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            Mayor Mufi Hannemann today congratulated local writer-director Brett Wagner and producer Dana Satler Hankins on their excellent film CHIEF, which won the Best Dramatic Short award at the Los Angeles International Short Film Festival on August 22. 

"We applaud this achievement," said Mayor Hannemann, a strong supporter of the project since its inception. "This film is a shining example of the potential of Hawaii's film industry." 

The award makes the locally-made film eligible to be nominated for an Academy Award. 

"It's no small feat, particularly when you look at the high profile nature of the other entries," said Honolulu Film Commissioner Walea Constantinau. "The LA Shorts Fest Featured Performances reads like a Hollywood who's who Wynona Ryder, Kirsten Dunst, Rainn Wilson, Whoopie Goldberg, Sam Rockwell, Robert Redford. Just being selected was an honor, but to win... it's truly outstanding."

 Producer Hankins lauded the City for its support.

 "Our success is because of the many people who have helped us along the way, including great support from the City, the Honolulu Film Office and Mayor Hannemann," Hankins said.  "The film office and the Mayor were there from the beginning. I can't tell you how important a support structure like that is to a filmmaker."

 CHIEF has been recognized by a number of high profile festivals, is the first Hawaii-made short film to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, and is being honored by the British Academy of Film and Television (BAFTA) with a Certificate of Excellence.  BAFTA is the UK equivalent to the Academy of Motions Picture Arts and Sciences, who produce the Academy Awards.

 The city assisted the filmmakers of CHIEF with logistical, marketing and sponsorship support.

 Filmed in the jungles, waters, and urban nightscapes of Oahu, CHIEF tells the story of a highly ranked chieftain from Samoa who flees his village after the drowning death of his young daughter, and winds up a taxi driver in Honolulu.

 CHIEF will see its Oahu premiere during the Hawaii International Film Festival in October. For more information about the filmmakers and to obtain image files, go to 

Contact: Walea Constantinau, or (808) 527-6108.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

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