Friday, November 27, 2015         

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'Thieves' nabs 1 of 3 HIFF Audience Awards

By Star-Advertiser staff


The South Korean film "The Thieves," directed by Dong-hoon Choi, captured the Audience Award for narrative feature at the Hawaii International Film Festival presented by Halekulani. The movie is a hip heist film in the same vein as "Ocean's Eleven" and stars Gianna Jun, Jung-jae Lee and Hye-su Kim.

The Audience Award for documentary feature went to "Harana," from the Philippines, directed by Benito Bautista. It follows the journey of U.S.-based guitarist Florante Aguilar back to his Filipino roots and his search for the tunes of "harana" (where young men stand outside girls' windows, guitar in hand, serenading) and the lost voices of master "haranistas."

The short-film winner, "One Team," directed by Tom Coffman, tells the story of Father Kenneth A. Bray, who landed in Hawaii in 1932 to guide the fledgling ‘Iolani School to athletic glory. Promoting the idea of "One Team," a philosophy designed to promote discipline among his players, Bray mentored future coaching legends such as Eddie Hamada, Larry Ginoza, Hugh Yoshida and Merv Lopes.

The three Audience Awards are sponsored by Hawaii News Now.

Previously announced festival awards include:

» Halekulani Golden Orchid Award for best narrative feature: "Key of Life," directed by Japan's Kenji Uchida.

» Halekulani Golden Orchid Award for best documentary feature: "Where Heaven Meets Hell," directed by Sasha Friedlander.

» Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema Award: Filipino director Vincent Sandoval's "Apparition."

» Vision in Film Award: Sundance Institute's Native Program.

» Lifetime Achievement Award: Yue-Sai Kan, Chinese media icon, entrepreneur and philanthropist.

» Career Achievement Award: Japa­nese actor Koji Yaku­sho, who starred in such movies as "Shall We Dance," "13 Assassins," "Memoirs of a Geisha" and "The Woodsman and The Rain," which screened at the festival.

The 32rd annual Hawaii International Film Festival concluded Oct. 21. For information, visit

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