Latest Blog Posts


"Coffee Lovers on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown"

It’s that time of year again to say “It’s that time of year again”!

Christmas Eve is tomorrow, which really only gives you one full day to rush to Ala Moana, punch someone in the face over whatever our consumerist culture has conditioned us to punch each other in the faces over this year, run down a pedestrian speeding home in the pouring rain, attempt perfectly creased gift-wrapping folds while receiving a fatal number of self-inflicted paper cuts, spurting blood all over your presents while screaming, “I’m not perfect!” under the faint afterglow of your Christmas Tree. OOOoookay, so maybe I’ve seen Black Swan one too many times (I’ve only seen it once).

That aside, I’ve compiled a list of gift ideas to ease the stress when shopping for that movie lover in your life you kinda forgot existed (I mean, you are waiting til December 23rd…)

1. Limited Edition Illy Coffee Set designed by PedrAlmodóvar

I spend a lot of time in coffee shops. It can be depressing. That’s why when I want to get extra W.A.S.P.-y, I hit up Neiman Marcus’s espresso bar, order a double shot, and read short stories by Joan Didion or Lydia Davis while pretending to have either of their careers. Then right as I’m feeling lightheaded from realizing I’m an ethnic BOY in Neiman Marcus with no money, the baristas bring this over, and I get kicked off the premises for squealing too loud.

"Coffee Lovers on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown"

Still from “Coffee Lovers on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown”

Not sure, but think the price on this set is ~$150. What??? You didn’t want to spend that much on me— I mean, someone you actually know…

More after the jump…

EuroCinema Hawaii’s 2010 Awards Gala Recap

Oscar Night America 2010 at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel

Did you attend the inaugural EuroCinema Hawaii Gala in October of this year? Oscar-winning actor Richard Dreyfuss was in attendance, and E! Entertainment’s Debbie Matenopoulos was a host for the event. Take a look at the photo galleries on the EuroCinema Hawaii website, and watch the video that they created below. This is a good time to mention that film submissions are now open for HIFF; All films of European origin submitted will be considered for EuroCinema Hawaii 2011, a “festival within a festival”. Several awards will be given out, including the Princess Alliata di Montereale Award for Best Film, which was given to the United Kingdom’s FOUR LIONS in 2010.

Speaking of glamorous events, HIFF’s annual fundraiser Oscar Night America gala is coming up on February 27, 2011. Take a look at photo galleries on our site from 2010 and 2009.

Oscar Night America 2010 at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel
Oscar Night America 2010
Photo by Kyler Kwock Photography
Oscar Night America 2009 at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel
Oscar Night America 2009
Photo by Jeannemarie Photography

THE TEMPEST opens in Honolulu this Friday!

THE TEMPEST, based on the last play of William Shakespeare and directed by Julie Taymor (ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, FRIDA, TITUS), is opening in Honolulu this Friday, December 17th.

The film was produced and filmed on Lanai and the Big Island of Hawaii by Talk Story Productions. It was the centerpiece film of HIFF’s 30th annual film festival earlier this year.

Watch it at Consolidated Theaters – Ward Stadium with TITAN XC starting this Friday. Showtimes for this week are 12:00PM, 2:25PM, 4:50PM, 7:15PM, 9:40PM. Rated PG-13.

BLUE VALENTINE Gets Controversial Rating Overturned

Indie drama BLUE VALENTINE received promising reviews at it swept across the festival circuit this year making a pit stop at HIFF in October. However, concern grew for the film’s ability to acquire decent distribution as it was slapped with a puzzling NC-17 rating by the MPAA.

Ty Sanga’s “Stones” selected for 2011 Sundance Film Festival

We’ve just received word that native Hawaiian filmmaker Ty Sanga’s short film STONES was selected for the Indigenous Shorts Showcase at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival (January 20-30, Park City Utah) [1]. HIFF had the world premiere of this short film in 2009, and it went on to win the Best Short award at the 2010 Maui Film Festival [2]. STONES will be the first Hawaiian-language film to screen at the Sundance Film Festival. [3] Exposure at Sundance can do a lot for a filmmaker’s career, and it’s a notoriously hard festival to get a film into. We wish Ty Sanga the best of luck at Sundance!






HIFF 2010 t-shirts available for sale – while supplies last!

HIFF has some t-shirts left over from its 2010 Fall Festival. These shirts are a peach color and feature the festival key visual of a hula dancer in shades of yellow and purple on the front. See the photos below. We’re selling these for $20 each, with a $10 shipping fee per order. We will waive the shipping fee if you want to come into our office during business hours to pick up the t-shirts.



There are limited quantities of shirts, and quantities are shown below at the time of this post. Click on the sizes below to order the t-shirts online.


(about 20 left)


(less than 5 left)


(less than 5 left)

BLACK ORPHEUS screening at The Monday Movie Cafe on December 6th!

Marcel Camus’ classic 1959 film BLACK ORPHEUS is returning to the big screen for one night only! I am thrilled about the truly rare opportunity to see this epic tale come alive in its’ original blazing, saturated sound and color.

For those who are unfamiliar with the film, BLACK ORPHEUS is the retelling of the classic Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice set during the madness of Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. Train conductor Orfeo is engaged to be married to the beautiful Mira, but when country girl Eurydice catches his eye all bets are off. However, Eurydice is being tailed by a sinister stalker, and the star-crossed lovers must tread a dangerous path filled with passion, jealousy and fear in order to stay alive. 

This film won the Palme d’Or at Cannes and the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 1959, while also exposing a whole generation of moviegoers to the rich culture and music of Brazil. BLACK ORPHEUS truly has one of the most memorable soundtracks of all time coupled with a veritable feast for the eyes. 

I am extremely excited at the prospect of being enveloped in the sights and sounds of 1950’s Rio, and in downtown Honolulu nonetheless!  The Monday Movie Cafe is located at The Venue, 1146 Bethel Street, and the screening will begin at 7pm. You can find further details in the Honolulu Weekly. 

You can check out the trailer on YouTube at:

Save the Date for Oscar Night® America – February 27, 2011

Please mark your 2011 calendars now to save the date of February 27th to attend HIFF’s Oscar Night® America gala. View the 83rd Annual Academy Awards in advance of the public broadcast, enjoy a fabulous dinner and browse various items available in the silent auction.

The list of nominations for the 83rd Annual Academy Awards will be announced on January 25th, 2011. It was also recently announced that James Franco and Anne Hathaway will be co-hosting the event.

HIFF’s 2011 Call For Entries season is now open!

HIFF is now accepting film entries for our 31st annual film festival, which will be held in October 2011. Currently it costs $40 to submit a feature length film, $30 for a short film, $20 for a music video and $5 for anything in the Made in Hawaii section. Student films (from high school students and younger) are still free, and have an extended deadline.



HIFF is a partner with Withoutabox, the online film festival submission service. Withoutabox is free and allows filmmakers to complete a single application and submit to almost 3,000 film festivals around the world! Discounted entry fees are also available through Withoutabox.



For more details on submitting your film, deadlines and submission categories, please see our Call For Entries page.

HIFF is coming to Hilo, November 5-7

HIFF will be coming to the Big Island of Hawai’i for the weekend of November 5-7. These shows will be playing at the Palace Theater in Hilo. All of these films, with the exception of LEONIE, were made in Hawaii. Ticket prices for these films will be: $7 General Admission, $6 Senior/Student, and $5 Stars of the Palace.

Friday, November 5th
8:00 PM – ONE VOICE (84 mins)

Saturday, November 6th
5:00 PM – GET A JOB (93 mins)
7:30 PM – ONE KINE DAY (100 mins)

Sunday, November 7th
7:30 PM – LEONIE (132 mins)

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