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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Hawaiian film festival showcases new talent

By Michael Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer

Filmmaker James Sereno, left, with author Lois-Ann Yamanaka, is promoting the 25th anniversary Hawaii International Film Festival on local TV stations.

Kinetic Films

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The first-ever Hawai'inuiakea Film Festival is set to kick off with a full schedule of films and events, celebrating the talents of emerging indigenous filmmakers and the formation of the University of Hawai'i's new School of Hawaiian Knowledge.

The festival runs Oct. 26 to 29 at the Kamakakuokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies. All festival events are free; screenings begin each night at 7 p.m.

Lilikala Kame'eleihiwa, who is helping to organize the event with the Academy for Creative Media's Merata Mita, said the event is meant to coincide with the Hawaii International Film Festival.

"We're not in any way trying to compete," she said. "We just thought that we could expand on the offerings. We want to make sure than young Hawaiians who have an interest in film get to see work that other Hawaiians have already done."

The opening night features Robert Pouwhare's "Tuhoe: A History of Resistance" and "Te Toa Aniwaniwa" followed by a Q&A with Pouwhare.

Other festival screenings include Tuti Baker's "King Kamehameha A Legacy Renewed," Meleana Meyer's "Puamana," Elizabeth Lindsey's "And Then There Were None," and Puhipau and Joan Lander's "The Tribunal" and "Mauna Kea Temple Under Siege."

The event closes with the Hawaiian language theatrical performance "Kamapua'a," and screenings of ACM student Kaliko Palmeira's "Steve Ma'i'i," and Na'alehu Anthony's "Natives of New York: Seeking Justice at the United Nations."

The festival is presented by the Academy for Creative Media, the Kamakakuokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies and Kawaihuelani Hawaiian Language Department. A full schedule will run in Friday's TGIF section.

ITUNE IN TO 'LOST' YOU?

Hitting yourself over the head for missing Kate's descent into the hatch? Thanks to a new deal between The Walt Disney Group, ABC Television Group and Apple, you can now download current and past episodes of "Lost" as well as "Desperate Housewives" three other Disney and ABC television shows at Apple's iTunes Music Store.

Timed to coincide with the launch of iTunes 6, the new service makes it possible to watch "Lost" on personal computer or iPod for $1.99 per download.

The entire first seasons of "Lost" and "Desperate Housewives" are available immediately. New episodes are available the day after broadcast.

An even better deal, of course, is Jennifer and Ryan Ozawa's free weekly podcast "The Transmission." Recorded in the Ozawa's family den each Wednesday following the Hawai'i broadcast of "Lost," "The Transmission" has become a must-listen for Losties worldwide.

Each show typically includes a recap of that week's episode, some in-depth analysis, and responses to the hundreds of e-mails that flood the Ozawa's inbox each week. A "Forward Cabin" segment looks ahead to upcoming episodes with behind-the-scenes news, rumors and the occasional spoiler.

"It's basically the kind of stuff you'd hear around the water cooler," Ryan Ozawa says.

The show grew out of Ozawa's existing "HawaiiUp" podcast.

"I'm basically a boring guy so I'd invite my wife to come on, and more times than not what she'd talk about would be 'Lost,' " Ozawa said.

Just four casts into its freshman run, "The Transmission" is not just the most popular "Lost" podcast around (no small feat) but one of the most popular podcasts of any sort in the world.

Last week, "The Transmission" ranked No. 21 among the nearly 10,000 podcasts included in the Apple iTunes Music Store, the leading directory of podcasts.

To check out "The Transmission," see www.hawaiiup.com/lost.

NO 'TRAILER' TRASH

Last year's award-winning short "Silent Years" helped establish James Sereno as one of Hawai'i's most promising young filmmakers, but Sereno is reminding everyone where he makes his money with his promotional spot for the 25th Anniversary Hawaii International Film Festival.

"It's perfect," HIFF executive director Chuck Boller said of the advertisement running on most local TV stations. "It really captures what this festival is, and what its emphasis has been over the years."

The five-part ad features the epic journeys five iconic film figures secret agent, martial artist, etc. take in trying to reach the festival, a nod to HIFF's history as a crossroads for eastern and western cinematic arts.

Boller said the spot has generated more buzz than any previous advertisement the festival has done.

Sereno, who grew up in Honolulu and attended the USC School of Cinema/Television, has won numerous awards for his advertising work. Two years ago he formed Kinetic Films, a offshoot of his company Kinetic Productions, to produce "Silent Years." The film, based on poetry by Lois-Ann Yamanaka, won the 2004 Louis Vuitton Hawaii International Film Festival Hawaii Film and Videomaker Award and was first runner up at the prestigious British Academy of Film and Television Awards.

HARD-HITTING TV

If you haven't had a chance to see "Icon Sport: Niko versus Mayhem" yet, no worries: The 30-minute documentary on two of Hawai'i's most popular mixed-martial arts fighters airs every night through Oct. 27 at 11 p.m. on K5 The Home Team.

The program is in high rotation to promote a highly anticipated bout between the two fighters on Oct. 28.

Falaniko Vitale is a former University of Hawai'i football player turned middleweight martial artist. Fight fans are still buzzing about Vitale's bounding punch that floored Masanori Suda in April.

Jason "Mayhem" Miller hails from Georgia but has attracted a legion of local fans (the "Mayhem Monkeys") with his quick wit and quirky behavior.

Reach Michael Tsai at mtsai@honoluluadvertiser.com.