Joji Yoshida
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Friday - November 11, 2005
| Del.icio.us

Let the celebration begin seemed to be the motto at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. The invitation-only Golden Maile Awards was definitely the place to be seen or see stars. Lost regulars Yunjin Kim and Daniel Dae Kim, and local talents Darah and Denby Dung, Kalai Kamauoha, Misty Lawrence, Jaeves Iha, Vince Keala Lucero, Zero and producers Jackie Burke, Lena Kaneshiro, Yuri Biersach, Jose Corpus, Dusty Cross, Scott Lee Mason, Lane Nishikawa, James Sereno, Sandi Schneiderman, Jason Suapaia and Jeremiah Tayao were among the guests. Japanese movie star Sonny Chiba was there to receive the inaugural Maverick award from HIFF.

Mari Hatta accepted two awards for her sister, the late Kayo Hatta, who trailblazed for local filmmakers. Mari was onstage to receive the Hawaii Film & Videomaker award for Fishbowl and also the Film In Hawaii award for Kayo’s enormous contribution to the growth of the local independent film industry. The film Picture Bride won the Audience Award at the 1995 Sundance Film Festival. Kayo truly was the unique individual who put Hawaii film-making on the world map. Her love and legacy she leaves behind in all of us will live on ...

Actor Jaeves Iha, Japanese movie star Sonny Chiba and yours truly at the Golden Maile Awards at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel
Actor Jaeves Iha, Japanese movie star Sonny Chiba
and yours truly at the Golden Maile Awards at the
Royal Hawaiian Hotel

The Annual Halloween House in Kahala brought more than 400 kids for a safe trick or treating. The show was produced by Jane Kratochvil with assistance by Balloon Monsoon. Greg Hirashiki, Wilbur Wong and Kyler Kwock put on a fantastic display of balloon creations. The children took home goodie bags of candy and designer balloons of their choice. Check out their website at www.balloonmonsoon.com. The best costume winners were Emily Nakata and Tom Johnson. The celebrity guest was young actor Christian Gutierrez from 50 First Dates. He played the youngest child of the “Ula” character played by Rob Schneider. Christian’s parents, Emi and Frank Gutierrez, are staunch supporters of the local indie scene ... The sunset was spectacular as the “Meet the Filmmakers” mixer was kicked off at Tiki’s Bar & Grill overlooking Waikiki Beach. Directors Patricia Gillespie, Elizabeth Lindsey, Titus Chong, Jason Inouye, Jeff Katts, Ryan Kawamoto, James Sereno, Brett Wagner, Michael Wurth and actors Zero, Sam Polson, Lew Lappert, Daniel Dae Kim, Lena Kaneshiro and Chanelle Kukona were enjoying the delicious pupus. Writers Michelle Van Hessen and Moon Yun Choi, HIFF executive director Chuck Boller and film programmer Anderson Le also took in the festive atmosphere. The place was literally filled to maximum capacity with industry movers and shakers ...

The incredible two weeks of the 2005 Hawaii International Film Festival comes to an end. Breakout performances by actors at HIFF were given by Mie Omori, Margaret Jones, Laine Yoshioka, Mariko Oshiro, Steve Boatright, Dezmond Gilla, Stu Hirayama, Jaeves Iha, Lew Lappert, Julius Ledda and Michael Sun Lee. Based on what I saw this year, the bar was raised a lot higher for next season. I’m already looking forward to seeing these actors’ upcoming films ...

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