Categorized | Entertainment

‘Best of the Fest’ wraps up Big Island Film Festival


The Big Island Talk Story Film Festival (BIFF), now in its fourth year, is a four-day feast for film-lovers, serving up 50-plus new films, “Screenplay in a Day” writing class, celebrity receptions and awards parties May 14-17 at Waikoloa Beach Resort.  

The festival concludes Sunday, May 17 at Waikoloa Bowl at Queens’ Gardens with its annual “Best of the Fest” celebration.   

A mini-festival in itself, “Best of the Fest” kicks off at 4:30 p.m. with Hawaiian music by Rob Yamanoha, then slack key virtuoso Makana in concert. 

Ranked among the best masters of ki hoalu, Hawaiian slack key guitar, Makana is just returning from a mainland tour, where he appeared onstage at “National Geographic Live!” in Washington, D.C. and the Sage Theatre in New York’s Times Square.  

Makana’s repertoire includes traditional Hawaiian mele, covers of Sting, Pink Floyd and other surprises.  His most recent CD “Different Game” received the 2008 Music Foundation of Hawaii  Award for Best Adult Contemporary Album of the Year. His music is also featured on the Grammy-nominated album “Hawaiian Slack Key Masters Vol.II, Slack Key Kings.” 

The music is followed at 7 p.m. by a special showing of “The First Hawaiian Snowball Fight,” a short film by Michael Wurth, which takes place on the day Hawaii discovers it will become the 50th State. 

At 7:30 p.m. BIFF presents the No. 1 short film and No. 1 feature-length film chosen by audience votes during festival screenings. Tickets are available for films only, or concert-film package.

“It’s going to be tough to pick the two best films this year, BIFF founder and executive director Leo Sears said. “In every area — family films, comedy, action films, mystery — we’ve got some very good choices, many of them coming from right here in Hawaii. There are even a couple of high quality modern Westerns.  Really, something for every kind of movie-lover.”       

A silent auction to benefit the Wounded Warrior project, a support organization for America’s military men and women, takes place during the concert at The Studio Lanai.

Ticket prices for concerts and films: $35 adults; $10 children 6-12; $25 kamaaina special price; $5 kamaaina 6-12; Films only: $7.50 adults; $5 keiki 

Beach chairs or blankets are welcome for lawn seating.  No coolers or outside alcohol; concessions are available.   

A portion of each ticket sold will be donated to Hawaii Island Food Basket.  

— Find out more: 

Big Island Film Festival:, 883-0394

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