The 43rd Annual Hawaiʻi Film Festival is set to make a grand return with a spectacular lineup of films and events. After a hiatus from in-person screenings due to the pandemic, HIFF43 is back with a bang. This year, the festival promises a 100% return to in-person screenings, programs, and events, making it an eagerly anticipated cinematic extravaganza.

Running from October 12 through October 22 on Oʻahu, the festival will then make its way to Maui, Kauaʻi, Hawaiʻi Island, and Lanaʻi, ensuring that film enthusiasts across the Hawaiian Islands can partake in the festivities. HIFF43 boasts an impressive selection of over 186 films and shorts from around the world, including international premieres and locally made Hawaiian films.

Opening weekend kicks off with a heartwarming gesture towards the resilient Maui community. The festival will feature a free screening of “UNCLE BULLY’S SURF SKOOL,” directed and produced by Maui resident Leah Warshawski. This film showcases the beauty of West Maui and highlights the community’s determination to move forward. The screening takes place on October 12 at 6:30 pm at Consolidated Theatres Ward.

Another highlight of the opening weekend is the sold-out screening of “NEXT GOAL WINS,” directed by Taika Waititi. Based on a true story, it follows the American Samoa soccer team, known for their infamous 31-0 loss in 2001.

One of the festival’s most anticipated moments is the special premiere of “THE ROUND-UP: NO WAY OUT,” part of HIFF43’s Spotlight on South Korea and Don Lee in Focus sections. Don Lee, the marquee blockbuster action star from Asia, will be awarded the HIFF43 Halekulani Maverick Award. He produced and starred in the successful “THE ROUND-UP” franchise, becoming the first Korean film franchise to sell over 30 million tickets. Don Lee will attend the screening on October 21 at Consolidated Theatres Kahala for a post-screening discussion.

Beyond screenings, HIFF introduces HIFILM, its Industry Hub, offering career development programs, masterclasses, and workshops. These events, taking place at Entrepreneurs Sandbox and UH West Oʻahu, are open to HIFF Industry Passholders starting on October 14 and are free for University of Hawaiʻi ACM students who apply for the HIFF Industry Pass.

To get involved and purchase tickets, becoming an Industry Pass holder is the best option. Priced at $70 for HIFF members and $100 for non-members, this pass provides access to HIFILM Panels, select festival events, and 10 screening tickets. The festival’s film schedule and individual screening tickets can be found on HIFF’s website: Screenings on Oʻahu run from October 12 through the 22nd, and for neighbor islands, from October 27 through November 5.

HIFF43 promises a cinematic celebration that brings together film enthusiasts, industry professionals, and the local community, making it a must-attend event for anyone passionate about the magic of cinema.