Editor’s Note: A preview of the event and a list of films to be shown will appear in the May 5 edition.
From Animé to Zombies, the Big Island Film Festival delivers great entertainment for film lovers of all ages in its 2011 lineup of Official Selections.
The May 11-15 event at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i and The Shops at Mauna Lani will showcase 63 independent narrative films from 7 countries (U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, Brazil and Israel). Celebrity honorees appearing in person include Sarah Wayne Callies (“The Walking Dead”) and Kristina Anapau (“Black Swan”).
Ten of the Official Selections are Hawai’i-made films, four of those from the Big Island. Hawaii’s films are strong contenders, showing a broad range of style, subject matter and creativity in both feature and short films, animated stories, comedy, romance and more.
One of the highlights is the uncontrollable farce “Get a Job,” starring popular Hawaii entertainers Willie K, Eric Gilliom and Augie T, which rocked sold-out houses in Honolulu late last year. Gilliom plays a hapless “village idiot” surfer who fate and a mango bring to Willie K’s employment agency. As “William” does his level best to keep him working, the two encounter Augie T as a volatile motorcycle cop, Jake Shimabukuro as a Japanese tour bus guide, Carolyn Omine, Slam Poet Kealoha, Henry Kapono (who headlines BIFF’s “Best of the Fest” concert May 15), Ernie Cruz, Jr., Amy Hanaiali’i, Mick Fleetwood, Pat Simmons, Charles Kaupu, Willie Nelson, and other familiar faces. “Get a Job” (“R”) screens Thursday, May 12 at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i Plantation Estate, in the set beginning at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15, $10 kama’aina, available on line at www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com.
Other Hawai’i-made movies include:
* “All Collected Things,” looking back at a love story
* “Layover, on the Shore,” a contemporary Honolulu filmmaker’s edgy story
* “Mute,” a deaf high school junior wants to try out for football
* “The Green Tie Affair,” a puppet musical about identity and wardrobe
And these, from Big Island filmmakers:
* “Sproot,” whimsical animation about telekinetic power and personal strength
* “Hawaii’s Undersea Ohana,” Hawaiian proverbs put to music, includes a segment filmed on Ni’ihau
* “Alison’s Adventures: Snaked,” a surf adventure to Morocco
* “The Pick-Up Artist,” two people meet in a bar, but are they who they seem to be?
* “Waterfall,” loss and grief, embraced by nature
Feature films full of surprises, action, romance and lots of laughs will be screened Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Just a sampling:
* “The Dead Inside” might be called “Glee” for zombies. Sometimes hilarious, sometimes very scary, this is a good story well told, with memorable original music, lots of action and of course true love. Follows “Get a Job,” Thursday.
* “Queen of the Lot” watches an action movie diva played by Tanna Frederick romp through rehab with a house-arrest ankle bracelet, tangling herself in Old Hollywood family skeletons, robbery and quite possibly murder, along the way falling for her boyfriend’s brother, played by Noah Wylie (ER). Frederick is planning to attend in person, Saturday.
* “Sweet Little Lies” is a road trip adventure by two kids and a down-and-out petty criminal to the seedy side of Las Vegas. An up-tempo family film with solid action, embraceable characters and delightful touches of fantasy, this film is entertaining for all ages. Saturday at The Shops at Mauna Lani, free.
Complete schedule, individual event tickets and passes are available online at www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com.