Festivals & Events
HALEKULANI VISION IN FILM AWARD
The Halekulani Vision in Film, the Festival’s ‘Lifetime Achievement’ award, is bestowed to an artist who has reached the career pinnacles very few have achieved via industry awards and accolades 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, but also through equally significant endeavors such as social justice and the betterment of humanity.
HALEKULANI MAVERICK AWARD
The Hawaii International Film Festival's Halekulani Maverick Award is given to an international cinema artist who has a unique and eclectic career trajectory, contributing to international cinema and the filmed arts in an innovative way. This maverick does things on his or her terms, creating work that can have a rabid, cult following to a mass appreciation in today’s pop culture. Like a trendsetter and tastemaker, their work may not have been appreciated early on, but has become an artistic benchmark.
PIC TRAILBLAZER AWARD
This award, presented by Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC), is given to a cinema artist of Pacific Islander heritage who broadens the scope of Pacific Islander stories onto the world stage, producing award winning work in independent and global cinema. This honoree is a true trailblazer, 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.
KAU KA HŌKŪ AWARD PRESENTED BY HAWAIIAN AIRLINES
HIFF was an annual stop for the Pulitzer winning film critic Roger Ebert, who hailed the festival as “a showcase for emerging filmmakers from the Asia and Pacific Rim.” The KAU KA HŌKŪ will be awarded to an emerging filmmaker (first or second feature film). Select fiction and non-fiction feature films will be nominated by the festival programmers and adjudicated by an international jury.
KAU KA HŌKŪ AWARD JURY
Cameron Bailey — Artistic Director, Co-Head, Toronto International Film Festival
Roger Garcia — Artistic Advisor, Hainan International Film Festival
Janet Pierson — Festival Director, SXSW Film Festival
MADE IN HAWAI‘I FILM AWARDS
HIFF will present the MADE IN HAWAI‘I FILM awards this year to focus on the dynamic and flourishing local independent film scene that strives onward here in the Hawaiian Islands. Fiction, Non-fiction and short films that are made by locally-based filmmakers or involve locally-based stories are eligible for the BEST MADE IN HAWAI‘I Award. Nominees will be pre-selected by the Festival’s programmers.
The Made-in-Hawaii Award winners are announced at the HIFF Awards Gala on November 15. First and second place winning projects receive cash awards made possible by the Nichols Family Film Fund.
MADE IN HAWAI‘I FILM JURY
Ciara Lacy — Filmmaker (OUT OF STATE)
Jonah Ray — Comedian & musician, MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000
Mareva Leu — Festival director, Festival International du Film documentaire Océanien (FIFO Tahiti)
HIFF BEST SHORT FILM AWARD
Short films are usually the initial steps for an emerging filmmaker. They help establish tone, style and a filmmaker’s creative vision to form the foundation of a budding career. These works can also be proof of concepts or progenitors to a feature film, but they must stand alone as their own succinct and unique work. Short films come in many forms, genres and lengths and it is always a welcome challenge by the HIFF programmers to sift through the hundreds of entries per year to curate a half dozen feature length programs. The Shorts Film Award is chosen by a prestigious jury from a final selection of nominees selected by the Festival’s programming committee. This also includes specific programs such as PACIFIC SHOWCASE and MADE IN HAWAI‘I.
BEST SHORT FILM JURY
Sharon Badal — Shorts programmer, Tribeca Film Festival
Hieu Ho — Film producer
Malinda Wink — Director, Good Pitch Australia
Founded in 1990 by Cinemaya and UNESCO, the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC) is an international not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting Asian film throughout the world. The prestigious NETPAC award is given at select international film festivals to promote Asian cinema by spotlighting exceptional works and discovering new talent.
The NETPAC award is presented annually at international film festivals in Berlin, Cannes, Venice, Rotterdam, Pusan, Singapore, Taiwan, Yamagata, Toronto, Amiens and Hawaii. HIFF is the only film festival in the United States given permission to present the NETPAC award.
Paolo Bertolin — Festival Delegate, Quinzaine des Réalisateurs (Directors Fortnight) Cannes Film Festival / Venice Film Festival
Mark Schilling — Writer, Variety / The Japan Times; Festival delegate, Udine Far East Film Festival
Shirley Thompson — Producer & Editor (FINDING KUKAN, WINNING GIRL, BREADFRUIT & OPEN SPACES)
AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARD PRESENTED BY HAWAII NEWS NOW
Vote for your favorite feature film, documentary or short film playing at HIFF. Ballots will be distributed for the first screening of every eligible film during the film festival. No pens, pencils or i.d. required. Tear along the edge of the ballot from 1 (terrible) to 5 (excellent) and drop it in the ballot boxes as you exit the theater. Winners will be announced post-festival on Hawaii News Now.