’12 Storeys’ climbs to top of Hawaii fest

HONOLULU — Singapore’s “12 Storeys,” about three families living in a high-rise inhabited by the ghost of a young suicide victim, took top honors Nov. 13 in the 17th annual Hawaii Intl. Film Festival.Directed by Eric Khoo, “12 Storeys” received the Golden Maile Award for best feature.

The Taiwanese film “Homesick Eyes,” which chronicles the struggles of immigrant workers in Taiwan trying desperately to improve their lives, won the Golden Maile for documentary.

The Hawaii Film and Videomakers Award went to “E Ola Ka Olelo” directed by Na Maka O Ka’Aina about the importance of the Hawaiian-language immersion program in helping to preserve the Hawaiian culture.

The Golden Maile Awards are presented to the documentary and feature films that best promote cultural understanding.

A five-member jury screens five nominated features and five nominated docs films to determine the winners. Jurors included actress Toni Colette (Australia); Malti Sahai, member of the Directorate of Film Festivals (India); Kim Dong-ho, director of the Pusan Intl. Film Festival (Korea); the author Paul Theroux; and film critic Peter Rainer.

Naomi Nishida received the Special Jury Award for her performance in the Japanese film “My Secret Cache.” Academy Award-winning cinematographer John Seale won the Eastman Kodak Cinematography Award for his “outstanding body of work.”

The PrimeCo Hawaii Audience Awards voted by attendees went to: feature, “Deep River” (Japan); documentary, “Luther Kahekili Makekau: One Kine Hawaiian Man,” “E Ola Ka Olelo” (Hawaii); Short, “Signing Off” (New Zealand).

The Vision in Film Award went to director Ang Lee.

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