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Award winning doc ABACUS: SMALL ENOUGH TO JAIL and Chinese films shine at HIFF Spring Showcase

Five films at this year’s HIFF Spring Showcase will definitely resonate with the Chinese American community of Hawaii. These films represent a cross-section of film festival lauded films including the documentary ABACUS: SMALL ENOUGH TO JAIL about the resilience of a Chinese American owned family bank that faces off with the U.S. federal government; THE WASTE TIMES, a luscious and dream-like WWII set melodrama starring Zhang Ziyi; PLASTIC CHINA, a documentary about a family living in one of…

Nine Films ‘Straight from Sundance’ screening at HIFF Spring Showcase 2017

The HIFF Spring Showcase, now in its 20th year, was created to be a mini-festival in the spring to serve as a catch-all for any new films coming from major film festivals in the beginning of the year that may be too old by the time the main HIFF unspools in November. Hence, the Spring Showcase, over the years, has been a great way to premiere films that have just played at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival, which happens every January. 

In 2017, HIFF is honored to present 9…


The 20th annual HIFF Spring Showcase film lineup just got a little bigger. The HIFF programmers have added two more films after the print deadline of the guide, with the intent to fill TBA slots in the film schedule that were reserved for these opportunities to book major films for the Spring Showcase. 
One is a major Indian film that is in the headlines in India because the national film censorship board will not issue the film a certificate to screen in India because of its…

2017 HIFF Spring Showcase Full Lineup Now Online / Tickets On Sale March 17!

The Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF) returns with its Annual HIFF Spring Showcase presented by Halekulani, scheduled for March 31 – April 9 at the Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18.  2017 marks the 20th edition of the showcase. Audiences can expect to enjoy must-see narrative and documentary films from Hawaii and around the world.

The Spring Showcase will open with THE PRISON, an action thriller directed by Na Hye-on and starring Han Suk-Kyu (NO. 3;  SHIRI) and Kim…

Courtyard Cinema at Ward Village continues March 9 with WINTER AT WESTBETH

The 2017 Courtyard Cinema at Ward Village season continues with the March 9, FREE outdoor screening of the uplifting and life-affirming WINTER AT WESTBETH, a documentary that takes place in NYC’s West Village, where the elderly residents of a unique artist community continue to question, challenge and create as though there is no tomorrow.

Sarah Ward of Screen International hails the film as “A Delight… follows jubilantly in the footsteps of BILL CUNNINGHAM NEW YORK and…

2017 Courtyard Cinema season kicks off w/ FREE screening of SOUTHSIDE WITH YOU on February 9 at Ward Village

The 2017 Courtyard Cinema at Ward Village kicks off this February 9 with a FREE outdoor screening of the true romantic story SOUTHSIDE WITH YOU, chronicling the first date of young Chicago lawyers Barack Obama and Michelle Robinson. Debuting at last year’s Sundance Film Festival, this lovely, often times funny, and very romantic film wowed audiences and also shows the beginning of an everlasting romance that continues today as these two individuals would one day become the President and…

HIFF 2016 Audience Award Winners Announcement

LION Wins Audience Award For Best Narrative Feature
THE EAGLE HUNTRESS Wins Audience Award For Best Documentary Feature
HO’OMAU Wins Audience Award For Best Short Film
November 16, 2016 (Honolulu, HI) – The 36th edition of Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF) presented by Halekulani announced their Audience Award winners today, presented by Hawaii News Now. Throughout the festival,…

Student short films were not short on entertainment

By Coe Snyder, (Ebert Young Writers Participant)

The HIFF 2016 Student Showcase was a collection of 16 short films produced by student filmmakers from across the state. They each stood out in their own way. BUTT LOVE and the rest of the animation shorts brought laughter to the room. ONLY IF YOU LET IT brought awareness to one issue (when comedy crosses a line), and provided a twist to reveal a different side of the story.

Each film had its own strengths. However, two films stood out…

Makoto Shinkai’s YOUR NAME is the dream you never want to wake up from

By Ken Reyes, (Ebert Young Writers Participant)

Have you ever opened your eyes and felt a strange longing for someone or some place only to realize that you were just dreaming? That is the lingering scent of Makoto Shinkai’s YOUR NAME (Kimi no na wa), which was presented as the Closing Night Gala for the just concluded 2016 Hawaii International Film Festival.

As Shinkai’s fifth feature film, YOUR NAME grossed ¥930 million during its opening day in Japan and garnered accolades…

Hollywood’s Hawaiian Dream

By Veerle van Wijk, (Ebert Young Writers Participant)

A beautiful forest, a great group of actors and a Shakespeare story – these are the main ingredients that make Harry Cason’s A MIDSUMMER’S HAWAIIAN DREAM a new and joyful romantic comedy. The scenario is a clever adaptation of “A Midsummer Nights’ Dream”, transferred into the realm of contemporary Hawaii. This new adaptation shows the struggles – led by attorney Tanya (Sonya Balmores) and uncle Omaka (Kimo Kahoano) – of a…

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