Hawaiʻi International Film Festival (HIFF) is the premiere showcase for established and emerging filmmakers in contemporary Asian, Pacific, and North American cinema. HIFF is the focus for emerging works from the Pacific Rim and an incubator for Native Hawaiian films and indigenous Pacific filmmakers in any genre, including feature films, documentaries, short films, series, and Hawai’i-themed films.
HIFF serves as an entertaining event for the casual viewer and ardent film lovers, as well as a creative hub for filmmakers. In addition to film screenings, the film festival schedule includes panels and seminars, such as the annual Sound x Vision seminar examining music in film, and discussion opportunities for local filmmakers and content creators.
Through the diverse films presented each year, HIFF seeks to enrich, enlighten, and broaden support for Asian and Pacific films and Hawaii’s multi-cultural audience.
HIFF started as a project of the East-West Center at the University of Hawai’i Manoa campus in Honolulu. In 1981, HIFF’s inaugural year, the program consisted of seven films from six countries which were viewed by an audience of 5,000.
Since that first year, HIFF has become a premiere cinematic event, now attracting more than 50,000 film enthusiasts from around the state, the nation, and throughout the world. It is one of the premier film festivals in the United States and the only festival spread across an archipelago. To date, more than 1.4 million people from throughout the world have shared HIFF film screenings and insights.
The Hawaiʻi film festival has premiered the screening of many acclaimed films, including Brokeback Mountain, Carol, Departures, Jojo Rabbit, Minari, Moonlight, Parasite, Roma, Shoplifters, The Host, The Imitation Game, and many more.
Many special guests have been welcomed at HIFF over the years, such as: Hong Kong director Wong Kar Wai (In The Mood For Love, Chungking Express), Korean American actor Steven Yeun (Minari, Burning, The Walking Dead), New Zealand’s Jemaine Clement (Flight Of The Conchords) and Taika Waititi (Hunt For The Wilder People, What We Do In The Shadows, Thor: Ragnarok), Korean director Park Chan-Wook (Oldboy, The Handmaiden), Japanese actor Ken Watanabe (Letters From Iwo Jima, Last Samurai), and anime master Satoshi Kon (Paprika, Millennium Actress, Perfect Blue).
In addition, HIFF Education reaches more than 2,000 students across Hawai’i through year-round K – 12 programs. In partnership with HIFF, The Daniel K. Inouye Institute conducts a student short film contest to encourage creative exploration by youth under the age of 18. HIFF presents the works of student finalists in a special film showcase. The young and aspiring filmmakers also have the opportunity to engage with film industry leaders during the festival. More info: HIFF | Daniel K. Inouye Institute (dkii.org)
The sister festival of HIFF, Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF), along with Shanghai Media and Entertainment Group (SMEG) participates in a cultural exchange program with students from Shanghai University visiting the HIFF Festival and the University of Hawai’i Academy for Creative Media.
Hawai‘i International Film Festival (HIFF)
2023 HIFF Spring Showcase
HIFF Spring Showcase will present 19 new feature films—several straight from Sundance—and a Hana Hou of 5 award winning short films from HIFF42.
- When: March 31 – April 6, 2023
- Tickets & Passes: $14/GA per film, $200/all-access pass, $400/HIFF supporter
- Where: Consolidated Kahala Theatres, Kahala Mall, 4211 Waialae Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816
Website: HIFF | Hawai’i International Film Festival
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