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)
Hawai‘i International Film Festival is the premiere cinematic event in the Pacific presenting the best in global cinema with a mission to elevate Asian, Pasifika, Kānaka Maoli, and Indigenous voices through film, industry panels, and career development workshops. Heralded as “one of the Top 50 Film Festivals around the world,” according to Variety; HIFF is an Academy Awards® qualifying film festival.
HIFF is the festival of record for emerging works from the Pacific Rim, a destination of award-winning films from major film festivals around the world, and an incubator for Hawai‘i-based and Native Hawaiian works from local creative industries. The festival has featured premiere screenings of many acclaimed films, including festival premieres such as MINARI, JOJO RABBIT, PARASITE, SHOPLIFTERS, ROMA, MOONLIGHT, THE IMITATION GAME, CAROL, THE HOST, DEPARTURES, BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, CROUCHING TIGER HIDDEN DRAGON, and many more.
2023 HIFF hybrid event
The 43rd Annual Hawai‘i International Film Festival will be a hybrid event: in-person on the islands of Oʻahu, Kauaʻi, Maui, and Hawaiʻi Island. Screenings, events, Q&As, and talks, will take place in-person in Honolulu in theaters, with select talks and events streaming online across the United States. HIFF will mark the festival’s 43rd edition with a continued focus on contemporary Asian, Pacific, and North American cinema, films produced in Hawai’i, and outdoor screenings.
HIFF 2023, presented by Halekulani is thrilled to announce that it has been approved by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as a qualifying festival for the Short Film Awards category. Recipients of HIFF’s Best Short Film Award and HIFF’s Best Made in Hawai’i Short Film Award are eligible for consideration in the Animated Short Film/Live Action Short Film category of the Academy Awards.
- October 12 – November 5, 2023, 2023. Watch any online film. Be sure to double-check availability before purchasing. If you purchased a pass you can login to watch films at any time, unless specified.
- October 12 – 22: Oʻahu in-theater screenings at Consolidated Kahala and Ward Theaters
- October 26 – 29: Kauaʻi in-theater screenings at at Waimea Theater
- October 27 – 29: Maui in-theater screenings at Maui Arts and Culture Center in Kahului
- October 30 – November 1: Lana‘i in-theater screenings at The Lana‘i Theater at Hale Keaka
- November 2- 5: Hawaiʻi Island in-theater screenings at Palace Theater in Hilo
- Passes: $500-$900. Discount for new or returning members during August for the I ♥️ HIFF Month annual membership drive. Discount for registered Industry Members. Free Passes for enrolled students enrolled in programs at Academy for Creative Media System (hawaii.edu).
- Tickets: Individual tickets $15/screening go on sale on September 25, 2023.
- Discounts: Students, Industry, and HIFF members. Volunteers can earn vouchers.
- Where: in-person on the islands of Oʻahu, Kauaʻi, Maui, and Hawaiʻi Island. Streaming of select talks and events across the United States.
- Website: HIFF | Hawai’i International Film Festival and HIFF43 Neighbor Island Schedule | Hawai’i International Film Festival