Big Island resident Misha Miyamoto, 29, lives alone in the house her grandmother left her, has held the same job since high school, and likes her life as is: simple. Unfortunately, her satisfaction disappoints everyone around her. Her boss can't fathom why she won't take a promotion, her lack of ambition dissuades potential love interests and her parents push her to sell her estate since she has no interest in starting a family. These pressures leave Misha isolated and sick of justifying her choices. When Jake, an earnest 19-year-old, mistakes Misha for a fellow student, she finds solace in his lack of expectation and begins a relationship with him. But as their relationship grows, so does Misha’s reckless behavior.


Unlike the age-old trope of ‘May December’ relationships, CHAPERONE is a more refreshing exploration, as the film boldly asserts this ”is not a love story.” Even though both characters are of legal age, the narrative makes it clear that this relationship is toxic. Not only is it based on lies, but Misha is clearly using Jake as an answer to her problems and is far from respectful and smart about proper boundaries.


Local filmmaker Zoë Eisenberg, in her solo directorial feature debut, expertly navigates quarter-century malaise, fronted by great performances by Mitzi Akaha and Laird Akeo as Misha and Jake, respectively.



HIFF is excited to present a special sneak preview screening of this wholly produced Hawai‘i feature film, which just had its world premiere at 2024 Slamdance, where it won the Breakthrough Grand Jury Award.


Q&A with Filmmakers in Attendance


Rush tickets are offered when a screening or event is sold out. The Rush system functions as a standby line that will form at the venue approximately one hour prior to scheduled start time. Admittance is based on availability and will begin roughly 10 minutes prior to program start time. Rush Tickets are the same price as advance tickets and are payable upon entry.



Zoe Eisenberg


Alison Week, Devin P Murphy


Zoe Eisenberg


Mitzi Akaha, Laird Akeo, Kanoa Goo, Jessica Jade Andres, Krista Kahea Alvarez, Ioane Goodhue


Camera operators: Victoria Chen, Camron Verbarg, Jonah Nitura