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FILM FOR THOUGHT


Film For Thought is a special program presented in partnership with the Hawai’i Council for the Humanities designed to inspire critical discourse and community dialogue through the medium of film. The eleventh annual Film For Thought program will feature five feature films, focused themes of Change Making and Community. Films will have scholar-led conversations with directors scheduled throughout the festival, as well as a companion booklet containing essays on all five films will be available soon HERE for download. Links to individual essays for each film are provided below.

FILMS & ESSAYS

CANE FIRE
HAWAI‘I PREMIER
THOUGHTS: CANE FIRE
Read companion essay by filmmaker Stephanie J. Castillo, Documentary Filmmaker, 
Hilo, Hawai’i

CANE FIRE

Director: Anthony Banua-Simon
Year: 2020
Country: United States
Running Time: 90 min

AVAILABLE NOV 5 – 29 | ONLINE
14-NOV 7:00 PM | VARSITY DRIVE-IN


While utilizing footage of Hollywood films set in Hawaii and various corporate commercials that paint the islands as paradise, CANE FIRE examines years of economic and social exploitation of the Hawaiian culture, people, and their land. The documentary follows various perspectives of the residents on Kauai to shine a light on the indigenous working-class people who resist the forces of large corporations that cast them as “extras” in their own story.

DOWN A DARK STAIRWELL
HAWAI‘I PREMIER
THOUGHTS: DOWN A DARK STAIRWELL
Read a companion essay by Professor Danielle Seid, Assistant Professor of English
University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa

DOWN A DARK STAIRWELL

Director: Ursula Liang
Year: 2020
Country: United States
Language: English, Mandarin, Cantonese with English Subtitles 
Running Time: 83 min

AVAILABLE NOV 5 – 29 | ONLINE ONLY


When two peoples of color are pitted against each other in the gruesome coliseum that is the uneven criminal justice system of the United States, who wins? In 2014, Chinese American police officer Peter Liang killed Akai Gurley, an innocent, unarmed black man in an unlit stairwell of a New York City housing project. This heart-wrenching documentary directed by Ursula Liang is all the more important and relevant to watch today, as we reflect on how black lives matter.

URSULA LIANG
As part of HIFF’s 2020 Film For Thought Program presented by the Hawai‘i Council for the Humanities, join us for a special Conversation With Ursula Liang director of DOWN A DARK STAIRWELL. This humanities focused discussion will be moderated by University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa English professor Danielle Seid.
15-NOV 2:00 PM | ONLINE | FREE
LANDFALL
HAWAI‘I PREMIER
THOUGHTS: LANDFALL
Read a companion essay by professor Mehana Vaughan, Assistant Professor with Natural Resources and Environmental Management
University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa

LANDFALL

Director: Cecilia Aldarondo
Year: 2020
Country: United States
Language: English, Spanish with English Subtitles
Running Time: 91 min

AVAILABLE NOV 5 – 29 | ONLINE ONLY


This visually striking, kaleidoscopic portrait of Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria criss-crosses the island to document the resilience of a community banding together to rebuild. A compassionate and stirring cinematic essay, LANDFALL examines the dual environmental and economic crises of not only a natural disaster, but the disaster of American colonialism and its economic legacies.

Cecilia Aldarondo
As part of HIFF’s 2020 Film For Thought Program presented by the Hawai‘i Council for the Humanities, join us for a special Conversation With Cecilia Aldarondo, director of LANDFALL. Moderated by Mehana Vaughan, Assistant Professor with Natural Resources and Environmental Management University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.
9-NOV 12:00PM | ONLINE | FREE

 

LUNANA
HAWAI‘I PREMIER
THOUGHTS: LUNANA: A YAK IN THE CLASSROOM
Read a companion essay by teacher Simon Tajiri, Hawaiian Culture & Language Teacher
Lānaʻi High and Elementary School

LUNANA: A YAK IN THE CLASSROOM

Director: Pawo Chonying Dorji
Year: 2020
Country: Bhutan
Language: Dzongka with English Subtitles
Running Time: 109 min

AVAILABLE NOV 5 – 29 | ONLINE ONLY


Musician Ugyen struggles to excel in his teaching career, despite having one of Bhutan’s more coveted jobs. He is in fact so unmotivated, that his superiors decide to give him a special position – teach at the country’s most remote school for a year. When Ugyen arrives in Lunana, he can hardly believe his bad luck landing in such a backwater. However, the charm of the village, its people, and the majestic Himalayas, may just win him over after all.

PAWO CHONYING DORJI
As part of HIFF’s 2020 Film For Thought Program presented by the Hawai‘i Council for the Humanities, join us for a special Conversation With Director Pawo Chonying Dorji director of LUNANA: A YAK IN THE CLASSROOM. This humanities focused discussion will be moderated by Simon Tajiri musician, filmmaker, and teacher of Hawaiian culture and language at Lānaʻi High and Elementary School.
10-NOV 5:00 PM | ONLINE | FREE
THROUGH THE NIGHT
HAWAI‘I PREMIER
THOUGHTS: THROUGH THE NIGHT
Read a companion essay by Professor Elizabeth Colwill, Associate Professor of American Studies at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa

THROUGH THE NIGHT

Director: Loira Limbal
Year: 2020
Country: United States
Language: English
Running Time: 72 min

AVAILABLE NOV 5 – 29 | ONLINE ONLY


To make ends meet, people in the U.S. are working longer hours across multiple jobs. This modern reality of non-stop work has resulted in an unexpected phenomenon: the flourishing of 24-hour daycare centers. Interweaving the lives of two working mothers and a childcare provider, THROUGH THE NIGHT speaks to the heartbreaking realities that face working families, and the acts of everyday kindness and generosity that bring us together.

Loira Limbal
As part of HIFF’s 2020 Film For Thought Program presented by the Hawai‘i Council for the Humanities, join us for a special Conversation With Director Loira Limbal director of THROUGH THE NIGHT. This humanities focused discussion will be moderated by Elizabeth Colwill, Associate Professor of American Studies at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.
13-NOV 12:00PM | ONLINE | FREE

HIFF40 ALL ACCESS PASS

Purchase access to all the films in our 2020 Fall Festival. This gives you access to all of our programming November 5th – 29th, 2020.

This is the best deal to access our Fall Festival Programming you can watch online or via our Apple Tv, Amazon or Roku Tv apps.