What to watch at the 35th Hawaii International Film Festival


The Hawaii International Film Festival kicks off Thursday night.

Now in its 35th year, moviegoers can expect some exciting things this year.

The festival will be featuring 184 films from more than 40 countries, with a record 32 world premieres and 17 U.S. premieres, including films from Korea, China, India, and France.

HIFF is also proud to showcase Hawaii’s local talent.

“We actually have two locally-made films that made the nominated list this year. One is ‘Midori in Hawaii.’ It’s made from a production company out in Kau on the Big Island,” said Robert Lambeth, HIFF executive director. “Midori in Hawaii” tells the story of a struggling wedding photographer living on Hawaii Island, whose world is thrown off-balance when her judgmental sister and brother in-law visit from Japan.

Midori in Hawaii screenings: Saturday, Nov. 14, at 3:30 p.m. at Dole Cannery A, and Wednesday, Nov. 18, at 6 p.m. at Dole Cannery C.

Another highlight, according to Lambeth, is the documentary, “American Epic,” produced by Robert Redford.

“This is a particularly interesting documentary for those of us here in Hawaii because it covers the origins of some music we may not know how they began, but they permeated through different genres of music throughout time, such as the Hawaiian slack key guitar,” Lambeth said. “You’ll learn in the documentary how that sound actually came to be, and most of us here in Hawaii do not know that story.”

American Epic screenings: Thursday, Nov. 12, at 7:30 p.m. at IBM Building Courtyard, and Saturday, Nov. 14, at 11 a.m. at Dole Cannery H.

Also premiering at HIFF is “Tyke: Elephant Outlaw,” a documentary about Tyke the elephant, who broke out of a circus performance at the Blaisdell Arena in 1994 and went on a rampage. She killed her trainer and trampled another man before police shot and killed her.

Tyke: Elephant Outlaw screenings: Saturday, Nov. 21, at 8:30 p.m. at Dole Cannery D, and Sunday, Nov. 22, at noon at Dole Cannery D, and Sunday, Nov. 22, at 5:30 p.m. at Koko Marina A.

The Hawaii International Film Festival takes place Nov. 12-22. Click here for more information and full HIFF listings.

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