HOHNOLULU (KHON2) — The 43rd Annual Hawaiʻi International Film Festival has arrived, and there’s lots for you to know you embark on this cinematic adventure.

HIFF considers itself to be the vanguard forum of international cinematic achievement in the Asia-Pacific region.

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HIFF is focused on endeavors that recognize new and emerging talent, promote career development and original collaborations through innovative education programs and facilitate dynamic cultural exchange through the cinema arts.

Begun as a project of the East-West Center, HIFF has become an educational and research institution that was created by United States Congress. It was located on the University of Hawai’i Manoa campus in Honolulu.

Jeannette Paulson Hereniko was HIFF’s Founding Director. She was in operation from 1981 to 1996. In 1981, HIFF’s inaugural year, the program consisted of seven films from six countries which were viewed by an audience of 5,000.

HIFF has go on to become a premiere cinematic event in the Pacific. The festival, annually, attracts more than 50,000 film enthusiasts from around the state, the nation and throughout the world.

It has become one of the premier film festivals in the U.S. and the only festival spread across Hawaiʻi’s archipelago.

HIFF typically presents a series of prizes for established and emerging filmmakers at its annual Awards Gala. In addition to its main competitions, the festival also honors filmmakers for special accomplishments and contributions to cinema’s culture. 

Click here for more information on tickets and scheduling for HIFF.

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Monday, Oct. 16 is the opening day of the film festival. The first films to premiere begin at 1 p.m. at Kahala Mall.