The 2014 Waimea Ocean Film Festival (Ocean Film) offers an exciting lineup of films, special guests, intimate coffee talks, Q&As, exhibits, receptions and morning activities, running non-stop January 2-10.
The festival opens on January 2, with films playing simultaneously from January 2-5 at multiple venues in Waimea (Kahilu Theatre, HPA Gates, Parker Theatre), and showings at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i January 2-4. On January 6, the festival moves to Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, where Eddie Kamae will share a few songs after the opening night film.
The festival brings over 50 films to the big screen this year, most of which are world, U.S., Hawai‘i or Big Island premieres, and all of which are exceptional. On the cultural side, the festival weaves a rich offering, with films by Eddie and Myrna Kamae about the history, culture and music of the islands, a presentation by Hula Preservation Society with historical footage and dances and discussion by hula kupuna, and the showing of the 1951 remake of the 20th Century Fox film Bird of Paradise, with an introduction by local lead Queenie Dowsett.
In this vein, KGMB’s Brother’s Cazimero shares the story of this musical duo, with producer Phil Arnone and writer Robert Pennybacker in attendance to answer questions about the film. The Voyager Exhibit features the upcoming worldwide voyage of Hokule‘a, and will include an 8×13- foot map of the world, showing Hokule‘a planned route, along with interactive exhibits about life on the canoe, and the work of National Geographic photographer Nicholas DeVore III. The exhibit opens with a blessing and ceremony at Kahilu Theatre 4 p.m. January 2. ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center also joins the festival this year, with a presentation on Wayfinding, complete with star compass and a full-dome star show.
For inspiration, speaker and author Alan Cohen returns as one of the presenters in Finding Joe, to host a workshop on the Hero’s Journey. National Medal of Arts award recipient and composer Morten Lauridsen attends the festival this year along with the film about his life and work, Shining Night, and will accompany a local chorus in a performance of one or two of his pieces. And, Botso, a beautiful film about a music teacher who made his way to Morro Bay from Stalinist Georgia against all odds, is sure to warm the audience heart.
On the thought-provoking side, Hot Water, produced by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Don Rogers, explores the legacy of uranium mining in the west, including the possibility of our Fukushima-like event. Gasland 2, an equally compelling sequel to Academy Award-nominated Gasland, comes to the festival with director Josh Fox in attendance to talk about the film. The Last Ocean is a stunning film about the Ross Sea, and GMO OMG, Plastic Paradise, and More Than Honey all provide insight into the issues around us. For those who missed them, 2013 People’s Choice winners Chasing Ice and North of the Sun will also show one more time.
For adventure, the festival offers a heart-pounding and heart-warming selection of surf films, along with a slide presentation and exhibit by 1960s surf photographer and former Reyn’s CEO Tim McCullough. In partnership with Bruce Brown films, Ocean Film launches the 50th anniversary tour of The Endless Summer. And, local HPA graduate Alison Teal premieres the latest installments in her series Alison’s Adventures: Blue Duck Station and The Lost Island of the Firewalkers.
M. Sanjayan, an Emmy nominated news contributor and the lead scientist for The Nature Conservancy, returns to the festival to share a sneak preview of a star-studded series produced by James Cameron, The Years of Living Dangerously, which will be aired on Showtime in April. Dawn Lippert, who leads the Energy Excelerator, a program of the Pacific International Center for High Technology Research (PICHTR), joins the festival to talk about innovations in energy technology and investing in a clean energy future. The Crash Reel, directed by Academy Award-nominated director Lucy Walker (The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom), and currently under consideration for an Academy Award nomination, will have its Hawai‘i premiere at the festival.
Receptions include a high-octane, surf-themed opening night at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i on January 2 (1960s surf attire optional), leading into the launch of the 50th anniversary tour of The Endless Summer. The Taste of the Island January 5 at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel again features the culinary delights of many of the island’s top chefs and has grown into a festival highlight. And, new this year, the closing night reception at Four Seasons moves to Hoku Amphitheatre on January 10, for what promises to be a beautiful evening with island fare, music and film.
Selections and film synopsis from the 2014 film lineup include:
- Alison’s Adventures: Blue Duck Station and Lost Island of the Firewalkers (USA/Alison Teal Blehert-Koehn*)
- Botso (USA /Tom Walters*)
- Brothers Cazimero (USA/Phil Arnone* and Robert Pennybacker*)
- Energy Excelerator (USA/Dawn Lippert*)
- Finding Joe (USA/Alan Cohen*)
- Gasland 2 (USA/Josh Fox*)
- GMO OMG (USA/Jeremy Seifert)
- Good Morning Miyazaki (Canada/Matt Wescott)
- Hot Water (USA/Lizabeth Rogers)
- Jane’s Journey (Germany/Lorenz Knauer)
- Li‘a: The Legacy of a Hawaiian Man (USA/Eddie Kamae*)
- Sons of Hawai’i (USA/Eddie Kamae*)
- Maverick Moments (USA/Rocky Romano*)
- More than Honey (Germany/Markus Imhoof)
- Ocean Frontiers (USA/Karen and Ralf Meyer)
- Paniolo O’Hawaii (USA/Edgy Lee*)
- Paradise Found (USA/ Tom Swartwout)
- Queenie Dowsett: Spirit a Dancer (USA/Qweenie Dowsett*)
- Red Gold (USA/Ben Knight)
- Sea of Rock (Germany/Sebastian Doerk)
- Serendipity (Australia/Simon Lamb)
- Shining Night: A Portrait of Composer Morten Lauridsen (Switzerland/Morten Lauridsen*)
- Silver of the Sea (Norway/Are Pilskog)
- Sine Qua Non (USA/Richard Yelland)
- Snows of the Nile (USA/Neil Losin)
- Bud Browne’s Surfing the 50s (USA/Anna Trent Moore*)
- The Coral Reef (Spain/Pepe San Martin)
- The Crash Reel (USA/Lucy Walker)
- The Last Mountain (USA/Bill Haney)
- The Last Ocean (New Zealand/Peter Young)
- The Questions We Ask (Canada/Bruce Kirkby)
- What If (Germany/Sebastian Doerk)
*Filmmakers attending Ocean Film and leading a discussion
Every January, this dynamic festival immerses participants in a greater understanding and awareness of the ocean and island culture through exceptional films, talks, exhibits and activities. Films fall into the basic categories of ocean experience (such as surfing and paddling); ocean environment—including things we do on land that impact the sea; and island culture. Inspirational films are also screened.
Participants can begin the day with sunrise yoga on the beach, power up with coffee at the morning talks and then head out for a day of thought-provoking film and discussion.
The Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel is offering discounted room rates to festival pass holders from January 2-10. Starbucks awards a prize to Ocean Film attendees who complete the festival’s 20-Punch card, showing they attended 20 film or presentation blocks.
The full lineup of films and the complete festival program will be available to download at www.waimeaoceanfilm.org around December 21. Festival passes can be purchased via the website or at 808-854-6095. Kama‘aina/early rates are available in advance by contacting the festival office through December 21.