HONOLULU (KHON2) — Local filmmakers will be showcasing their work at Hilo Palace Theater this weekend as part of the Made in Hawai’i Film Festival (MIHFF).

The Festival is returning for its fourth year, and it’s the first time to be fully in person since the pandemic hit. MIHFF held a hybrid event last year.

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Fifty Hawaii-made films will be shown at the Hilo Palace Theater between May 6 and May 8, following with a single-day screening at the Aloha Theatre in Kona on May 14.

While many people believe they need to live in Los Angeles for New York to work in the film industry, MIHFF shows that Hawaii has a pool of talented filmmakers, and their voices should be celebrated.

(Courtesy: Made in Hawai’i Film Festival)

“It’s really exciting — and important — for us to have the opportunity to directly connect filmmakers with an audience,” MIHFF Executive Director Zoë Eisenberg told KHON2.

“A lot of these films are smaller independent works that will not be available on large scale streaming platforms, so coming to enjoy them in the theater is not only the way they’re meant to be seen, but in some cases, the only way they will be seen.”

MIHFF Executive Director Zoë Eisenberg

Opening night kicks off Friday, May 6, at 7 p.m. with “I Was a Simple Man” starring Constance Wu. The film is about an elderly Hawaiian man who encounters the ghosts from his past as he nears the end of his life.

The Festival also has a free pitch and networking event on Saturday, May 7, at 10 a.m. Filmmakers can pitch their idea for a chance to win $1,000. Aaron Kandell, writer of Moana and Adrift, and Jeff Orig, writer/producer/director of local cult-hit web series Waikiki P.D., are among the pitch judges.

On Sunday, May 8, there’s a free panel at 10 a.m. for those interested in getting into filmmaking. The event will focus on creating micro-budget work in Hawaii.

Click here to see the full schedule. Click here for individual film descriptions.

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Single block tickets in Hilo run at $10, and a Hilo weekend pass stands at $35.