Cultural & Visual Literacy Program

The Cultural & Visual Literacy Program (CVLP) provides free theater screenings of outstanding films that are rarely available in Hawaii. These films are applicable to many subjects; teachers in previous years have incorporated CVLP films into classes ranging from social studies and language arts to media production and character education. Whenever possible, HIFF invites the film’s director to participate in a post-screening discussion with students.

Students may be required to read subtitles. Schools will be responsible for their own transportation. One adult chaperone will be required for every twenty students. Open to students grades 7 to 12 on Oahu.



Update 8/31/13: ~100 seats available

I Learn America Still

Tuesday, October 15, 2013 – 9:45am at Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18
2013 United States | Directed by: Gitte Peng, Jean-Michel Dissard
English | 93 min.

The children of immigration, here to stay, are the new Americans. How we fare in welcoming them will determine the nature of this country in the 21st century and beyond. The International High School is a New York City public school dedicated to serving newly arrived immigrant teenagers, with more than 300 students speaking two-dozen languages from 50 countries. The students strive to master English, adapt to families they haven’t seen in years, confront the universal trials of adolescence, and search for a future they can claim as their own. In I LEARN AMERICA five resilient immigrant teenagers come together over a year at the International High School at Lafayette and struggle to learn their new land. Through these five vibrant young people, their stories and struggles, and their willingness to open their lives and share them with us, we “learn America.”



Update 8/21/13: ~200 seats available

KoranByHeart_AssetThursday, October 17, 2013 – 9:45am at Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18
2013 Afghanistan, Australia, Egypt, Maldives, Senegal, Tajikstan, United Kingdom, United States | Directed by: Greg Barker
Arabic, English, Tajik, Wolof with English Subtitles | 77 min.

One of Islam’s most revered traditions, Koran recitation reaches its pinnacle at the world’s preeminent recitation competition in Cairo, where Muslim children come from across the globe to perform in front of a panel of prominent judges. Contestants as young as seven are ranked against kids more than twice their age for both their comprehensive memorization of the 600-page text as well as their improvised melodies. A diverse spectrum of Muslims competes for top prize: Ten-year-old Senegalese entrant Djamil navigates the competition alone while his community anxiously awaits his results; Rifdha, from a small island in the Maldives, enters as one of the competition’s few female participants; and Nabiollah, from rural Tajikistan, mesmerizes judges with his angelic voice in spite of not speaking Arabic.

Following these talented youngsters from their intense preparation regimes through the rigorous rounds of the tournament, director Greg Barker creates both an inspirational competition film and an engaging survey of the unique experiences of Muslim children throughout the world, using the cultural crossroads of the international competition to examine the issues facing of the next generation of Muslims.



Update 9/26/13: ~50 seats available

ROCKET pic 1

Friday, October 18, 2013 – 9:45am at Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18
2013 Australia, Laos | Directed by: Kim Mordaunt
Lao with English Subtitles | 96 min.
View THE ROCKET Trailer

Winner of both the Best First Feature award at Berlinale and Best Narrative Feature at Tribeca, THE ROCKET is a heartwarming coming-of-age tale set entirely in Laos. Kim Mordaunt, who made the excellent documentary BOMB HARVEST (SFF 2007), which was also set in Laos, is clearly invested in the people and culture of the region, and tells this story with great empathy and authenticity.

Ahlo is the surviving twin of a difficult birth and is believed by some to be a source of bad luck. When 10-year-old Ahlo and his family are displaced by the construction of a dam, further tragedy strikes as they relocate. Upon reaching the relocation village, Ahlo befriends young Kia and her eccentric uncle Purple, but is still ostracised by the superstitious community, and even treated with suspicion by his own family. Ahlo decides that his only hope of redemption is the Rocket Festival: a riotous, and dangerous, annual competition where huge bamboo rockets are set off to provoke the rain gods. Despite being too young to enter the competition, Ahlo is determined to succeed.

Set amidst a beautiful landscape, and with lovely performances by the young actors, THE ROCKET is a sensitive and uplifting film.