05-15 November 2020

Festivals & Events

HIFF Virtual Reality

AFTERIMAGE FOR TOMORROW (dir. Singing Chen)          

Welcome to HIFF VR


After its sold-out success in 2018, HIFF Virtual Reality (VR) returned with more experiences, more locations and more opportunities to get involved.

Over the Veteran’s Day long weekend, HIFF was proud to present a free VR program held across two locations in Kakaako: the HIFF Virtual Cinema at SALT at our Kakaako, and the HIFF VR Lounge at the Entrepreneur's Sandbox. With a mixture of family-friendly animations, hilarious comedies and incredible works of interactive art, HIFF VR is an exciting way to experience the possibilities of emerging storytelling technologies.

With a headset that completely covers your field of vision, VR puts you in exciting and immersive 360 environments - from on top of a frozen lake to the depths of space - and opens up wholly new ways of telling stories.


9 November - 11 November, 10:00am - 8:00pm

The Barn, SALT at our Kakaako
691 Auahi St, Honolulu

Drop by the HIFF VIRTUAL CINEMA at SALT to experience our Animated and Environmental shorts programs in immersive 360 video, or hang out in our lounge space and enjoy trailers to some of HIFF’s feature films. Sessions start every 45 minutes from 10:00am, and are suitable for all audiences. Walk-ins or reservations welcome. 


Pictured: INVASION! (dir. Eric Darnell)

A selection of short, fun and family-friendly animations from Baobab Studios, founded by the director of MADAGASCAR. Aliens face off against their ultimate match - an adorable bunny - in INVASION!, and then get into more deep-space trouble in ASTEROIDS! when they encounter more unexpected obstacles. Then, fly past the sun to save your friends in the gorgeously-animated CROW: THE LEGEND, starring John Legend and Oprah Winfrey. 




Pictured: WILD IMMERSION: AQUA (dir. Adrien Moisson & Raphaël Aupy)

Step into WILD IMMERSION and come face-to-face with some of the natural world’s most extraordinary creatures and locations spread across three episodes. Across 45 minutes, you’ll be transported across the world to a variety of ecosystems, each with their own stunning inhabitants. Run through the African Savannah in TERRA, dive into the Great Barrier reef in AQUA and freeze in the frigid alpine mountains of ALBA, each with their own diverse array of creatures, landscapes and stories. 



Pictured: CARRIBERRIE (dir. Dominic Allen)

HIFF is proud to expand its Virtual Reality (VR) program to now offer opportunities for school groups to participate. School groups of up to 30 students can access a curated selection of VR experiences from our ‘Environmental VR Shorts’ and ‘Spotlight on Indigenous Perspectives’ programs, giving students a chance to encounter new cultures and the natural world in a creative environment. Each session runs for 45 minutes and is held at SALT in our KAKAAKO. 

To find out how your class or school group can get involved HERE




Saturday, November 9  10:00am - 6:00pm
Sunday, November 10

1:00pm - 6:00pm

Monday, November 11 10:00am - 6:00pm
Entrepreneurs Sandbox
643 Ilalo St, Honolulu

With cutting-edge HTC Vive Pro headsets, the HIFF VR LOUNGE is home to our most advanced and interactive 3D VR experiences, including our Spotlights on Taiwan and Indigenous Perspectives. Feel free to enjoy the lounge space while you wait, or come along to one of our masterclasses to hear first hand about VR production, industry and technology.

Instead of booking individual experiences, users can reserve 60 minute sessions in the VR Lounge and watch the experiences that interest them most. Bookings can be made online or at the VR Lounge on the day. 



Taiwan today produces some of the most extraordinary works of VR storytelling, and HIFF is proud to present a retrospective of some of its most successful recent projects. Wake up in an ABANDONED TEMPLE, and journey back in time to find out what brought a young girl to a haunted graveyard. Get your life together with the help of your disappointing spiritual guardian in the hilarious YOUR SPIRITUAL TEMPLE SUCKS, push yourself to the edge of memory and movement in the incredible AFTERIMAGE FOR TOMORROW, or travel through a psychedelic past with the boundary-pushing digital experience BODYLESS.

Presented by Taiwan Academy, Taiwan Ministry of Culture



Pictured: BAYI GARDIYA (dir. Christian Thompson)

How can new technologies help us tell stories that stretch back 60,000 years? Meet Nyarri Morgan, an Aboriginal man whose first encounter with Western civilisation was an atomic test 50 year ago in COLLISIONS. Experience the rebirth of an ancient riverbed in BAYI GADIYA, transport yourself to the imagined futures of four Aboriginal young people in FUTURE DREAMING, or travel across the Australian continent with 150 traditional dancers in CARRIBERRIE. 

Presented by Pacific Islanders in Communications




Hear from top VR creators from across the world about their creative process, and the current trends in VR industry and technologies.

Curious about VR production and want to get more involved? HIFF is proud to present the inaugural HIFF XR SHOWCASE on the final day of the VR Lounge, exhibiting the work of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) by local creators.






Monday November 11, 2:00pm - 4:00pm

Meet the local VR community and explore the potential of this exciting new set of technologies. Speak first hand with creators, programmers and directors, and find out how you can get involved in local VR and 360 video production. While you're there, enjoy the rest of the HIFF VR Lounge (with the added bonus of free donuts and coffee).



Tuesday, November 12
6:30 - 8:30pm
The Pig and the Lady
83 N King St, Honolulu, HI 96817


ASIAN IN AMERICA is a symbolic exhibition and dining experience that explores the complex narrative of the Asian American identity through food and drink, virtual reality, spoken word and poetry. The ingredients, cooking techniques, and alternating presentations of poetry and virtual reality recreations (made in Tilt Brush), takes you on a multi-sensory journey through the trials and triumphs of the Asian American identity, addressing topics such as cultural hierarchies in the food system, the lack of the individualism granted to minorities and the model minority myth.



HIFF TALKS: Virtual Taiwan

Friday November 8, 6:00-8:00pm
Entrepreneur’s Sandbox

For decades, Taiwan has been a global centre for technological innovation, and today hosts some of the world’s greatest VR artists and technologists. Join digital artist Hsin-Chien Huang and producer Estela Valdivieso Chen – two creators at the centre of Taiwan’s burgeoning VR industry – as they discuss their work, interests and creative practice.

This panel will be accompanied by light food and refreshments.

Book now.

HIFF TALKS: Indigenous Perspectives

Saturday November 9, 2:00-3:00pm
Entrepreneur’s Sandbox

HIFF TALKS: Indigenous Perspectives

Saturday November 9, 2:00-3:00pm

Entrepreneur’s Sandbox

How can emerging technologies help tell stories 60,000 years in the making? In 2019, HIFF is proud to present a diverse array of stories from Indigenous filmmakers from across the Pacific, showcasing stories that are as engaging as they are pressing. Join acclaimed Australian Indigenous artist Dr Christian Thompson AO and Hawaiian filmmaker Ciara Lacy in conversation with HIFF programmer Duncan Caillard as they discuss their life, work and creative practice.

Unfortunately, due to unforseen circumstances this event has been cancelled. We apologise for the inconvenience. 

HIFF TALKS: Making You Matter: Pioneering Interactive Immersive Storytelling at Baobab Studios

Thursday  November 14, 6:00-7:00pm
Entrepreneur’s Sandbox

Larry Cutler, Chief Technical Officer at Baobab Studio, shares a behind-the-scenes look at Baobab’s many experiments, failures, and learnings in developing interactive VR animated narratives spanning four released projects: Invasion!, Asteroids!, Crow: The Legend, and Bonfire. Larry will discuss the evolution of interactive immersive storytelling at the Emmy, Annie, and Webby award-winning animation studio, enabling you to matter by building meaningful relationships with characters and the world.

Book now.


Health and Safety Information

Virtual reality may not be suitable for all users. Young users may find it difficult to comfortably wear a headset, and is inappropriate for children under the age of 8. In some cases, participating in VR experiences may cause discomfort for some people, including nausea, dizziness, headaches, disorientation or injury.

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