‘Ohina Short Film Showcase / Lance Rae, one of the organizers of the ‘Ohina Short Film Showcase, says it best: “Not everyone gets to see short films. They’re at Showdown in Chinatown, they’re from HIFF. They’re at one in the afternoon or they’re clumped into other films [at festivals] and not all film fans get to see these films.”
Rae has a point. Short films are an extreme niche market in the local film scene. Features get all the attention and especially at film festivals like the Honolulu International Film Festival, or at smaller ones put on by the Doris Duke Theatre at the Honolulu Academy of Arts, the short film is usually attached to a longer one. Chances are, you won’t see the short unless you buy a ticket to the main feature.
“The showcase is great,” Rae says, “because you get a chance to see these films on the big screen. Even the filmmakers have friends or family members that couldn’t get to see the films.”
The operative word here is “showcase.” As Rae stresses, ‘Ohina isn’t a festival. “A festival usually has a prize attached to it. It’s a contest to some extent. Somebody’s No. 1 and the rest fall through.”
This year’s offerings are a diverse group. “Into Mousetrap” is a simple, concise tale of a man who goes to his ex-girlfriend’s house to retrieve his stuff and has a run-in with her current lover.
“The Branch Will Not Break” is a more serious offering about a man willing to bend the law to get ahead in the world.
Then of course, there’s “Ajumma! Are You Krazy???” Brent Anbe’s omni-present comedic short about three K-drama junkies on the hunt for a visiting heartthrob Korean actor. This short has practically achieved local classic status.
But these are just a few of the eight films to be screened. All are worthy in different ways and all were made by Hawaii filmmakers. Movie buffs should be sure to take advantage of this unique opportunity.
“We didn’t have a forum for short films to be the star,” says Rae. “The showcase was the opportunity to make short films the main feature not the film before the main feature.”
All proceeds from the showcase go to the Doris Duke Theatre.