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9 Made in Hawai‘i Movies to Watch at the Hawai‘i International Film Festival 2017

Don’t miss these films made by local filmmakers. Catch them on the big screen from Nov. 2 to 12.


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This year’s Hawai‘i International Film Festival puts an extra spotlight on our growing local indie film scene with its first ever Made In Hawai‘i Film Awards for best feature and best short film.

 

But the lineup still includes festival favorites from Sundance, Cannes and Toronto, culinary cinema, history documentaries, Asian box office hits and a particularly strong selection of indigenous Pacific films. To help plan your week, we found nine local films especially worth watching.

 

SEE ALSO: 22 Can’t-Miss Movies at the 2017 Hawai‘i International Film Festival

Proof of Loyalty: Kazuo Yamane and the Nisei Soldiers of Hawai‘i

Nov. 7 and 10


​Kazuo Yamane was drafted just before World War II and was placed in the 100th Infantry Battalion, a unit consisting of Japanese-Americans fighting against Japan for America. Yamane’s knowledge of the Japanese language landed him in positions at the Pentagon and secret facilities where he was able to provide important intelligence. During a time of discrimination and mass incarceration of Japanese-Americans, the loyalty of Nisei soldiers such as Yamane and the trust of the War Department works as a dialogue about the strength diversity brings to America.

 

Ottomaticake

Nov. 7 and 10


The story of Otto Cake is a strange one. Founder Scott McDonough roller skated through the local independent punk rock scene of the 1990s as a bass player, cross-dresser and a master cheesecake maker. He began selling his cakes after punk rock shows and eventually opened a brick-and-mortar location in the heart of Chinatown, where he courageously fought for the safety of his customers, employees and himself to sweeten the community for all.

 

Corridor Four

Nov. 8 and 11


Isaac Ho‘opi‘i saved at least 18 people from the Pentagon during the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. While the world would remember him as a hero, he only remembered the horror he had seen and those he was unable to save. Corridor Four tells Ho‘opi‘i’s story of the aftermath of 9/11.

 

Keep You Float

Nov. 10

Note: This short will play during the screening of all “Adulting Shorts.” It will also be screened on Nov. 18 at Hilo Palace Theater and Nov. 19 at Waimea Theater Kaua‘i.

A group of friends, burdened by an important decision, examine their relationships with one another. Nainoa struggles in coping with the loss of his good friend.

 

Wilder Palms

Nov. 10

Note: This short will play during the screening of all “Adulting Shorts.” It will also be screened on Nov. 18 at Hilo Palace Theater and Nov. 19 at Waimea Theater Kaua‘i.

Rin, a 7-year-old girl in Hawai‘i, is at risk of being separated from her mother. After a tense confrontation with Child Protective Services, she must decide between retreating to her imagination or facing a new reality.

 

Lady Eva

Nov. 10 and 11

Note: This short will play during the screening of all “Pacific Showcase Shorts.” It will also be screened on Nov. 18 at Hilo Palace Theater and Nov. 19 at Waimea Theater Kaua‘i.

A brave young transgender woman in the South Pacific Kingdom of Tonga embarks on a journey to become her true self with a little inspiration from Tina Turner.

 

Ka Piko

Nov. 10 and 11

Note: This short will play during the screening of all “Pacific Showcase Shorts.” It will also be screened on Nov. 18 at Hilo Palace Theater and Nov. 19 at Waimea Theater Kaua‘i.

Makana is a young Native Hawaiian man. He has trouble identifying with his culture, but after his girlfriend dies while giving birth, he must perform a piko burying ritual with his girlfriend’s father.

 

Praise Song For Oceania

Nov. 10 and 11

Note: This short will play during the screening of all “Pacific Showcase Shorts.” It will also be screened on Nov. 18 at Hilo Palace Theater and Nov. 19 at Waimea Theater Kaua‘i.

This short is Hawaiian filmmaker Justyn Ah Chong’s film adaptation of a poem about the ecology, history, politics and cultures of the ocean in collaboration with Chamorro author Craig Santos Perez.

 

Go For Broke: An Origin Story

Nov. 12

Note: This film will also be screened on Nov. 16 at Waimea Theater Kaua‘i and Nov. 19 at Hilo Palace Theater.


Based on a true story, Go For Broke follows a group of University of Hawai‘i students who came together to fight the injustices faced by Japanese-Americans during World War II that led to the formation of the all-Japanese fighting unity, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the most decorated combat unit in American military history.

 

General admission $14, students, seniors and military $12, HIFF memberships and festival flash passes are also available for purchase, all screenings are at Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18 IMAX & RPX, 735 B ‘Iwilei Road, hiff.org

 

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