Fifty Films Chosen for Big Island Film Festival

March 24, 2015, 1:54 PM HST
* Updated September 8, 6:31 PM
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Love movies? The Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid is just around the corner and the 50 official selections have just been announced, which will include 13 films from the state of Hawai’i, six of them from the Big Island.

Screenings will be part of the five-day “talk story” festival lasting from May 21 through May 25.

In addition to the screenings, the lineup includes free family films at The Shops at Mauna Lani and a new food event, “Taste of the Movies,” that will take place on the Friday of the event, May 22. During the food festivities, top chefs will present cuisine that follows a movie-theme.

At the Fairmont Orchid, daytime movies and nightly double features will play with a no-host bar and pupus. Celebrity social events, workshops, and a variety of other things will keep you busy throughout the day.

Big Island films featured will include a new sci-fi thriller by returning BIFF entrants Cousins Brothers Productions of Honoka’a, titled “Hangar 52 ‘We Are Not Alone.’” Kona filmmakers will also be featured with the new film “Project Z” by Richard Gonzalez and the short family film “Lost Dog” by Rockwood.


“2015 is shaping up to be a great year for short films, as well as our usual fine crop of feature films. The quality is outstanding,” said BIFF Executive Director Leo Sears. “A short film only has 30 minutes or less to tell its story. It is an art of filmmaking that requires special skills. It’s not easy to do.”


A variety of other “made in Hawai’i” short stories will be featured. One of the films, “Lihau’s Journey,” was filmed in the Waimea countryside and stars Leiomalama Solomon. The film is directed by Ari Bernstein of Hawai’i Preparatory Academy.

Willy Navarro will present his new work, “Projection,” at the festival, while Oahu’s Erin Lau will present “Day Pass,” which was filmed on the Big Island.

Maui will be represented by Brian Kohne and the Believers of Nonsense as they present their world premier of their animated short, “Nothing Goin’ on But the Rent.”


A story by Waikoloa author Catherine Tarleton’s will come to life in “The Fishing Club” by Shooters Productions. The film will star KITV sports anchor Robert Kekaula and musician Keali’i Reichel.

The short story films are not the only place where the Big Island will be represented. The family feature film category shows some promise as “Under the Blood Red Sun,” based on Graham Salibury’s award-winning novel, will be featured under the direction of Tim Savage and starring Kyler Sakamoto. The film has already gathered a variety of awards and accolades.

Ballets in limited numbers will be given to viewers during each screening. At the end of the festival, votes will be tallied to determine Audience-Choice Feature and Short to be screened at the Best of the Fest on Monday, May 25.

On the closing night, Best of the Fest will feature the winning films, in addition to a concert by The Rough Riders, comprised of Henry Kapono, John Cruz, and Brother Noland. A silent auction will also be held for Fisher House at Tripler Army Medical Center.

A portion of all tickets to the event will go to the Hawai’i Island Food Basket.

For additional information, including details on ticket purchases, visit the Big Island Film Festival website.

2015 Big Island Film Festival Official Selections

34th Street Christmas

A Standing Still






Day Pass

Demon Within…

Dig Two Graves

Dishonestly Yours


Hamlet’s Ghost

Hands Off My Child

Hangar 52 “We Are Not Alone”



If The Trees Could Talk


Jilel – The Calling of the Shell

Līhauʻs Journey


Lost Dog

Mother Earth

N. King


Nothing Going On But The Rent

Our Father

Out of the Basement

Patterson’s Wager


Project Z



Sin Frontera (Without Boundary)



Take a Stand

The Cat’s Cradle

The Devil Goes Down

The Fishing Club

The Hit

The Lei Makers

The Less Fortunate

The Morning After

The Rabbit

The Story of M

The Sun Devil and the Princess

Under the Blood-Red Sun


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