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Big Island Short Film Festival at Palace Theater

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Date: Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 974-7642

For Immediate Release

The first Big Island Short Film Festival is Saturday, July 23, at the historic Palace Theater at 38 Haili Street in downtown Hilo. Screenings of 10 short films, all made in and around Hilo as part of a digital filmmaking class, titled “Screenwriting, the Movie in Your Backyard,” will begin at 2:30 p.m. Panel discussion and awards will follow. The public is welcome. Admission is $3.00, and all the shorts are appropriate for the entire family.

Dr. Tristine Rainier, who taught the class through the University of Hawaii at Hilo English Department, has recruited a panel of five judges, all entertainment professionals who live and work in Hilo. The panelists will share their reactions to the short films with respect to craft and effectiveness in capturing some aspect of Hawai‘i’s unique culture.

“The filmmakers range in age from adolescent to septuagenarian,” Rainier said. “There are films that range in focus from conflicts within a Japanese-American family in Hawai`i when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, to a music video with special effects about a coqui frog’s ‘Bad Vacation’ and a humorous piece about a tourist’s experiences at Hilo’s Farmer’s Market.”

Two judges are UH Hilo faculty. The panel will be headed by UH Hilo Drama Professor Jackie Pualani Johnson, noted for her portrayal of Queen Liliu‘okalani in a one-woman play and for initiating Hilo’s summer “Shakespeare in the Park” series. Johnson is a Hilo native who has been at UH Hilo for the past 27 years. Panelist Michael Marshall, UH Hilo associate professor of art, helped organize the UH Hilo Voices in a Nation series and is on the board of the East Hawai`i Cultural Center. He currently has drawings and paintings in a traveling exhibition in Honolulu.

Panelist G.B. Hajim is an independent filmmaker working on a science fiction feature. He has been involved in over 100 productions and has directed and produced award-winning documentaries as well as making the first feature film in the Hawaiian language, “Ka‘ililauokekoa.” Panelist Nina Shipman Bremer, who hails from a show-biz family, has been a lecturer/instructor in communication at UH Hilo. Prior to moving to the Big Island, she was an actress in films and TV. Panelist Lynn Richardson is a longtime professional videographer who with wife, Marilyn, owns Mari-Lynn Video.

This new and innovative course, which culminated in the Big Island Short Film Awards, was offered as part of the UH Hilo Summer Session, administered by the College of Continuing Education and Community Service. For more information, call CCECS at (808) 974-7664.

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