at 883-0394.
Email Chelsea Jensen at email@example.com.
c Big Island Film Festival grand opening features a short sampler of movies including: “Sway Away,” “The Assistant,” “The Regret of Doubt,” “Fight Scene,” “The Perfection of Anna,” “Searchlight Serenade” and “Spaghetti for Two.” Time: 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. | Cost: free | Location: The Shops at Mauna Lani
c Orientation and filmmakers’ round table with John Mason of the Big Island Film Office. Time: 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. | Cost: free | Location: The Fairmont Orchid’s Hawaii Theatre
c Daytime movies: “Coffee, God and Gasoline” and “Caterpillar’s Kimono.” Time: 10 a.m. to noon | Cost: $8/$6 Kamaaina | | Location: The Fairmont Orchid’s Hawaii Theatre
c Daytime movies: “Hangdog,” “Last Call,” “Shoot the Moon,” “Stigma” and “If I Were a Bell.” Time: 1 to 3 p.m. | Cost: $8/$6 Kamaaina | | Location: The Fairmont Orchid’s Hawaii Theatre
c Celebrate the Hawaii-Hollywood connection with “Meet the Stars: Aloha Hollywood” featuring Kate McKinnon, Vincent Kartheiser, Ron Osburn, filmmakers, fans, family and friends from around the world. Time: 5 to 6:30 p.m. | Cost: $75 full admission/$15 paparazzi | Location: The Fairmont Orchid’s Hawaii Theatre
c Family movies: “The Invention” and “Upside Down.” Time: 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. | Cost: free | Location: The Shops at Mauna Lani
c Festival movies: “Home,” “A Perfect Day” and “The Land of Eb.” Time: 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. | Cost: $16/$11 Kamaaina | Location: The Fairmont Orchid’s Plantation Estate
c Daytime movies: “Sidewalk Wars,” “The Lion’s Den” and “Stenwyken.” Time: 9 to 11 a.m. | Cost: $8/$6 Kamaaina | Location: The Fairmont Orchid’s Hawaii Theatre
c Daytime movies: “Lost Dog,” “Broken,” “Out of Focus,” “Hatch,” “Lipstick Lies” and “Bumsicle.” Time: 11:45 a.m. | Cost: $8/$6 Kamaaina | Location: The Fairmont Orchid’s Hawaii Theatre
c Daytime movies: “Balancing Emma,” “Homecoming” and “Boys Are Us.” Time: 2:15 p.m. | Cost: $8/$6 Kamaaina | Location: The Fairmont Orchid’s Hawaii Theatre.
c Reception and Salute to Kate McKinnon of “Saturday Night Live” followed by the Celebrity Award Ceremony. Time: 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. | Cost $35, reservations requested | Location: The Fairmont Orchid’s Wailana Gardens and Hawaii Theatre
c Family movies: “Good Dog” and “Monsters in Paris.” Time: 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. | Cost: free | Location: The Shops at Mauna Lani
c Festival movies: “The Visit,” “Gabby’s Wish,” “Liberator” and “Pervertigo.” Time: 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. | Cost: $16/$11 Kamaaina
c Daytime movies: “Parts of the Same Circle.” Time: 9 to 11 a.m. | Cost: $8/$6 Kamaaina | Location: The Fairmont Orchid’s Hawaii Theatre
c Daytime movies: “The Intruder,” “Your Place or Mine” and “Bullitt and The Mystery of the Devil’s Root.” Time: 11:45 a.m. | Cost: $8/$6 Kamaaina | Location: The Fairmont Orchid’s Hawaii Theatre
c Daytime movies: “The Future,” “Six Letter Word,” “You Got This!” “The Equestrian,” “Paper” and “Offline.” Time: 2:15 p.m. | Cost: $8/$6 Kamaaina | Location: The Fairmont Orchid’s Hawaii Theatre
c Family movies: “The Spare,” “Lift” and “The Sound of Crickets at Night.” Time: 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. | Cost: free | Location: The Shops at Mauna Lani
c Festival movies: “Chasing Shakespeare,” “Frame of Mind” and “Strange Frame.” Time: 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. | Cost: $16/$11 Kamaaina | Location: The Fairmont Orchid’s Plantation Estate
c Golden Honu Awards Brunch. Time: 10 a.m. to noon | Cost: $50, reservations required | Location: The Fairmont Orchid’s Kilohana Room.
c “Best of the Fest” closing event for the Big Island Film Festival. Gates open at 4:40 p.m. A silent auction to benefit the Fisher House at Tripler Army Medical Center on Oahu will run from 5 to 7 p.m.; HAPA in concert from 5 to 7 p.m.; and audience-selected best short and feature film of the Big Island Film Festival will be honored from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Time: varies depending on event | Cost: $35/$25 Kamaaina, $10 keiki for advance purchase; $5 more at the door | Location: The Fairmont Orchid’s Plantation Estate. Part of each ticket sale goes to the Hawaii Island Food Basket.
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