Cinema Italiano 2010

Master of Ceremonies

Rick Blangiardi

General Manager

(KGMB, CBS Affiliate / KHNL, NBC Affiliate)

Mr. Blangiardi is a recognized leading television broadcaster who has improved the ratings, revenue and operating profit of every broadcasting entity with which he has been affiliated. He has been an executive in the television industry for over 34 years, succeeding in senior executive positions in many of the nation's most competitive markets including: Seattle (VP & GM, KING5 Television); New York City (VP, New Business Development, CBS Television Network); San Francisco (VP & GM, KPIX 5 Television); St. Louis (Group President, River City Broadcasting), and Los Angeles (CEO, Premier Horse Network). Prior to returning to Hawaii, Blangiardi was President of Telemundo Holdings Inc., based in Los Angeles, and was responsible for the operations of Telemundo's 11 owned and operated stations throughout major markets in the United States and Puerto Rico.

In the Honolulu market, Blangiardi was the Sr. Vice President & GM of both KHON2 (FOX Affiliate) and KGMB9 (CBS Affiliate) from 2002 through the sale of KHON2 in 2006. Since that time, he has been the President and General Manager of KGMB9 and on October 26, 2009, Blangiardi became the General Manager of KGMB9 and KHNL (NBC Affiliate).

Blangiardi has a Masters in Educational Administration (M.Ed) from the University of Hawaii. He recently served as the Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii and was on the board of directors for Central Pacific Bank. He actively participates as a Director for local organizations such as, The Hawaii Food Bank and the American Red Cross Hawaii Chapter. He currently holds the office of President for the Aloha Council Boy Scouts and is very active with the University of Hawaii as a director and Past President of Na Koa, the UH football booster club. Blangiardi formerly served on the Hogan Entrepreneur Advisory Board and the Chaminade Board of Regents.


Franco Amurri
Franco Amurri was born and raised in Rome, but has lived and worked for extended periods in London, New York and Los Angeles. He now splits his time between Rome and Vancouver.

Franco dedicated much of his youth to the arts, training as a painter and as a photographer. He gained his first experience in films as Second Assistant to Federico Fellini, in 1979-80. He continued as Assistant Director on numerous other films, by Franco Zeffirelli, Marco Risi, Paul Mazursky, Peter Yates among others.

Later, he took a break from Assistant Directing to pursue writing, landing assignments with the major Italian television network RAI, as well as writing episodes for the American television series, TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE.

Franco followed this with his first directing assignment on a low-budget Italian comedy, THE PONY EXPRESS. The movie went on to do respectable business, giving Franco the momentum he needed to set up future projects as writer-director. The film that brought him international acclaim was DA GRANDE, a critical and commercial hit in several countries. The film is about an eight year old boy who gets his wish when he magically transforms into an adult, and has a chance to experience his small world of family, school and friends from a radically different point of view.

DA GRANDE was released in 1987, and won best original story by the Italian Critics Association. Many consider it the inspiration for the movie BIG, starring Tom Hanks, which was released a year later. As a result, Franco got a three-picture directing deal at Paramount, and went on to direct the action comedy, FLASHBACK, starring Dennis Hopper and Kiefer Sutherland.

Following FLASHBACK, Franco wrote and directed MONKEY TROUBLE, a family film about the friendship between a nine-year-old girl and a monkey. Produced by Ridley Scott, and distributed in the U.S. by New Line Cinema in March 1994, the film featured some of the most complicated scenes ever filmed with an animal actor. MONKEY TROUBLE was described by the Hollywood Reporter and Variety as "ranking among the great animal movies", "a classic of its genre". The film starred Thora Birch, Harvey Keitel, Chris MacDonald and Mimi Rogers.

After MONKEY TROUBLE, Franco once again turned his full concentration on screenwriting, both credited and uncredited, on a number of U.S. and Italian films. His next feature as director, AMICI, starring the comic duo Fichi d'India, was released in Italy in 2001; another feature comedy he wrote, FEBBRE DA CAVALLO: LA MANDRAKATA was released in 2003. In 2005, Franco directed the made for TV film IL MIO AMICO BABBO NATALE (My Friend Father Christmas); a Christmas story which turned out to be one of the most watched shows of the year in Italy. After that, he directed the TV movie "DUE IMBROGLIONI E MEZZO" (Two Grifters and a Half) from his own screenplay, which aired in April 2007 to huge ratings, prompting the network to serialize the concept into a mini-series, which was produced in 2009 and released the following year, starring Sabrina Ferilli and Claudio Bisio, two of the most popular stars in Italy.

Franco's most recent endeavor is a 12 episode TV SERIES, "ANNA E I CINQUE", as headwriter and director of all the episodes, scheduled to air in September 2011.

Bonni Lee
Bonni Lee is a film and television producer from Honolulu. After moving to Los Angeles, Lee became a script reader then began her career as a film executive at MGM/UA, working on "The Utterly Monstrous, Mind-Roasting Summer of O.C. and Stiggs", directed by Robert Altman. Lee became an executive at Warner Bros.and brought director Tim Burton to the studio to direct his first feature film, "Pee Wees Big Adventure". She went on to work with Burton on the Warner Bros. films "Beetlejuice" and "Batman". Lee was also an executive on "The Accidental Touris", "Lethal Weapon", "In Country" and "Doc Hollywood". When Lee left Warner Bros. it was to become President of Robert Redford's two film companies, Wildwood Enterprises and North Fork Films, during which time Redford produced and directed "A River Runs Through It". Lee then became President of David Geffen's production company, Geffen Pictures, where she oversaw "Interview With the Vampire", "M. Butterfly", "Michael Collins" and "Joe' Apartment". When David Geffen launched film studio Dreamworks with partners Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg, Lee began a production deal there under her company, Mighty Hula Pictures. She continues to develop feature projects (including the Wally Lamb novel, She' Come Undone) as well as network and cable television projects. Lee lives in Los Angeles.

Edgy Lee
Edgy is fifth-generation Hawai'i born, a filmmaker and producer. Her great-great grandfather was the Kingdom of Hawaii's first Vice Consul to China so it is no surprise that much of her film work is story telling rooted deeply in native history. Edgy's documentary films have premiered at the Smithsonian Institution and at National Geographic with worldwide broadcasts in multiple languages. Her filmography includes THE HAWAIIANS- REFLECTING SPIRIT (2006) presented at the opening of the National Museum of the American Indian, Washington DC.; PAPAKOLEA, A STORY OF HAWAIIAN LAND (1998, Corporation for Public Broadcasting Silver Award, Independent Program; National Educational Media Network Silver Apple; CINE Golden Eagle); WAIKIKI- IN THE WAKE OF DREAMS (2001, New York Film & Video Festival Best Cinematography, Best Editing); PANIOLO O HAWAI'I- COWBOYS OF THE FAR WEST (2000, Chicago Film/Video INTERCOM Best Documentary History, Writing; Best of Show - Kahili Award, HVCB) among other awards.

Prior to returning to Hawaii after many years in Los Angeles, Edgy wrote with/or produced music artists such as Wayne Shorter, Joe Higgs, and The Wailers. She also produced a CD of symposiums with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and music by Tibetan artists living in exile. Then, in 2004 and 2005, she co-produced two films on methamphetamine in unprecedented prime time simulcasts on all major television stations in Hawai'i. The Honolulu Star Bulletin commended her as "One of the Ten Most Influential" citizens in the State of Hawai'i. She has since founded (2008) an Internet television network; a nexus for arts, culture, science & environment, and sports programming, provided free to the public. She is happy to have finally returned and now resides in Honolulu, "the only place where restaurants offer three starches with every meal".

Neal Israel
Mr. Israel has worked as a writer, director, producer and occasional actor for films, television and Broadway. A sampling of over 30 film credits: created The Police Academy films, wrote and directed Bachelor Party starring Tom Hanks, wrote Real Genius starring Val Kilmer, co-wrote Look Who's Talking Too, Executive Produced Finding Neverland starring Johnny Depp(which received seven Oscar nominations). He has directed numerous movies of the week and television shows from The Wonder Years to Clueless to Joan of Arcadia. He has just directed a new science fiction series for NBC Digital staring Rosario Dawson, Gemini Division as well as witting a new comedy pilot for Fox staring Eliot Gould. He has received an Emmy, a Writers Guild of America Award and won best picture honor from the National Board of Review.

Ron Nagasawa
Ron Nagasawa is the publisher of MidWeek, Hawaii's best-read weekly newspaper. MidWeek publishes to a circulation of over a quarter-million homes on Oahu and the entire island of Kaua'i with an adult readership of nearly a half million per issue. In addition he serves as the senior vice president of Oahu Publications, Inc. owners of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, HI Luxury Magazine and Including MidWeek and MidWeek Kaua'i, he also oversees the MidWeek Islander community newspapers and manages the contract to produce the three official military newspapers in the state – the Hawaii Marine, the Hawaii Army Weekly and the joint Navy and Air Force newspaper, Ho'okele. He manages the special section division of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, which includes their Sunday restaurant and home renovation guides. Besides being the publisher, Ron writes a humor column for MidWeek, called What's Next and published a book, a collection of his best columns, titled Sanity In Paradise??? Ron has been in the local newspaper publishing industry for the past 27 years.