HIFF 2012: Opening Press Conference

Stuff we picked up from this morning’s press conference.

For this year’s Hawaii International Film Festival the Red Band Project is stepping it up and will be attending as a credentialed member of the press. What does that mean exactly? Basically we’ll have better access to the festival than we have in the past. Whereas before we had to worry about screenings filling up, we now have access to the priority lines that go into the theater first. We also have access to a number of special events (aka parties), some of which are by invitation only. Finally, we receive constant updates and additions to the festival as they occur.

With all of this new found access, we will be redoubling efforts to provide you, dear reader, with more coverage of the festival than ever before. Now I know what you might be thinking . . . is that even possible? Well yes it is. This year look for more reviews of films that play in the festival (films that have multiple festival screenings and those that will be released theatrically in Hawaii at a later date), commentary on panels and Q&A’s, and above all . . . interesting stories and perspective that you won’t be able to find anywhere else.

The press conference floor at Rum Fire.

Our festival coverage began today when we attended the press conference that opens the festival. We picked up our credentials and also got to hear from a lot of the individuals that help make the festival possible, new things that are going on, and what we can expect to see this year at HIFF.

Chuck Boller got things started by thanking everyone that came out today and then introduced the panel of speakers: Deputy Director Robert Lambeth talked about the new Creative Labs portion of HIFF, Georja Skinner talked about the genesis of the Creative Labs section and how it will help local storytellers; Peter Shaindlin of Halekulani talked about the importance of supporting HIFF and their sponsorship; Ruth Boland discussed Pacific Islanders in Communications a local organization that supports and develops local programming, and Elizabeth Kawananakoa talked about EuroCinema Hawaii’s festival-within-a-festival programming.

Even Mayor Peter Carlisle was on hand to talk about the award that the city sponsors as well as present a check of $20,000.

The press conference venue at Rum Fire definitely made for some interesting maneuvering as all of us press members jockeyed around trying to take photos and video. You had the whole range of photographers from cell phones, to point and shoots, to SLRs, and of course the “pro” media with tricked out SLRs and the video guys from HNN. The highlight had to have been when this one photographer got in the direct line of sight of one of HNN’s cameramen and he had to verbally call out to her to move.

The view from the very back of the room. Notice how crowded we all are in the very back.

In the center you may spot Terry Hunter and Taizo Braden of HNN and a camera man from KHON along side people shooting with cell phones.

For someone like myself who dissects a lot of stuff involving HIFF and movie/film news in general, the press conference wasn’t all that exciting. However, it was still really informative and interesting to be at and a part of. Our main coverage of the festival will begin tomorrow when we check in on the visiting filmmaker program and take in our first few films of the festival. Hopefully we’ll catch you there!

Press conference speakers (L-R): HIFF Executive Director Chuck Boller, Elizabeth Kawananakoa of EuroCinema Hawaii, Debra Zimmerman speaking at the new Creative Labs, Georja Skinner chief officer of the state’s Creative Industries Division, Peter Shaindlin of Halekulani, Ruth Bolan executive director of Pacific Islanders in Communication, and HIFF Deputy Director Robert Lambeth

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