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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, May 14, 2007

Korean gay flick opens film festival

By Wayne Harada
Advertiser Entertainment Writer

Lee Young-hoon, top, and Lee Han play societal opposites in South Korea's first gay film, "No Regret," which kicks off the Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival.

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"No Regret," a landmark independent South Korean gay feature by that country's first openly gay filmmaker, will kick off the 18th Annual Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival at 7:30 p.m. May 24 in the Doris Duke Theatre at the Honolulu Academy of Arts.

The festival, formerly called the Adam Baran Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, this year inhabits two venues besides the more traditional Doris Duke Theatre setting, screenings also will be at the new Cupola Events Theatre at the Honolulu Design Center, 1250 Kapi'olani Blvd.

The premiere film, about two men from differing cultural and economic strata, explores sexual orientation with a blend of comedy and drama. The indie film, which has opened only in nine theaters, attracted 40,000 filmgoers, setting a new box-office record for an independent film in South Korea, and put an edginess to the K-drama phenomenon.

Leesong Hee-il is the breakthrough writer-director, whose work features actors Lee Young-hoon and Lee Han as cultural opposites in a relationship that exposes real-life challenges for social acceptance.

The other films slated at Duke:

  • "Nina's Heavenly Delights," at 8 p.m. May 25, a cultural stew combining Scottish and British humor and Bollywood spectacle, about a Scottish lass of Indian descent forced to take over her family's restaurant with the help of her Bollywood drag-queen friend.

  • "The Sex Movie," at 10 p.m. May 25, about a foursome from a gay porn shoot one gay, one straight, one lesbian, one bisexual who spar verbally about their sexual identities.

    The screenings move to Cupola on May 26 with a diverse range of films shorts, features, documentaries tapping themes from transgender issues to political bigotry when dealing with sexual orientation, from social outcasts to a musical documentary.

    The four-day festival is a presentation of the Honolulu Gay & Lesbian Cultural Foundation.

    Individual tickets are $10, and festival passes are available at prices ranging from $40 to $500. To order tickets, call 381-1952 or go to www.hglcf.org.

    Reach Wayne Harada at wharada@honoluluadvertiser.com.