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Lights, camera, action: Films from around the world

by Saeda Oliver, HIFF section editor


The Louis Vuitton Hawai‘i International Film Festival 2004 held its annual series of movie screenings and seminars from October 29-31, simultaneously, on O‘ahu and the neighbor islands, and it was a complete success, officials said. “The theatres were packed and we enjoyed a record number of sellouts,” said Chuck Boller, executive director of LVHIFF. “The festival is really on a roll going into our 25th year.”


More than 168 films were shown from 24 countries with nine world movie premieres, 18 U.S., and 70 Hawai‘i premieres. Films were mainly shown at Dole Cannery Theaters with select films shown at the Doris Duke Theater at the Honolulu Academy of Arts, Waikiki’s Sunset on the Beach, and Hawai‘i Theater Center.

The goal of the festival, which was created in 1981, is to increase cultural understanding, thought, and discussion through the channel of diverse films. Asian, Pacific, and North American cultures were focused on to educate audiences in ways that blockbuster films may not, Boller said. Filmmakers are encouraged to submit their movies to Boller and a committee of film selectors. Collectively they decide, from the thousand of entries, which films are fitting for the festival. This year’s choices were a mixture of feature films, documentaries, and shorts.

In the past, the festival has premiered such films as Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, The Piano, Shine, Once Were Warriors, Shall We Dance, and Y Tu Mama Tambien.

This year, Maggie Cheung was presented with an inaugural LVHIFF Award for Achievement in Acting. It was the first nonfilm award in the film festival’s 24-year history. She won the Best Actress award at the Cannes 2004 Film Festival. When asked if she likes acting in big budget films or independent films with a considerably smaller budget, Cheung replied politely, “It’s really about the script, director, and actors that you work with. The budget really doesn’t matter. I’m happy to work on both.”


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