Hawai‘i Films

ISLAND COWGIRLS spotlights paniolos, precarity of land leases

Directed by Liz Barney and Alison Week, documentary feature ISLAND COWGIRLS brings viewers a unique look at the lives of two different paniolos, or Hawaiian cowgirls, on Hawai‘i Island. They are each part of ranches on the island with longstanding family ties. In the film, high school senior Laʻi Bertelmann wrestles with the decision of

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Riding the waves of resilience in UNCLE BULLY’S SURF SKOOL

UNCLE BULLY’S SURF SKOOL was one of the most anticipated films of HIFF 43. Directed by Todd Soliday and Leah Washawski, the uplifting documentary features Bull Kotter, a surf instructor, affectionately known as “Uncle Bully”. Raised in Maui, Bully’s passion for surf education and community development in Maui is a guiding light for youth during

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Climate Gentrification

Climate gentrification’s DNA explored in THE SETTLERS (Los colonos)

Climate gentrification is omnipresent. With rising sea levels, people are forced to move further inland and the housing market must turn elsewhere. This search for new land to “develop” leaves many minority groups out of a place to live in favor of the upper and middle classes who can afford new, up-to-date housing. And though

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HIFF TALKS PODCAST: Interview w/ Director Hunter Naho‘oikaika (SEEING WITH HAWAIIAN EYES)

HOCCI’s Sean Oketani sits down with filmmaker Hunter Naho‘oikaika to discuss her film, SEEING WITH HAWAIIAN EYES, an official selection of the 43rd Hawai‘i International Film Festival presented by Halekulani (HIFF43) and screened in the Kānaka Maoli Legacy: New Hawaiian Docs program. Here is the film’s synopsis: Lehia establishes an indigenous farm with her partner

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The HIFF ONLINE CREATIVES & CRITICS IMMERSIVE (HOCCI) program supports sustainable film criticism in Hawai‘i through mentorship and paid career opportunities. The mission of HOCCI is to broaden diversity in film criticism across the Pacific region and use influencer branding strategies to spark career opportunities in Hawai’i, not be hampered by oceans, state borders and distance, because geography is no longer a barrier. The 2023 HOCCI supports 4 Hawaii-based AAPI critics to be a HIFF43 press cohort to cover films, themes, and filmmakers at the 43rd Annual Hawai’i International Film Festival presented by Halekulani.




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