Big Island Film Festival Lights Up Silver Screen In Lavaland

It’s that time of year again—when the silver screens on the Big Island of Hawaii upstage the flowing of lava, and any other natural haps. The 2008 Big Island Film Festival, taking place May 15 – 18 at the Waikoloa Resort, will feature 58 films from 8 countries. Eight of those films were made in the great Aloha State. 

Faces that will fill the screens over the course of the four-night fest include Vanna White, Ed Harris, Tom Sizemore, Paul Sorvino, Sean Young, Kelly Preston and Robert Englund to name a few. 

On Friday, May 16th, actor D.B. Sweeney (whose current role of holding the cast of Jericho together) will be honored during the festival’s Actor Reception & Salute, held at the new Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar, in the Waikoloa Queens Shops. Following his award, Sweeney’s Two Tickets to Paradise  comedy (which he wrote and directed) will screen at the Queens’ Gardens “Festival Theater.”

On Saturday, May 17th, the festival welcomes home Kona-native director David Cunningham, who’s 2001 film To End All Wars  and The Path to 9/11  have gained him Hollywood recognition. Cunningham will premier  Hakani, a short about Brazil, at 12:30 p.m. in the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa. 

Also on Saturday, Sci-fi actor, director, writer and producer David Winning will receive the festival’s “Golden Honu” award on the same day as two of his films—Swamp Devil  and Black Swarm—will be shown at the Kings’ Keaka “Ohana Theatre.”

In celebration of the third year of the festival, organizer and founder Leo Sears has added an audience participation facet to the event. 

“All during the Festival, after every film, audiences vote and we tally up their scores,” said Sears. “Then on Sunday, not only do we offer a great concert starring Brother Noland, we present the best short film and full length feature of the entire Festival.”

For a complete schedule, ticketing and accommodations suggestions, log on to: or call (808) 883-0394.