Latest Blog Posts

Get TOGETHER: First Screening of HIFF 2011

The most overused saying all of time ever regarding time ever, but: Can you believe it’s already been another year? About to spit Cliche: Part 2 right now, but seriously, HIFF 2010 feels like it was “just yesterday!” Since I’m in this sentimental fugue, thought I’d share with you what is officially the FIRST FILM of the 2011 festival schedule.

And it’s called TOGETHER.

I mean, c’mon, how perfect is that?! (Here, take a tissue.)

Screening at 6pm today, this documentary weaves an honest tapestry of very different lives—all impacted by HIV/AIDS in modern Chinese society. Embracing the Internet, direcor Zhao Liang is able to contact these individuals and tell their stories… Which is kind of what HIFF is all about—being able to tell people’s stories—so its billing as a the unofficial “kick off” to 2011 is too fitting.

Trailer for TOGETHER

If you wanna see the rest, hurry… it screens in less than 3 hours!


Must-See J-Picks at HIFF 2011!

So as some of you may have noticed there are 22 feature-length Japanese films at HIFF 2011! With such a huge selection, and limited time you mast be asking yourself how can I ever decide what to watch!

Between the Spotlight on Japan section, and a slew of other Japanese films placed throughout the different film sections, there is truly something for everyone. There are the kid-friendly RYUJIN MABUYER, NINJA KIDS!!!, and A LETTER TO MOMO, family dramas KAASAN: MOM’S LIFE, CHRONICLE OF MY MOTHER, and WIFE OF GEGEGE NYOUBOU, and strange-wonderful-extreme fare such as MILOCRORZE: A LOVE STORY, SMUGGLER, and THE WARPED FOREST. This is not to mention all the anime…..phew!

So to help a little with your decision making, here is a list of five of my personal J-Favs at HIFF 2011….

Keeping HIFF in Perspective: Opening, Centerpiece, Closing

Someone is clearly excited about Opening Night...

Remember when I said HIFF is really easy about two posts back? Well, for argument’s sake/this post, I’m now going to tell you that it’s also kind of confusing! (Forgive me. Third latte. Can’t make up my mind.)

Luckily, the festival is propped up by three films, so you don’t lose your balance throughout the 10 day timeline:

Someone is clearly excited about Opening Night...
Someone is clearly excited about Opening Night…

THE FRONT LINE (pictured)
Thur., October 13, 8pm

Wed., October 19, 8:15pm

Sun., October 23, 6pm

They add a sense of form and structure to the fun-in-the-chaos that is HIFF. Since the OPENING NIGHT FILM is tomorrow, some myths we want to clean up (after the jump)…

Hashtag HIFF

It’s the day before the festival, so we thought we’d take a peek into the eyes of society’s soul: Twitter. Turns out much of Honolulu’s getting excited for #HIFF re: some of our hashtag favs!

…and the account stream keeps flowing. If you want to interact with us, @ or hit us up on Facebook and let’s see some movies together!

You can follow @HIFF on Twitter here, and get wired in with some of us below:

@Sarah_Honda (Sarah Honda/Development Director)
@ale808 (Anderson Le/Director of Programming)
@atmarketing (Toby Tamaye/Party Planner)
@annapage47 (Anna Page/Education and Grant Coordinator)
@ChrisHall78 (Christopher Hall/Web & Social Media Coordinator)
@mattzeus (me/nobody)

Say Morning with Movies: Program Guides and Coffee

Sbux got my name right!

Sbux got my name right!They got my name right! Sbux, you’re now batting 1-29. 

You know it’s gonna be a good day when a Starbucks barista gets your name right. (“Wait, you’re letting me be me, not “Ben” or “Max” or “Mortimer” (true story) this morning? Holla.”) An even better day when you have your HIFF catalog with you—which you can conveniently pick up at your neighborhood Starbucks (aka, any corner on any street anywhere) among other places.

The free program guide, which came out ~1 week ago, is like water for the film festival goer. It has everything in it to survive!

Page 2-3 has Festival at a Glance: an index of every category, every film, every event—a shortlist of special sections and who to stalk visiting filmmakers and actors at this year’s fest. Pages 5-31 is the Program Guide: a list of all the films w/ synopses in alpha order. Pages 34-36 lays out the entire Film Timetable and How to HIFF. What I’m saying is there’s really no reason to be out of the loop. You have a comprehensive guide to HIFF and a cup of caffeine!

PS – when you wake up this time tomorrow morning, it’ll officially be time to HIFF. Good morning, Hawaii!


Do you know what today is? If you don’t know, open your fridge, pull out that leftover Mediterranean orzo and flip on your TV right now to see Anderson Cooper intervieweing Careé Otis, Kim Kardashian’s *~*fairtytale~*~ wedding or reruns of RHOBH (Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, duh) to realize it’s…

Still not getting it? Fine, just press play on the video below so we can hit you over the head with the fact today is…

…National Coming Out Day. (That’s it. That’s your answer. You can stop murdering the “play” button now.) That said, Happy National Coming Out Day!

At HIFF 2011 we have a special section named after the original “Born This Way” anthem:  EXPRESS YOURSELF.

Capsule summaries of the three films after the “Read More” jump/pirouette…

Let the Festival Begin!

We are a few days away from the festival and I’ve got my tickets for the movies that I really wanted to see. As my schedule starts to fill in this week, we will see what other movies I have time to enjoy. What I am really looking forward to is Thursday, a big day for the festival as the morning they host an Opening Press Conference at Rum Fire at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel, and in the evening is the Opening Night Party at the Halekulani Hotel. That party is followed by the Opening Night movie “The Front Line” at Dole Cannery Theaters. It is going to be a very busy day!

New HIFF Films Announced!

HIFF has added three new films to the program for this year’s festival. THE TSUNAMI AND THE CHERRY BLOSSOM is a documentary about Japan’s recovery from the tsunami earlier this year and is in our GREEN SCREEN section. The second added film is BUTTER, a comedy about butter carving in the midwest starring Jennifer Garner, Olivia Wilde, Alicia Silverstone, and Hugh Jackman. It plays with the short film STEVE, about a man who comes to tea. The cast of STEVE includes Colin Firth & Keira Knightley.

THE TSUNAMI AND THE CHERRY BLOSSOM: Sat, Oct 15 at 3:30 PM  /  Sun, Oct 23 at 11:45 AM
BUTTER + STEVE: Sat, Oct 22, 2011 at 10:00 PM


A new screening of THE LAST RONIN (SAIGO NO CHUUSHINGURA) has been added Sun, Oct 23 at 7:45 PM. Several additional screenings on the last day of the festival will be announced after the awards show on Tuesday, October 18th.

Win tickets to Jackie Chan’s “1911”, opening this Friday

Jackie Chan’s 100th film, 1911, is opening in Honolulu this Friday, October 7th. Thanks to the film distributor, Variance Films, HIFF has four pairs of tickets to 1911 to give away. We’re holding a quick contest, and the winners will be announced in the morning on Thursday, October 6th.

The Contest: To qualify to win a pair of tickets, entrants will need choose the correct answer to 2 trivia questions about Jackie Chan and 1911. To enter, please completely fill out this form. View the full blog post or read below for more details about 1911.

Update Oct. 6: The winners have been announced! Jae Cheung and Judy Francese won vouchers to Pearlridge 16; Dael Hayama and Brandon Wong won vouchers for the Kahala Theater.

*NOTE*: 1911 is being released theatrically, and is not part of this year’s Hawaii International Film Festival lineup.

Tickets are now on sale for members, general public sales start October 3rd.

Tickets are now on sale for HIFF Ohana members and ticket sales for the general public start Monday, October 3rd. Our box office is located inside the Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18 & IMAX lobby. You can stop by in person or call 808-447-0577 from 11am – 6pm from Sept 29 to Oct 12, and from 11am to the start of the last show during the actual festival dates (Oct 13-23).

Tickets are $12 general public, $10 senior/student/military/children, $8 HIFF members or groups of 10 or more. There are some exceptions: THE FRONT LINE and THE DESCENDANTS (opening & closing night films) and AN AFTERNOON WITH HAWAII 5-0 are $20, HIFF members $15.

Printed program guides are now available at the HIFF office, Regal Dole Cannery Theater, and are being distributed to many places on O’ahu, including all Starbucks and L&L locations. In addition, you can look at our E-Program Book here.

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