The 39th edition of the Hawaii International Film Festival announced their lineup of 205 films from 31 countries. The festival will open with highly anticipated new film from Taika Waititi (Boy; What We Do In The Shadows; Thor: Ragnarok), Jojo Rabbit, which stars Waititi alongside Thomasin McKenzie, Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell, and Roman Griffin Davis as Jojo.
This year’s Centerpiece Presentation is Just Mercy, a breakout from the Toronto International Film Festival that stars Michael B. Jordan and Jaime Foxx. The film is directed by Maui native Destin Cretton (Short Term 12, the upcoming Shang Chi for Marvel) who crafts each performance and each scene in Just Mercy to add to the cumulative power of a film that is not just a true story, but a story committed to revealing truths.
HIFF’s Closing Night Presentation will be Makoto Shinkai’s Weathering With You. Shinkai’s highly anticipated follow-up to his 2016 anime box-office hit Your Name (HIFF 2017) tells the story of young love bridged by fantastical and cosmic means.
Other film highlights include the world premiere of Tokyo Hula (United States), a documentary directed by Lisette Flanary. Flanary, who also directed Na Kamalei: Men of Hula returns to the festival with a poignant exploration of the explosive popularity of the hula in Japan, and reflects on the international impact of the Native Hawaiian culture
This year, the festival takes place November 7 through November 17 at the Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18.
The festival’s long-standing Spotlight on Hong Kong will honor one of the most influential figures in Hong Kong cinema, director John Woo. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the original Hong Kong theatrical release one of Woo’s most influential and revered films, The Killer. Director Woo will be in attendance for a post-screening conversation with HIFF Artistic Director, Anderson Le.
Every year, HIFF hosts a prestigious awards ceremony to celebrate luminaries in the filmmaking community. The Halekulani Lifetime Achievement Award will be present to renowned Hong Kong action film auteur, John Woo, and the PIC Trailblazer Award – given to a cinema artist of Pacific Islander heritage who broadens the scope of Pacific Islander stories onto the world stage, will honor Australian journalist Stan Grant, currently the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Global Affairs and Indigenous Affairs Analyst.
Made In Hawaii Competition Films
Down on the Sidewalk of Waikiki – Narrative Short (Director: Justyn Ah Chong)
Driving – Narrative Short (Director: Chelsi Johnston)
Fall Guy – Narrative Short (Director: Bradley Crawford)
Like Maddah – Narrative Short (Director: Rena Shishido)
Mo’o – Narrative Short (Director: Anela Ling)
Molokai Bound – Narrative Short (Director: Alika Maikau)
Other People – Narrative Short (Director: Bryson Chun)
The Pit Where We Were Born – Narrative Short (Director: Alexander Bocchieri)
Tokyo Hula – Documentary Feature (Director: Lisette Flanary)
Voices of The Forest – Narrative Short (Director: Bradley Tangonan)
Kau Ka Hōkū Filmmaker Award Nominees
37 Seconds (Director: HIKARI)
Another Child (Director: KIM Yoon-Seok)
Bellbird (Director: Hamish Bennett)
Goodbye Mother (Director: Dinh Le Minh Trinh)
Hearts & Bones (Director: Ben Lawrence)
Heavy Craving (Director: Pei-Ju Hsieh)
The Long Walk (Director: Mattie Do)
Mina-anud (Director: Kerwin Go)
They Say Nothing Stays The Same (Director: Joe Odagiri)
To Live To Sing (Director: Johnny Ma)
Yellow Rose (Director: Diane Paragas)
Heavy Craving – Taiwan (Director: Pei-Ju Hsieh)
Mina-Anud – Philippines (Director: Kerwin Go)
Goodbye Mother Vietnam (Director: Dinh Le Minh Trinh)
Another Child – South Korea (Director: KIM Yoon-Seok)
They Say Nothing Stays The Same – Japan (Director: Joe Odagir)
For My Father’s Kingdom – New Zealand (Directors: Vea Mafile’o, Jeremiah Tauamiti)
Dark Place – Australia (Director: Kodie Bedford)
Vortex – China (Director: GAN Jianyu)