HawaiiWood

Joji Yoshida
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Friday - March 05, 2005
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Newcomer Malia Verdadero caught my eye at the 2004 Hawaii International Film Festival. Her leading role in Kamea by filmmaker Jennifer Akana-Sturla won the Blockbuster Audience Award for best short film. Malia is a sophomore at Waipahu High School and active in pageant activities.


Rising star Malia Verdadero

Malia started to enter pageants at 12, winning all three she entered. She was invited to the 2003 Nationals for the American Starlet Pageant in Palm Springs. She’s a pure natural when it comes to acting, so it’s no surprise to me she landed the lead as Kamea.

Malia is also athletic, doing gymnastic moves for her cheerleading squad. Surfing is another passion of hers, mainly longboarding, which is shared by her father and brothers.

Recently saw her live performance at an acting workshop; she still shines among the performers. The future of Hawaii actors is bright with Malia leading the way …

Clint Eastwood slated to storm the islands to film the movie Flags of Our Fathers. The film is an epic story of the six American soldiers who raised the American flag on Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima. The film is based on the novel by James Bradley whose father, John Bradley, was one of the soldiers in the famous photo. The script was written by Paul Haggis, who also penned the Oscar-winning film Million Dollar Baby, which brought home the golden statues for Hilary Swank, Best Actress, Morgan Freeman, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Picture and Best Director for Clint himself. Mr. Eastwood, can I please work on your picture? …

Kai Bovaird recently moved back home to Hawaii after a lengthy stay in Hollywood. His specialty is digital effects and computer graphics used in movies. He has credits that will astound you, such as The Matrix Reloaded, Scooby Doo and XMen. He has a lot more, but I can’t list them all here. His company, Cause & FX Pictures, is a fully loaded facility located in Kakaako. He teaches classes for the University of Hawaii Pacific New Media Center and UH Community College system. Kai trained in art and computer animation at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, the hotbed of visual artists. Check out his cool website at http://www.cause-fx.com

Acting coach Wayne Ward is gearing up for the 2005 Actors’ Showcase held at the Waialae Country Club. The event is attended by celebrities, casting directors, filmmakers and producers. Among the many actors to appear will be Michael Lanzo and Katherine Cleveland. Previous celebrity guests include actors Jason Scott Lee, Burton Richardson, photographer Russell Tanoue and producer Chris Lee. Many actors credit the event for their break in the film industry …

Congrats to producer Don Brown on the second season pickup of Hawaii’s Reel Stories on OC-16. He’s the former manager of the Art House Theatres at Restaurant Row. Don’s been one of the key individuals of the independent film industry’s recent success. His continued support for the indie filmmakers is well-recognized and appreciated …

Gerard Elmore just wrapped on a documentary about the life of the great American author Hubert Selby Jr. Gerard worked as a cinematographer on the project. The film is titled Hubert Selby Jr., It’ll Be Better Tomorrow. It has interviews with Desmond Nakano, Jennifer Jason-Leigh, Jared Leto and is narrated by Robert Downey Jr. Gerard is most famous for the film The Amazing Asian starring local comedians Paul Ogata, Shawn Felipe and Andy Bumatai. Gerard will be on the lookout for actors in his follow-up film, Valtor the Great Vs. The Universe. Stay tuned.

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