As we plan for our landmark 40th Annual Hawai’i International Film Festival only four short months away, among all the uncertainties of 2020, I wanted to provide an update with some of the exciting new ventures on the horizon for HIFF. I have tremendous pride and gratitude for the wonderful HIFF staff, board of directors, partners, sponsors, members, volunteers, and audiences that have shown their support in the most remarkable ways to get us to where we are now. Everyone involved with HIFF has embraced the challenges we’ve faced in 2020 to bring incredible offerings to the community of Hawai’i and beyond as we build on the notable legacy of this premier arts organization.
>With this in mind, we are excited to launch a reimagined HIFF that is respectful of the public health situation, and both responsive to and engaging in the challenges and conversations of this moment. My hope is that you can see these changes as a true triumph of ‘think globally, act locally’; as an accessible, inclusive international HIFF that allows us to see the world from the comfort and safety of our respective spaces.
HIFF’s 40th anniversary will be a local, national, and international celebration of the best of Pacific, Asian, American, and European cinema. From August 7-14, we will be hosting the HIFF@Home Summer Fest presented by Halekulani, HIFF’s first fully online iteration of our Showcase program – available nationwide online and on Roku and Apple TV devices via Cinesend. In November, HIFF’s 40th Annual Hawai’i International Film Festival will culminate with this online platform available around the world, small in-person events and screenings, drive-in cinemas and safe outdoor screenings across the state.
Our new model is intentionally flexible – allowing for potential live gatherings and offering free, low-cost, accessible experiences – given the conditions of the pandemic and the economy. We guarantee our longstanding commitment to an amazing lineup of the best cinema from around the world, with spotlights on Hawai’i creatives, industry panels and talks (available online), and a stellar program of Pacific, Asian, arthouse and world cinema. We remain steadfast in our commitment to our statewide education initiatives and are working with teachers, schools, and the DOE to continue providing access for Hawaii’s keiki by moving these programs online.
We are also now launching HIFF Selects, a monthly curated film available through our online and TV platform to HIFF subscribers across the globe. We are delighted to now offer new, otherwise inaccessible content to our global community of viewers on a year-round basis.
I also want to share one last special update. We are giving you a sneak-peak at our new 40th anniversary logo which is pictured above. With our mission always at the forefront: spotlighting Pacific and Asian cinema, providing exponential growth opportunities for Hawai‘i’s filmmakers and content creators (in particular, Kānaka Maoli creators), and bringing the latest innovative storytelling technology and educational experiences across the state, our logo exemplifies our commitment to spotlighting Hawai’i and Pacific filmmaking internationally.
This year has brought new challenges, opportunities, and adjustments for HIFF and all creatives. Through it all, the resiliency of Hawai‘i, our artists and makers, and our magnificent community has shone bright. I truly look forward to seeing (in person or virtually), engaging, and celebrating with you in new and innovative ways in the coming months. Your support, partnership, and participation mean more now than ever.
With all the aloha,