06-24 November 2019


Daniel K. Inouye Student Film Initiative

Call for Student Entries


2019 marks the 60th anniversary of statehood in Hawaii. Featuring archived items of historical importance from the Daniel K. Inouye Instittue (DKII) collection, student filmmakers will be asked to reflect on what this moment in time means to them, and where they see Hawaii going in the next 40 years of our centennial of statehood. Students may use these items as inspiration directly or indirectly in their work, as well as draw upon current day objects that reflect modern day themes and perspectives.

Finalists will be selected by a panel of judges to present at HIFF 2019 in a special presentation screening as part of the Festival’s annual Student Showcase. These finalists will be given industry filmmaker badges that will provide them unprecedented access to HIFF (free screenings and panel talks). 

Photo: Senator with flag on U.S. Capitol: Then Congressman, Daniel K. Inouye (Hawaii's first elected U.S. representative) with the American flag with 50 stars in Washington, D.C., U.S. Capitol

Screening + Luncheon with VIP guest, Jacob Batalon

"I am honored and privileged to be a witness to the creative future of our youth. To have a vision of a better Hawaii takes courage, strength, and love. I am truly proud of this initiative, and I hope that these opportunities afforded to them will cultivate a brighter future for filmmakers, actors, and creatives all alike from our great state. You all have a voice that should be heard, and I can’t wait to see what you all have in store,"

- Jacob Batalon

Finalists are also eligible to win cash and camera equipment as well as have the opportunity for a meet and greet with this year’s special guest, locally born and raised actor Jacob Batalon, who broke out of the scene with his role as Ned Leeds in SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING and SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME. He returns to Oahu to participate in the Future Filmmakers Luncheon that is held after the DKII Short Film Initiative program. He will impart wisdom about his breakthrough career, his acting experiences and where he sees himself in the next few years.

Local-born actor, Jacob Batalon, will attend HIFF and DKII as 2019 Youth VIP Guest

2019 DKII Events


All student finalists in this year’s DKII contest are invited to a public screening at HIFF where their films will be screened at the Regal Dole Cannery Theaters. This screening is open to all. 




After the screening, student finalists are invited to an invite-only, hosted lunch with several young and established talents and keynote speaker and VIP Youth Ambassador, Jacob Batalon. There will also be an opportunity for an extended Q&A time, allowing for more one-to-one discussions.

Video Guidelines

Extended Deadline - Monday, October 14
Please email jenmay@hiff.org your film submission through Google Drive

  • Prompt: Student filmmakers are asked to reflect on the 60th Anniversary of statehood in Hawai'i and what this moment in time means to them, and where they see Hawai'i going in the next 40 years of our centennial of statehood. 
  • Students may recreate objects from the Daniel K. Inouye collection, or draw inspiration from them. 
  • A full list of collection items may be found at: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1VjrmuAPmFViTnt5snL_JnAlbWK_49Fba8_iY9cRUr38/edit#slide=id.p1
  • Students can submit in groups of up to 5. All students in a group must be listed in the submission form at the time of submission. 
  • Projects can be up to 5 minutes in length. 
  • Films may be made with iphones, projects should be submitted as an MOV or MP4.


2018 DKII Photo Gallery

Photo: 2018 VIP Guest, Harry Shum. Jr., with HIFF Executive Director, Beckie Stocchetti, Mrs. Inouye, and DKII Student Film finalists.

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