HIFF Spring Showcase to Focus on Food & Drink Films

I just received word from Sarah Honda, the Development Director of the Hawaii International Film Festival that the 2010 HIFF Spring Showcase will begin this Friday, April 16th through April 22nd at Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18 Theaters. What may be of particular interest to the readers of this blog is that this year’s Spring Showcase will be focusing on FOOD & DRINK FILMS!

Sounds ono’movie’licious to me! Is that a word? lol

Here are the feature films:

BLOOD INTO WINE will be showing on Thursday, April 22 @ 6pm at the Dole Cannery theaters.

HIFF Synopsis: Did you know that grapes will grow in Arizona? We didn’t either. If you watch BLOOD INTO WINE you can find out how musician Maynard James Keenan (TOOL, A Perfect Circle) and winemaker Eric Glomski are making wines in Verde Valley, north of Phoenix. This documentary also features Milla Jovovich, Fairuza Balk, Bob Odenkirk and Patton Oswalt.

Their co-founded label is AZ Stronghold, while Keenan has two other vineyards, Caduceus Cellars and Merkin Vineyards, all located in Arizona. The website for Caduceus is definitely worth a look, it features an excellent design. We can tell that they’re in it for the love of making wine, not just to make some money.

CAFE SEOUL will be showing on Saturday, April 17 @ 6:45pm and Monday April 19 @ 1:30pm at the Dole Cannery Theaters.

HIFF Synopsis: CAFE SEOUL is a Japanese/South Korean co-production, directed by Take Masaharu and starring Kim Dong-wook (COFFEE PRINCE), Kim Jung-hoon (GOONG), Choi Sung-min, and Saito Takumi (male lead in VAMPIRE GIRL VS FRANKENSTEIN GIRL). The film is about a small confectionary shop in Seoul called “Peony Hall”, run by the eldest of three brothers. The brothers have been living separate lives since their parents were killed in a car accident. When the shop is in danger due to the owner being harrassed by local gangsters, the brothers pull together and reconnect as a family.

If you liked ANTIQUE (Korean film based on a Japanese manga), then i’m sure you’ll like CAFE SEOUL as well. Something to take note of is that Korea is becoming a more attractive place for foreign film productions. Another Spring Showcase 2010 film, A BRAND NEW LIFE, was also shot in Korea last year. It deals with a young Korean girl sent to France for adoption.

THE CHEF OF THE SOUTH POLAR will be showing on Wednesday, Apr 21 @ 8:45pm and Thursday, April 22 @ 3:30pm at the Dole Cannery theaters.

HIFF Synopsis: The one film above all others this spring that will leave your stomach growling is THE CHEF OF SOUTH POLAR. It’s director Okita Shuichi’s commercial feature film debut, after his first feature THE WONDERFUL WORLD was shown on a non-commercial basis in 2006.

Adapted from an essay by author and chef Nishimura Jun, this light-hearted comedy is about eight men stationed at Dome Fuji Station at the South Pole. It focuses on Nishimura’s point of view, as he creates extravagant dishes for his team. From foie gras, lobster to Matsuzaka beef (Wagyū, similar to Kobe beef), the dishes are excellent, particularly considering the very inhospitable climate outside (average temperature -54C). If you liked the classic Japanese film TAMPOPO, give this a film a try. Since this film had a relatively small release in Japan and Korea, it will likely be hard to get ahold of on DVD, so this will be the only chance to watch in Hawaii for now.

TODAY’S SPECIAL will be showing on Thursday, April 22 @ 8:30pm at the Dole Cannery theaters.

HIFF Synopsis: If you like your food films with a little spice and a little love, don’t miss romantic comedy TODAY’S SPECIAL, by director David Kaplan. You may have seen Mr. Kaplan’s first feature film (YEAR OF THE FISH) when we showed it at HIFF 2007. TODAY’S SPECIAL is a romantic comedy set in a struggling Indian restaurant located in Queens, New York. It stars Aasif Mandvi (The Daily Show), Madhur Jaffrey and famous Bollywood actor Naseeruddin Shah. This film recently opened the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival.

Samir (Mandvi) is an aspiring sous chef who gets passed over for a promotion then resigns, going home to Jackson Heights, Queens to help his family with their restaurant “Tandoori Palace”. Samir’s mother is played by Madhur Jaffrey, who is famous in the world of Indian cuisine, similar to Julia Child’s relationship with French cuisine. Of course, the real star of this film is the mouthwatering Indian food. We can’t describe it enough with words, you’ll just have to see it on the big screen.

For more information, please visit the Hawaii International Film Festival website.

Other related links:
The Ramen Girl – The Tasty Island


3 thoughts on “HIFF Spring Showcase to Focus on Food & Drink Films

  1. I saw “The Chef of the South Polar” on my Japan Airlines Tokyo-SFO flight in January. Great movie, especially for food fans!

    There’s a particularly nice story line about ramen.

  2. Pomai, I will check film webs on these films. I enjoy watching food films and it does make me hungry for the food showed in the films afterward.

  3. Pomai, any inside news whether the October 2010 HIFF will feature any food related films?

    I’m coming for the HIFF from Canada and would appreciate any tips or inside info on how to do the HIFF.


    ps. I have been reading you blogs about the food in Hawaii and boy is my appetite ready.

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