First Jackie Claxton Film Festival Set for Sept. 24
Jackie Claxton is a normal, average girl… except for the fact that she has the special ability to cross dimensions and into parallel universes to save people and battle evil. And later this month, she and her many incarnations and creators will be celebrated at “Claxtonfest,” a unique local film festival.
Jackie Claxton is the creation ofÂ Jeff “Katts” Katsutani, a local writer, director, and producer. He worked withÂ Jason Suapaia atÂ Pacific Focus Inc., one of Hawaii’s longest-lived video production companies, and went on to co-found theÂ â€˜Ohina Short Film Showcase with him as well.
FollowingÂ his guerrillaÂ indie film “The Hidden Battle” in 2005 and its hard-won sequel “The Soul Savior Chronicles” in 2008, KattsÂ designedÂ the character of Jackie Claxton for forÂ Ashley Layfield, Miss Hawaii 2007, for a local stage playÂ titled “Dancing Between Heaven and Hell.”
But Jackie Claxton soon took on a life of her own, starting with Katts’ 2013 indie film “Jackie Claxton and the Battle from Beyond.” (That short film alsoÂ inspired a music video from teen rock band EMKE.) The character got another stage run in “The World of Jackie Claxton“Â at The Actors Group that year, and was later featured in a local TV and web series.
Over the years, Jackie Claxton has been played by manyÂ different people and depicted across manyÂ different mediums, from film to photography to comics. And the many faces of Jackie Claxton is no accident.
Katts encourages other artists — be they filmmakers, illustrators, photographers, dancers, fashion models, or stage performers — to adoptÂ the character for their own works. This makes Jackie Claxton a kind ofÂ open source character, where anyone can produce or participate in telling her stories and building out her growing world of friends, allies, and enemies. Katts describes the open Jackie Claxton universe as “Hawaii’s first cinematic universe” (a la Marvel’s sprawling comic francise), and a great opportunity forÂ transmedia storytelling.
“Claxtonfest” will bring many incarnations of Jackie Claxton together in one place, including a new short film: “Jackie Claxton: The Prevention,” starringÂ Mahealani Sims-Tulba,Â Junior Teen Hawaii 2014 andÂ daughter of local comic Augie T. Sims-Tulba plays Jackie Claxton as a teen, the film described as the character’s “origin story.” The film festival will be hosted byÂ Olena Heu, Miss Hawaii 2005.
Katts says that Jackie Claxton has fans all over the world, from Japan to Brazil to Maryland. And his hope is to make “Claxtonfest” an annual event, and perhaps one that can be held outside of Hawaii.
The first “Claxtonfest” will be held on Thursday, Sept. 24Â at Consolidated Ward TheatersÂ (1044 Auahi St.). There will be two screenings at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., tickets are $10 only at the door.