Screen Time

so much fun in the dark-sitting there, munching popcorn, watching as the world
comes to you on the silver screen. Of course, we’re talking about the Hawai’i
International Film Festival, now in its 24th year of bringing films both fun and
profound from Asia, the Pacific and North America to the Islands. But HIFF fans,
take note-the festival runs Oct. 21 through 31 this year, not in its traditional
November slot. Some highlights of the 10-day, statewide festival:
Cheung stars as warrior—and calligraphy master—Flying Snow in the epic
Hero. Stills Courtesy HIFF

films such as Tae Guk Gi (The Brotherhood of War), a South Korean film about two
brothers caught up in the Korean War. Documentaries such as Arakimentari, a portrait
of the eccentric Japanese erotica photographer, Nobuyoshi Araki. Even anime is
represented with the lush retro-tech look of Steamboy, which turns Japanese sci-fi
anime around by setting its tale in Victorian England. This year’s HIFF is bringing
in 168 films, 100 of them international.

The Hawai’i Panorama will screen
30 different Hawai’i films, arranged in nine programs, at the Honolulu Academy
of Arts Doris Duke Theater and at the Signature Dole Cannery 18 Theatres. I had
the honor of serving on the jury for last year’s local film series (Nathan Kurasawa’s
The Ride was our pick then), and will do so again this year-and gladly. Your friends
and neighbors are making some really cool films, including imaginative shorts
and stirring documentaries.

At right, top to bottom: Dear
Frankie, Clean, Arakimentari, Double Dare.

The festival
this year honors Maggie Cheung, star of Hero, for her acting achievements. Cheung’s
career, much of it in Hong Kong cinema, embraces almost 80 films and a range of
acting styles, from action to drama to comedy.

A surf film retrospective
takes us from The Endless Summer to Riding Giants, and includes premieres of two
new surf films (Sprout and A Brokedown Melody) produced, in part, by musician-surfer
Jack Johnson. Johnson, surf documentarian Bruce Brown and surf cinematographer
Don King will be on a panel discussion to talk about where the genre has been
and where it’s going.

The gala Golden Maile Awards return to the Royal
Hawaiian Hotel, Wednesday, Oct. 27, to wrap up the Honolulu portion of the festival
in traditional seaside style. In addition to awards for the best international
and Hawai’i films, the Golden Mailes will honor cinemato-grapher Allen Daviau,
whose nearly 30 film credits includes many of Steven Spielberg’s films, such as
Empire of the Sun, The Color Purple and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.

wait for the good stuff to start? HIFF has started showing independent films every
Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., at the Signature Dole Cannery 18 Theatres, leading up to
the festival. This month’s “HIFF Tuesday Screening” selections include Imagining
Argentina, and the Canadian film, Seducing Doctor Lewis.

24th Annual Louis
Vuitton Hawai‘i International Film Festival

21 to 31

go on sale Tuesday, Oct. 5, available through, or by calling the
festival hotline: 528-4433