Congratulations to all filmmakers whose films were featured at HIFF and to the HIFF team for organizing another great festival! Our staff would like to send a special mahalo to all of you who joined us for the screening of ‘Iolani Palace restoration films!
This year’s screenings of ‘Iolani Palace: Hawaii’s Past Today and ‘Iolani Palace Restoration was very well attended. After a quick introduction to ‘Ulu‘ulu and to the films by Heather Giugni, our Cultural Collections Specialist, the lights dimmed and the audience enjoyed the films. It was the first time these films had been viewed in some 30 years!
After the screening, Heather Giugni moderated a panel discussion which featured Mike May of Mike May Media Services, Janel Quirante from ‘Ulu‘ulu, and Heather Diamond from ‘Iolani Palace.
Mike got things started by talking about his experiences watching the restoration of the Palace; he also spoke about his own experiences filming another documentary on the restoration. Janel then explained the work ‘Ulu‘ulu had done to preserve the films and to get them digitized for the big screen. She shared that both films had recently been restored along with 47 others (including raw footage) that were donated to ‘Ulu‘ulu by the Friends of ‘Iolani Palace. Heather Diamond followed Janel and expressed her excitement about the digitized films. She told us about how the Friends came to the decision to donate the films and then let us in on how they are planning to use the footage for new Palace exhibits. Heather also discussed the history of the restoration and how the restoration itself might have played a large role in the Palace’s significance for the people of Hawai‘i today.
The audience, which included members of the Friends of ‘Iolani Palace and Palace docents, raised a lot of great questions for the panelists. One of the things they wanted to know more about was the ongoing effort to restore furniture and other artifacts. They also talked about their own experiences with watching the restoration – one woman shared about how she assisted in fundraising for the restoration – and even expressed interest in purchasing these films should they become available.
Overall, the screening was a success! For those of you who joined us, we hope you enjoyed the films and learned some new things about the Palace – its history and its significance. And, we hope to see you again next year!
View more photos of the screening on Flickr: https://flic.kr/s/aHsk5wELt3