Maui Arts & Entertainment

Hawai’i International Film Festival Returns to Maui

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The Hawai’i International Film Festival will host screening of this year’s films at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center this month.

Some of the films will be shown on Maui the week after the main festival, which will be held from Nov. 7 to 17 at the HIFF home base on O’ahu.

Most of this year’s films are from Hawai’i, including one feature from New Zealand.

The Maui screenings, which run from Nov. 21 through 23, will include the following films:

“Tokyo Hula” (Thursday, Nov. 21 at 7 p.m.):


Directed by Lisette Flanary, the film focuses on the growing hula industry in Japan. Today it is estimated there are nearly two million people dancing hula in Japan—a figure greater than the entire population of Hawaiʻi. With more people dancing hula in Japan than in Hawaiʻi where the native art was born, this explosive growth has created a multimillion-dollar industry based on culture as commodity. What motivates Japanese students and teachers to dance hula and how is it translated into a foreign culture? How do native Hawaiians participate in this cross-cultural exchange? The film runs 81 minutes. It will be preceded by the short film “Voices of the Forest,” directed by Bradley Tangonan, which tells the story of Kumu Kaui Kanka’ole who leads her hālau into the forest to prepare for a sunrise hula for a sacred hill called Ka’uiki. Trailer: “Tokyo Hula”


Made in Hawai‘i Short Films (Friday, Nov. 22 at 7:00 pm.):
This evening program will include eight short films:

  • “808: How We Respond” / Director: Ian Bell
  • “Down On the Sidewalk in Waikiki” / Director: Justyn Ah Chong
  • “Driving” / Director: Chelsi Johnston
  • “Fall Guy” / Director: Bradley Crawford
  • “Like Maddah” / Director: Rena Shishido
  • “Mo’o” / Director: Anela Ling
  • “Molokaʻi Bound” / Director: Alika Maikau
  • “Other People” / Director: Bryson Chun

Total run time is 106 min.

“Mo Te Iwi: Carving for the People” (Saturday, Nov. 23 at 4:00 p.m.):


“Mo Te Iwi: Carving for the People,” directed by Robin Greenberg, is an intimate journey into the life and work of Māori master carver Rangi Hetet. At 82, Rangi is one of the last traditional Māori carvers alive today who learned their craft in an era that straddled the ways of the old tohunga whakairo (master carvers) and those of the modern world. “Carving does not exist alone as a skill–it exists within a body of knowledge and that knowledge exists and is held by a whole community of people.” The film runs 133 minutes. Trailer: “Mo Te Iwi: Carving for the People”

“Haole” (Saturday, Nov. 23 at 7:00 p.m.):

From director James Sereno, “Haole” is about thirteen-year-old David Kealoha who dreams of escaping rural Hawai‘i, but when Jonah Morris, a white kid from Phoenix moves into the neighborhood, a series of events irrevocably change the trajectory of David’s life and those closest to him. Run time is 90 minutes. Haole will be preceded by the short film, “Crossing the Line,” directed by David Rosen, about a jury that has to decide, in the process of deliberations in coming to a verdict, what happened as they come to terms with their own prejudices about sexual assault. Trailer: “Haole”

Tickets can be purchased here.

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