6 Films You Must Watch at the Hawai‘i International Film Festival Spring Showcase

Bust out the popcorn.
Photo: Courtesy of Chongqing hot pot 


We’re up to our necks in top-tier international cinema, thanks to the Hawai‘i International Film Festival’s Spring Showcase, which kicked off last Friday. The lineup of offerings the team has dished out this year hail from across the world, including Australia, Belgium, Vietnam, China, Japan, New Zealand and more. On the roster are pictures packing some real local and international flavor—literally. This year, we’re all about that taste, thanks to these scrumptious food-and-drink-focused films that foodies won’t want to miss, plus buzzworthy selections from Sundance and SXSW. Head over to Regal Cinemas Dole Cannery to catch the shows. 


Food and Beverage Films


Chongqing Hot Pot

Things get hot when three high school classmates must expand their failed hot pot restaurant, which is based in an old bomb shelter, for a prospective buyer. Their digging lands them in a bank vault next door, and while they cook up a plan to fix the hole, some conniving bank robbers are sure to complicate things.

Catch the show on Wednesday, April 5 at 6 p.m. at Dole Cannery. Buy tickets here.


The Roots of ‘Ulu

Get to the roots of breadfruit, one of the most important plants for the ancient Hawaiians, both culturally and sustenance-wise. This documentary delves into the mythological origins of the plant, as well as the tree’s historical journey from Tahiti. Finally, readers will learn about the efforts of present-day native practitioners and agricultural experts, trailblazers who see the great potential of ‘ulu to have a lasting impact on Hawai‘i’s sustainable future and cultural legacy.

Catch the show on Sunday, April 10 at 2:45 p.m. at Dole Cannery. Buy tickets here.


The Genealogy of Sake

This heartfelt film about the ancient Japanese craft of sake brewing looks 2000 years back at the history of the tradition, which involves a very detailed and complex brewing process. The artisans profiled in this documentary devote their lives to brewing the perfect drop of sake and pass on this heritage to future generations, as each glass of sake is believed to be filled with the spirit of the brewers, or toji.

Catch the show on Saturday, April 9 at 5:30 p.m. Buy tickets here.


Award’s-Buzzy Can’t-Miss Flicks


Hunt for the Wilderpeople

The latest from Taika Waititi, the director who brought us Boy and Eagle vs. Shark, this fun and cute coming-of-age road comedy is based on the book Wild Pork and Watercress and follows irreverent, hip-hop-loving city kid Ricky and his foster uncle Hec (played by Sam Neill!). The two find themselves on the lam in the New Zealand bush when it looks like Ricky may be shuffled to another home, and the two must evade a national manhunt.

Catch the show on Friday, April 8 at 8:15 p.m. Buy tickets here.


Sunset Song

Uber-hipster model Agyness Deyn ditches her punky digs for the lead role in Terence Davies’ latest, Sunset Song, where she plays the daughter of a Scottish farmer in the 1900s. This rite of passage story is set just before the first world war and boasts some stunning visuals and tender writing.

Catch the show on Sunday, April 10 at 5 p.m. Buy tickets here.


Morris From America

Lead actor Craig Robinson took home the Best Actor award at Sundance for his role in this pic, in which he plays the father of 13-year-old African-American boy Morris. The two have a tumultuous relationship and the family’s role as newcomers in history-rich, diversity-poor Heidelberg, Germany complicates thing even more—as does Morris’ budding love for a local German girl. 

Catch the show Wednesday, April 6 at 6:15 p.m. Buy tickets here