Hawai'i International Film Festival Announces HIFF42 Award Honorees – Asian Movie Pulse

WHAT: The 42nd edition of the Hawai’i International Film Festival (HIFF) presented by Halekulani continues celebrating the best of indie cinema through: in-person screenings, online presentations, and panel events with industry luminaries. As part of the annual HIFF tradition, the festival will recognize HIFF Awards Gala Honorees as outstanding artists for their commitment to excellence in their field. The Gala also provides an opportunity to announce the Competition Winners, including recipients for this year’s Made in Hawai’i Award.
WHEN: This year’s honorees – Hirokazu Kore-eda, Jung Woo-Sung, Simu Liu, Kerry Warkia, Auli’i Carvalho and Josie Ho – will be honored at the Awards Gala on Sunday November 13th, 2022 at 6pm HST. 
HIFF42 Halekulani Vision in Film Award – Hirokazu Kore-eda
HIFF42 Halekulani Career Achievement Award – Jung Woo-Sung
HIFF42 Halekulani Maverick Award – Simu Liu
HIFF42 Leanne K. Ferrer Trailblazer Award Presented by Pacific Islanders in Communications – Kerry Warkia 
HIFF42 Vanguard Award – Auli’i Carvalho
Spotlight on Hong Kong Honoree – Josie Ho 
MAVERICK Award: The HIFF Halekulani Maverick Award is given to a cinema artist who has a unique and eclectic career trajectory, contributing to international cinema and the filmed arts in an innovative way. They do things on their own terms, creating work that can have a rabid, cult following to a mass appreciation in today’s pop culture. Past recipients include Randall Park, Awkwafina, Kevin Smith, Simon Yam, Kal Penn, and more. 
CAREER ACHIEVEMENT Award: The HIFF Halekulani Career Achievement Award is bestowed to an artist who has reached the career pinnacles very few have achieved through industry awards and accolades, and a body of work that is known globally. Aside from an amazing artistic career, the recipient is also honored for their contribution to the cinematic arts, and through equally-significant endeavours in social justice. Past recipients include Elisabeth Moss, Ken Watanabe, Quentin Tarantino, Samuel L. Jackson, Bill Pullman, Moon So-Ri and Maggie Cheung. 
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT Award: The HIFF Halekulani Lifetime Achievement Award  is bestowed to an artist who has reached the career pinnacles very few have achieved via industry awards and accolades and a body of work that is known globally. This honoree should have at least 30 years of experience in film. Past recipients included John Woo, Ang Lee, Zhang Yimou, Roger Ebert, Alexander Payne, Bill Pullman, as well as organizations American Film Institute and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. 
Hirokazu Kore-eda was born in Tokyo and studied literature at Waseda University. After graduation, he joined TV Man Union, where he directed several prize winning documentaries. In 1995, his narrative directorial debut MABOROSI won debut at Venice that same year, where it won the Golden Osella Award. Three years later, he directed AFTER LIFE, which would be distributed in over thirty countries and brought him global acclaim. He would then begin multiple selections at Cannes with DISTANCE (2001) and NOBODY KNOWS (2004), where his main actor, Yagira Yuya, would garner much attention as the youngest person to win Best Actor. He wouldn’t continue his Cannes streak with such films as AIR DOLL (2009), LIKE FATHER LIKE SON (2013), OUR LITTLE SISTER (2015), AFTER THE STORM (2016), and SHOPLIFTERS (2018), winning the Palme d’Or and also nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards. His first feature shot outside Japan was THE TRUTH starring Catherine Deneuve and Juliette Binoche, is the opening film in Competition of the 76th Venice International Film Festival. His first Korean film BROKER, premiered at Cannes earlier this year, where main actor Song Kang Ho won Best Actor.  
Jung Woo-sung is a South Korean actor and the first Korean UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador. He is an accomplished actor and has been integral in the popularity of the ‘Korean Wave’ over the past two and a half decades, with starring roles in iconic Korean films like MUSA (2001), A MOMENT TO REMEMBER (2004), THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE WEIRD (2008), COLD EYES (2013), STEEL RAIN (2017), INNOCENT WITNESS (2019) and many more. He struck acclaim on the TV drama side with his star making turn in the SBS drama ASPHALT MAN (1995) and the blockbuster ATHENA: GODDESS OF WAR in 2010. He would co-star in fellow Korean superstar Lee Jung-jae (doing double duty in his directorial debut) in HUNT, which world premiered at Cannes, and is HIFF42’s Centerpiece Film. Jung would do the same and both star and direct in A MAN OF REASON, which is also a HIFF42 official selection. Jung previously attended HIFF in 2008, where he was honored with an Achievement in Acting Award. He returns to Oahu to present his latest film and also receive this year’s Halekulani Career Achievement Award.   
Simu Liu made history as the star of the first Asian-fronted movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Destin Daniel Cretton’s SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS, which garnered him the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Action Movie Star. For five seasons, Liu starred in the CBC/Netflix comedy series KIM’S CONVENIENCE (the first Canadian television series with an all-Asian lead cast), which won the ACTRA Awards for Outstanding Ensemble in 2017 and was also nominated for the same award in 2018. He most recently completed production on Greta Gerwig’s feature BARBIE for Warner Bros. opposite Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling and will next star alongside Mark Wahlberg in ARTHUR THE KING and on the film adaptation of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s bestseller ONE TRUE LOVES opposite Phillipa Soo. Liu’s New York Times Bestselling memoir, “We Are Dreamers: An Immigrant Superhero Origin Story,” was released by HarperCollins earlier this year. He is currently developing long-form projects under his 4:12 Entertainment banner, through which he has previously directed, produced and optioned content for film and digital.
Kerry Warkia (Papua New Guinean / Scottish) grew up in Papua New Guinea with her 2 older sisters and parents. At 17 she won a scholarship to study a bachelor of performing and screen arts in Aotearoa NZ. Kerry is a producer who has been at the forefront of some of New Zealand’s most innovative content for film and television. After producing a number of comedy series, children’s web content and Māori Televisions first drama series, Kerry turned her attention to film. In 2016 Kerry produced, ground-breaking feature film WARU made up of eight vignettes and made in collaboration with nine wāhine (female) Māori filmmakers. She would continue this career development and production model with VAI (2019) and KĀINGA (2022). She is a consultant for a Native Hawaiian version called MAKAWALU, which is HIFF’s first film production. Currently Kerry is packaging her 5th feature film a horror/thriller, mentoring young female producers and is committed to working on her slate of local and international feature films and series with a range of writers and directors.
Cravalho first captured our hearts as the title role of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ worldwide hit film MOANA, opposite Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, with music by Lin Manuel-Miranda. She performed the Oscar-nominated song “How Far I’ll Go” live at the Academy Awards in 2017. She quickly and seamlessly transitioned from voice-over to on-camera roles, starring alongside Josh Radnor and Rosie Perez in the Jason Katims series RISE for NBC, and in ABC’s live production of THE LITTLE MERMAID as Ariel. Brett Haley directed her as the lead of his Netflix film ALL TOGETHER NOW, with Carol Burnett, Fred Armisen, and Justina Machado. She can currently be seen starring in Hulu’s queer teen romcom CRUSH, directed by Sammi Cohen. Upcoming projects include the Amazon series THE POWER, based on the Naomi Alderman novel of the same name. She stars as Jos Cleary-Lopez, opposite Toni Collette and John Leguizamo. Cravalho voices the title character, Hailey, a risk-averse but resourceful teenager, in Disney Branded Television’s “Hailey’s On It!”. She will next be seen starring in the 20th Century Studios film DARBY AND THE DEAD, coming to Hulu later this year. Cravalho was born and raised in Hawai’i.
With the support of the Hong Kong Economic Trade Office of San Francisco (HKETO SF), HIFF is honored to pay tribute to award-winning actress, producer, rockstar, and Hong Kong culture icon Josie Ho, celebrating her contributions to film industries in Asia and Hollywood. A true multihyphenate, Josie Ho first graced the silver screen in 1994 and has appeared in such notable films as EXILED (2006), THE DRUMMER (2007), and FULL STRIKE (2015), which she also produced. Ho received a Best Supporting Actress award for NAKED AMBITION in 2003 at the Hong Kong Film Awards and IN THE ROOM (2017) at the Malaysian Film Awards. She is also a prolific producer and has worked on such international productions as HOW TO TALK TO GIRLS AT PARTIES (2017), and EDGE OF THE WORLD (2019), in which she also starred. DREAM HOME (2010), which will be screening at HIFF42, as well as the world premiere of Japan-set horror film ONPAKU. We round up this year’s Josie Ho spotlight with her new, inspiring documentary, FINDING BLISS: FIRE AND ICE – THE DIRECTOR’S CUT, and learn more about her vibrant career in music and film.
Deborah Chow – Deborah Chow is a filmmaker of Chinese-Australian descent who has directed extensively in film and television. She recently directed Obi-Wan Kenobi, a limited series for Lucasfilm, in addition to directing on such shows as The Mandalorian, Mr. Robot, Jessica Jones, and American Gods. She won a NAACP Image Award for Better Call Saul, and was recently honored with a DGC Visionary award. 
Rena Owen – Veteran actress Rena Owen began her early career with her powerhouse performance in ONCE WERE WARRIORS. She has continued to work over the last 30 years in both New Zealand and the United States, crafting a diverse career that includes roles in STAR WARS and other popular science-fiction television series.
Takumi Saitoh – Born in Tokyo, Takumi Saitoh is a Japanese actor, photographer, former model for Issei Miyake and cK, and director. Fueled by a love of cinema, Saitoh grew up watching movies, eventually amassing an extensive knowledge of both domestic and international films. Today, Saitoh is one of the most popular and sought after actors in Japan, well regarded for both his ability and his striking good looks and his ability to choose both commercial and challenging roles, driven by his passion for pop culture and arthouse works. Saitoh’s long resume as an actor includes such popular work as: SHIN GODZILLA, THE KODAI FAMILY, TORAGAKE, and 13 ASSASSINS. His directorial debut, blank 13, traveled to film festivals around the world, including HIFF 2018, when he was honored with the HIFF Maverick Award. His latest film, SHIN ULTRAMAN, is screening at HIFF42.
HOW: For more information on the Awards Gala, Festival Programming, Talk Story Events, and more, please visit www.HIFF.org
My name is Panos Kotzathanasis and I am Greek. Being a fan of Asian cinema and especially of Chinese kung fu and Japanese samurai movies since I was a little kid, I cultivated that love during my adolescence, to extend to the whole of SE Asia.
Starting from my own blog in Greek, I then moved on to write for some of the major publications in Greece, and in a number of websites dealing with (Asian) cinema, such as Taste of Cinema, Hancinema, EasternKicks, Chinese Policy Institute, and of course, Asian Movie Pulse. in which I still continue to contribute.
In the beginning of 2017, I launched my own website, Asian Film Vault, which I merged in 2018 with Asian Movie Pulse, creating the most complete website about the Asian movie industry, as it deals with almost every country from East and South Asia, and definitely all genres.
You can follow me on Facebook and Twitter.
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