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Made in Hawaii Films Showcased at Hawaii International Film Festival Sponsored by Bank of Hawaii

Honolulu, HI, October 10, 2009 --( Local and homegrown content is a major component of the 29th Hawaii International Film Festival. This year, Hiff is proud to recognize local filmmakers in their Made in Hawaii section sponsored by Bank of Hawaii, presenting world premieres of the best work to come from Hawaii's emerging and veteran filmmakers and documentarians. In addition to the presentation of these films, the Festival will also present a candid discussion by leaders in the local film industry in their “State of the Film Industry in Hawaii” seminar, especially notable as it faces a global recession, the closing of the Hawaii Film Office and the demise of Act 221.

Hiff will host the world premiere of the much-anticipated film Barbarian Princess, based on the inspiring true story of Hawaii’s Princess Ka’iulani, at the Hawaii Theatre on Friday, October 16 at 8:00 p.m. The Festival is also pleased to present two documentaries that represent Hawaii's socio-cultural and political heritage. One is the world premiere of Pidgin: The Voice of Hawaii, a whimsical journey through Hawaii’s working-class language, from its rise as plantation jargon to a source of island identity and pride.

HIFF will also host the world premiere of Cinematographer Anne Misawa’s (Treeless Mountain) newest documentary State of Aloha, which traces the journey of Hawai’i’s fifty years of statehood. Hiff will screen the expanded theatrical version of this timely and well-balanced documentary, signifying the 50th anniversary of Statehood. An expanded Q & A session will follow the screening with special guests from the community about what it means to be a State.

Stalwart documentary filmmaker Tom Coffman, will unveil his latest film, Ninoy & The Rise Of People Power, chronicles an eyewitness account of dictatorship, assassination and revolution matching Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos and opposition leader Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. in a power struggle that catches the United States in a diplomatic dilemma. Both Ninoy and State Of Aloha are competing for the Halekulani Golden Orchid Award for Best Documentary.

Then, on October 24th at 12:30 p.m. the Made In Hawaii seminar entitled “State of the Film Industry in Hawaii” will be held at Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18 Cinemas. Industry leaders in the local film, TV and commercial fields will discuss the challenges ahead as Hawaii filmmakers deal with the expiration of ACT 221 tax credits for film production and the imminent closing of the Hawaii Film Office. Confirmed speakers are Donne Dawson, State Film Commissioner, producer Angela Laprete (One Kine Day, You May Not Kiss The Bride, Lychee Thieves), Jason Lau and John Ching of Talk Story Productions (Julie Taymor's Tempest, Beyond The Break, Aztec Rex, Heatstroke, Spy Vs. Stu), Ric Galindez and Roy Tjioe of Island Film Group (Barbarian Princess), indie and commercial directors James Sereno (Kinetic Films, Silent Years and the upcoming Growing Up Local) and Brett Wagner (Wagnervision, the award-winning Chief).

A highlight of the Made in Hawaii Films is the world premiere of Lychee Thieves from writer-director Kathleen Man. Born and raised on Oahu, Man is currently a film professor at Vassar College. She was inspired to write this story after having read an article in the newspaper about two men who robbed a lychee farm on the Big Island. “I'm thrilled to be premiering the film at Hiff. Being from Hawaii, and this being my first film about Hawaii and made in Hawaii, it makes perfect sense to me to premiere at HIFF. I am overjoyed at the prospect,” says Man. Lychee Thieves will be playing as part of Shorts Program 6 on Sunday, October 18th, 8:30 p.m. at the Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18.

Other films being featured are Holomua from director Vince Keala Lucero, works from The Academy For Creative Media (Acm) Night, and The Royal Gift Seminar, the first in a four-part historical series from the Pua Foundation examining Hawaiian society in the years before Kamehameha I up through Kamehameha III.

Over 170 films from 36 different countries will be featured at this year’s festival. Hiff¹s 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 Hiff¹s 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 online at

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 at the Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18 Cinemas. Images of the films can be downloaded at For more information please visit our website at

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Chimaine Poteau

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