×

Hawaii’s Big Island Film Festival Announces 2016 Winners

Event honors indie pics from Hawaii, U.S. mainland and around the world

The Closer,” a Brooklyn-set tale of betrayal and greed among friends, won the best feature prize at the Big Island Film Festival, which wrapped earlier this week in Hawaii. Eli Hershko wrote, produced and directed the picture.

“Catfish Blues,” the tale of a reclusive young boy who begins to open up when he joins a 90-year-old woman looking for lost animals, scored two trophies: best family feature and audience choice feature. Junior Bonner directed.

Writer/director James Raue’s mockumentary “Psychoanalysis” received the prize for best foreign feature. The pic, which follows Australia’s top suicide prevention specialist as he attempts to discover why five of his patients killed themselves in a single week, was made for $10,000, said Raue.

The best Hawaii feature award went to “Throuple,” a tale of love and madness that spins around a conflicted young couple as they interact with a polyamorous trio and a mysterious loner. Phillips Payson directed.

The Big Island Film Festival celebrated its 11th edition this year.

(Pictured above: “Psychoanalysis” director Janes Raue, left, with festival co-founder Leo sears. Photo by Kirk Lee Aeder.)

Here’s a complete list of the winning films along with their descriptions in the official festival program:

Best Student Short: “Breathe”
Dr. Filip Kardel is an ambitious Polish neurosurgeon working in America, struggling to cope with the loss of his wife, Ania. Memories of her untimely death and his neglecting her in favor of his career continue to haunt him. Producer: Christina Dow, Director: Paul Kowalski, Writer: Paul Kowalski, Daniel Gentile. Country: USA.

Best Hawai’i Short: “The Surrender Call”
Based on the true story of Herbert Yanamura, a Japanese-American soldier and linguist with the Military Intelligence Service, who saved the lives of over 1500 people during the Battle of Okinawa in 1945. Producer: Stacey Hayashi, Director/Writer: Alexander Bocchieri. Country: USA.

Best Family Short: “Rated”
Maggie, a wife and mother, must find the courage to own up to her own behavior when she wakes up to a world where every adult has received a YELP-like rating floating above their head. Producer: John Fortson, Lindsay Lanzillotta, Heath Ryan, Andrew Troy, Christie Lynn Smith, BD Gunnell, Director: John Fortson, Writer: John Fortson, Christie Lynn Smith. Country: USA.

Best Foreign Short: “Regression”
The lines of reality are blurred, forever changing the lives of a psychotherapist and his patient. Producer: Leanne Melissa Bishop, Michael P. Mason, Milan Andrijasevic, Director/Writer: Milan Andrijasevic. Country: Canada.

Best Short: “Monty and the Runaway Furnace”
A kind, old maintenance man is in love with the furnace that powers the factory he works at because he thinks it’s his deceased wife. Producer: Vinnie Taranto, Director: Joe Taranto, Writer: Joe Taranto, Amanda Steinhoff. Country: USA.

The Barbara Award: “New Generation”
After playing a new video game, teens start to change in some unsettling ways. Producer: Helaine Grant, Heather Manley, Steven Lesser, Director/Writer: Nasya Kastelik. Country: USA.

Best Foreign Feature: “Psychoanalysis”
Paul Symmonds, the country’s top suicide prevention specialist, has just lost five of his clients to suicide within a week period. He arranges for a documentary crew to follow him as he attempts to prove his clients were actually murdered by a rival. Producer: James Raue, Julia Kelly, Adam Wise, Neil Peplow, Nathalie Peter-Contesse, Tony Prescott, Director/ Writer: James Raue. Country: Australia.

Best Hawai’i Feature: “Throuple”
A conflicted young couple, a polyamorous trio trying to dig a hole, and a mysterious recluse spin a tale of love, murder and madness. Producer: Paul Valdes Jr., Director: Phillips Payson, Writer: Zoe Eisenberg. Country: USA.

Best Family Feature: “Catfish Blues”
A young reclusive boy stuck spending the summer in a small town with his aunt and uncle begins to open up as he joins a 90 year old woman looking for lost animals. Producer: David Tadman, Director: Junior Bonner, Writer: Michael Worth. Country: USA.

Best Feature: “The Closer
A tale of betrayal and greed between 3 friends set against the backdrop of the boom and bust brooklyn real estate market. Producer/Director/Writer: Eli Hershko. Country: USA.

Screenplay: Amanda Keener, “Comic Book Kings”
(This was a written script submitted to the screenplay contest.)

Audience Choice Short: “Water Girl”
A young girl is left at a Mexican orphanage by her father who is involved in human trafficking. Producer: Richard Gonzalez, Karen Rose, Director: Richard Gonzalez, Writer: Karen Rose. Country: USA.

Audience Choice Feature: “Catfish Blues”
(See above)

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • 'QT8: Quentin Tarantino, The First Eight'

    Film Review: 'QT8: Quentin Tarantino, The First Eight'

    In one of the intermittent revealing moments in “QT8: Quentin Tarantino, The First Eight,” a documentary about the films of Quentin Tarantino that’s like a familiar but tasty sundae for Quentin fans, we see Tarantino on the set of “Pulp Fiction,” shooting the iconic dance contest at Jack Rabbit Slim’s. As John Travolta and Uma [...]

  • Zombieland Double Tap

    Why Emma Stone Was Haunted by Fear of Vomiting While Shooting 'Zombieland: Double Tap'

    SPOILER ALERT: The following story contains a slight spoiler for “Zombieland: Double Tap.” The zombie slayers are back! Ten years after Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg and Abigail Breslin first killed dead people walking in “Zombieland,” they’ve reunited for “Zombieland: Double Tap.” “You take stock of your life a little bit,” Stone says of [...]

  • Hereditary

    The Best Horror Films to Stream Right Now

    Good horror movies aren’t always easy to scare up, but with Halloween on the horizon, Variety has compiled a list of some of the best horror films available on Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu. NETFLIX Apostle Cult horror meets religious hypocrisy in this creepy gothic thriller, which follows prodigal son Thomas Richardson, who returns home [...]

  • Brett Gelman

    'Stranger Things' Star Brett Gelman Joins Michael B. Jordan in 'Without Remorse'

    Brett Gelman, best known for his scene-stealing roles in “Fleabag,” “Stranger Things” and “Love,” has joined Michael B. Jordan in Paramount’s adaptation of Tom Clancy’s “Without Remorse.” Jamie Bell and Jodie Turner-Smith are also on board. Jordan is starring as operations officer John Clark, also known as John Terrence Kelly, a former Navy SEAL who [...]

  • US director Francis Ford Coppola holds

    Francis Ford Coppola Honored With Prestigious Lumiere Prize by Thierry Fremaux, Bong Joon Ho

    Francis Ford Coppola took the stage to claim the Lumière Festival’s lifetime achievement honor, the Lumière Prize, in a stirring celebration that marked the festival’s 10th edition on Friday night in Lyon, France. The four-time Academy Award winner accepted the prize after a series of video tributes, musical performances and testimonials from family, friends and [...]

  • 'Human Capital' Sells to Vertical Entertainment,

    Liev Schreiber, Maya Hawke's 'Human Capital' Sells Rights to DirecTV, Vertical Entertainment (EXCLUSIVE)

    Vertical Entertainment and DirecTV have jointly acquired the North American distribution rights to “Human Capital,” an official selection of this year’s Toronto International Film Festival from director Marc Meyers. The film stars Oscar winner Marisa Tomei, Liev Schreiber, Peter Sarsgaard, and Maya Hawke. The ensemble drama follows numerous interconnected stories surrounding a hit and run, [...]

  • Robert Zemeckis

    Robert Zemeckis in Talks to Direct Live-Action 'Pinocchio' for Disney (EXCLUSIVE)

    Robert Zemeckis is in early talks to direct Disney’s live-action “Pinocchio.” Andrew Miano and Chris Weitz will produce through their company Depth of Field with Weitz penning the script. “Paddington” director Paul King had originally been tapped to direct but had to leave the project for unknown reasons at the beginning of the year. David [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content