Centerpiece Presentation: Honokaa Boy
Directed by: Atsushi Sanada
Runtime: 111 min
Language(s): Japanese w/ English subtitles
Website: Official Site
2009 DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival – Best Feature Narrative
Based loosely on the autobiographical novel by Leo Yoshida, Honokaa Boy tells the coming-of-age story of Leo, a Japanese college student, who, while on vacation with his girlfriend, falls in love with the sleepy Hawaii town of Honokaa.
Six months since his initial visit, looking to find himself and no longer together with his tiresome girlfriend, Leo returns to Honokaa, taking a job as a projectionist at the local theater. While doing odd jobs, he quickly befriends the local community of quirky elderly Japanese residents, including porn-loving Koichi and the elderly confectioner and home gourmand Bee. He also keeps his eye on local beauty Mariah and her frequent fights with her boyfriend.
During this seemingly directionless year abroad, Leo falls in and out of love and through heartbreak, reconciliation and loss, he sees the many faces of love and friendship and learns their true meaning.
Filmed entirely in the scenic town of Honokaa on the north shore of the island of Hawaii, Honokaa Boy makes its premiere on the U.S. mainland at the 10th Annual DC APA Film Festival. — Sunbin Song