This was HIFF’s best year, Boller said, noting that
40,000 HIFF programs were all gone within the first four days
of the festival and pointing to record-breaking sales to prove
it. No wonder Travel & Leisure Magazine calls HIFF “One
of the ten best film festivals around the world.”
Film audiences had more than 150 film features to choose from,
37 films of them from Hawai‘i. But just because it is
called a film festival does not mean that it only screens films,
said Boller. HIFF held eight seminars, including one with Academy
Award-winner Dean Semler, as well as a symposium with the University
of Hawai‘i at Manoa. More than 300 film industry professionals
attended from more than 14 countries.
HIFF opened with Robert Altman’s The Company and closed
with a Cannes Film Festival winner, Deny Arcand’s The
Barbarian Invasions. The award ceremony took place Nov. 6 at
Doris Duke Theatre at the Honolulu Academy of Arts. One of
the award-winning films was The Ride, directed by local filmmaker
Nathan Kurosawa, who made history by winning both the Cades
Schutte award and the Cades Foundation Hawai‘i Film and
Video Maker Award. This was the first time a Hawai‘i
film won both awards.
The Ride also walked away with the Blockbuster Video Audience
Award for Best Feature Film, which was definitely not a surprise
since 15,000 audience members were at the free screening at
Sunset on the Beach in Waikiki. This film was based on world
renowned surfer Duke Kahanamoku and his attempt to communicate
the true meaning and love of surfing to professional, money-driven
surfer, David Monroe. The principal cast consisted of locals,
Scott Davis, Sean Kaawa, and Mary Paalani.
Other award winning films include, The Twilight Samurai, Refugee,
Goodbye Dragon Inn, They Call Her Lady Fingers (The Betty Loo
Taylor Story), and Dragon of Love.
Dean Semler, Australian cinematographer and Oscar winner for
his work done in Dances With Wolves (1990), won The Eastman
Kodak Award for Excellence in Cinematography for his work done
in contemporary cinema.
The State of Hawai‘i presented The Film in Hawai‘i
Award to James McArthur, who played Danno in Hawaii Five-O
for his continual support in promoting Hawai‘i and the
local film industry.
Overall HIFF was a tremendous success this year. “I want
to say Mahalo to all the sponsors, filmmakers, delegates, staff,
volunteers, and the media who made this year’s HIFF the
best in history,” said Boller.