Movie Review: 'Ohina Short Film Showcase

Once a year, some of the best short films by Hawaii filmmakers are shown at a gathering called the 'Ohina Short Film Showcase.

Here's a preview of the September first program on the big screen at the Hawaii Theatre Center.

The 'Ohina Short Film Showcase was created more than 15 years ago to support local filmmakers by giving them a chance to exhibit their work.

And I can tell you that I've seen all of the ten short films in this year's two hour program and every one of them is good.

WILDER PALMS from writer-director Bradley Tangonan focuses on a quiet, long suffering little girl whose mother's fitness to raise her has been called into question. The subtle power of this polished, well acted drama really impressed me.

UHIWAI is a beautifully shot film about a lonely man in the grip of serious depression. This seven minute gem has the production values of the best feature films.

PHASES OF MAHINA is a striking 16 minute movie about a Hawaiian woman who works as a maid and lives with a partner she's not really happy with. The contrast between her mundane job and her deep connection to nature is a revelation.

KEEP YOU FLOAT presents the dilemma a group of young people who discover that they must decide together where to spread the ashes of their friend who just died.

The stunningly beautiful cinematography of LET THE MOUNTAIN SPEAK is reason enough to see this haunting four minute film that quite literally lets Maunakea speak for herself.

Another strong entry with roots in ancient Hawaii is HO'OMAU: A STORY OF PERSEVERANCE. This sixteen minute film feels like a mini epic with production values that rival Hollywood.

The other films in the lineup include a two minute animation and three documentaries. There's not a weak link in the entire program.

The festival screenings will be on one night only, Friday Sept. first at 7pm at the Hawaii Theatre Center. Why not put it on your calendar?

Terry Hunter, Hawaii News Now.