Awards and Jurors

Halekulani Golden Orchid Award

Presented by Halekulani

The Golden Orchid is bestowed upon the narrative and documentary films that best express artistic and technical excellence and promote cross-cultural understanding. Like the rare endemic orchids of our native Hawaii, these awards recognize singular achievements amid collective beauty. Each nominated film furthers the Hawaii International Film Festival mandate to entertain, enlighten and empower. Our international jury will select the films that articulate this manifesto consistent with the cross-pollination of words, ideas and images that comprise the kinetic and visceral power of film.


Halekulani Golden Orchid Jury:


Chaz Ebert – Publisher, Ebert Digital, President Ebert Productions and the Ebert Company
Kyle Brazzel – Copy Director, The New Yorker Creative Studio
Mynette Louie – Producer, Syncopated Films


Andrew Jackson – President & General Manager, KITV (ABC affiliate)
Henry Ian Cusick – Actor, Director (DRESS in MADE IN HAWAII Shorts Program)
Stephanie Trepanier – Market Director, Frontieres International Co-Production Market, Fantasia International Film Festival


Audience Choice Award

Presented by Hawaii News Now

Vote for your favorite feature film, documentary or short film playing at HiFF. Ballots will be distributed for the screening of every eligible film during the film festival. No pens, pencils or i.d. required. Tear along the edge of the ballot from 1 (terrible) to 5 (excellent) and drop it in the ballot boxes as you exit the theater. Winners will be announced post-festival.



Founded in 1990 by Cinemaya and UNESCO, the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC) is an international not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting Asian film throughout the world. The prestigious NETPAC award is given at select international film festivals to promote Asian cinema by spotlighting exceptional works and discovering new talent.

The NETPAC award is presented annually at international film festivals in Berlin, Cannes, Venice, Rotterdam, Pusan, Singapore, Taiwan, Yamagata, Amiens and Hawaii. HIFF is the only film festival in North America given permission to present the NETPAC award.


Garin Nugroho – Director (OPERA JAWA)
Lan Duong, Ph.D. – Department of Media and Cultural Studies, University of California, Riverside
Sandra Knight Stephenson – Actress, Artist, Founder, Infinity Coaching


Vision in Film Award

Presented by City & County of Honolulu

The Vision in Film Award which seeks to recognize industry players with broad insight into film: artistically, commercially and charitably. Previous honorees have included The American Film Institute, the Kawakita Memorial Film Institute, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, directors Alexander Payne, Ang Lee, Zhang Yimou, Park Chan-wook and Roger & Chaz Ebert.

Halekulani City & County of Honolulu Tiffany & Co. Hawaii News Now