Categorized | Entertainment, Featured

Inaugural Waimea Ocean Film Festival (Jan. 5-9)

Red Sunset (Photo courtesy of Andy Carlson)


The Waimea Ocean Film Festival is scheduled Jan. 5-9 at various locations in Waimea and venues along the Kohala Coast.

While 30 films will be featured, the event brings together not only noted film makers but fine artists, photographers and experts in the field of oceanography and conservation as well.

Gala receptions, films, speaker presentations, yoga on the beach, art exhibits and an evening with members of Na Kalai Waa, the Big Island voyaging society, who will discuss the ancient art of ocean “wayfinding”, are all part of the five-day experience.

“There’s an extraordinary combination of people and films coming together for this festival,” said Tania Howard, Executive Director of the non-profit Waimea Ocean Film Festival.

“Not only will the event bring many top filmmakers, surfers and speakers to the Big Island, but the awareness and enthusiasm the films carry about the ocean will help us to better protect and preserve the unique beauty and rare treasure we have here on Hawaii Island,” Howard said.

A five-year island resident, who loves to spend time in and on the water and operates a sail charter business in Kawaihae, Howard was inspired to create an ocean community festival on the island just 18 months ago.

“I saw two films during the Telluride Mountain Film Festival in Colorado that were so important, with such tremendous implications for us here, that it felt as if they should be shown on the island,” Howard said.

Those movies, together with many inspiring paddling and surfing films (including Rob Machado’s latest production “Melali” and the strikingly beautiful film “Waveriders”) thought-provoking documentaries and pieces showcasing island culture and history will be featured.

The festival opens with a gala reception at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai and will include a multimedia journey of the world by Kenji Williams, and trailer and introduction to the film “Oceans” by producer Jake Eberts.

Director Tom Shadyac also will be on hand to introduce his film “I Am.” Shadyac is perhaps best known for his movies “Ace Ventura Pet Detective,” “Liar/Liar” and “The Nutty Professor.”

Among the additional festival highlights:

• Acclaimed artist Aurora Robson ( will be on hand to create a sculpture from plastic debris collected near Kamilo Point as part of a volunteer clean-up.

• Voyagers from the 1976 voyage of Hokulea to Tahiti will tell their story at an exhibit of photography by the Natoinal Geographic photographer who made the trip with them.

• Big Island artists Mike Field (, Andy Carlson and Charlotte Nairn will display their work at Kahilu Theatre.

• Flip Nicklin will talk about his 30 years with humpback whales.

• Duane DeSoto, world longboard champion, will attend the showing of The Watermen Experience.

• Ed Lyman with NOAA will discuss NOAA’s humpback whale rescue team.

• Jake Eberts will show film clips of current projects and talk about his work, past and present.

• A traditional Hawaiian luau at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel provides the closing night finale Sunday, Jan. 9.

Festival sponsors include: Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, The Fairmont Orchid, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Kona Brewing Company, Hawaii Preparatory Academy (HPA), Parker School, Red Water Cafe, Gaia Creative, Maile Charters, Milsal+Partners, Kona Law, Ken Ransford, PC, Wallis Estates and Starbucks Coffee.

For tickets and further information, call the festival offices at (808)854 6095 or email:

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