Hawaii’s rim shot

Fest sets Pacific films, with leis to Lee, Dong

HONOLULU — Six islands, 14 days, 100 films, 26 screens.

The Hawaii Intl. Film Festival, running Nov. 7-20, will feature 100 films from nearly every country in the Pacific Rim and Asia, including China, Japan, India, Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Canada.

Filmmakers and actors attending the 17th annual event will include directors Ang Lee and Arthur Dong, actors Toni Collette, Miranda Otto (“Love Serenade”), Rajit Kapur, John Ritter, Dave Foley (TV’s “News Radio”); Oscar-winning cinematographer John Seale (“The English Patient”) and festival fixture, film critic Roger Ebert.

The festival kicks off Friday with the screening of “The Ice Storm,” starring Sigourney Weaver and Kevin Kline, with director Lee introducing the film.

Other festival film highlights are Michael Winterbottom’s “Welcome to Sarajevo” starring Marisa Tomei and Woody Harrelson; Atom Egoyan’s drama “The Sweet Hereafter” (Canada) with John Hurt; Shinobu Yaguchi’s comedy “My Secret Cache” (Japan); Eric Khoo’s “12 Stories” (Singapore); “True Love and Chaos” (Australia) starring Miranda Otto; and Noah Taylor; Shohel Imamura’s Palme d’Or winner “The Eel” (Japan); “Flight of the Albatross” (New Zealand) and Arthur Dong’s Seattle Film Festival award winner “License to Kill.”

The festival is honoring the films of directors Lee and Dong in special tributes and retrospectives. The Dong retro is the first ever to include all his film work, beginning with the 1970 high school film “Public” up to “Kill.”

Lee’s work, with an unusually wide scope from 18th century England to 1990s Taiwan, includes “Fine Line,” “Pushing Hands”, “Eat Drink Man Woman,” “The Wedding Banquet,” “Sense & Sensibility” and “Ice Storm.”

Seale is being awarded the Eastman Kodak Cinematography Award for his body of work, including “Patient,” “Dead Poets Society,” “Witness” and “Gorillas in the Mist.”

The festival is the only statewide film festival in the U.S., with screenings at 26 sites on six islands; the fest, regularly sells out all 65,000 of its tickets.

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