Director of Partnerships Gianni Minga’s Top 10 Films to watch with a HIFF 10-Pack

By HIFF News | November 21, 2020

We are sharing HIFF staffers TOP 10 FILMS TO WATCH. With varying personal tastes, these lists are great jumping-off points for audiences who want to dive in and purchase our newly announced HIFF40 10-PACK, a discounted ticket package of 10-online vouchers for only $40! Get 10 movies for yourself or others to share. Think of this as our Black Friday sale, but we’re pushing it up one week early and extending it for the final week of HIFF40!

In this blog post, Gianni Minga, HIFF’s Director of Partnerships, takes stab with his personal HIFF40 Top 10, which includes two films with “hitman” in their titles (and one of them directed by a Hawai‘i high school student filmmaker), and documentaries that encapsulate 2020–the election and the pandemic:

HITMAN, AGENT JUN
A super fun film! A great mix of action and comedy throughout the entire film. What put it over the top and made it totally unique was the mix of Anime sequences which was a great touch since the character was an Manga creator.

#HANDBALLSTRIVE
I’m a sports guy so this naturally was on my Watch List. Following the viral rise of a Handball team through Social Media, you will fall in love with the wacky cast of high schoolers as they navigate fame and the good and bad that come with it.

KAPAEMAHU – Plays in Made in Hawai‘i Shorts & Pacific Showcase Shorts
What initially drew me was the animation aspect of this film, but what really stuck to me was the history it taught me. I grew up here all my life and never heard of the healing stones on Waikiki Beach until I watched this. This is a history lesson and visually beautiful short all in one!

HITMAN – Plays in Student Showcase 
You should totally watch all our Student Showcase shorts, but one that stuck out to me was HITMAN. Based in future Honolulu, you are introduced to a Hitman who has to take on his hardest assignment yet. The filmmaking talent that is showcased in this film blew my mind.

CHARITYPlays in Made in Hawaii Shorts
We provided a short synopsis for this film so I didn’t really have an idea of what to expect but I’m glad I didn’t. Just trust me when I say you should watch this short all the way till the end.

SECRET ZOO
I love going to the zoo so this was another film that I wanted to watch. A great comedy that will have you cheering for our main characters, even though they are misleading people by dressing up as the Zoo animals themselves. It was a unique story and was a joy to watch throughout.

CANE FIRE
This was one of my favorite documentaries that covers something that has bothered me when I see it in everyday life; Hollywood’s misguided view of Hawai‘i and the culture. If you were born and raised here, there are some parts that might upset you, as it did me, but it is important that it’s talked about and highlighted.

FIRST VOTE
I actually got to watch this during HIFF @ Home Summer Fest and I’m glad that we brought it back for Fall Festival. I really enjoyed that the director found 4 different degrees of political views which gave us a fair chance to understand why certain foks vote certain ways.

76 DAYS
I initially thought that this would follow the traditional Documentary route where a narrator would guide us through the film, but this just threw you right into the middle of the COVID-19 battle in Wuhan’s hospitals. It really opens your eyes to see how destructive this disease can be and how much our front line health professionals are putting their lives on the line. If you know someone who isn’t taking this pandemic seriously, please show them this film.

THE MAINLANDPlays in Made in Hawai‘i Shorts
Eh brah! Dis Made In Hawai‘i (small kine cuz set in L.A.) short film stay plenneh funny ah. Dis film follows Ikaika, as he stay trying to become one Hollywood kine actah but he gotta deal wit da problems of making it in da industry. If you one fan of fish outta watah kine stories, dis one for you! Shoots!