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Hawaii International Film Festival Awards

With every new year of films comes a new batch of award winning projects. The Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF) presented by Halekulani recognizes its top films with the Halekulani Golden Orchid and NETPAC awards. Of the numerous films that were up for nomination, three standout films have been recognized by winning these top awards from HIFF.

PATANG, a combination of stories following six people that are brought together by India's largest kite festival, has been given the Halekulani Golden Orchid Award: Narrative Feature. Jurors for this category were Actress Tamlyn Tomita, Giant Robot founder Eric Nakamura, and Ebert Fest Festival Director and Associate Director of the George Foster Peabody Awards Nathaniel Kohn, Ph.D. The Festival jurors had this to say about the film: "Sensual, subtle and soaring in its conception and execution, PATANG tells its simple story obliquely, drawing us into a romanticized and joyous India where old and new somehow manage to co-exist. Brilliantly shot, edited, scored and acted, PATANG surprises us at every turn-as only the best pictures do." Director Prashant Bhargava was presented with a crystal award by Tiffany & CO. in recognition of his work and PATANG will have an encore screening on Sunday, October 23 at 8:45 PM.

SPLINTERS, the amazing documentary that follows the rise of surfing in Papua New Guinea, has been awarded the Halekulani Golden Orchid Award: Documentary Feature. Jurors for this category were Hawaii News Now Reporter Byron Furukawa, Managing Director of the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival Christine Kwon, and Publisher and Senior VP of Midweek Ron Nagasawa. The Festival jurors were impressed with the film's ability to tell "the complex story of a community facing fundamental economic and societal changes while maintaing a focus on a love and passion for the sport of surfing." The film's Director Adam Pesce was presented with a crystal award by Tiffany & CO. in recognition of his work and SPLINTERS will play today at 4 PM.
The NETPAC Award, which is presented by the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema, has been awarded this year to HANAAN. Jurors for this award were film producer Elyna Shukri, Senior Manager for NAFF and PIFAN Thomas Nam, and Jane Yamashiro from NETPAC USA. "HANAAN is a brave portrayal by the filmmaker Ruslan Pak, culturally-bridging social issues with strong artistic integrity accompanied by outstanding performances" said the NETPAC festival jurors. Director Ruslan Pak was presented with the award in recognition of his work and HANAAN will play Friday, October 21 at 3:45 PM.

Previously awarded was the Mahalo Nui Loa Award, which was presented to the cast and crew of the hit CBS drama HAWAII FIVE-0. The cast and crew were presented with the award at HIFF's AFTERNOON WITH HAWAII FIVE-0 panel discussion held at Halekulani. The Mahalo Nui Loa Award, which had previously been awarded to the cast and crew of ABC's LOST, recognizes players in television and film who have made invaluable contributions to the art and culture of filmmaking.

Director Alexander Payne will be in attendance at the HIFF screening of his latest film THE DESCENDANTS to receive the festival's VISION IN FILM AWARD presented by the City & County of Honolulu. This award is presented to industry players with broad insight into film and has previously been awarded to individuals such as Ang Lee and Roger and Chaz Ebert.

At the end of this year's festival, HIFF will be announcing the winners of the Audience Choice Awards presented by Hawaii News Now on Tuesday, October 25th. The Audience Award winners will include Best Feature Film, Best Documentary Film, and Best Short Film.

The 31st Hawaii International Film Festival presented by Halekulani features over 200 different films from 43 different countries and is at Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18 Theatres & IMAX from October 13-23. Tickets are on sale now to HIFF Ohana members and the general public. General admission tickets are available for $12 or $10 for students, seniors, children and military. Tickets may be purchased in person at the guest services desk at Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18 Theatres & IMAX, by phone at (808) 447-0577, or online at

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