A Festival of Films this Memorial Day Weekend

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A magical weekend full of stars of the silver screen — as well as the smaller screen and the sky — come out in force for the Big Island Film Festival.

This Memorial Day weekend independent films, shorts and workshops will take place at several venues on the Kohala Coast.

The Fairmont Orchid and the Mauna Lani Resort will be screening films throughout the day and into the night from May 23 through May 27.

Thursday’s opening night festivities take place at the Shops at Mauna Lani and will begin at 7:30 p.m. A free sampler of seven short films will be shown at this glittery glam event.

In its eighth year, this annual event will show over 50 films of varying maturity levels.


There will be animated shorts, feature films and dramas with mature content. Blocks of free family-friendly films are also being screened Thursday through Sunday evenings at the Shops at Mauna Lani.

Daytime film tickets are $8 general and $6 for kama’aina. Festival tickets are $16 per four-hour double feature and shorts, and $11 for kama’aina. Upgrading to Ali’i seating for an additional $10 gives your tush some cush with lawn chairs.

There are also many variations of festival passes for anyone’s budget available for purchase online at www.bigislandfilmfestival.com. Detailed event info, a festival schedule, synopsis of films and description of workshops are also available on the website.

Mix and mingle with the stars at the “Meet the Stars: Aloha Hollywood” event from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Fairmont’s Kilohana Room. Full reception with food and beverages costs $75 per person, or a “paparazzi” admission is available for $14 – bring your camera and snap away from behind the rope. No-host bar also available.

"Saturday Night Live" actress Kate McKinnon. Courtesy photo.

“Saturday Night Live” actress Kate McKinnon. Courtesy photo.


Receptions for stars area also planned from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. for Saturday and Sunday at the resort’s Wailana Garden. Cost is $35 per person.

Featured guests are “Saturday Night Live” actress Kate McKinnon on Saturday and Vincent Kartheiser of “Mad Men” on Sunday.

The Fairmont Orchid is offering special room rates for this event. Take the time to get the family together and grab your friends. A little stay-cation is necessary this weekend.

Vincent Kartheiser, who plays Pete Campbell in "Mad Men." Courtesy photo.

Vincent Kartheiser, who plays Pete Campbell in “Mad Men.” Courtesy photo.

And for those looking for actual celestial bodies, there’s the Fairmont Orchid’s regular “Stargazing” with local astronomer Wayne Fukunaga and his Star Gaze Hawaii team from 7:30 to 8:30 every Friday night on the pool deck.


The event offers telescopes and powerful lasers accompanied by commentary and star lore to discover how the Polynesians found their way across the vast Pacific Ocean.

Reservations are required and the cost is $30 for adults and $15 for children ages 5 to 11. The stargazing event is subject to cancellation for bad weather or low attendance.

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