HIFF Summer Flix Picks at Prince Waikiki

Join us for free moving screenings under the stars this summer at the Prince Waikiki Summer Flix presented by HIFF. From May 29th to July 31st, stop by every Wednesday for Hollywood blockbusters and award-winning Hawai‘i films from previous HIFF festivals.

All screenings will be held on the Muliwai Deck on the 5th floor of the Prince Waikiki hotel. No RSVPs are required and films will begin at 7 PM, after sunset. Bring your friends and ‘ohana, grab a drink or snack from Hinana Bar, and enjoy a summer movie night with great company.

Here’s a sneak peek of the lineup of films this summer and why you should join:

May 29 – 20th Anniversary

It’s been two decades since the pop culture phenomenon MEAN GIRLS premiered, and it’s still just as laugh-out-loud funny and “fetch” as it was back in ’04. Its impact is immeasurable, with iconic, quotable lines (“You go, Glen Coco!”), an unofficial holiday (it’s October 3rd), and countless pieces of media inspired by the film (Ariana Grande’s “Thank U, Next” music video). MEAN GIRLS remains a relevant and timeless depiction of the American high school experience, female friendship dynamics, and the journey of figuring out one’s identity.

June 5 – Wes Anderson Wednesday

The frequently commented sentiment online that “THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS walked so ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT or SUCCESSION could run,” couldn’t be more fitting as the Tenenbaums have been regarded as the quintessential dysfunctional on-screen family. This Wes Anderson film arguably established his distinct directorial style–from his penchant for large ensemble casts to the iconic visuals he’s now renowned for–and remains one of the best films of his career. Beyond the style, there’s plenty of substance with well-developed characters, incredible attention to detail, and emotional weight packed throughout the story.

Directed by Tiare Ribeaux, a Kānaka ‘Ōiwi filmmaker, the short film PŌELE WAI is a haunting and darkly poetic exploration of environmental trauma through an indigenous lens. Incorporating elements of magical realism, fantasy, and horror, Ribeaux brings awareness to the Red Hill water crisis and honors the life force of the land, the sanctity of our waters.

June 12 – Pride Month

MY PARTNER premiered during the HIFF43 Fall Festival last October and received an Honorable Mention in the feature film category in the Made in Hawai’i Film program. This film marks the first feature film in the Boy Love genre produced in Hawai’i, making it an important contribution to the genre, queer cinema, and AAPI representation in film.

Read a full review from HOCCI contributor Devin Hung here.

AIKĀNE, whose title comes from the unstigmatized ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi term for an intimate friend bound by love and trust, is a beautifully animated short that celebrates queer love through Native Hawaiian mythology. From the creators behind KAPAEMAHU, this supernatural romance between a warrior and his shape-shifting partner is a positive and universal testament to queer love.

June 19 – Aloha Got Soul Presents:

Chronicling the life, career, and cultural impact of the legendary reggae artist, this film is a noteworthy addition to the ever-growing musical biopic genre. From Marley’s humble beginnings as an artist amid political unrest in Jamaica to touring around the world in sold-out arenas, this film captures the highs and lows of one of the most renowned pioneers of the reggae genre.

Arrive early for a pau hana Reggae set from Aloha Got Soul (6 – 7 PM).

June 26 – Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice! | HIFF ‘Ōpio Fest Winning Shorts

An unforgettably bizarre entry into the ‘80s horror genre, this cult classic from Tim Burton is jam-packed with outlandish visuals, tongue-in-cheek comedy, and campy horror aesthetics. Released 35 years ago, it remains one of Tim Burton’s most iconic and beloved films to date. Michael Keaton gives a scene-stealing performance as Betelgeuse, an undead “bio-exorcist” brought to life with a chaotic and manic energy. With family-friendly horror comedy, this film’s distinct individuality and quirky charm have stood the test of time.

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS is an animated student film by Cameryn Koike that received the award for Best ‘Ōpio Fest Student Film from this year’s HIFF ‘Ōpio Fest Student Showcase. The film tells a heartwarming story through impressive animation and writing, centering on a family of cats that receive an unexpected act of kindness during the holidays.


This student film from DeMarcus Koa Allen received the 1st Place High School Award for the HIFFXDKII Future Filmmakers Showcase from this year’s HIFF ‘Ōpio Fest. Visually engaging and artfully directed, this film tells the story of a young boy’s inner journey and passion for music.


July 3 – Pasifika Award Winners

In his directorial feature film debut, New Zealand-Samoan director Damon Fepulea’i brings an inspiring and feel-good story to life in RED, WHITE & BRASS. Inspired by a true story from Halaifonua Finau, this comedy follows a Tongan-New Zealander rugby fan determined to get tickets to the 2011 Tonga versus France game by creating a fake brass band to perform in the game. Fepulea’i tells this unique underdog tale with heart and humor, paying tribute to the spirit of Tongan New Zealander culture.

E MALAMA PONO, WILLY BOY depicts a harsh reality as it follows a Native Hawaiian HPD officer and his partner as they are forced to evict Native Hawaiian residents from a settlement that the state has deemed illegal. With raw authenticity, this short film poses Willy’s inner dilemma to the audience, urging viewers to challenge their roles in unfair systems and imagine better futures for Indigenous communities.

July 10 – Barbie

Greta Gerwig’s box-office hit, BARBIE, quickly became a cultural phenomenon, and its impact proved nearly inescapable last summer as “Barbenheimer” (the simultaneous release of BARBIE & OPPENHEIMER) took theaters by storm. As the highest-grossing blockbuster of 2023, this film marks a drastic shift in Gerwig’s career from indie darling to an immensely sought-after talent. With insightful yet easily digestible feminist commentary, Gerwig takes one of the most prominent kids’ toys and crafts a world around it imbued with emotion, care, and optimism for the human experience.

July 17 – Hawaiian Heroes Shorts

Premiering last fall on the opening night of HIFF43, UNCLE BULLY’S SURF SKOOL is a simultaneously inspiring and heartbreaking documentary. This film spotlights Bull Kotter, a selfless surf instructor in Lahaina, Maui who provides mentorship through surf lessons to underprivileged youth. The film’s direction takes on a new focus after the devastation of the August 8th Lahaina wildfires, becoming a powerful testament to the importance of community support and human connection in the wake of tragedy.

Check out my full review & thoughts here.

Part of last year’s HIFF43 Kānaka Maoli Legacy: New Hawaiian Docs program, SEEING WITH HAWAIIAN EYES follows a couple, Lehia and Brad, and their journey, history, and motivation for starting an indigenous farm in Maui. This short documentary touches upon their goals to perpetuate Hawaiian cultural practices through agroforestry, as well as the lasting impacts of the Kaho’olawe bombings.

Check out my podcast interview with director Hunter Naho’oikaika here.

In a powerful and never-before-seen act of storytelling, AMEFIL spotlights a trailblazing 80-year-old Hawai’i civil rights pioneer and Filipina activist, Amy Agbayani. Agbayani’s personal history interweaves with landmark events that shaped the social justice movement in Hawai’i, sharing life lessons of resilience and the ongoing fight for equality to pass on to the next generation of activists.

July 24 – 808 Film Crew Night

Based on the true story of American Samoa’s underdog soccer team, Taika Waititi blends his trademark sense of humor with heart and deep appreciation for Pacific culture. Following a Dutch-American coach and his attempts to lead one of the worst soccer teams in the world to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Watiti delivers a story with his signature style in this unlikely comedy-drama.

July 31 – Songs of Love From Hawai’i

This musical drama delves into the history of Korean-American immigrants living in Hawai’i through three episodic stories intertwined with music and storytelling. Spanning 120 years, the film chronicles the aspirations of pioneering immigrants, the journey of a picture bride plantation worker, and the tragedy of Kalaupapa. Throughout these episodes, SONGS OF LOVE honors the community’s enduring spirit of hope and resilience.

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