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HIFF 2006.3: Awards

HIFF 2006.3: Awards

So, we’re at the end of this trip to Hawaii. Tomorrow, Jarren and I board a plane back to Austin. It’s been a fun trip, full of screenings and craziness, and a wonderful introduction to America’s 50th state and HIFF’s 26th annual film festival. The awards ceremony happened last night at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, followed by a great reception and buffet, overlooking the Pacific. In our category (the Royal Orchid Competition), myself and fellow jurors Elvis Mitchell and Kal Penn, had these picks for the final winners: “Best Documentary Feature” went to Time and Tide by Julia Bayer and Josh Salzman, with a Special Jury Mention to Sharkwater, by Rob Stewart. The prize for “Best Narrative Feature” went to Love For Share, by Indonesian filmmaker Nia Dinata. All in all, the competitions were full of impressive films and a its a big compliment to the festival’s programmers that we had a tricky time narrowing it down to the final winners. Here’s some final pics from the festival:

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(Outside the Dole Cannery theater is ‘Americanese’ director Eric Byler, right, and VC Film Festival programmer Abe Ferrer. Eric’s feature, which premiered at SXSW 2006, just announced a distribution deal with IFC First Take.)

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(Crazy-talented cinematographer Matty Libatique was the subject of a thorough discussion on his impressive list of credits during HIFF. Following a screening of ‘Everything Is Illuminated,’ he chatted about his work on that film, plus others like ‘Inside Man,’ ‘Phone Booth,’ and all of the films of Darren Aronofsky.Up next for him: Jon Favreau’s adaptation of comic book hero, Iron Man.)

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(Oscar-nominated actor Ken Watanabe was one of the special guests honored at the awards show Thursday night. The co-star of ‘Last Samurai,’ ‘Batman Begins,’ and Clint Eastwood’s upcoming ‘Letters from Iwo Jima,’ hung out before the awards to have some photos taken.)

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(Kevin Smith accepts his “Maverick Award” from the Hawaii International Film Festival. Easily the highlight of the show with his typically frank and funny banter, the actor/writer/director will host “An Evening With Kevin Smith” on Saturday night at the festival.)

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(Myself and fellow juror, Kal Penn, outside of the awards ceremony. Elvis Mitchell had to take off early for a speaking engagement.)

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