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Big Island Film Festival to showcase 63 indie films, including 10 made in Hawaii, this week



Hawaii_Big Island_South Kohala Coast_celebrities_Jake Shimabukuro_Henry KaponoThe sixth annual Big Island Film Festival, kicks off Wed., May 11 with a menu of 63 independent films, including 10 filmed here in Hawaii.

Altogether, films from seven countries will be represented at the five-day festival, based at the Mauna Lani Resort on the South Kohala Coast.

Celebrity honorees with Hawaii roots will include Hilo’s Kristina Anapau (pictured, right) and Honolulu’s Sarah Wayne Callies (pictured, below). Anapau last year starred opposite Natalie Portman in Black Swan. In 2006, Anapau appeared in Self Medicated, which won more than 35 international film awards, including the Big Island Film Festival’s best feature.

At this year's festival, Anapau stars in Verdict, a short drama that will be screened during the free grand opening, which will get under way at 7:30 p.m. Wed.,  May 11 at The Shops at Mauna Lani, with a meet-and-greet gathering to welcome filmmakers and celebrities.  

Callies currently stars as in the AMC TV series The Walking Dead, based on the popular zombie-themed comic book of the same name.

Hawaii_Big Island_South Kohala Coast_celebrities_Jake Shimabukuro_Henry KaponoOther film fest guests include Hawaii Five-0 actor Cary Hiroyuki Tagawa and producers Angela Laprete and William “Chico” Powell.  Laprete and Powell will appear at a live question-and-answer session with Big Island Film Commissioner John Mason at 6 p.m. Thurs., May 12 at The Shops at Mauna Lani.

Among the festival films shot in the Islands is Get a Job, a Maui-lensed comedy featuring several familiar Hawaii entertainers. Among them: ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro, comedian Augie T, television writer Carolyn Omine, musicians Henry Kapono, Willie K, Eric Gilliom, Amy Hanaialii and longtime Maui resident Mick Fleetwood. The film is slated to screen at 7:30 p.m., Thurs. May 12 at The Fairmont Orchid’s Hawaii Plantation Estate.

The festival will wrap up on Sun., May 15 with Kapono headlining the “Best of the Fest” concert at 5:30 p.m. at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii Plantation Estate. The audience-voted Best Feature and Best Short of 2011 festival will be recognized during the show. There will also be a silent auction on site to benefit The Wounded Warrior Project for U.S. veterans. Bring beach chairs for lawn seating. No coolers, though.  

For full details about the Big Island Film Festival’s schedule, and ticket information, click here.

Photos: Big Island Film Festival

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