KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii — AmericaJR’s sports & entertainment correspondent, Raymond Rolak, spoke at the recently concluded Big Island Film Festival in Kona on the Big Island. Hosted at the fabulous Fairmont Orchard Resort, Rolak’s workshop was well received and immensely popular with the filmmakers and educators in attendance. The free tutorial was put on by BIFF executive director Leo Sears. It was the 11th annual film festival and had the biggest attendance yet. “You don’t mind taking in a quick tutorial in this outstanding setting,” said Sears. Sears was a former educator in theatrical studies in Arizona.
Rolak also spoke on taking advantage of IRS Code Section-181. “This is an important piece to entice angels and investors to your projects. Indies and shorts can take advantage of this financialvehicle also,” added Rolak.
Workshop participant Eli Hershko from Brooklyn, N.Y. said, “As far as I am concerned, this was a
valuable piece of coming to Hawaii. It made the trip worthwhile. It was real added-value to the
film festival. I learned more about the process of product placement so that I am going to do a
sequel. Hershko wrote, produced and directed the picture “The Closer.” It was a full feature
indie, shot in Brooklyn. It was the tale of betrayal and greed among friends and it won the best
feature prize at the Big Island Film Festival.
Sears has bigger plans for the BIFF. “As we are an important brand in the film festival circuit, we now get better entries and with better films we can expect bigger audiences,” added Sears. The BIFF approached 3,000 in total attendance.
Hollywood celebrities Bellamy Young “Scandal” and John Gross “Family Ties” mingled with guests and filmmakers at the receptions that were part of the loaded itinerary. “This is my second Big Island Film Festival,” said Gross. “They are just getting better and better and the hospitability is superb.” A unique serendipity came out at the Q & A hosted by Peter Caranicas of Variety Magazine. Young, Gross and Caranicas all graduated from Yale. They added their favorite anecdotes about New Haven, Connecticut life and the favorite hiding places they each discovered in classic Vanderbilt Hall.
Television consultant Jen Grisanti gave another workshop titled, “Telling and Selling Your Story.”
For more information about the Big Island Film Festival (BIFF), visit http://www.bigislandfilmfestival.com/wp/