The 30th annual Hawaii International Film Festival begins today (Thursday, October 14). More than 200 films from 40 countries will be shown over the next ten days.
The festival is famous for showing films from Asia and the Pacific, but this year's festival includes plenty of European films as well.
There is literally something for everyone.
If it's local films you want to see, you've got three feature films, several documentaries, and numerous shorts to choose from. And you can find out about all of them on the festival's excellent web site:
Most of the movies on the site are linked to trailers, so that with a click of the mouse, you can get a taste of what these unknown never-before-seen-in Hawaii films are like.
You can even buy and print tickets right on the web site.
Among the mainly highlights are "Under the Hawthorn Tree," a simple love story from the brilliant Chinese director Zhang Yimou who appeared at the opening press conference with his two young actors.
And Nancy Kwan, the first Asian actress to conquer Hollywood, is attending the festival with a documentary about her life and career. Before she starred with William Holden in "The World of Suzie Wong," (1960) white people had played Asians in American films. "Even today," Kwan says, "I still feel that Asian American actors have a tough time working in Hollywood, getting good substantial roles to sustain a career....especially male actors."
When asked about her future plans, the gracious 71 year old actress said, "The past is history; the future is a mystery; and today is a gift."
The Hawaii International Film Festival is a gift to all of us.