Latest Blog Posts

Taj Mahal and the New Hula Blues Band to perform at US premiere of AMERICAN EPIC on November 12 at Ward Village

The Hawaii International Film Festival presented by Halekulani has just confirmed legendary American blues musician Taj Mahal  and the New Hula Blues Band to perform at the US premiere screening of AMERICAN EPIC, the Festival’s co-opening night film, on Thursday, November 12, 2015 at the Courtyard Cinema Ward Village (located at the IBM Building). 

Henry Saint Clair Fredericks (born May 17, 1942), who uses the stage name Taj Mahal, is an American blues musician. He often incorporates…

Sake Tasting Event at The Pig & the Lady after 11/16 screening of KAMPAI! FOR THE LOVE OF SAKE

The Hawaii International Film Festival presented by Halekulani is honored to collaborate with The Pig & the Lady to host an exclusive sake tasting event after the November 16 screening of KAMPAI! FOR THE LOVE OF SAKE.

After the screening, we invite audiences and sake lovers to The Pig & the Lady for a post-film sake event, serving the following sakes featured in the film with an accompanying dish created by Chef Andrew Le for each sake offered:

Okunomatsu Sakura daiginjo…

Check out HIFF35’s new Awards Buzz section, a predictor of films that may win accolades this awards season

This year HIFF will be presenting six films that are sparking Oscar interests in our new section AWARDS BUZZ. Already winning Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival, Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s breathtakingly beautiful THE ASSASSIN is one of the strongest contenders this year for Best Foreign Film.

Included in the line-up is Academy Award Winner Charlie Kaufman’s ANOMALISA, a beautiful stop motion film that deals a unique and insightful look into love. Coming from another Award Winner is…

HIFF35’s Southeast Asian Showcase includes Vietnam’s biggest box office hit of all time and Thailand’s official Oscar Foreign Language Film entry

HIFF is proud to present three standout films from Southeast Asia. Heading the program is HOW TO WIN AT CHECKERS (EVERY TIME). Premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival, Josh Kim’s first feature length film weaves together an unforgettable coming of age story about an 11 year-old trying to get his elder brother out of military draft. In addition, this film is the first completed production that went through Creative Lab at HIFF, and was a workshopped screenplay as part of t…

HIFF35’s Spotlight on China features the best in Mainland China and Hong Kong cinema

This year’s SPOTLIGHT ON CHINA presented by the Hawaii National Bank brings together a diverse cross section of films from China and Hong Kong. Included in the section is MOUNTAINS MAY DEPART, directed by the legendary Chinese filmmaker Jia Zhang-ke. Known for his honest, sometimes harsh, portrayals of contemporary Chinese society, his latest follows similar themes through an epic and touching story of a family, spanning over three decades.

Also featured in the section, is the action…

Food and Sustainability at HIFF35

HIFF’s program seems to be bubbling over with documentaries this year. Each one brings a fresh and unique story to our horizon, and a fascinating look on storytelling. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite, and tastiest, highlights that will surely be loved by all. From our screening of KAMPAI: FOR THE LOVE OF SAKE and the sake tasting to follow, to the Masumoto farm in CHANGING SEASON ON MASUMOTO FARM, these films touch on virtues and themes such as family, cultural identity, and of…

Japanese Films at HIFF 2015: Associate Director Anna Page’s Top Picks

No HIFF would be complete without an incredible lineup of the latest and greatest Japanese films. At the 35th Hawaii International Film Festival, HIFF doesn’t dissapoint, presenting 16 Japanese films, spanning a wide range of genres and themes, from coming of age dramas, to World War II suspense thrillers, anime, and supernatural romance. There is truly something for everyone in this years’ Japan selection. With so many to choose from where do you begin? Read on for a breakdown of some of t…

HIFF35 on the Big Island, Kauai and Lana’i — Check out the full schedule!

HIFF is heading back to the neighbor islands! The Festival will have screenings on Lanai (November 14 and 15), the Big Island (November 19 – 22) and Kauai (November 20 – 22). “We are very committed to finding ways to screen our films on as many Hawaiian islands as possible,” says Robert Lambeth, HIFF’s executive director. “We have had many successes presenting films on Hawaii Island, Kauai, and Lanai and we hope to add more islands next year, with talks of returning to Molokai in…

Spotlight on the Philippines brings a broad spectrum of Pinoy commercial and arthouse cinema

This year’s SPOTLIGHT ON THE PHILIPPINES brings 3 films that showcase two major hitters in the Philippine box office and 1 crime drama that premiered at the Toronto and Busan Film Festival last month and from one of the most celebrated Pinoy directors working today. In addition to these 3 films, we also have a psychological and spiritual horror film that is included in our HIFF EXTREME section, presenting midnight movies from all over the world, as well as one of the most celebrated films…

Spotlight on Taiwan features award winners from Cannes, Berlin & Busan Film Festivals

This year’s Spotlight on Taiwan, generously supported by Taiwan Academy and the Ministry of Culture, is perhaps our best yet. The flagship film this year is Taiwan’s official entry to the Oscars foreign category, THE ASSASSIN, directed by one of Taiwan’s greatest living directors, Hou Hsiao-Hsien. This sumptuous, poetic and lyrical story based on a famous Chinese legend, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and scored the Hou a Best Director prize. HIFF is honored to screen this film…

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