Did you know that Hawaii has its own annual film festival each fall, with many of the key showings taking place on Kauai?
Since its inception in 1983, the Hawaii International Film Festival has brought a new round of quirky picks and award-winners to our shores every year, along with a few favorite flicks set in Hawaii—both new and old—like the Adam Sandler comedy 50 First Dates and the classic Blue Hawaii, starring Elvis Presley. However, the most important aspect of the festival comes from its relationship with films and filmmakers far beyond our borders: HIFF is known as the largest "East Meets West" festival in the United States, thanks to its partnership with the Shanghai International Film Festival and its focus on features, documentaries, and shorts from Asia.
It makes sense. Our state's unique setting in the middle of the Pacific makes it the ideal connecting point between the U.S. mainland and Asia. And the multi-island film screenings are thoroughly enjoyed by Hawaii's "melting pot" multi-ethnic population. As the film festival's website states, "Chinese Americans see films from Japan; Japanese Americans see films from Korea." It's all done right here in Hawaii.
The festival, and Hawaii's allure, attracts the attention and attendance of many celebrities and film-industry notables. For instance, Roger Ebert and his wife Chaz, captivated by the "aloha spirit," made regular visits to the festival, and Ebert even contributed his own selections to the event each year, sometimes with an in-person introduction. Ebert was honored with one of the festival's Vision in Film awards during what would become his last visit in 2010.
Theater venues for the festival are spread across the islands of Hawaii—the only festival that occupies an entire state. Three of the venues are located on our island, with one located just 15 minutes from our Kauai resort. If you visited the festival last year, you would have seen six different films just minutes away from Hanalei Colony, including the French documentary Sand Wars, and Hawaiian selections The Haumana, a coming of age drama, and Ola, a documentary involving Hawaii's social values.
Film festivals provide a wonderful way to experience something different from the "typical" night out at the movies. Films featured at the Hawaii International Film Festival offer an opportunity to learn more about the spirit and culture that surround you here in Hawaii—and about those of other places, as well. Whether you're looking for an intriguing feature film, eye-opening documentary, or fascinating collection of shorts, take a look at the official website and see what's playing on Kauai during the next festival. It's just one more great reason to plan a stay in our Kauai resort accommodations in the fall!
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