Joji Yoshida
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Friday - June 17, 2005
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Jordan Segundo, Malia Verdadero, Robert Olague
and Valen Ahlo at the Hawaii Student Film Festival

Congrats to executive director Robert Olague of the Hawaii Student Film Festival. The event was a sold-out success and screened fantastic films of students from grade school to university level. The event was attended by island celebrities. Tani Lynn Fujimoto, B.K. Cannon and Blade Rogers of Flight 29 Downwere there, as were producers of the TV show Rann and Gina Watumull. Enjoying the festivities were Nancy Bernal, Al Waterson, filmmaker Patricia Gillespie and actress Jessica Shiarella. The film Kamea won the top honors of the evening by capturing the Platinum Award. Leading lady Malia Verdadero and Valen Ahlo proudly accepted the plaque from Robert. Check out the festival website at www.hawaiistudentfilmfestival.org The film Kamea was directed by Jennifer Akana- Sturla, who also won the 2004 Hawaii International Film Festival BLOCKBUSTER Audience Award for Best Short Film. The evening ended with a emotional performance by American Idol Jordan Segundo. I was in the front row and was totally entertained by his amazing voice. Can’t wait for the next festival …

Masumi Childers has worked on numerous film and TV productions, including MTV’s The Real World and most recently, Losin’It on OC16. He’s currently on board as associate producer of Mama’s Recipe by filmmaker Imelda Betiong. Masumi is also an accomplished actor who has appeared in many theatre productions, and he is a national award-winning artist who was presented with the Silver and Gold Key and a certificate of merit from the National Regents of the Fine Arts. Masumi studied with Paul Cravath at Leeward CC, and Orson Welles is his ultimate actor. One of his hobbies is making pizza from scratch. Hey, Masumi, I’ll be right over! …

Working in show business, I get to meet a lot of people. Kamehameha Schools graduate Charis Yoshie Kepoo is as talented an individual as I’ve come across. She’s Hawaiian and Japanese in ethnicity. I first saw her act in a casting call a few months ago. The reason why I immediately noticed her is she was the only actress who made me laugh. Her comic timing was superb and improv skills were spot on. She’s currently employed at Kumon where she teaches English and math. She started acting in The Byrds of Paradise with Elizabeth Lindsey and Timothy Busfield. In high school, Charis was active in cheerleading, judo and wrestling. She loves Drew Barrymore and Johnny Depp as actors and Never Been Kissed and Ever After for movies. Her next goal is to do her stand-up routine in front of an audience. Margaret Cho, look out …

Jeremy Abregana will be a senior at Kapolei High School this fall. Born in Honolulu, his interest is computer graphics and filmmaking. He produced two film shorts for Kapolei High so far. Plans to attend USA film school after graduation. Jeremy was the Hawaii State Martial Arts Champion in Forms and Kumite from 1996 to 1998. He participates in football, judo, track and field and wrestling for his school. Jeremy has placed fifth in the Hawaii State Judo Championships. He also received the Mayor’s Award of Excellence for his accomplishments in the martial arts. He’s looking forward to helping his father, actor Jaime Abregana Jr., and Joji Yoshida in the martial arts film Showdown to gain experience. Jeremy has been a model for several years representing local Armani, Banana Republic and Bernini stores. His goal is to direct a feature film …

Newcomer Clinton Scofield wrapped his first role in a film recently. He played an alien character in Valtor The Great Vs. The Universe. The other aliens in the cast were Lew Lappert, Samuel Chang and comic Shannon Crivello aka The Hawaiian Guy from Molokai. The movie was directed by none other than “Boy Wonder” Gerard Elmore and produced by Yuri Biersach. Born in Palo Alto, Calif., Clinton was raised in Oregon’s southern-most coastal town of Brookings. His father is well-known Honolulu country music DJ Charlie Garrett. Clinton practiced kung fu as a youngster and is looking forward to starting up again. He’s a Star Wars fan and Clint Eastwood is his idol, fave food is Chinese and Mexican. I almost forgot about his favorite actress, Angelina Jolie. We both agree she’s the bomb …

Kaimuki and Kahala neighborhoods are becoming the hangout of the Lost cast. Naveen Andrews, who plays Sayid, was walking through Kahala Mall. Josh Holloway and Harold Perrineau Jr. were seen in nearby Kaimuki. The gorgeous ladies of Lost prefer the mellower Windward side. I saw Jorge Garcia at Ala Moana Center. Welcome back, Jorge! Kahala Mandarin is frequented by Hollywood movie stars, and chances are you could be dining at Hoku’s next to Sean Penn. Just don’t mention anything about Jude Law near him. When Pearl Harbor was filming in town, Ben Affleck was a regular at Sushi Sasabune, now it’s Lost producers J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk. Seen any celebs in your neighborhood?

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