Southeast Asia at HIFF Winter 2016

The Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF) will feature 10 films from Southeast Asia amongst its offerings. The festival will be held from November 3-13, 2016. Below is a list of the films and their synopses and screening dates (titles link to more information for each film on the HIFF website). As part of our continuing outreach partnership with HIFF, they have kindly offered our film fans a discount of $2 off each ticket purchased. To get this discount, please use the code OUTREACH36 when purchasing your tickets from the HIFF website.  

HIFF was launched in 1981 and now occurs twice yearly, in spring and in fall. It showcases films from around the world with an emphasis on Hawaiʻi, Asia, and the Pacific. It annually attracts more than 70,000 attendees from Hawaiʻi and around the world.


Apocalypse Child (Philippines)

  • SAT, Nov. 5 @ 4:30 PM
  • MON, Nov. 7 @ 3:00 PM

Screen shot from film "Apocalypse Child"

An idle surfer spends his days in the heart of the Philippines’ surf culture, but soon questions about his past, his parentage, and his current love interests set the stage for a “dazzling” relationship drama.

Dearest Sister (Laos)

  • SAT, Nov. 5 @ 3:15 PM
  • WED, Nov. 9 @ 3:30 PM

Screen shot from film "Dearest Sister"
A poor village girl travels to Vientiane to care for a rich cousin who has mysteriously lost her sight, and yet somehow gained the ability to communicate with the dead. When she realizes that her cousin is receiving messages from spirits that allow her to win the lottery, she must choose between nursing her cousin back to health, or keeping her new source of income. DEAREST SISTER is an atmospheric morality tale that will draw you in.

Headshot (Indonesia)

  • WED, Nov. 9 @ 8:45 PM
  • FRI, Nov. 11 @ 8:45 PM

Screen shot from movie "Headshot"

A nameless man wakes up in a hospital with no memory of who he is. A student doctor seeks to help him, but she is kidnapped by people who may be from the nameless man’s past — and as he skillfully battles fighters who might just be former colleagues, the pieces of his identity begin to fall into place.

Lullaby (Singapore)

  • FRI, Nov. 4 @ 8:00 PM
  • Note: This is a short film and will be played alongside other shorts.

Screen shot from film "Lullaby"

In a typical Singaporean family of three, life is well and comfortable. Unbeknownst to them, the forgotten fourth member is feeling neglected and alone. The only comfort she finds in her impending passing, lies in her grandson.

One Day (Thailand)

  • THURS, Nov. 3 @ 8:15 PM
  • MON, Nov. 7 @ 2:30 PM

Screen shot from film "One Day"

A wish is granted and a nerdy, unnoticed IT worker gets the girl of his dreams; the catch is, she is a coworker who has suffered short-term memory loss, and she will regain it — including the knowledge that he is not actually her boyfriend — in one day. The romantic, if somewhat creepy, tale is set in the snowy Hokkaido region.

Out Run (Philippines)

  • THURS, Nov. 10 @ 5:45 PM
  • SAT,  Nov. 12 @ 12:15 PM

Screen shot from movie "Out Run"

OUT RUN documents the world’s only LGBT political party and their fight to be recognized in a predominantly Catholic country, and follows Bemz Benedito in the pursuit of her dream to be the first transgender woman in the Philippine Congress. But as outsiders trying to get inside the system, will they have to compromise their political ideals in order to win? Culminating on election day, OUT RUN provides a unique look into the challenges LGBT people face as they transition into the mainstream and fight for dignity, legitimacy, and acceptance across the globe.

This film is nominated for the Halekulani Golden Orchid Award for Best Documentary. As part of HIFF’s Film For Thought program in partnership with the Hawaii Council for the Humanities, the first screening of this film will be followed by a special extended discussion with director S. Leo Chiang and University of Hawaii Professor Vina Lanzona.

Singing in Graveyards (Malaysia, Philippines)

  • WED, Nov. 9 @ 8:00 PM
  • FRI, Nov. 11 @ 12:30 PM

Screen shot from film "Singing in Graveyards"

Pepe, a 68-year-old impersonator of a Filipino rock legend, lives alone on the borders of reality, imagination and mysticism. One day, he is finally given the chance to open for the rock legend’s concert but he must do something neither of them has done before – write a love song.

This film is nominated for the Halekulani Golden Orchid Award for Best Narrative Feature.

Snap (Thailand)

  • THURS, Nov. 10 @ 3:15 PM
  • SAT, Nov. 12 @ 5:00 PM

Screen shot from film "Snap"

Centered on an Instagram-preoccupied 26-year-old whose reunion with high-school friends triggers second thoughts about her impending marriage, SNAP represents another impressive achievement by leading indie writer-director Kongdej Jaturanrasamee (TANG WONG). Setting his tale against the backdrop of Thailand’s 2014 military coup, Jaturanrasamee has fashioned an absorbing study of young locals grappling with personal identity in an atmosphere of political instability and social disharmony.

The encore screening of this film at Hawaii Pacific University is FREE to the public and un-ticketed.

Ties that Bind: Hawaiʻi in the Pacific (American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, United States)

  • MON, Nov. 7 @ 8:00 PM
  • FRI, Nov. 11 @ 1:15 PM
  • SUN, Nov 20 @ 12:00 PM (Kauai Waimea Theater)
  • Note: All screenings are paired with a showing of Kū Kanaka (Stand Tall)

Screen shot from film "Ties that Bind: Hawaii in the Pacific"

A look into Hawaii’s commercial fishing industry, and its economic, environmental, and humanitarian impact on the Asia-Pacific region. An “unprecedented look into the ocean-to-table journey of Hawaiian ahi”. The documentary covers issues including fishing restrictions in the new Papahānaumokuākea national marine monument and the slavery-like conditions faced by impoverished Southeast Asian and Pacific Islander fishermen who are trapped working on fishing vessels based in Honolulu.

This film will be preceded by short film KŪ KANAKA (STAND TALL). As part of HIFF’s Film For Thought program in partnership with the Hawaii Council for the Humanities the first screening of this program will be followed by a special extended discussion with director Caleb McMahan (TIES THAT BIND), director Marlene Booth (KŪ KANAKA), and University of Hawaii professor Noelani Goodyear-Kaopua.

Toto (Philippines)

  • FRI, Nov. 11 @ 8:45 PM
  • SAT, Nov. 12 @ 11:00 AM
  • SUN, Nov. 20 @ 7:15 PM (Kauai Waimea Theater)

Screen shot from film "Toto"

How far will your dream take you? One young man in the Philippines discovers it’s all about the journey, not the destination. To help support his family, he struggles to succeed in the dream of economic betterment in America where his father failed before him — but he faces failure himself along the way.

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