The 2017 Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF) will open with the enchanting animated film, MARY AND THE WITCH’S FLOWER, directed by Academy Award-nominated director, Hiromasa Yonebayashi (WHEN MARNIE WAS THERE, THE SECRET WORLD OF ARRIETTY). MARY AND THE WITCH’S FLOWER is based on Mary Stewart’s 1971 children’s book THE LITTLE BROOMSTICK; and tells the story of a young girl named Mary, who discovers a flower that grants magical powers, but only for one night.

The festival will present 160 films from over 45 countries.

Audiences can look forward to the Hawaii Premiere of THE UPSIDE, a dramatic buddy comedy about the unlikely friendship between a rich quadriplegic and his working-class caregiver. THE UPSIDE, directed by Neil Burger, will screen as the festival’s Centerpiece Presentation.

HIFF 2017 will premiere works from across the globe, including the US premiere of DEAR ETRANGER, directed by Yukikio Mishima. This narrative feature from Japan follows 40-something Makoto Tanaka (Tadanobu Asano) and his 3 daughters. One from a previous marriage and two step-daughters that he has raised with his second wife. It is a touching meditation on love and marriage and what it truly means to be ‘family’.

Audiences can also look forward to the world premiere of POINT OF NO RETURN, directed by Noel Dockstader, Quinn Kanaly; a suspenseful and pioneering scientific adventure documentary, that follows two pilots in their attempt to circumnavigate the globe in an airplane fueled exclusively by sunlight.

As part of the lineup, HIFF will launch the GREEN SCREEN section to showcase timely films about climate change and the environment. Of note is BLUE from Australia, directed by Karina Holden it is a striking documentary featuring passionate advocates for ocean preservation.

This year the festival’s culinary film section, EAT.DRINK.FILM, will be fronted by the world premiere of JIMAMI TOFU, directed by Jason Chan and Christian Lee.

For their Closing Night, HIFF will present the world premiere of GO FOR BROKE, directed by Alexander Bocchieri at the historic Hawaii Theatre. The narrative feature is a historic dramatization of Japanese Americans living in Hawaii who enlisted into the military and formed the most decorated regime in American history.

Set in the tumultuous year after the attack on Pearl Harbor, GO FOR BROKE is a true story that follows a group of University of Hawaii ROTC students as they fight discrimination by forming the Varsity Victory Volunteers (VVV). The brave actions of these young Japanese Americans, along with the perseverance of the original 100th Infantry Battalion draftees from Hawaii, led to the formation of the all-Japanese fighting unit – the 442nd – the most decorated combat unit in American military history.

The 37th edition of the Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF) presented by Halekulani takes place from November 2 through November 12.

2017 HIFF Lineup


A BEAUTIFUL STAR (Director: Daihachi Yoshida)
A CIAMBRA (Director: Jonas Carpignano)
ALASKA IS A DRAG (Director: Shaz Bennett)
BAD GENIUS (Director: Nattawut Poonpiriya)
BACK TO BURGUNDY (Director: Cédric Klapish)
THE BALLAD OF LEFTY BROWN (Director: Jared Moshe) – Gala Presentation
BIRDS WITHOUT NAMES (Director: Kazuya Shiraishi)
BEFORE WE VANISH (Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa)
BORG/MCENROE (Director: Janus Metz) – Gala Presentation
BPM (BEATS PER MINUTE) (Director: Robin Campillo)
CALL ME BY YOUR NAME (Director: Luca Guadagnino )
CLOSE-KNIT (Director: Naoko Ogigami)
COLUMBUS (Director: Kogonada)
CYCLE (Director: Prakash Kunte)
DARKEST HOUR (Director: Joe Wright)
THE DAY AFTER (Director: Sang-soo Hong)
DEALER/HEALER (Director: Lawrence Ah Mon)
DEAR ETRANGER (Director: Yukiko Mishima) – United States Premiere
DOWNSIZING (Director: Alexander Payne)
THE ENDLESS (Directors: Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead)
THE GANGSTER’S DAUGHTER (Director: Meijuin Chen)
GEMINI (Director: Aaron Katz)
GO FOR BROKE: AN ORIGIN STORY (Director: Alexander Bocchieri) – World Premiere – Closing Night Film
GLASS GARDEN (Director: Shin Su-won) – International Premiere
THE GREAT BUDDHA+ (Director: Huang Hsin-Yao)
I CAN I WILL I DID (Director: Nadine Truong)
I CAN SPEAK (Director: Kim Hyun-Seok)
I, TONYA (Director: Craig Gillespie)
ICHI THE KILLER (Director: Takashi Miike) – Return Engagement
IN THE FADE (Director: Faith Kahn)
JIMAMI TOFU (Directors: Jason Chan, Christian Lee) – World Premiere
JUNK HEAD (Director: Takahide Hori)
KING OF PEKING (Director: Sam Voutas)
KULEANA (Director: Brian Kohne) – Advance Screening
MADE IN HONG KONG (Director: Fruit Chan) – Special Presentation
MAN OF WILL (Director: Less Won-Tae) – International Premiere
MARY AND THE WITCH’S FLOWER (Director: Hiromasa Yonebayashi) – Opening NIght Film
MODERN LIFE IS RUBBISH (Director: Daniel Jerome Gill)
MON MON MON MONSTERS (Director: Giddens Ko)
MUTAFUKAZ (Director(s): Shoujirou Nishimi, Guillaume Renard)
NAPPING PRINCESS (Director: Kenji Kamiyama) – Festival Premiere
NEWTON (Director: Ait V Masurkar)
NOTEBOOK FROM MY MOTHER (Director: Sung-Ho Kim) – International Premiere
OH LUCY! (Director: Atsuko Hirayanagi)
ONE THOUSAND ROPES (Director: Tusi Tamasese)
ORDINARY PERSON (Director: Bong-han Kim)
OUR TIME WILL COME (Director: Ann Hui)
PARADOX (Director: Wai Shun Yip)
SAMUI SONG (Director: Pen-ek Ratanaruang)
SATAN’S SLAVES (Director: Joko Anwar)
THE SCYTHIAN LAMB (Director: Daihachi Yoshida) – North American Premiere
SEKIGAHARA (Director: Masato Harada) – International Premiere
A SPECIAL LADY (Director: An kyu Lee) – North American Premiere
THE SHERIFF IN TOWN (Director: Hyung-joo Kim)
THE SQUARE (Director: Ruben Östlund)
STAND UP MAN (Director: Aram Collier)
SURVIVAL FAMILY (Director: Shinobu Yaguchi)
TALES OF CHIGASAKI (Director: Izuru Kumasaka) – International Premiere
A TAXI DRIVER (Director: Jang Hun) – Special Presentation
THOSE LONG HAIRED NIGHTS (Director: Gerardo Calagui) – North American Premiere
TOILET – A LOVE STORY (Director: Shree Narayan Singh)
GUKOROKU: TRACES OF SIN (Director: Kei Ishikawa)
THE UPSIDE (Director: Neil Burger) – Centerpiece Film
VICEROY’S HOUSE (Director: Gurinder Chadha)
THE VILLAINESS (Director: Jung Byung-Gil)
WARU (Directors: Chelsea Cohen, Ainsley Gardiner, Casey Kaa, Renae Maihi, Awanui Simich-Pene, Briar Grace Smith, Paula Whetu Jones, Katie Wolfe) – United States Premiere
WHAT A WONDERFUL FAMILY! 2 (Director: Yoji Yamada)
WISHED (Director: Dayyan Eng)
YOU ARE THE APPLE OF MY EYE (Director: Giddens Ko) – Special Presentation


11/8/16 (Directors: Duane Andersen, Don Argott, Yung Chang, Petra Epperlein, Vikram Gandhi, Alma Har’el, Daniel Junge, Alison Klayman, Ciara Lacy, Martha Shane, Bassam Tariq, Michael Tucker)
BECOMING WHO I WAS (Director: Moon Chang-Yong)
BLUE (Director: Karina Holden) – United States Premiere
CORRIDOR FOUR (Director: Stephen Tringali)
DOCUMENTING ACTIVISM: THE EARLY DAYS OF THE NATIVE HAWAIIAN MOVEMENT – World Premiere – Special Panel Event with archival footage
THE FINAL YEAR (Director: Greg Barker)
I AM EVIDENCE (Director: Trish Adlesic)
I CALLED HIM MORGAN (Director: Kasper Collin)
ISLAND SOLDIER (Director: Nathan Fitch)
KEEP TALKING (Director: Karen Lynn Weinberg) – North American Premiere
LADY BIRD (Director: Greta Gerwig)
MAINELAND (Director: Miao Wang)
MRS. FANG (Director: Wang Bing)
OTTOMATICAKE (Director: Gemma Cubero del Barrio) – World Premiere
OUT OF STATE (Director: Ciara Lacy)
POI E: THE STORY OF OUR SONG (Director: Tearepa Kahi)
POINT OF NO RETURN (Directors: Noel Dockstader, Quinn Kanaly) – World Premiere
THE TEA EXPLORER (Director: Andrew Gregg)
WE DON’T NEED A MAP (Director: Warwick Thornton)
ZAN (Director: Rick Grehan) – United States Premiere\

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