About HIFF

As the vanguard forum of international cinematic achievement in the Asia-Pacific region, Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF) endeavors to recognize new and emerging talent, promote career development and original collaborations through innovative education programs, and facilitate dynamic cultural exchange through the cinema arts.

HIFF is the sister festival of Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF) & Shanghai Media and Entertainment Group (SMEG).

History

HIFF started as a project of the East-West Center, an educational and research institution created by U.S. Congress and located on the University of Hawai`i Manoa campus in Honolulu. Jeannette Paulson Hereniko was HIFF’s Founding Director, from 1981 to 1996.

In 1981, HIFF’s inaugural year, the program consisted of seven films from six countries which were viewed by an audience of 5,000. Today, HIFF is a premiere cinematic event in the Pacific and annually attracts more than 70,000 film enthusiasts from around the state, the nation and throughout the world.

Programming

HIFF is unique in discovering features, documentaries and shorts from Asia made by Asians, films about the Pacific made by Pacific Islanders, and films made by Hawai`i filmmakers that present Hawai`i in a culturally accurate way.

Each year in preparation for the event, HIFF programmers view some 1,000 films and choose an average of 150 features, documentaries and film shorts. Among them are world premieres, North American premieres, U.S. premieres, experimental films, animation and digital works representing social and ethnic issues, and first features by new directors.

HIFF also conducts seminars, workshops, special award presentation receptions with top Asian, Pacific and North American filmmakers participating.

Since its inception, more than 950,000 people from throughout the world have shared HIFF film screenings and insights.

HIFF audiences reflect the diverse multi-cultural face of Hawaii. For example, Chinese Americans see films from Japan; Japanese Americans see films from Korea. In so doing, HIFF helps to enrich, enlighten and broaden support for Asian and Pacific films by HIFF members, film festival fans and new audiences alike.

Variety Articles

Oct 18, 2012 - ‘Key of Life’ wins Hawaii Film Festival feature award

July 16, 2007 – Streep’s ‘Dark’ lights up Hawaii fest – Lin’s ‘Game,’ Gibney’s ‘Taxi,’ to also screen

Oct 15, 2006 – Fest fetes Globes org for golden touch – HIFF Vision in Film Award: Hollywood Foreign Press Assn.

Oct 15, 2006 – Is this towel taken? – Swim-in theater woos fest auds

Oct 15, 2006 – Hawaii mixes it up – East-West cinema gets an isles seat

Oct 15, 2006 – Booster Ebert takes a year off – Critic’s cancer keeps him in Chicago

Aug 28, 2005 – Spotlight: Hawaii Int’l Film Festival celebrates silver anni – HIFF aims to serve as a bridge between East and West

Hollywood Reporter Articles

Oct 10, 2013 – Hawaii’s Local-Production Luau Continues

Oct 18, 2005 – Hawaii Film Festival – Making Waves