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Japanese Films Showcased at 2009 Hawaii International Film Festival


Honolulu, HI, October 08, 2009 --(PR.com)-- Cinephiles ready to immerse themselves in Japanese culture have 30 films from Japanese or Japanese Diaspora filmmakers to choose from this year at the 2009 Hawaii International Film Festival (Hiff).

The impressive collection of films to be screened at the 11-day festival include the world premiere of Sideways, the Japanese remake of Alexander Payne's award-winning film, the North American premiere of Snow Prince from the creative team of Departures,which won the audience award last year at Hiff and a 2009 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Anime is back at Hiff with three premieres -- Mai Mai Miracle, Evangelion 2.0, and First Squad. The festival is also pleased to present Air Doll from director Kore-eda Hirokazu (award winning director of Still Walking and Nobody Knows) and starring Korean starlet Bae Doona (The Host, Linda Linda Linda, Take Care Of My Cat).

In addition, for film buffs, Hiff has programmed a special sidebar called Tribute To Madame Kawakita, presenting four remastered 35mm prints of seminal Japanese classics from Akira Kurosawa, Seijun Suzuki, and Shohei Imamura. This tribute celebrates the late Kashiko Kawakita, the "Mother of Japanese cinema." Chuck Boller, Hiff's Executive Director says, "We are honored to celebrate Madame Kawakita's tireless work in the promotion of Japanese cinema to other cultures with the presentation of newly remastered film prints from the Kawakita Memorial Film Institute in Tokyo." Boller continues, "The best way to celebrate her work and the work of these cinema maestros is to not charge for these film screenings." The film screenings from the Tribute To Madame Kawakita will be free of charge. Famed Japan scholar and film critic Donald Richie, who was also instrumental in the promotion of Japanese cinema for the past 50 years, will be presenting these fine works and conducting extended Q & As after select film screenings from this sidebar.

Another special sidebar this year is A Spotlight On Okinawa, presenting three films that take place on this beautiful island. Two U.S. premieres, Cobalt Blue and A Midsummer Okinawan's Night Dream. The Festival also will present one of the most popular Okinawan films in recent memory, Nada Sou Sou (Tears For You).

Including the films from Japan, Hiff will be presenting films from the Japanese diaspora -- White On Rice, starring Japanese actor Hiroshi Watanabe and directed by David Boyle. Watanabe (Letters From Iwa Jima) gives a thoroughly entertaining performance as Jimmy in this fish-out-of-water comedy. Another title is The Hariyama Bridge, directed by Aaron Woolfolk, which will have its U.S. premiere. Starring Ben Guillory, Saki Takaoka, Misa Shimizu, and Danny Glover, the film addresses the bond and conflict between father and son, along with the discrimination and prejudice that exists between people.

Over 170 films from 36 different countries will be featured at this year’s festival. Hiff’s 2009 program is being held at the Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18 Cinemas from October 15–25. Tickets go on sale Thursday, October 1st for HIFF Ohana members and Monday, October 5th to the public. General admission tickets are available for $10 or $9 for students, seniors, children and military. Tickets may be purchased in person at Hiff’s box office at 650 Iwilei Road #101 across from Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18 Cinemas or by phone at (808) 548-5905. The film guide is available now online at www.hiff.org. For more information and all of the films synopses, please visit us at www.hiff.org.

Festival Information
Established in 1981, the Hawaii International Film Festival is dedicated to the advancement of understanding and cultural exchange among the peoples of Asia, the Pacific and North America through the medium of film. Hiff is the premier international film event in the Pacific and has won the praise of governments, filmmakers, scholars, educators, programmers and film industry leaders throughout the world. For the discovery and exhibition of Asian and Pacific features, documentaries and short films in the nation, it is a primary source. The festival has premiered such movies as Once Were Warriors, The Piano, Shine, Shall We Dance, Y Tu Mama Tambien and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Plus, Departures, a Japanese film, had its U.S. premiere at Hiff in 2008, won the Hiff Audience Award and then went on to win the 2009 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Hiff’s major sponsors include: Regal Entertainment Group, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Hawaii, Halekulani, Hawaii Tourism Authority and The Vilcek Foundation.

The 2009 Hawaii International Film Festival will be held October 15-25. Images of the films can be downloaded at
http://picasaweb.google.com/hiff2009images/2009FallFilmImages?authkey=Gv1sRgCOjSudrp5ob2iwE&feat=directlink. For more information please visit our website at www.hiff.org.

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Contact Information
HIFF
Chimaine Poteau
808.237.3678
Contact
www.hawaiipacificentertainment.com

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