Festivals & Events
Friday November 15, 2019
6:00PM Red Carpet
Halekulani Hotel Ballroom
2199 Kalia Road, Waikiki
The HIFF Awards Gala is the premier red carpet event of the Pacific, a glamorous celebration of cinema, culture and artistic achievement. Held in the majestic Halekulani ballroom, the Awards Gala is the place for filmmakers and VIP guests to mingle and enjoy Halekulani’s legendary hospitality.
The HIFF Awards Gala showcases stars from Asia, America and the Pacific that have reached enormous success in their careers, and is home to HIFF’s signature honors: the Halekulani Lifetime Achievement Award, the Halekulani Career Achievement Award, the Halekulani Maverick Award, and the PIC Trailblazer Award, celebrating the contributions of world cinema’s great artists and innovators. The Gala will also feature the announcement of the NETPAC Award, Made In Hawaii and Kau Ka Hōkū Emerging Filmmaker Awards, decided by juries of esteemed industry professionals to showcase the best emerging talent in Asian-Pacific filmmaking.
In 2019, in partnership with the Vilcek Foundation, HIFF is proud to also honor the ‘New American Perspectives’ program guests, celebrating the creative contributions of immigrants to the diverse fabric of American society.
The Awards Gala is a black tie affair that includes a walk down the red carpet showcased on Hawai’i News Now. All proceeds support HIFF’s work in Hawai’i and beyond. In addition to a fun, star-studded event, your attendance helps to provide access to acclaimed international films, deepen our service to the industry, host free public seminars, and grow our education programs to better serve and cultivate the burgeoning industry in the Pacific.
Halekulani Lifetime Achievement Award
The Halekulani Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to an artist in recognition of their longstanding dedication to their craft, encompassing a broad body of work. This award recognizes an individual for their robust contributions to the arts, groundbreaking performances, and breadth of stature and notoriety. This honoree should have numerous accolades (i.e.Oscars, Emmys, awards or nominated), have at least 30 years of experience in film. Past recipients include Ang Lee, Zhang Yimou, Roger Ebert, Alexander Payne, Bill Pullman, AFI and the HFPA.
Director John Woo is an icon of Hong Kong action cinema. Born in mainland China in 1946, Woo and his family fled to Hong when he was five. As a young man, he cut his teeth as an assistant director in the Shaw Studio, before making his directorial debut in 1974 with THE YOUNG DRAGONS. Working in Hong Kong until the 1990s, Woo’s vast filmography is a who’s who of Hong Kong cinema, collaborating with heavyweights from Jackie Chan to Chow Yun-Fat to produce classics such as HAND OF DEATH and THE KILLER. Moving to the United States in the 1990s, Woo directed some of the most iconic action films of the decade, including FACE/OFF and MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2. Known for his intense action sequences, virtuoso fight choreography and innovative genre-bending, Woo’s work continues to have a lasting impact on action genre filmmaking across the world.
Halekulani Career Achievement Award
The Halekulani Career Achievement Award is bestowed to an artist who has reached the career pinnacles very feww have achieved through industry awards and accolates, and a body of work that is known globally. Aside from an amazing artistic career, the recipient is also honored for their contribution to the cinematic arts, and through equally-significant endeavours in social justice. Past recipients include Masato Harada, Quentin Tarantino, Samuel L. Jackson, Maggie Cheung and Wong Kar-Wai.
Over the past two decades, Elisabeth Moss has crafted a tremendous body of work that showcases her remarkable depth and versatility as an actor. From her breakout role in THE WEST WING to her iconic performance as Peggy Olson in MAD MEN and her culture-defining leading role in THE HANDMAID'S TALE, Moss is a defining figure of the “Peak TV” era. Her prolific and adventurous film career demonstrates an astonishing capacity for reinvention, starring alongside Robert Redford in THE OLD MAN AND THE GUN, in Jordan Peele's US and in Ruben Ostlund's Palme d'Or-winning THE SQUARE. Moss can next be seen starring in THE INVISIBLE MAN, making an appearance in Wes Anderson's THE FRENCH DISPATCH, and in the Alex Ross Perry film HER SMELL (which she also produced). In addition to her dynamic and impressive film career, Moss is an enduring champion for women in the arts, for which HIFF is proud to honor her in 2019.
Halekulani Maverick Award
The Halekulani Maverick Award is given to an international cinema artist who has a unique and eclectic career trajectory, contributing to international cinema and hte filmed arts in an innovative way. This maverick does things on his or her own terms, creating work that can have a rabid, cult following to a mass appreciating in today's pop culture. Like a trendsetter and tastemaker, their work has become an artistic benchmark for peers and admirers. Past recipients include Awkwafina, Tadanobu Asano and Kevin Smith.
A successful actor and writer in TV and film, Randall Park is also breaking ground for Asian Americans in entertainment. He is the beloved star of ABC’s FRESH OFF THE BOAT, the first broadcast comedy in over 20 years with an all Asian American cast. He co-wrote, produced and starred in the acclaimed Netflix romantic comedy ALWAYS BE MY MAYBE with Ali Wong. His recent career is a showcase of blockbuster success, with roles in Marvel's ANT-MAN AND THE WASP, AQUAMAN, and popular roles in THE OFFICE, VEEP and THE INTERVIEW. Randall, along with friends Hieu Ho and writer Michael Golamco, has formed IMMINENT COLLISION, a production company focused on creating comedy-forward stories from an Asian American perspective. Randall has history at HIFF, when a short film called DRAGON IN LOVE, in which he starred in, and his partners at Imminent Collision wrote and produced, won our Audience Award in 2003.
PIC Trailblazer Award
The Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC) Trailblazer Award is given to a public figure of Pacific Islander heritage who broadens the scope of Pacific Isladner stories onto the world stage, producing award-winning work in independent and global media. This honoree is a true trailblzer, whose work aligns with PIC's mission, which is to support, advance, and develop Pacific Island media content and talent that results in a deeper understanding of Pacific Island history, culture, and contemporary challenges. Past recipients include Taika Waititi and Heperi Mita.
Stan Grant is a Wiradjuri and Kamilaroi man, and one of Australia’s most-prominent advocates for Indigenous rights. A highly-accomplished journalist and scholar, Grant was a senior correspondent for CNN where he reported across the Middle East and Asia, and now writes regularly on international affairs. He came to international prominence in 2016 with his speech “The Australian Dream,” profoundly articulating the injustice faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians in what was widely-lauded as “Australia’s Martin Luther King moment.” HIFF is proud to celebrate his work as an advocate for Indigenous justice and reconciliation, and for his work as a communicator across the Asia-Pacific. The feature documentary based on his speech, THE AUSTRALIAN DREAM, screens at HIFF 2019.