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Hawaii Film Festival Launching With Korean Oscar Entry ‘The Throne’

The Hawaii International Film Festival has set Korea’s Oscar entry “The Throne” as its opening night film on Nov. 12 for its 35th anniversary, Variety has learned exclusively.

The Throne,” a period drama directed by Lee Joo-ick, tells the brutal tale of a prince who was deemed unfit to rule and locked in a rice chest by his father. It stars Song Kang-ho and Yoo Ah-in.

Romance-drama “Carol,” starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, has been selected as the festival’s Centerpiece movie and will screen on Nov. 18. Mara tied for the Best Actress award at the Cannes Film Festival. Weinstein Co. will open the film on Nov. 20.

The festival closes Nov. 22 with the U.S. premiere of Mabel Cheung’s romance-drama “A Tale of Three Cities,” based on the love story of Jackie Chan’s parents. Lau Ching-wan and Tang Wei play the ill-fated lovers who meet just before the start of World War II.

The festival will also include screenings of “Hitchcock/Truffaut,” a 70th anniversary screening of “Spellbound” with Alfred Hitchcock’s granddaughters in attendance, the world premiere of Hawaii/China co-production “Pali Road,” starring Michelle Chen, and “In Football We Trust,” a documentary about Polynesian high school footballers that debuted at Sundance.

The festival is presenting 181 films, including 32 world premieres, with a focus on discovery for new talent in the Pacific Rim. It’s also seeking to show films that have played on the festival circuit and become a destination for awards-season titles.

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