HONOLULU – “Sea Fog,” Korean director Shim Sung-Bo’s debut feature about an illegal immigrant smuggling operation that goes wrong, won the Golden Orchid top prize at the Hawaii International Film Festival, which unspools in Honolulu and other venues around the islands Oct. 30-Nov. 16.
Director Ana Lily Amirpour and actress Sheila Vand also received ‘special mentions’ for their work in “A Girl Walks Alone Home At Night,” arguably the first Iranian vampire movie.
The fest also bestowed a Golden Orchid for best feature documentary to “We Are the Giant,” US filmmaker Greg Barker’s picture about popular uprisings around the world.
The NETPAC award for emerging filmmakers was bestowed on Indian helmer Kanu Behl’s gritty crime drama “Titli.”
Launched in 1981 by Jeannette Paulson Hereniko, HIFF was the first U.S. festival to focus on Asian cinema. Today HIFF’s programming mix of nearly 150 features, documentaries and shorts still has a strong Asian coloration, but also includes local, U.S., European and other non-Asian films.