39th Annual Hawai‘i International Film Festival - Oahu

November 7-17, 2019

As the vanguard forum of international cinematic achievement in the Asia-Pacific region, Hawai‘i International Film Festival (HIFF) endeavors to recognize new and emerging talent, promote career development and original collaborations through innovative education programs, and facilitate dynamic cultural exchange through the cinema arts.

This year audiences can enjoy premiere presentations, and intimate post-screening conversations with film directors, actors, documentary subjects and more. The festival will open with highly anticipated new film from Taika Waititi (BOY; WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS; THOR: RAGNAROK), JOJO RABBIT. Director Waititi will be in attendance for a post-screening Q&A.

The Centerpiece Presentation is JUST MERCY, a breakout from the Toronto International Film Festival that stars Michael B. Jordan and Jaime Foxx. The film is directed by Maui native Destin Daniel Cretton (SHORT TERM 12, the upcoming SHANG CHI for Marvel) who crafts each performance and each scene in JUST MERCY to add to the cumulative power of a film that is not just a true story, but a story committed to revealing truths.

HIFF’s Closing Night Presentation will be Makoto Shinkai’s WEATHERING WITH YOU. Shinkai’s highly anticipated follow-up to his 2016 anime box-office hit YOUR NAME (HIFF 2017) tells the story of young love bridged by fantastical and cosmic means.

Confirmed guests to HIFF39 include:

  • Hong Kong auteur John Woo, who will present his classic THE KILLER, in a special 30th anniversary screening, presented by HKETO-San Francisco. He will also be presented with the Halekulani Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • Haifaa Al-Mansour, Saudi Arabia's first female filmmaker, will be our keynote speaker of the New American Perspectives presented by Vilcek Foundation. She will participate in a special panel discussion with other American immigrant filmmakers, and also present her latest film, THE PERFECT CANDIDATE
  • Stan Grant is this year's Pacific Islanders in Communications Trailblazer Award honoree. An award winning Australian journalist, who is of aboriginal descent, is currently the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Global Affairs and Indigenous Affairs Analyst. He is also the screenwriter for the award winning documentary THE AUSTRALIAN DREAM, which is also screening at HIFF. 

Festival jury members include: Cameron Bailey, artistic director and co-head of the Toronto International Film Festival; Janet Pierson, festival director of SXSW; Paolo Bertolin, programmer for Cannes Directors Fortnight and Venice Film Festivals; and Hawai‘i's own Jonah Ray, comedian, musician, and podcaster best known for his work at Nerdist, The Meltdown w/ Jonah & Kumail, and the Netflix revival of MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER: 3000.

The full lineup is now online at www.HIFF.org.


  • Website: https://hiff.org/
  • Venue: Regal Dole Cannery; Various Honolulu venues
  • Address: 735 B Iwilei Rd., Honolulu, HI, 96817

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