Latest Blog Posts

Bollywood Nights at HIFF Spring Showcase

Bollywood fans, unite! The HIFF Spring Showcase (April 13 – 19) has is presenting major films from India, presenting 3 new Bollywood musicals and 1 drama directed by famed director Michael Winterbottom and starring SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE’S Freida Pinto. Showcasing the full flavor, sounds and energy of Indian culture through cinema, HIFF’s mission is to transport audiences to far off places and sometimes, what you need is to escape to a realm of song, dance and the rich traditions of a formidab…

Sound X Vision: Celebrating the Music of The Descendants

Today we have a guest blog post by Caroline Dodge, production manager at the Pacific Northwest Chapter of The Recording Academy. See her thoughts below about HIFF’s free screening of THE DESCENDANTS (Sat, April 14th at 12:00 PM), a panel discussion about music in the film afterwards at 2:00 PM, and a live concert featuring Hawaiian musicians that night at The Venue, starting at 7PM.
The first time I saw The Descendants, I was immediately struck by the music. I couldn’t get over, as a…

Oh The Horror! At Spring Showcase 2012 that is!

Have no fear horror fans! Or perhaps I should say prepare to be afraid, very afraid! At Spring Showcase 2012 we do truly have films for everyone, and that includes the late night fright fanatic. And any HIFF fest would not be complete with out a great J-Horror to whet your appetites. So this Spring HIFF is bringing TORMENTED 3D from Japan! One of the wildest, most bizarre, and truly terrifying films to come out of Japan since JU-ON: THE GRUDGE (2002). And to complement this eastern fare, HIFF…

Drop That Controller and Hit the Theatre!

With this year’s theme “Films for Everyone”, we didn’t leave anybody left in the dust. Some people have already been preparing for the festival weeks in advance and those are the fans that probably already have all their tickets set. For those who haven’t picked up on the festival buzz yet, maybe because you’re stuck beating that final level of a challenging RPG or taking down the masses on a MMO, the time is now to check out the finest game related films that HIFF has to offer.

Korean Films Shine at Spring Showcase 2012!

Every spring and fall HIFF shines the spotlight on some of the best Korean films of the year, and Spring Showcase 2012 is no exception. Korean films are always some of the most popular festival fare among HIFF audiences, and are beloved by HIFF staff. This year HIFF has a whopping FOUR South Korean films at Spring Showcase! I’m probably not the only one who is jumping up and down and giggling a little at the thought. So just to give you a quick preview of what you have in store, here is a…

Documentary Renaissance at HIFF Spring Showcase 2012

As I wrote in my previous HIFF Spring Showcase 2012 blog entry, we are living through a Documentary Renaissance. With the advent of the digital age, “film” making has democratized the medium, allowing people to pick up a camera and start documenting life with aplomb and frequency.

This year’s Spring Showcase documentaries are a broad cross section of docs from all walks of life — from recent Sundance hits, to social awareness and relevatory film essays of our time, to personal and human…

Big Nights at HIFF Spring Showcase 2012

The Hawaii International Film Festival SPRING Showcase is in full swing! We just made our full lineup announcement and you can peruse through the entire schedule online. But, the best way to get an insider’s look into this year’s 33 film lineup is to subscribe to the official HIFF blog. In the coming weeks, HIFF staff will blog about various perspectives on the different types of films that comprise this spring’s dynamic programming.

To start off with the HIFF Spring 2012 Blog thread, I’m going to highlight our “big films,” primarily our Opening and Closing Night films and other major highlights during the Spring Showcase.

First up, is Peter Chan’s soon-to-be martial arts classic DRAGON (WU XIA). Starring perennial martial arts star Donnie Yen and Asian heartthrob Takeshi Kaneshiro, this multi-layered take on the classic wu xia genre, is surprisingly more of a detective murder mystery, in the vein of Sherlock Holmes or even TV’s HOUSE. Kaneshiro plays an eclectic detective who is on the trail of a murderous vigilante and winds up in a quaint village, where he meets meek farmer, played by Yen, who has a young family with his virtuous and beautiful wife, played by LUST, CAUTION’S Tang Wei.

Yen, of course, hides a deep dark secret as his past catches up with him, in the form of a murderous criminal clan led by kung fu cinema legend Jimmy Wang Yu. HIFF is proud to present the US premiere of this newly re-edited version overseen by Peter Chan himself!

Hong Kong action flick LET THE BULLETS FLY opens in theaters this Friday

HIFF is hosting a special event for the opening night of LET THE BULLETS FLY, at Pearlridge West 16 on Friday, March 2nd at 7:45pm. We’re giving away (4) pairs of tickets to see LET THE BULLETS FLY during its run at Pearlridge, thanks to distributor Variance Films. Here’s how to enter:

Enter on Twitter:
Tell us why you like Hong Kong action films in 140 characters or less, and start your tweet with ‘@HIFF’. The 2 most creative entries will win. Please follow @HIFF so we can direct messag…

Okinawan superhero film RYUJIN MABUYER is now playing in Hawaii theatres

“So right now, there’s no other venue in Hawai’i, except for the Hawaii International Film Festival. On the Mainland, we show four to six Japanese films per year, so we want to change the situation here.”
-Shun Ohara, Eleven Arts VP of Distribution

We saw the recent coverage of Okinawan superhero movie RYUJIN MABUYER in The Hawai’i Herald, and it is currently playing at Pearlridge West 16 Theatres through March 1st. HIFF had the world premiere of the RYUJIN MABUYER film last October, then it opened in Okinawa late last year to record opening weekend numbers. It’s a great example of incorporating local culture into a film or TV series. MABUYER was filmed and produced entirely in Okinawa, plus features an all-Uchinanchu cast.

The Hawaii International Film Festival is proud to be one of the only places to showcase Japanese films like RYUJIN MABUYER in Hawaii. MABUYER is being distributed by Eleven Arts, a Los Angeles based company that focuses on Japanese and Asian films. In the past, HIFF has shown many of their films, including: WHAT THE SNOW BRINGS (2005), COBALT BLUE (2009), THE HARIMAYA BRIDGE (2009), BEAUTIFUL ISLANDS (2010), and ALMOST PERFECT (2011). HIFF provides an excellent way to expose yourself to other countries’ cultures through the medium of film. With the multi-cultural makeup of Hawai’i, you can learn more about your own heritage, as well as your neighbors.

HIFF’s Executive Director Chuck Boller was recently honored at Pacific and Asian Affairs Council dinner

Chuck Boller with HIFF Founder Jeannette Paulson-Hereniko

At the Pacific and Asian Affairs Council’s annual dinner A Global Affair” earlier in February, HIFF’s Executive Director Chuck Boller was honored with the Paul S. Bachman Memorial Award. This award honors an individual or organization that has contributed significantly to the improvement of relations between the United States and its neighbors in Asia and the Pacific. The HIFF staff was able to attend the event due to the generosity of Gulab & Indru Watumull, who are active in the HIFF Board of Directors. See below for a couple of photos from the event.

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