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We had a packed house for yesterday’s screening of local surf/photography documentary FIBERGLASS & MEGAPIXELS. The directors and several guests featured in the film led a Q&A session after the film, and we recorded it. So if you weren’t able to make the screening, take a look at the Q&A below. There are FIBERGLASS & MEGAPIXELS DVD’s for sale ($20 each) at the HIFF Box Office.


AU REVOIR TAIPEI added to Spring Showcase Program as a Sneak Peek for HIFF’s 30th Annual Film Festival

Winner of the Best Asian Film Award at the Berlin International Film Festival earlier this year, AU REVOIR TAIPEI will be playing on Thursday, April 22nd at 8:45PM, Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18. See this page to see a trailer for the film and buy tickets.


AU REVOIR TAIPEI (一頁台北 – Yi Ye Tai Bei)
Taiwan, USA, Germany 2010 | 85m | Mandarin w/ English Subtitles
Director/Screenwriter: Arvin Chen

Kai, a brokenhearted young man from Taipei, yearns to be with his girlfriend, who’s left for Paris. He spends his days working at his parents’ noodle restaurant and his nights trying to learn French at the local bookstore, where he meets Susie, a sweet but lonely girl who works there. Afraid of losing his girlfriend, and in need of money to get to Paris, he accepts a dubious offer from a local gangster to deliver a mysterious package to Paris. It’s the beginning of a wild night for Kai, at the end of which he realizes that leaving both Susie and Taipei will only take him further away from true love.

The debut film from rising talent Arvin Chen, AU REVOIR TAIPEI is a love letter to a city famous for its night markets, 24 hour bookstores, and perfectly cooked dumplings. The producers have allowed HIFF to present this film 6 months in advance to its premiere in the upcoming October festival as a special sneak peek to the 30th annual edition of HIFF.

A GOOD RAIN KNOWS – Connection with Chinese Poetry

[img_assist|nid=311|title=A GOOD RAIN KNOWS|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=240|height=160]One of the things that fascinates me about A GOOD RAIN KNOWS is that the title is a reference to a famous poem by classical Chinese poet 杜甫 (Dù Fǔ – a.k.a Tu Fu). He was considered a poet historian, since many of his poems commented on the government or military. The poem’s translated title is “Rain on a Spring Night”, and this refers to how nature knows to send the rain in spring to bring all the plants back to life. See the full article to read this poem in its entirety.

Dù Fǔ lived from 712 to 770, and travelled through China during his life, mostly due to events of the period, including the An Lushan Rebellion of 755. He lived in Chengdu, Sichuan Province for several years around 760, and it was one of the happiest times of his life. This ties in with the film, since it is also set in Chengdu, and the story is about the reconnection of Dong-ha (Jung Woo-sung) and May (Gao Yuanyuan). Seeing each other after a long period of separation, forgotten feelings rise to the surface once again. The recovery of Chengdu from 2008′s massive earthquake also has a place in the film, but you’ll have to watch it to find out what that is.

Screening Dates:
Sunday April 18, 5:30PM & Tuesday April 20, 6:00PM – Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18 Theaters

Quickie Picks: Arts Lovers


Arts and culture lovers, we’ve got films for you. Dancers and ballerinas: MAO’S LAST DANCER is the true story of Chinese ballet dancer Li Cuixin, and his rise to international fame. The film also stars Joan Chen, Kyle MacLachlan, and Amanda Schull (she’s from Hawaii!). Graphic designers and creatives: TYPEFACE is a documentary about the Hamilton Wood Type Museum in Two Rivers, WI. For anyone interested in the history of type and design, this film highlights a dying craft that has direct lineage to graphic designers and advertisers today. Photographers and cinematographers: FIBERGLASS AND MEGAPIXELS is a unique surf documentary that focuses on surf photographers and cinematographers. The film is an insightful look into surf documentation and the relationship between surf photographers and cinematographers to the surf industry and surfers. HIFF is proud to present the Hawaii Premiere of FIBERGLASS AND MEGAPIXELS with an extended Q&A with local filmmakers Derek and Craig Hoffman.

Special thanks to Electric Pencil for sponsoring TYPEFACE. 




Spring Showcase Ticket Sales Start Today

Just a reminder, ticket sales for the Spring Showcase start today for HIFF Ohana Members. You can purchase tickets online anytime, on the phone (808) 792-1577 or in person at the HIFF Box Office from 11am-6pm. The box office is directly across the street from the Regal Dole Cannery theaters. Ticket sales for the general public will start this Wednesday April 7th.



Just read an amazing article on CNN about Rep. Ahn Cao, the first Vietnamese-American elected to Congress to represent Louisiana.  The article tells of how he left Vietnam in 1975 at the age of eight.  His mother stayed behind to care for his other siblings and his father was imprisoned for fighting against the communist regime.  He overcame many barriers to eventually become a US Representative.  For more information click on the link below:

Spring Showcase In Depth: European Films

We have an exceptionally strong lineup of European films at the HIFF Spring Showcase this year, representing Sweden, Italy, France and the UK. A couple of them are adaptations of international bestsellers, to foodie culture to magical realistic farce that only the French can truly capture.

From Italy, we have I AM LOVE, a lushly photographed, meticulously designed drama starring the great Scottish actress Tilda Swinton, who speaks Italian and Russian throughout the entire film! A “period piece”, the film is a tragic love story set at the turn of the millennium in Milan. The film follows the fall of the haute bourgeoisie due to the forces of passion and unconditional love. The film is directed by Luca Guadagnino, who directed the great crime drama THE PROTAGONISTS (also with Swinton), with a beautiful, yet edgy score by Pulitzer prize winning composer John Adams, known for his score for the opera NIXON IN CHINA.

VINCERE is the story of Mussolini’s secret lover, Ida Dalser, and their son Albino, brilliantly captured by writer-director Marco Bellocchio. An homage to Neo-Realism style of post-WWII Italian cinema, led by such masters as Roberto Rossellini and Vittorio De Sica. Italians truly make magnificent political dramas, especially dealing with the nuances of existing in the Fascist era of 1930s Italy. VINCERE was a finalist in the being the official Italian entry to the Academy Awards.

MID-AUGUST LUNCH, also from Italy, is a nice change of pace from the other Italian selections. Airy and loose like an afternoon siesta, the film Gianni is a middle-aged man living in Rome with his imposing and demanding elderly mother. With mounting debt, he is in a rut. Until one day, opportunity knocks on his door and it may be his one and only chance to change his life. Full of talk and food and more talk and more food, MID-AUGUST LUNCH has a light touch, yet explores deep seated issues regarding mothers and sons, the generation gap, and well, Italian lunches.

We already previously blogged about THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, but this is definitely going to be one of the hot titles at this year’s Spring Showcase. Based on the international bestseller, DRAGON TATTOO is the first chapter in a conspiracy trilogy that is part DA VINCI CODE, part BOURNE IDENTITY. ‘Nuff said, go see it! Lastly, I’d like to highlight the Closing Night film, MICMACS, directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet (AMELIE, DELICATESSAN, A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT) in a quasi-fantastical crime comedy about a man and his friends come up with an intricate and original plan to destroy two big weapons manufacturers. Jeunet goes back to basics with his visceral bag of tricks, mad jumble of images and daring camera work. Extremely funny and full of sight gags, MICMACS is an entertaining night at the movies that I feel is a fitting closer to the HIFF Spring Showcase.



Here are a few TYPEFACE posters sent from Kartemquin Films. The screening is on Wednesday April 21 at 6:00 PM. Thanks to Electric Pencil (applause!) for sponsoring HIFF’s art and design-related films, including TYPEFACE. More information on the film here.


[img_assist|nid=295|title=SUMMER WARS and ONE PIECE FILM: STRONG WORLD|desc=|link=none|align=center|width=620|height=438]

There are two amazing anime films screening at the 2010 HIFF Spring Showcase.  SUMMER WARS and ONE PIECE FILM: STRONG WORLD have become hits in Japan winning much praise for their story and visual imagery.  Kid friendly, both films prove to be fun family viewing.

SUMMER WARS takes place in both the real world and a virtual world called Oz, this charming tale has won multiple animation awards, including Best Animation in the 33rd Japan Academy Awards. 

Natsuki, the most popular girl in school, hires math nerd Kenji to be her pretend boyfriend for a family celebration.  While staying at Jinnouchi compound, Kenji, accidentally sets loose a malicious computer virus ironically called “Love Machine” in the virtual world of Oz.  Love Machine creates havoc in the real world by giving infrastructures dependent on computer commands the wrong codes, and not only that – he is also absorbing the identities of people logged in on Oz.  Kenji, Natsuki and the rest of her clan must work together to stop this virtual being before all of Oz and the real world are left in ruins.

SUMMER WARS beautifully shows how powerful social networking has become, yet reminds us that being connected doesn’t always mean being on-line. There are so many layers to this film that you could watch it more than once and still find more to think about, admire and enjoy. 

For those unfamiliar with the ONE PIECE series, here is some background information to familiarize you with the film:  Monkey D. Luffy is our 17-year-old hero who is on a quest to find “One Piece” a legendary treasure whose owner becomes the King of the Pirates.  Luffy and his crew called the “Straw Hats” sail the seas in search of the elusive treasure and at times find themselves at odds with other pirates while also experiencing mystical adventures.  In STRONG WORLD, Luffy and his crew must rescue a fellow Straw Hat, Nami, from a mysterious enemy named Shiki the Golden Lion, who has whisked her away to a floating island called “Strong World.” 

ONE PIECE FILM: STRONG WORLD is the tenth film of the ONE PIECE franchise.  The series started off as a manga written and illustrated by Eiichiro Oda, and because of its popularity, has grown to also become one of the most celebrated television and film series in Japan. STRONG WORLD marks the tenth anniversary of the anime series, and HIFF is very honored to have the International Premiere!

HIFF on + Special Offer


HIFF is proud to present a special offer to subscribers to What is It’s like a film festival that’s always screening, streaming a growing collection of over 250 feature films, documentaries and short films from established and emerging Asia and Pacific Island filmmakers. Check out the website to see the feature on HIFF, too! Here’s the offer:

Sample the site for one month totally free.  

Choose to subscribe for a second month, and proceeds directly go to support the Hawaii International Film Festival.

Here’s how to do it:
1. Simply visit and enter this exclusive HIFF coupon code to redeem your free month trial:  HIFFohana2010
2. Stay the second month and support HIFF while continuing to watch great movies from Asia and the Pacific Islands. You can cancel at any time.

This offer expires April 15, 2010 so we hope you’ll take some time to visit and take advantage of this opportunity!

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