The ‘Ohina Short Film Showcase

Text James Charisma

The ‘Ohina Short Film Showcase kicks off this weekend at the Doris Duke Theatre in the Honolulu Museum of Art. 2015 marks the festival’s 15th year and ‘Ohina has ramped up for the anniversary by organizing its biggest event yet, complete with a full rebrand of the company, the development of a new film program guide booklet, and more than a dozen impressive movie ‘shorts’ created by local filmmakers.

Organized in 1999 as an alternative to the Hawaii International Film Festival and catering specifically to short films produced in the Pacific, ‘Ohina was an instant success at its debut. What began as a one-time event created by local filmmakers Jeff Katz and Jason Suapaia went on to become an annual festival attracting regular coverage from local newspapers, television, and which even won top honors at the American Advertising Federation’s local ‘Pele’ ADDY Awards in 2006.

After a brief hiatus from 2010 to 2012, filmmaker and former ‘Ohina participant Gerard Elmore teamed up with Shooters Film Production executive producer Darrin Kaneshiro to help relaunch the short film showcase. This year, they’ve brought on former HONOLULU Magazine design director and Hollywood graphic artist Erik Ries as creative director for a fresh new visual look. Elmore and Kaneshiro also reached out to the creative team at Abstract Magazine to help create a 52-page guidebook about the films, the festival, and this year’s showcase theme, film noir.

Judges for this year’s event include Pacific Business News editor A. Kam Napier, ad agency MVNP associate art director Brian Watanabe, and Doris Duke film curator Abbie Algar. Among the short films selected for this year’s event include Dane Neves’ award-winning short “Poison Apple,” detailing the story of Snow White as told from the perspective of the apple using handmade puppets; “Tony,” a documentary detailing the experiences of a former New York chef recovering from a stroke with the help of family and friends; and “Lahaina Noon,” three interweaving stories written and directed by Christopher Kahunahuna.

‘Ohina begins tonight at the Honolulu Museum with a gala reception at 6pm and first screening at 7:30pm and continue this weekend, with performances at 1pm and 7:30pm For more information, visit


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