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HIFF @ KO OLINA – April 22 + 23, 2011

Hawaii International Film Festival and Ko Olina Resort & Marina are launching a series of Art, Culture, Music and Film presentations with two outdoor movie screenings. Picnic baskets, blankets, low beach chairs or cushions are welcome. Proceeds from refreshment sales to benefit educational programs at Waianae High School. Complimentary parking available at Lagoon 4 and Ko Olina Marina beginning at 5 pm.

April 22 & 23, 2011
Ulua Lagoon – Grand Lawn (Lagoon 4) 
Ko Olina Resort & Marina
Kapolei, Hawai’i 96707

The featured films will be MAKE BELIEVE on Friday, April 22 and HACHI: A DOG’S TALE on Saturday, April 23. For more information on the films and to buy tickets, please visit our page for the HIFF at Ko Olina event.

Photos from Hawaii Premiere of SOUL SURFER

On Sunday night, HIFF was honored to have the Hawaii Premiere of SOUL SURFER at Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18 & IMAX to a packed house! Bethany’s brother, Noah, was in attendance, as well as the film’s producer David Brookwell. In addition to those esteemed guests, Island Film Group’s Ric Galindez and Roy Tijoe were there with local actresses Sonya Balmores, Malia Johnson, Faith Fay, and Arleee Newman. SOUL SURFER opens in theaters on April 8.

Photos taken by Ross Lee

JUMP! At the Hawaii Theatre – April 5-17

HIFF Members get a $10 discount on tickets.

One Additional Screening of 13 ASSASSINS added!

We have just added one more screening of epic samurai film 13 ASSASSINS on Thursday, April 7th at 9:00PM. Tickets will soon be available online and at our box office.


It’s only fitting that HIFF would get a sponsor for a film that’s all about sponsorship. So a big thank you (see logo placement below) to Electric Pencil! Thank you so much for sponsoring the screening of POM WONDERFUL PRESENTS: THE GREATEST MOVIE EVER SOLD on Monday, April 4 at 6:30 PM. For tickets and more information on the film click here


Real Life Drama: Documentaries at Spring Showcase

Non-fiction fan? Like your drama real? Don’t worry HIFF Spring Showcase has got you covered! No matter what kind of documentary your into, this spring HIFF will satiate your appetite for all things non-fiction with four exciting and entertaining documentary films. In KABUKI-ZA: FINAL CURTAIN and MAKE BELIEVE, the viewer gets an unparalleled glimpse into the reality behind the illusion, entering the worlds of theater and magic. While in POM WONDERFUL PRESENTS: THE GREATEST MOVIE EVER SOLD and THESE AMAZING SHADOWS, the documentary form takes on the narrative feature, through a satirical analysis of product placement and an in depth look at film archival.

Click on the blog title above to find out more about these 4 fascinating films…

New Film Announced: PIANO IN A FACTORY (China)

HIFF has just confirmed a new film for this year’s Spring Showcase. See the details below:

Hawaii Premiere

Chen is a musical entertainer employed at a deteriorating steel plant. Embroiled in a custody battle with his estranged wife, he is at pains to acquire a piano, which he hopes will secure the affections of his musically inclined daughter. This leads to a string of failed schemes, including a bungled robbery at a music school, before Chen enlists the assistance of his long-suffering girlfriend and a cadre of ragtag locals to build the perfect piano.

Director: Zhang Meng
China 2010 | Mandarin w/ English subtitles | 107 M
Showtime:  WEDNESDAY, APRIL 6 – 8:45 PM DOLE


Here’s a review of the film on VARIETY.

Welcome to the Splatter-Fest: Meet Yoshihiro Nishimura Director of HELLDRIVER

Fans of genre-bending splatter-fest films better hold on to their seats because Yoshihiro Nishimura and Sushi Typhoon are back with the goriest, splatter-filled zombie epic to ever come out of Japan, that’s right it’s HELLDRIVER. Over the last ten years Nishimura, and a small group of like-minded horror directors have carved out a new genre in Japanese horror. It’s part comedy, part over-the-top gore and blood, and always filled with cute young girls, freakish mutants, and bizarre special effects. These low budget thrills have made waves at film festivals around the globe, making a name for Nishimura and fellow director Noboru Iguchi (KARATE ROBO-ZABORGAR) among others. In 2010 the rising demand for these campy b-movie flicks culminated in the formation of Sushi Typhoon, a production offshoot of the Nikkatsu Corporation. This specialty label burst onto the scene last year with ALIEN VS. NINJA and MUTANT GIRLS SQUAD, which was co-directed by Yoshihiro Nishimura, Noboru Iguchi, and Tak Sakaguchi. HELLDRIVER represents Nishimura’s first solo effort with Sushi Typhoon, and since the release of his epic TOKYO GORE POLICE (2008). 

In HELLDRIVER, Nishimura takes the zombie thriller to new dizzying heights, pulling out all the stops, and complete with his trademark comedy-gore. Somewhere in the near future, a mysterious mist has covered the northern half of Japan, turning the local population into flesh-eating zombies. Japan is ultimately driven to divide the country in two, erecting a heavily fortified wall to contain the zombie-infected northern wasteland. And just when all hope seems lost, in walks Kika (Yumiko Hara), a beautiful high school girl armed with a chainsaw sword powered by an artificial heart. Recruited by the government, Kika leads a ragtag group of desperados on a secret mission into the zombie-infected wilds to exterminate zombie queen Rikka (Eihi Shiina from AUDITION and TOKYO GORE POLICE) and put an end to the plague of the living dead. But the road is fraught with a thriving zombie culture that refuses to lay down and die.

A zombie road-movie the likes of which you’ve never seen before, HELLDRIVER is a J-horror that will have you laughing and cringing at the same time!


HELLDRIVER Showtimes: Friday, April 1 at 9PM Dole Cannery                    

VARIETY reviews of Spring Showcase films

If you’d like a mainstream hollywood view on some of these international films we’re offering at our festival, we have found a few of them reviewed by VARIETY, a Film / TV / Entertainment publication.

MAD BASTARDS – Review by Rob Nelson

PATISSERIE COIN DE RUE – Review by Dennis Harvey

7 MURDERS FORGIVEN – Review by Jay Weissburg


We also found a few film reviews on Film Business Asia: CYRANO AGENCY, DON’T GO BREAKING MY HEART.

Love Japanese Films? No time to see them all? Check out my top 3 J-picks for Spring Showcase!


So there are six Japanese films screening at this year’s Spring Showcase, but you can only pack half that many into your busy schedule, how do you possibly decide what to see? As a huge Japanese film fanatic, I was wondering the same thing, but after careful consideration I managed to narrow it down to three that especially peaked my interest. Hopefully my thoughts will make your job a little easier! Continue reading below to discover what made the list and why….

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