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by Camilla Andersson, staff writer


The first LVHIFF in 1981 had an audience of 5,000 for seven films from six countries; 25 years later, the estimated crowd was 65,000 from around the world. Since 1981, more than 950,000 people have attended this one-of-a-kind U.S. festival. It continues to grow every year and has been called “one of the 10-best film festivals around the world” by Travel & Leisure Magazine.

The festival focuses on Asian movies, but contributions from all over the world could be found on this year’s program. Festival goers were able to enjoy nine world premiers and 17 U.S. premieres during the festival week. In addition, 48 Hawaiian-made movies were screened.

Chuck Boller, executive director at LVHIFF, said that “This year reflected the mission of promoting cultural understanding through the medium of film.”

Every year the festival ends with an award show where both expert juries and the audience choose their favourite movies from the festival and recognize individuals who through their work in the movie industry have become unforgettable.

This year the LVHIFF presented the Achievement in Acting award to Samuel L. Jackson, whom they describe as a “rare cross-over actor who can command multimillion dollar salaries and pack seats in blockbusters year after year, while still making time to deliver consistently unforgettable performances in ground-breaking, critically acclaimed, independent films.”

The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Zhang Yimou whose movies are widely celebrated for helping to introduce modern Mainland Chinese cinema to the world.

During a press conference following the ceremony, Yimou said that he was “honoured and privileged to accept the Lifetime Achievement Award.”

Yimou has been presented with a Vision in Film award at the 1995 festival, and LVHIFF has screened many of his films over the years, some of them for what was the first and only time in the United States. Yimou has been making films for 20 years, and reflecting on these, he said they “have gone by fast, but one of the things that lasts over the years is the great movies.”

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