Ciara Lacy’s documentary “Out of State” has won the inaugural Made in Hawaii Award at the 37th edition of the Hawaii International Film Festival, Variety has learned exclusively.
The film, which premiered at the LA Film Festival in June, is produced by Beau Bassett and Lacy and follows two career criminals who were shipped from their homes in Hawaii to serve their terms at a private prison in the Arizona desert. While incarcerated, they discover their indigenous traditions from a fellow inmate, then return to Hawaii in the hopes of starting anew. As they wrestle with inner demons and outside pressures, they wonder: Can you ever truly go home again?
The festival jurors are Jordan Kandell, who has a story by credit on “Moana”; Tim Rhys of MovieMaker magazine; and director Ty Sanga.
“The themes that this powerful, poetic film explores are specifically grounded in a uniquely Hawaiian experience — exploring the struggles of contemporary Hawaiians through an intimate, honest, and empathetic lens,” the jury said. “Yet the story this film tells, the complex characters it follows, and the struggles they face have universal relevance. For all these reasons, the jury is is proud to bestow the Hawaii International Film Festival’s inaugural ‘Best Made in Hawaii Feature’ award to Ciara Lacy’s ‘Out of State.'”
Bradley Tangonan’s “Wilder Palms” won the best Made In Hawaii short film award, selected by jurors Kimberlee Bassford, Gerard Elmore and filmmaker Lisette Marie Flanary.
“Bradley Tangonan’s ‘Wilder Palms’ is a subtle, visually elegant and thoughtful film about the resiliency of a young child,” the jury said. “‘Wilder Palms’ tells a unique Hawai’i story from the point of view and imagination of seven-year-old Rinn who is on the verge of being separated from her mother after a tense encounter with a DHS worker.”
The best overall short film award went to “Pria,” directed by Yudho Aditya. The story focuses on a Muslim teen living in rural Indonesia who struggles between the traditions of his upbringing and his own personal pursuit of happiness on the eve of his arranged marriage.
The inaugural Hawaii Movie Maker Award for 2017 was given to Alexander Bocchieri of “Go for Broke.”