News Column

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser Outtakes column

August 18, 2013


Aug. 18--Filmmaker Gerard Elmore likes to be surprised, at least when it comes to movies. But even he was taken aback with the realization of just how many selections in this year's 'Ohina Short Film Showcase have a Hawaiian theme, a Hawaiian director or a Hawaiian script.

Although all of the 10 films that will screen Friday and Saturday at the Doris Duke Theatre are locally made, five of them can claim a distinctly Hawaii focus.

It's a new benchmark for the event, which dates from 1999, said Elmore, executive director of the showcase.

"'Ohina is about local filmmakers and local stories, and that totally nails what we are looking for," Elmore said. "It doesn't have to be in the Hawaiian language, but it doesn't get more local than that."

Few films are done entirely in Hawaiian, but three of the films -- "Nani ke Kalo," "Haloa" and "Hulo!" -- are in Hawaiian with English subtitles, Elmore said.

"Those always stand out when I see them," he said. "Those are always very important, and it's important to see that more are being made."

But this is a film festival, so expect the unexpected.

"Fan Film" from Rising Sons celebrates the "Predator" series. There's a cute film called "Lemonade" by high school student Emerald Leong. "Samoan-ness" is a goofy comedy about a Samoan who has forgotten how to be Samoan which Elmore predicts will be an audience favorite.

And "Little Girls War Cry," one of two showcase selections from Academy for Creative Media student Erin Lau, provides a darling young crime-fighter to root for.

"We are trying to give these filmmakers a voice and a chance to get some press," Elmore said. "We are going to have a red carpet, and if you come on opening night, there is food. We work hard to make it a great experience for the filmmakers."

The shorts were chosen from 25 entries and edited into a single program that screens them one after the other. The program will be shown four times over the two days.

Even though he oversees the showcase, Elmore knows little about the final selections -- and he likes it that way. The films were chosen by an independent committee of film experts, he said.

"I am just like any other audience member on opening night, seeing them fresh," Elmore said. "It's always a great surprise to see what made it."

Screening times and showcase details can be found online:

FOR THOSE of you pining for the next Tom Selleck and a modern version of the CBS show "Magnum, P.I.," casting director and producer Monique L. Stinson understands your need. She's looking for him, too.

Stinson, of TV Diva Productions in Los Angeles, will hold an open casting session here Monday with the hope she can find a real private investigator to star in a reality TV series set in Hawaii. She'll be talking to hopefuls from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Mai Tai Bar at Ala Moana Center.

"We are looking for that charismatic, 1980s Tom Selleck type from modern-day Hawaii," she said. "Athletic, good-looking, someone who has charm and who happens to be a private investigator."

Stinson said the project is backed by reality show producer Bischoff Hervey Entertainment Television, which produced "Scott Baio is 45 ... and Single," the Discovery Channel series "The Devils Ride" and the upcoming "Big Easy Brides."

The Magnum redux is "cast-contingent," meaning it won't fly here unless Stinson and company find the right star, she said.

But after looking at a few resumes that have already been submitted, Stinson is confident.

"I have a really good feeling about this," she said.

If you have questions for Stinson, email her at

AND that's a wrap ...

Mike Gordon is the Star-Advertiser's film and television writer. Read his Outtakes Online blog at Reach him at 529-4803 or email


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