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Nancy Kwan to be honored at Hawai Fest

The 30th Annual Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF) is honored to present and spotlight one of Asia's most recognizable actresses of all time, Nancy Kwan with it's "Maverick Award." Her newest film, a documentary called TO WHO IT MAY CONCERN: KA SHEN'S JOURNEY, directed by Brian Jamieson will screen on Saturday, October 16th at 6:30 p.m. This special event is presented by Dr. Lawrence KW Tseu.

Nancy will receive the Maverick Award after the screening of her film at the Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18 Cinemas. The Maverick Award is given in honor of a cinema artist who defies the rules, forging a unique film career, and transcending labels and thresholds to vacillate between Hollywood and global cinema. Chuck Boller, HIFF's Executive Director says, "Nancy Kwan is a very special lady and I am privileged to know her personally. I have always been tremendously impressed by her talent, her humanity, her wisdom, her humility and, of course, her exceptional beauty. Her ground breaking performances have defined those of a true Maverick and I, like most young men, fell in love with her when I saw her as Suzie Wong."

50 years ago, Nancy Kwan burst upon the world as Suzie Wong, sexy, sensual queen of Hong Kong's dance clubs, and foil to the already legendary actor William Holden. Some criticized THE WORLD OF SUZIE WONG as reinforcing stereotypes of Asian women as easy sex objects; but Kwan was instead heralded enthusiastically by most for her iconic depiction of an Asian woman as stunning beauty, smart, conniving, in control. A good girl doing what she had to do to survive.

FLOWER DRUM SONG, her second starring Hollywood role, showcased her dancing and singing skills with broad talents beyond acting. Kwan's two box office successes are credited with at last opening a door into Hollywood and world cinema screens for Asian and Asian American talent. Kwan established the reality that Asians can carry a major film and no longer be mere background. She proved that America was at last ready to see Asians on the big screen in meaningful roles. Cinema throughout the world was forever changed by Kwan, stories of real Asian lives becoming important enough to depict.

Given the challenges of an Asian in Hollywood, Kwan has persevered and has made a good career of solid roles in TV's KUNG Fu as John Caradine's mother, and in appearances throughout film and television. All of her roles have continued to expand the Asian presence in the industry and she now acts frequently as her own producer in conjunction with husband Norbert Meisel.

Throughout her career Nancy Kwan has shown the brilliance that she can bring to any role; the diversity of a truly great actress, and the courage and power of an extraordinary talent.

Hawaii Premiere
Saturday October 16 I 6:30 PM I Regal Dole
United States 2010 I English I 106m

Director: Brian Jamieson
Screenwriter: Brian Jamieson
Producer: Brian Jamieson
Cinematographer: Brandon L. Hull, Dave Strohmaier
Cast: Nancy Kwan, Joan Chen, Sandra Allen, Vivian Wu

Hollywood's postwar Asian superstar, Nancy Kwan, acts as tour guide around her personal and professional history in the documentary TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: KA SHEN'S JOURNEY. This the definitive and true life story of Nancy Kwan who as a young Eurasian girl from Hong Kong captured the hearts and minds of cinemagoers around the world in her stunning motion picture debut role in THE WORLD OF SUZIE WONG (1960). In the unforgettable follow-up role as "Linda Lo" in the all Asian, Rodgers & Hammerstein Hollywood hit musical. FLOWER DRUM SONG (1961), her career would reach previously unattainable heights, but there is tragedy as well.

Interviews from influential executives and leading Asian actresses also weigh in on how Kwan has influenced film and their lives. With generous but judicious use of clips from Kwan's career, director Brian Jamieson has assembled a handsome package that will appeal to both Asian audiences and film lovers.

**The Maverick Award will be presented to Nancy Kwan at the screening of TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: KA SHEN'S JOURNEY.

Special Thanks to Dr. Lawrence KW Tseu

This landmark season will feature 214 films from 40 plus different countries. HIFF's 2010 program is being held at the Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18 Cinemas from October 14 -24. Tickets are on sale now. General admission tickets are available for $12 or $10 for students, seniors, children and military. Tickets may be purchased in person at HIFF's box office at 680 Iwilei Road #101 from Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18 Cinemas or by phone at (808) 447-0577.

Festival Information
Established in 1981, the Hawaii International Film Festival, a non-profit organization, is dedicated to the advancement of understanding and cultural exchange among the peoples of Asia, the Pacific and North America through the medium of film. HIFF is the premier international film event in the Pacific and has won the praise of governments, filmmakers, scholars, educators, programmers and film industry leaders throughout the world. For the discovery and exhibition of Asian and Pacific features, documentaries and short films in the nation, it is a primary source. The festival has premiered such movies as ONCE WERE WARRIORS, THE PIANO, SHINE, SHALL WE DANCE, Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN, and CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON. Plus, DEPARTURES, a Japanese film, had its U.S. premiere at HIFF in 2008, won the HIFF Audience Award and then went on to win the 2009 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

HIFF's major sponsors include: Regal Entertainment Group, Halekulani Hotels & Resorts, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Hawaii, Hawaii Tourism Authority, The Vilcek Foundation, and EuroCinema Hawaii.

The 2010 Hawaii International Film Festival will be held October 14 - 24.
Images of the films can be downloaded at
For more information please visit our website at

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