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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Festival highlights Hawai'i-based films

Advertiser Staff

The Hawaii International Film Festival is touting its status as the festival with the largest selection of Hawai'i-based films. Festival media coordinator Chris Dacus said the festival includes 37 films, documentaries and film shorts from Hawai'i filmmakers. Hawai'i-based films in the "Hawai'i: Cinema No Ka Oi" section of the festival are eligible for the prestigious Hawai'i Filmmaker Award.

"It gives us great satisfaction to premiere Hawai'i-based films," said Chuck Boller, executive director of HIFF. "We love supporting local filmmakers and it is always our hope that the Hawaii International Film Festival is a launching pad for our talented Hawai'i filmmakers. Some examples: Kayo Hatta's "Picture Bride," Benson Lee's "Miss Monday," David Cunningham's "Beyond Paradise" and To End All Wars," Eric Byler's "Charlotte Sometimes," and Aaron Yamasato's recent film "Blood of the Samurai."

See the full schedule at www.hiff.org.

A sampling of Hawai'i feature films this year:

"An Uncommon Kindness: The Father Damien Story" — 6 p.m. Friday, Doris Duke Theatre.

Narrated by acclaimed actor and Academy Award winner Robin Williams, it's a poignant biography of the legendary Rev. Damien De Veuster.

"Malama Ka Aina" — 8:15 p.m. Friday, Doris Duke Theatre.

The challenges of the Robinson Family to continue to preserve and protect their land, "Malama Ka Aina." Keith Robinson's Hawaiian endangered plants, as well as animals like the Hawaiian monk seal, are important to him and his family, but most important, is to preserve the culture and rich traditions of the residents of Ni'ihau, passed on by the Hawaiian Monarchy.

"Five Years," — 9:30 p.m. Friday; 3 p.m. Nov. 8; Dole Cannery 1.

Eric Unger (Timothy Altmeyer) is a construction worker in rural Ohio when his brother is released from jail and comes to town to live with Unger and his wife.

"The Ride" — 6 p.m. Saturday, Waikiki Sunset on the Beach; 8:30 p.m. Nov. 3, Doris Duke Theatre.

Full of faithful local dialogue, it focuses on the youngest world surf champion of all time dealing with new fame and fortune.

"Road to the Title" — 1 p.m., Nov. 2, Dole Cannery 1.

Documentary traces a day in the life of hometown boxing hero Brian Viloria.

"Living your Dying" and "They call her Lady Fingers (The Betty Loo Taylor Story)" — 6 p.m., Nov. 2, Doris Duke Theatre.

"Living your Dying" explores the universal question of how to best approach one's final journey in life. This film focuses on the insight of the Rev. Dr. Mitsuo Aoki.

"They call her Lady Fingers (The Betty Loo Taylor Story)" traces the life and career of pianist Betty Loo Taylor from her emergence as child prodigy picking out tunes on the keyboard by ear at age 3 to her status as "Hawai'i's First Lady of Jazz."

"American Aloha — Hula Beyond Hawai'i" — 8:15 p.m., Nov. 4, Doris Duke Theatre.

A look beyond the usual misconceptions of the hula by exploring the personal stories of three master hula teachers in California who are struggling to preserve their culture even though they no longer live in Hawai'i.

"Arirang, Parts I & II, Spotlight on Korea" — 11 a.m., Nov. 5, Dole Cannery 1.

A tribute for the Korean Centennial — celebrating the 100th anniversary of Korean immigration to the United States.

"Daniel K. Inouye: An American Story" — 1 p.m., Nov. 5, Dole Cannery.

Biography about the life and times of Hawai'i's Sen. Daniel K. Inouye.ÊThrough interviews, testimonials, archival and contemporary footage, the documentary assembles a picture of Sen. Inouye's principled fortitude through growing up as a Japanese American in Hawai'i, fighting in World War II and during his rise in American politics.

"The Symposium" — 3:30 p.m. Nov. 5, Doris Duke Theatre.

A modern version of Plato's work exploring the definition of love. A teacher and writer, Thomas, hosts a party for colleagues to celebrate his recent play. A disagreement unfolds about what the play meant 'on a deeper level,' and as they begin to explore its meaning, another guest suggests that he's not surprised that they can't agree.