Hawaii International Film Festival: Pacific Islands Films

Presenting Sponsor Halekulani Hotel
Honolulu November 3-13
Big Island & Kaua’I November 17-20
By Caroline Yacoe

For those of us lucky enough to live in Hawaii, this 36th Hawaii International Film Festival is once again showcasing films from New Zealand, Vanuatu, Tahiti and Hawaii.

Often a contributor to HIFF, New Zealand presents “THE PATRIARCH,” directed by Lee Tamahori and based on the book  “Bulibasha“ by Witi Ihimaera. who also wrote Whale Rider. “ THE PATRIARCH” stars Temuera Morrison who contributed to making “Once Were Warriors” an all time classic of Pacific films.

Set in a remote sheep farming area “THE PATRIARCH” tells the story and reveals the origin of a feud between two families while depicting the pleasures and trials of daily living in a sheep raising community.

Future Showings:

  • 9 November 6:15 pm
  • 11 November 5:45 pm

Another New Zealand Film  “BELIEF:  THE POSSESSION OF JANET MOSES” is a documentary on what is known as “The Waiuiomate Exorcism”. Based on a true story of how love and fear caused the death of a family member, this reenactment explores cultural beliefs interacting with the modern criminal justice system.


  • 11 November 8:15 pm                 
  • 13 November 11.15 am

One Small Bag” is a Vanuatu theatre group  which travels to remote villages throughout the islands to help explain political issues. improve health and promote family values.  “A PIECE OF CAKE” portrays their work in film, in this case how the disappointed supporter of a Minister is negatively affected even though his candidate wins.

Future Showing:   

  • 10 November 3:30 pm

Tahiti, especially the private island developed by Marlon Brando to be an ecologically friendly resort ,is a major player in  “LISTEN TO ME MARLON”.    This special presentation by Director Stevan Riley. Is a definitive documentary in Brando’s own voice that portrays the great actor in both his public and private life.


  • 10 November 8:00 pm

PACIFIC SHOWCASE SHORTS includes “MAISA, THE CHAMORU GIRL WHO SAVES GUAHAN”, directed by Michael Q. Ceballos, this wasl first show at FESTPAC in Guam last May.

Others shorts films by and about Pacific islanders cover a broad cross section of genres and themes. Portraying the varied stories and traditions of Pacific Islanders.


  • 8 Nov. 8:15 pm
  • 11 Nov. 12:30 pm

Shot in the Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands,  “TIES THAT BIND: HAWAII IN THE PACIFIC” directed by Caleb Mcmahan answers the question of how fish are caught and the issues underlying the sustainability of marine resources in the Pacific.

Remaining Showings:

  • 11 Nov. 1:15 pm
  • 20 Nov. 12:00 pm
    Historic Waimea Theater
    9691 Kaumualii Highway
    Waimea, Kauai, HI.

As the home base for HIFF, Hawaii has many entries in this year’s Festival including:   “Mele Murals” a production of Oiwi TV.   Set in the rural community of Waimea on Kauai, this film chronicles the transformation of illegal graffiti artists to community building leaders. Their actions based on art, ancestral wisdom and a group of  Native Hawaiian youth is an inspiring story.

Remaining Showings:

  • 12 Nov. 5:30p.m.
    Regal Kapolei  Commons 12
    4450 Kapolei Parkway, Kapolei, HI 96707
  • 17 Nov. 7:00p.m.
    The Palace Theatre
    ​38 Haili Street, Hilo, Big Island of Hawaii
  • 18 Nov. 6:00 p.m.
    Historic Waimea Theater
    9691 Kaumualii Highway
    Waimea, Kauai, HI.

POISONING PARAISE AND THE REVOLUTION TO SAVE HAWAII”, directed by Keely Brosnan and Teresa Tico, deals with a darker subject.  A new law to protect Kauai residents from  “Restricted Use” pesticides has mobilized a multi-generational multi-racial political movement to take on major companies who produce agrochemicals with the outcome still to be determined.

Remaining Showings:

  • 19 Nov. 2:30p.m.
    Historic Waimea Theater 
    9691 Kaumualii Highway
    Waimea, Kauai, HI

UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED, ALL SHOWINGS @ Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 735 Iwilei Road, Honolulu. 

For more information and to order tickets go to:  www.hiff.org.

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