Australian film wins best feature at Festival

“The Home Song Stories” by Australian scripter-helmer Tony Ayres won the Halekulani Golden Orchid for best feature at the 27th Hawaii Intl. Film Festival. Awards were announced Thursday.

An autobiographical drama based on Ayres’ difficult childhood migration to Australia, pic stars Joan Chen who also received the fest’s Achievement in Acting award.

Feature documentary award was presented to Hawaii-based co-helmers Don King and Julianne King for “Beautiful Son,” a chronicle of their efforts to help their autistic child.

The Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema award was taken home by Stepane Gauger’s verite-style “Owl and the Sparrow,” a Vietnam-U.S. co-production in which a young orphan escapes to Ho Chi Minh City and is befriended by a zookeeper and an airline stewardess. Pic previously won trophies at the Los Angeles and Heartland film fests.

Gwak Gyung-taek’s “A Love” won the audience award for best feature, while Julianne King’s “Beatiful Son” took home the audience prize for best documentary.

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