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Mahalo to you, our amazing audiences, for making the HIFF HANA HOU a success as we celebrate all the HIFF40 award winners! Although we continue to face challenges in this new year, we as an organization have persevered because of your continued support. HIFF has some exciting and innovative programming for 2021 and we cannot wait to announce them when ready!

WAIKIKI | BEST MADE IN HAWAII FEATURE

WAIKIKI

Made in Hawai‘i Best Feature + Best Cinematography

Directed by: Christoper Kahunahana
2020 | 77 min.
Countries: United States
Languages: English, ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi, with English subtitles
Genres: Social Issues

Synopsis: WAIKIKI is a kaleidoscope dream that builds a portrait of Hawaii’s mountains and oceans with the whistling tune of songs about Waikiki while following the spiritual journey of a working-class woman struggling to find a purpose in a world that seems to forget about her.

HAWAIIAN SOUL

Made in Hawai‘i Best Short + Audience Award Short

Directed by: ‘Āina Paikai
2020 | 19 min.
Countries: United States
Languages: English, ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi, with English subtitles
Genres: Drama

Synopsis: Against the backdrop of the 1970s native rights movement, George Helm, a young Hawaiian activist and musician must gain the support of kūpuna (community elders) from Maui to aid in the fight of protecting the precious neighboring island of Kahoʻolawe from military bombing.

KAPAEMAHU

Made in Hawai‘i Best Animation

Directed by: Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, Dean Hamer, Joe Wilson
2020 | 8 min.
Countries: United States
Languages: ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi, with English subtitles
Genres: Animation

Synopsis: Against the backdrop of the 1970s native rights movement, George Helm, a young Hawaiian activist and musician must gain the support of kūpuna (community elders) from Maui to aid in the fight of protecting the precious neighboring island of Kahoʻolawe from military bombing.

Malia Kamalani Soon | HIFF40 MIH BEST ACTOR

KAMA’ĀINA

Made in Hawai‘i Best Acting

Directed by: Kimi Howl Lee
2019 | 17 min.
Countries: United States
Languages: ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi, English
Genres: Coming of Age, LGBT, Native/Indigenous Peoples

Synopsis: A queer sixteen-year-old girl, Mahina, must navigate life on the streets in Oahu, until she eventually finds refuge at the Pu’uhonua o Wai’anae––Hawaiʻi’s largest organized homeless encampment.

TO CALM THE PIG INSIDE (Ang Pagpakalma sa Unos)

Best Documentary Short Film

Directed by: Joanna Vasquez Arong
2020 | 19 min.
Countries: Philippines
Languages: Visayan, with English subtitles
Genres: Documentary

Synopsis: TO CALM THE PIG INSIDE is a contemplation on the effects a typhoon leaves on a seaside city. Myths are woven in to try to understand how people cope with the devastation and trauma. A girl divulges bits and pieces of her own memory of her grandmother and mother to tie in the experiences she felt visiting this ravaged port city.

YELLOW GIRL AND ME | HIFF40 BEST NARRATIVE SHORT

YELLOW GIRL AND ME

Best Narrative Short Film

Directed by: Isabella Issa
2019 | 19 min.
Countries: United States
Languages: English
Genres: Drama, Social Issues, Women

Synopsis: Set in the Jamaican countryside, a young child named Nicole waits for her sister, Yellow Girl, to teach her how to swim. Circumstances escalate when Yellow Girl breaks her promise and Nicole realizes that she is next in line for a life of sexual abuse.

Ebony McGuire | Best Actress SHORT FILM - WIRUN

WIRUN

Best Actress in a Short Film – Ebony McGuire

Directed by: Chad O’Brien
2019 | 9 min.
Countries: Australia
Languages: Noongar, English
Genres: Bildungsroman, Family Friendly, Social Issues, Women

Synopsis: WIRUN is a story about Erin, a young Indigenous Australian faces obstacles in her drama class. She wants to perform like the others, but Shakespeare’s old language won’t come out. Determined to prove herself in front of her class, Erin practices to the breaking point when some form of meaning finally surfaces. Using her cultural strength and specifically her language to overcome, WIRUN is a First Nation coming of age story for those trying to find their voice in a colonial world.

BEST ACTOR SHORT FILM - GROWING PAINS

GROWING PAINS (少年阿堯)

Best Actor in a Short Film – Chen Yi-wen

Directed by: Po-Yu LIN
2020 | 25 min.
Countries: Taiwan ROC
Languages: Chinese, with English subtitles
Genres: Drama

Synopsis: Growing Pains is a film based on a true story from the director’s past. Fourteen-year-old Yao is sick of his worn-out shoes, which his father never replace for being too deep in debt. One day, after a confrontation with debt collectors, his father suddenly buys him a pair of expensive sneakers. Little did Yao know, this is the start of a painful tragedy.

LUMPIA WITH A VENGEANCE | BEST NARRATIVE

LUMPIA WITH A VENGEANCE

Audience Award Best Narrative

Directed by: Patricio Ginelsa
2020 | 108 min.
Countries: United States
Languages: English
Genres: Action, Comedy

Synopsis: 17 years after the events of the first LUMPIA movie, a homegrown, very “hand-made” no budget indie film that was produced by a group of high school buddies, the characters of the cult classic are back for some more butt-kicking, arnis-wielding, and of course, lumpia-eating.

It’s a sequel that continues the fun and riotous action comedy, but underneath the light-hearted story, are undercurrents of issues that continue plaguing the Filipino community in America today, such as generational differences and infighting. Audience members—Filipino and non-Filipino alike—will come out appreciating the community that nurtured this little film with a big heart.

WAGON | BEST DOCUMENTARY

WAGON

Audience Award Best Documentary

Directed by: Aniston Eyre
2019 | 72 min.
Countries: United States
Languages: English
Genres: Documentary, Family

Synopsis:

Get “under the hood” with a Maui ohana of seven on their cross-country road trip in their 1982 Mercedes G-Wagon that runs on used cooking oil.