Every year in October, educators around the state of Hawaii have the opportunity to get their students engaged with the film festival. HIFF has three youth-based free educational programs that it provides every year, with support from local and national foundations, as well as the Department of Education. See the Educational Program pages on our site for more details, and to sign up for teacher email lists.
- Guest Filmmaker Program – Filmmakers make classroom visits on Oahu to talk about their experiences and show clips from their films, and speak to students statewide via video conference.
- Cultural & Visual Literacy Program – Films with cultural significance are hand-picked for free screenings available to Oahu schools.
- Student Showcase – Offers student filmmakers (high school & younger) the opportunity to have their films shown on the big screen.
In the past 5 years, visiting filmmakers have included: Kal Penn (HAROLD & KUMAR series), Jason Scott Lee (DRAGON: THE BRUCE LEE STORY), director Justin Lin (BETTER LUCK TOMORROW, FAST FIVE), Katsuhito Ishii (TASTE OF TEA), as well as local filmmakers Anne Misawa, Gerard Elmore, and Ryan Kawamoto. Each year from 8 to 12 filmmakers participate in the Educational Programs, and 3 films are chosen for the student CVLP screenings. Additionally, approximately 8-10 student filmmakers have the opportunity to show their work at the free Student Showcase screening.