Dr. Britos to judge HIFF Golden Orchid Awards


HPU Professor Peter Britos has been named to the distinguished Feature Film Jury for the Narrative Competition at the 2009 Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF).  The Halekulani Golden Orchid Award is the highest award conferred at HIFF; it is "bestowed upon the narrative and documentary films that best express artistic and technical excellence and promote cross-cultural understanding."  Dr. Britos will be judging the narrative feature films along with fellow jury members:  actor Daniel Dai Kim, and filmmaker Toa Fraser.

Said Dr. Britos, "I am honored to serve on the HIFF jury along with Mr. Kim and Mr. Fraser, for the prestigious Halekulani Golden Orchid Award.  Cinematic narratives are an exemplary vehicle for promoting cross-cultural understanding, tolerance and world peace.  In cinematic narrative engagement, important social issues are raised and reviewed, and solutions are proposed for the most challenging situations of our time, both at the level of the individual, and larger community."

Dr. Britos first worked with HIFF in the early 1990s while a graduate student at the University of Southern California's School of Cinema-Television (now the School of Cinematic Arts).  Dr. Britos helped to produce the highly ambitious HIFF Tour in Los Angeles, which included the debut of a full slate of Asian-Pacific films, academic presentations, and live musical performances, by amongst others, his father, ukulele virtuoso, Peter Oluloakaihikapuaanoa Britos.  Dr. Britos has a long history of working with film festivals as a judge, festival board member and producer, including HIFF, the Cinema Paradise Independent Film Festival and the Adam Baran Honolulu Film Festival.

Coincidentally, Dr. Britos is also mentioned in a documentary feature film competing for the 2009 Halekulani Golden Orchid Award in the documentary category.  State of Aloha, is the first feature film to come out of the University of Hawaii's Academy for Creative Media (ACM), the "Film School" that Dr. Britos helped to found in 2003-2004 as its first Director and Chief Academic Officer.  Dr. Britos is thanked by the student and faculty filmmakers in the credits for his "Vision", an allusion that refers both to his instrumentatlity in founding the ACM, and his role in writing the original grant and narrative framwork that secured funding for the documentary project.

HIFF Website

Below is a description of the 2009 HIFF Awards from the official HIFF Website:

The Golden Orchid is bestowed upon the narrative and documentary films that best express artistic and technical excellence and promote cross-cultural understanding. Like the rare endemic orchids of our native Hawaii, these awards recognize singular achievements amid collective beauty. Each nominated film furthers the Hawaii International Film Festival mandate to entertain, enlighten and empower. Our international jury will select the films that articulate this manifesto consistent with the cross-pollination of words, ideas and images that comprise the kinetic and visceral power of film. The Halekulani Golden Orchid Award takes the form of a handcrafted umeke la'au, or "calabash" bowl, the highest and most beautiful achievement of the ancient Hawaiians.

Halekulani Golden Orchid Jury 


Peter Britos, HPU Professor
Daniel Dae Kim, Actor
Toa Fraser, Filmmaker


Karin Chien, Producer
Leanne Ferrer, PIC
Martin Wong, Editor (Giant Robot)

Audience Choice Award

Vote for your favorite feature film, documentary or short film playing at HIFF. Ballots will be distributed for the first screening in Honolulu of every eligible film during the film festival. No pens, pencils or i.d. required. Tear along the edge of the ballot from 1 (terrible) to 5 (excellent) and drop it in the ballot boxes as you exit the theater. Special thanks to Oshima Company CPA, LLC for tallying ballots.


Founded in 1990 by Cinemaya and UNESCO, the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC) is an international not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting Asian film throughout the world. The prestigious NETPAC award is given at select international film festivals to promote Asian cinema by spotlighting exceptional works and discovering new talent.

The NETPAC award is presented annually at international film festivals in Berlin, Cannes, Venice, Rotterdam, Pusan, Singapore, Taiwan, Yamagata, Amiens and Hawaii. HIFF is the only film festival in North America given permission to present the NETPAC award.

Puma Emerging Filmmaker Award

HIFF is honored to launch this inaugural competition section, celebrating emerging filmmakers from around the world. With the democratization of the digital medium, moviemaking tools are easily accessible. Burgeoning film industries and creative content collectives are developing. The nominated films present exciting, new films with a broad cross-section of genres, themes and vision. The goal of the Puma Emerging Filmmaker Award is to discover innovative and creative young voices before they become the next international cinema impresario. The winner is awarded a grand prize valued at $5000.

Vision in Film Award

The city will present the "City and County of Honolulu Vision In Film" Award which seeks to recognize industry players with broad insight into film: artistically, commercially and charitably. Previous honorees have included The American Film Institute, the Kawakita Memorial Film Institute, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, as well as directors Ang Lee, Zhang Yimou and Park Chan-wook.

Mahalo Nui Loa Award

HIFF is inaugurating its Mahalo Nui Loa Award to honor those individuals who have made invaluable contributions to the art and culture of filmmaking.

Maverick Award

The Maverick Award is given in honor of a cinema artist who defies the rules, forging a unique film career, transcending labels and thresholds to vacillate between Hollywood and global cinema.

Achievement in Acting

HIFF is honored to present and spotlight a distinguished, versatile actor in film that has consistently amazed critics and audiences with their choice of roles in cinema. This year's achievement in acting award will be announced at the press conference and awarded to the recipient person at the awards reception.

VOD Viewers Choice Award Powered by Oceanic Time Warner Cable

Oceanic Time Warner Digital Cable subscribers will have the chance to support Hawaii filmmaking by voting for their favorite Hawaii-made short film at this year's HIFF! Just surf to NGN-on-Demand channel 680 and select, view and vote for your favorite short film! The film that garners the most votes will be announced at HIFF's Awards Ceremony.