Waimea Ocean Film Festival opens Monday

  • “Chasing Coral,” directed by award-winner director Jeff Orlowski, follows a mass-bleaching event and is being featured as part of this year’s festival. (Courtesy photo/Special to West Hawaii Today)

The action-packed 2018 Waimea Ocean Film Festival — offering an exciting lineup of films, speakers, coffee talks, Q&As, exhibits, presentations and morning activities — gets underway this week.

The annual event, now in its eighth year, opens Monday with films playing simultaneously at multiple venues in Waimea (Kahilu Theatre, HPA Gates, Parker Theatre) and at the Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii. On Jan. 5, the festival moves to Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, where films play this year under the stars at Hoku Amphitheatre, through Jan. 9.

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More than 60 films will be brought to the big screen during this year’s festival. Many screenings are world, U.S., Hawaii or Big Island premieres and filmmakers will be in attendance to answer questions. All films are screened at least one time during the festival.

The festival immerses participants in a greater understanding and awareness of the ocean and island culture through films, talks, exhibits and activities. Films fall into the basic categories of ocean experience (such as surfing and paddling); ocean environment — including things we do on land that impact the sea, and island cultures. Inspirational, thought-provoking films and those that shed light on who we are infuse the program, sharing the extraordinary.

Among the exhibits being featured during this year’s festival is “The Voyager Exhibit,” which is set up at Kahilu Theatre. Hokulea returned home to Hawaii in June after a successful circumnavigation of the globe. An opening blessing and ceremony is slated 4 p.m. on Monday.

The exhibit shares a feeling for life on the canoe and voyage while marking and noting the eight UNESCO marine world heritage sites visited along the way in an effort to highlight the importance of preserving these unique and important locations. It includes an 8-by-13-foot world map developed as part of the festival to highlight the route

Master (Pwo) Navigator and Makalii Capt. Chadd Paishon leads a discussion sharing background about the journey from 10-11 a.m. Tuesday through Jan. 4. in front of the map in Kahilu Theatre. He will be joined by Brad Kaaleleo Wong, Hokulea voyager and Office of Hawaiian Affairs representative, to talk more about our own UNESCO marine heritage site, Papahanaumokuakea.

Art weaves once again throughout the 2018 festival, as festival artists return to share the experience.

Starting Monday and running through Jan. 4, Bonnie Cherni offers classes in ocean-inspired origami at the Fairmont Orchid and painter Sophie Twigg-Smith Teururai, granddaughter of noted artist William Twigg-Smith, presents a full exhibit of recent works at the Fairmont Orchid. Teururai provided the cover art, titled “Parea,” for the festival this year.

Volcano-based block artist Caren Loebel-Fried will share a “live documentary” about her time on Midway and a behind-the-scenes look at how she created her recent book, “A Perfect Day for an Albatross” at 3 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday at the Fairmon Orchid Festival Presentation Room. She will also be available to sign books following the presentation until 5:30 p.m. Loebel-Fried heads to Waimea for a special student presentation of the live documentary 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Jan. 11 at Thelma Parker Memorial Public and School Library.

Artist Catherine Robbins, also Volcano-based, brings her original oil paintings of Kilauea for display. A former ranger at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park who was stationed where Kilauea’s lava flowed into the sea, Robbins delivers a “Ranger Talk,” with updates on the lava flow and stories from the park.

Puako-based painter Christian Enns paints en plein air 8-11 a.m. Jan. 2-5 on the beach at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, offering attendees the chance to observe and gain a sense of his process.

The festival also features a performance by Sonny Lim and Kuleana at 6:15 p.m. Wednesday at Kahilu Theatre. A tribute to the late Eddie Kamae. The Beamer Solomon Halau O Poohala will perform at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 5 at Hoku Amphitheater at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai. Under the stars, the Waimea-based halau will share hula and chants honoring Beamer family and friends, and the spirit of aloha these recollections provide them.

The full 2018 program is available online at www.waimeaoceanfilm.org. Festival passes can also be purchased at the website.

Individual tickets and festival passes can be purchased online at www.waimeaoceanfilm.org. Seats are available for individual purchase 15 minutes prior to each showing. Individual tickets are $15 per film block Monday through Jan. 4 and $25 per film block Jan. 5-9. Passes range in price from $35 to $165 depending on venue and pass choice. A contributor’s pass is available for $1,250, of which $1,085 is tax deductible.

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The Waimea Ocean Film Festival is a nonprofit organization made possible through the support of patrons, sponsors and the community.

Info: Visit www.waimeaoceanfilm.org or Facebook Waimea Ocean Film Festival. For questions, call at 854-6095 or email info@waimeaoceanfilm.org.