05-15 November 2020

Festivals & Events

Hawaiian Airlines In-flight Programming

Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF), in partnership with Hawaiian Airlines, launches in-flight programming to celebrate and showcase Hawaiian filmmakers and locally produced short films. This program, which started in 2018, is curated by HIFF and available for free on over 120 transpacific Hawaiian Airlines flights, across 22 destinations. Passengers have exclusive access to complimentary short films featuring authentic, local stories that capture the depth and richness of Hawaii's culture, all in one entertaining in-flight experience.

The winner of the 2019 HIFF Made in Hawai‘i Short Film Award presented by the Hawai‘i Film Office will automatically qualify for a spot. Other HIFF showcased films will be selected based on a range of merits by the HIFF programming team.

JUNE - SEPT 2019

Director: Brandi Martins | 2018 | 27 min

The traditional gathering point where people, land and sea meet, the ‘ae kai is an area of exchange, convergence and evolution. It is a place where different perspectives come together, where ideas are debated, and solutions are created. As the backdrop for important community discussions, Native Hawaiian artists and cultural practitioners in collaboration with artists from around the Asia-Pacific region converge in ‘Ae Kai to explore the meeting points of humanity and nature, art and community, history and the future.

Director: Ty Sanga | 2018 | 16 min

In 1893, a group of businessmen and sugar planters illegally overthrow the Hawaiian monarchy. The kingdom slowly dissolves as loyalists to the crown try to preserve what is left. A young Hawaiian thief is selected to safeguard the unifying symbol of the kingdom, the Hawaiian flag.

Director: Leah Kihara | 2013 | 13 min

I scream, floats & sundays is a visual meditation on the pressures facing contemporary Hawaiian women through three vignettes that explore the female Hawaiian relationship with her surroundings—elements such as the physical world, natural world, and the religious realm. Collectively, they serve as a prayer for healing and revitalization of the spirit.

Director: Bradley Tangonan | 2018 | 3 min

Kumu Hula Kaumakaiwa Kanaka'ole demonstrates how hula and oli, or chanting, connects her to the land and the spirits therein.


Director: Kenji Doughty | 2016 | 15 min

The poignant film travels the audience back in time, in the wake of a significant migratory period in ancient Hawai‘i a young chief, fueled by rage and resentment, sets out to rid his home of the newcomers who have populated his homeland and comes face to face with Lehua, a daring yet spiteful young girl who has foster her home in the chaos of war. HO'OMAU won the HIFF Audience Award for Best Short Film in 2016.

Director: Erin Lau | 2018 | 19 min

In this aesthetically stunning and authentic portaryal of rural Hawai‘i, a teenage girl must confront her father after he enters her beloved pet into a dog fight. THE MOON AND THE NIGHT won second place in the HIFF Made-In-Hawaii Shorts Competition in 2018. 

Directors: Alika Maukau & Jonah Okano | 2018 | 25 min

MAUKA TO MAKAI,  offers an unfiltered window in to a day in the lives of two cousins, who, while traveling from Kāneʻohe to Kailua, grapple with their identity, vices, and the familial bonds that make and break them. THE MOON AND THE NIGHT won first place in the HIFF Made-In-Hawai‘i Shorts Competition in 2018.

Director: Ty Sanga | 2011 | 20 min

Stones, tells a story based on the legend of the Mu, an ancient people who populated Hawaii before the Hawaiians arrived. Nihiplai and Naiwi, the last remaining Mu, only come out at night. If sunlight touches their skin, they will turn to stone. All of the dailogue is in the Hawaiian language, presented with English subtitles.


Director: Ai Okuno | 2016 | 11 min

ALOHA VEGAS is a 11-minute bittersweet romantic dark comedy about a middle age couple from Hawai‘i. When he is diagnosed with cancer, Rock, an easy-going heavy smoker convinces his cautious wife Lucy to travel to Las Vegas, "The Ninth Island". With less than a week to live, he is willing to do anything to get wild and have fun. This charming vignette is produced and supported by UH-Manoa: Academy of Creative Media.

Director: Marlene Booth | 2015 | 28 min

This short documentary follows the inspiration and impact of Terry Young. In August of 1969, 15 year old Terry Young took a dive from the rock wall perch where he and his friends were messing around above an unpatrolled beach. The water was shallow, and Terry hit his head on sand. This split second turned him into a quadriplegic for life. Paralyzed from the neck down with only limited use of his hands and arms, Terry nonetheless finished high school and college, competed as a wheelchair athlete, got arrested or the cause of Hawaiian sovereignty, graduated as a PhD in History and pioneered as a professor in the new field of Hawaiian Studies. Terry, who took the Hawaiian name, Kanalu, ("The Wave") learned from being disabled to value the life he lived rather than mourn the life he lost. He used that insight to offer hope to dispossessed Native Hawaiians. At the same time, he lived by the indigenous Hawaiian practice of Kuleana, his responsibility to ask for help rather than go it alone as a rugged American individualist.

Director: Chris Johns | 2016 | 10 min

This stunning documentary is a rare glimpse of a native Hawaiian ecosystem, an exploration into the quiet lives of Philodoria micro moths, whose caterpillars are so small that they live inside the leaves of their Hawaiian host plants. This type of caterpillar is called a leaf miner because it eats by tunneling between the layers of their leaf homes, eventually emerging as a miniature moth no larger than an eyelash. Philodoria only occur in Hawai‘i and recent research suggests that, like many other Hawaiian insects, they are threatened with extinction. This film takes a look at one corner of environmental conservation work and why some say it's important to preserve even the smallest of organisms, like microscopic moths.

Director: Sky Bruno | 2017 | 6 min

Hawai‘i-based filmmaker, Sky Bruno, debuts his short documentary with an insider's view of Tokyo Surfboards. Unlike any surfboard shaping company in Hawai‘i, Tokyo Surfboards continues to be unmatched in providing the best surfboards to the everyday surfer to the professional surfer. Starting their venture straight out of high school, brothers Wade and Kerry Tokyo had a passion for surfing that transitioned them into shaping boards or 30 plus years. Many professionals have either seen Wade and Kerry surfing pipeline or heard about them through word of mouth, they've never been a company that heavily advertises but rather has their boards speak for themselves. To counter the noise of the city or the daunting North Shore, Wade and Kerry have stayed true and continue to shape from their childhood home in Kahalu'u. Tokyo surfboards have continued to adapt with the changing times while staying true to their roots



Director: Erin Lau | 17 min

Lei'ala, a sixteen year-old Hawaiian girl, attempts to pick up the life of an MMA fighter, as her deceased father once had, by competing in a local MMA tournament and seeking the help of her Lua Master grandfather, who denies to teach her. Yet only when they are able to step beyond their limitations are they able to find compromise and ultimately what they've been searching for in their individual lives.

Director: Justyn Ah Chong | 5 min

"PRAISE SONG FOR OCEANIA" is a short film-poem about the ecology, history, politics, and cultures of the ocean. The poem was written by Chamorro author Craig Santos Perez, and the video was created by Hawaiian filmmaker Justyn Ah Chong.

Director: Timothy Edwards | 20 min

After the sudden disappearance of his mother while on vacation in Hawai‘i, 10 year-old Basil sets out to find her spirit on the path of the soul after death, and maybe, just maybe, bring her back to the world of the living.

Director: Maribel Apuya | 9 min

The moving true story of Filipino plantation laborer Cipriano Erice, who immigrated to Hawai‘i in 1946 to work for Waialua Sugar Plantation. As a kid growing up in the Philippines, Mr. Erice had worked in the fields and sought additional jobs so he could go to school; his dream was never fulfilled. He now looks back at his journey and the most gratifying thing he has ever done - sending all of this children to college, proudly giving them the education he never had.


Director: Bryson Chun | 2017 | 14 min

When his girlfriend dies during childbirth, Makana, a young Native Hawaiian man who struggles to relate to his cultural identity, must perform a piko ritual with his girlfriend's father.

Director: Olivia Hampson | 2015 | 16 min

Mahina, a young Hawaiian woman who lives with her brother on the outskirts of Honolulu, works in a hotel as a housekeeper and pounds kapa cloth to connect her to the mythology and religion of ancient Hawaiian people, including the moon goddess Hina for whom she is named.

Director: Bradley Tangonan | 2017 | 13 min

Seven-year old Run is on the verge of being separated from her mother. After a tense encounter with a Hawai‘i Child Protective Services worker, Run is forced to choose between retreating to her imagination or facing a new reality. WILDER PALMS is the winner of the 2017 Made-In-Hawai‘i Short Film Competition.

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