Now in its ninth year, the Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii has announced its 48 official selections to be screened May 22 to 26. The “talk story” film festival is a celebration of narrative films and filmmaking, with free family films at The Shops at Mauna Lani, daytime movies and nightly double features for grown-ups with no-host bar and pupu, plus “meet-the-stars” celebrity social events and more at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii.
The grand opening at 7:30 p.m. May 22 at The Shops at Mauna Lani will include a free sampler of short films, and a chance to welcome filmmakers to the island. Celebrity guests Portia Doubleday, who appeared in “Her,” “Carrie” and “Youth in Revolt,” and Jackson Rathbone, who plays Jasper in the “Twilight” series, will appear in person, to give fans a chance to show their aloha.
By special arrangement with Warner Brothers, “Sophia Grace and Rosie’s Royal Adventure” will be presented at The Shops at Mauna Lani Center Stage at 7:30 p.m. May 23. The film stars British cousins, Sophia Grace Brownlee and Rosie McClelland, Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Award winners and frequent guests of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” In the movie, to be released May 20 on DVD, the girls are Ellen’s special correspondents, sent to cover the coronation of a new queen.
Other notable selections include the time-travel mystery-thriller “Time Lapse;” the intense and intimate portrait of homelessness, “3:13;” drama “Pretty Rosebud,” about an ambitious career woman whose unorthodox choices unravel her carefully constructed world; and comedy “Welcome to the Lucky Country,” a laughable look at an Australian reality show.
Contenders from Hawaii include Leo Woolford’s acclaimed “The Haumana,” which chronicles the journey of a new kumu hula and his high school men’s halau, with choreography by Robert Cazimero, Lanakila Casupang, Maelia Loebenstein-Carter and Kaipo Hale. From the Big Island, “Bullitt and the Curse of the Blood Ring” is the next chapter of the continuing island action-adventure, produced, acted and directed by Kona filmmakers Richard Gonzalez and Rockwood.
A limited number of ballots will be given to audience members during each screening. Votes are tallied at the end of the festival, to determine the audience-choice feature and short to be screened at Best of the Fest on May 26. Best of the Fest also includes a silent auction to benefit Fisher House at Tripler Army Medical Center, and a concert by award-winning Hawaiian musical artist Willie K.
Major sponsors include The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii, The Shops at Mauna Lani and Hawaii Tourism Authority/Hawaii County County Product Enrichment Program. For complete schedule information and tickets, visit bigislandfilmfestival.com.