Latest Blog Posts

Thanks to everyone who came out to ‘I Heart HIFF’!

We had a great event last night, with close to 400 people coming out and attending. Nextdoor was packed, everyone was enjoying the food from J.J. Dolans, and many of you won prizes during the raffle. We hope you enjoy those concert tickets, thanks again to BAMP Project for providing them.

You may be wondering, what’s next? Well, here it is:

HIFF will be releasing some more info about films slowly over the next month or so, but the full program and schedule announcement will come Mid-September. We’ll be launching our Online Program Guide at that time, so you’ll be able to view synopses, photos and trailers from the films, etc.

There will be a Sneak Peek event with the unveiling of the HIFF 30 festival trailer and a film shown for free to HIFF Members (title TBD) on Thursday, September 30th. Tickets will go on sale for Members at that time, and for the General Public on Monday, October 4th. Then the films will begin October 14th and run through the 24th.

`Ohina Short Film Showcase Trailer 2010

Congratulations to the `Ohina Short Film Showcase for a successful 2010 presentation! One of the highlights of the `Ohina program was the larger-than-life trailer by Gerard Elmore of Shooters, Todd Robertson of Hyperspective Studios, and Allan Payne of Payne Advertising. The trailer also stars the multi-talented Aidan Laprete Powell. Get your submissions ready for 2011!

Come join us at ‘I Heart HIFF’ next Thursday!

[img_assist|nid=376|title=|desc=|link=url|url=|align=right|width=300|height=450]Come join us at our upcoming I Heart HIFF event, next Thursday, August 19th from 5pm to 8pm at Nextdoor in Downtown Honolulu.

You can find details about the event on this page, but what we want to talk about here is some of the raffle prizes. If you bought a ‘HIFF 30’ button during our Spring Festival, show it at the event to get two free raffle tickets. Additional raffle tickets can be obtained with a donation to HIFF. Due to generosity of BAMP Project, we have the following concert tickets to raffle:


2 (1 pair) tickets – Black Star
Friday, August 27th
Waterfront at Aloha Tower


2 (1 pair) tickets – Owl City
Saturday, August 28th
Pipeline Cafe


2 (1 pair) tickets – Chevelle
Saturday, September 11th
Pipeline Cafe


2 (1 pair) tickets – The Maine & Forever the Sickest Kids
Saturday, September 18th
Pipeline Cafe


2 (1 pair) tickets – Ghostland Observatory
Saturday, October 9th
Pipeline Cafe


We covered the half-social networking/half-video-on-demand indie film site, MUBI, last week, but what we forgot to mention was this 2.0 business model is just the beginning. Check out this article from last Tuesday’s New York Times about on-demand options for hard-to-find films.

Serious moviegoers may still see on-demand channels as a dumping ground for films that were in theaters six months ago or weren’t good enough to be in theaters at all. But as more and more “small,” serious films fight for screen time, a few distributors are starting to see on-demand television as a first option — which means that the quality of on-demand offerings is beginning to rise.

[img_assist|nid=374|title=|desc=Imagine bringing To to you|link=none|align=center|width=420|height=221]



New poster art for the Joaquin Phoenix “documentary” (I would use mockumentary here sans the “ironic” punctuation, but the film is being released as something un-Christopher Guest, whatever) that reared it’s vice-y Vincent Gallo head on Letterman over a year ago, and I gotta say, behind this blurry and bearded mess, I’m into it.

Directed by Casey Affleck (Phoenix’s brother-in-law), the footage depicts the[img_assist|nid=371|title=|desc=Affleck shooting Phoenix in the head|link=none|align=right|width=240|height=154] star’s “public” “breakdown” from his “announcement” that he’s “retiring” from “acting” to “pursue” a “career” as a hip-hop “artist.” My guess is the two are attempting to fog the line between fact and fiction (and is-there-even-such-thing-as-a-line?) with the depravity dripping Hollywood industry as a backdrop while making a commentary about fame, fortune, and happiness along the way?

The whatever-this-is is due out September 10 and I will probably see it because it looks weird.

Dinner for Schmucks: Before They Were Stars Edition

Paul Rudd & Steve Carell in DINNER FOR SCHMUCKS

Paul Rudd & Steve Carell in DINNER FOR SCHMUCKS

Seen DINNER FOR SCHMUCKS? Actor Paul Rudd has had a resurgence lately, as a key player in Judd Apatow’s zany acting ensemble. But, remember when he was the dreamy, erudite stepbrother to Alicia Silverstone’s Cher in the seminal ’90s classic (wow, too soon?) CLUELESS?

Like many other young thespians in this film, it was Rudd’s breakout role, but hey, you gotta start somewhere, right? In Rudd’s case, it was Bat Mitzvah DJ to young Jewish princesses in the San Fernando Valley. Check out this home video of one particular one in 1992. Love the yellow tuxedo jacket and early 90s Moe Howard/Jason Priestley sideburns hairdo.

Paul Rudd: Bat Mitzvah DJ from Jewish Forward on Vimeo.


According to an online poll taken by “American Cinematographer” magazine last month, subscribers have named AMELIE, shot by Bruno Delbonnel, as the best-shot film of the decade (1998-2008).

[img_assist|nid=366|title=|desc=To eat crème brûlée with Audrey leSIGH|link=none|align=right|width=280|height=210]

Here’s the complete Top Ten:

1. Amélie: Bruno Delbonnel, ASC, AFC (AC Sept. ’01)
2. Children of Men: Emmanuel Lubezki, ASC, AMC (AC Dec. ’06)
3. Saving Private Ryan: Janusz Kaminski (AC Aug. ’98)
4. There Will Be Blood: Robert Elswit, ASC (AC Jan. ’08)
5. No Country for Old Men: Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC (AC Oct. ’07)
6. Fight Club: Jeff Cronenweth, ASC (AC Nov. ’99)
7. The Dark Knight: Wally Pfister, ASC (AC July ’08)
8. Road to Perdition: Conrad L. Hall, ASC (AC Aug. ’02)
9. Cidade de Deus (City of God): César Charlone, ABC (AC Feb. ’03)
10. American Beauty: Conrad L. Hall, ASC (AC March & June ’00)

If you’ve seen CHILDREN OF MEN, then you’re not surprised to see why it’s so high up here considering that insane tracking shot near the end complete with the accidental blood splatter that’s so mad good, I feel stupid talking about it, so I’ll leave that to the actual filmmakers.

Read more…

A Music and Film Amalgamation

Thank goodness everyone and their mom has a HD camera now, as it leaves us all with so many more options on the internet and beyond (I consider watching Youtube and Vimeo videos my other job).  There are a few really neat (yes, neat) websites in particular that collaborate live music with interesting and just plain beautiful cinematography.  What’s really cool about these video blogs is that they take the musician out of context and create a sort of Michel Gondry dreamlike reality–this is getting confusing.  Just check ’em out at La Blogotheque, They Shoot Music Don’t They and Black Cab Sessions.

Tomi Lebrero | A Take Away Show #104 from La Blogotheque on Vimeo.

Cinémathèque 2.0

Yes, I know, because you absolutely need just one more social networking that connects you with absolute strangers to join. But if you’re into film, then there’s a strong chance percentage you will be into this. And if you’re not into film, well, then there’s a strong chance percentage you’re on the wrong website.


Allied with Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Foundation and partnered with the Criterion Collection (speaking of, the number of Criterion DVDs I own are the new benchmark by which I will measure success in my life — currently I own 2 / 540), MUBI allows users to screen both mainstream and hard-to-find feature films (for ≤ $3) and engage in clean and civil discussion forums (looking at you here, IMDb).

Because you can’t get enough of us, here are the profiles of some HIFFy bloggers you can follow:  Matthew, Dana, and Chris.

Life in a Day

Hey guys, here’s another great opportunity brought to you by Youtube.  If you missed out on our 2010 HIFF Fall Festival deadline (which, by the way, is still open to high school students and younger), you may want to check this out.  The call seems pretty open ended as far as content goes, so let’s get real weird with it everyone!

Oh and PS, did I forget to mention that the most interesting and compelling footage will be used in an experimental documentary, directed by Kevin Macdonald (THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND) and produced by Ridley Scott (this guy literally has 33 projects in production).



Life In A Day is a historic global experiment to create the world’s largest user-generated feature film: a documentary, shot in a single day, by you. On July 24, you have 24 hours to capture a glimpse of your life on camera. The most compelling and distinctive footage will be edited into an experimental documentary film, executive produced by Ridley Scott and directed by Kevin Macdonald.

For more information, visit

Content and Design Copyright © 2009-2015 Hawaii International Film Festival