The Hawaii International Film Festival opens Thursday at the Historic Waimea Theater.
Opening night is the premier of “Go for Broke: An Origin Story” 7 p.m. $40 general admission includes film and food.
Following is an outline of the movie schedule.
WORLD PREMIERE: GO FOR BROKE: AN ORIGIN STORY (2017)
Director: Alexander Bocchieri | Year: 2017 | Runtime: 90 minutes | Language: English
Genre: Drama, History, War
Set in the tumultuous year after the attack on Pearl Harbor, this true story follows a group of University of Hawaii ROTC students as they fight discrimination by forming the Varsity Victory Volunteers (VVV). The brave actions of these young Japanese Americans (including a young Daniel Inouye), along with the perseverance of the original 100th Infantry Battalion draftees from Hawaii, led to the formation of the all-Japanese fighting unit – the 442nd – the most decorated combat unit in American military history.
Friday, 8:15 pm
SOUTH KOREA: THE VILLAINESS
Director: Byung-Gil Jung | Year: 2017 | Runtime: 123 minutes | Language: Korean (English subtitles)
Genre: Action, Thriller
Bloody revenge is at the heart of this stylish, kinetic action-thriller that gives a welcome shot of adrenaline to the classic femme fatale story. Honed from childhood into a merciless killing machine by a criminal organization, assassin Sook-hee is recruited as a sleeper agent with the promise of freedom after ten years of service. But soon enough, secrets from her past destroy everything she’s worked for, and now nobody can stand in her way as she embarks on a roaring rampage of revenge.
Saturday, at 1:30 pm
AUSTRALIA: BLUE (United States Premiere)
Director: Karina Holden | Year: 2017 | Runtime: 76 minutes | Language: English
Genre: Documentary, Environmental, Social Issues
BLUE takes us on a provocative journey into the ocean realm, witnessing a critical moment in time when the marine world is on a precipice. Featuring passionate advocates for ocean preservation, BLUE takes us into their world where the story of our changing ocean is unfolding.
Friday, 6 p.m.
NEW ZEALAND: POI E: THE STORY OF OUR SONG
Director: Tearepa Kahi | Year: 2016 | Runtime: 94 minutes | Language: English
Genre: Culture, Documentary, Music, Native/Indigenous Peoples
‘Poi E’, a simple song with a catchy beat released 32 years ago, has become New Zealand’s unofficial national anthem. With humor, energy and emotion, the movie POI E is the story of how that iconic song gave pride to generations of New Zealanders.
Saturday, 3:15 pm
JAPANESE ANIME: NAPPING PRINCESS (Festival Premiere)
Director: Kenji Kamiyama | Year: 2017 | Runtime: 111 minutes | Language: Japanese (English subtitles)
Genre: Fantasy, Sci-Fi
The year is 2020, three days before the opening of the Tokyo Olympics. While she should be studying for her exams, Kokone Morikawa is often dozing off, stuck between reality and a dream-world full of fantastic motorized contraptions. But after her father, a talented but mysterious mechanic, is arrested for stealing technology from a powerful corporation, it’s up to Kokone and her childhood friend Morio to save him.
Saturday, 5:30 p.m.
HAWAI’I: OUT OF STATE (Hawai’i Premiere)
Director: Ciara Lacy | Year: 2017 | Runtime: 79 minutes | Language: English, Hawaiian with English subtitles
Genre: Documentary, Native/Indigenous Peoples, Social Issues
Shipped thousands of miles away from the tropical islands of Hawaii to a private prison in the Arizona desert, two native Hawaiians discover their indigenous traditions from a fellow inmate serving a life sentence.
Saturday, 7:30 pm
SOUTH KOREA: A TAXI DRIVER
Director: Hoon Jang | Year: 2017 | Runtime: 137 minutes | Language: Korean with English subtitles
Genre: Drama, History
May, 1980, Seoul. Demonstrations denouncing the martial law proclaimed by the dictator Chun Doo-hwan disrupt the routine of Man-seob, a cranky taxi driver who curses the protesters who prevent him from working.
Sunday, 12:30 p.m.
HAWAI’I: MADE IN HAWAI’I SHORTS
Director: Various | Year: 2017 | Runtime: 90 minutes | Language: English
Genre: Short Films
Sunday, 2:45 p.m.
UNITED STATES: I CAN I WILL I DID
Director: Nadine Truong | Year: 2017 | Runtime: 110 minutes | Language: English
Genre: Coming of Age, Drama, Family Friendly
Sunday, 4:45 p.m.
JAPAN | SINGAPORE: JIMAMI TOFU (World Premiere)
Director: Jason Chan, Christian Lee | Year: 2017 | Runtime: 121 minutes | Language: English, Japanese with English subtitles
Genre: Drama, Food, Romance
Ryan (Jason Chan) is an ambitious Singaporean chef working in Tokyo. When his food critic wife Yuki suddenly disappears, it leaves him reeling. In an effort to find her, he sets off to her hometown in Okinawa searching for clues.
Sunday, 7:15 pm.m.
HAWAI’I: KULEANA (World Premiere)
Director: Brian Kohne | Year: 2017 | Runtime: 95 minutes | Language: English
Kuleana is the Hawaiian word for spiritual responsibility. In 1971, few understood the concept of kuleana, as the Hawaiian Renaissance, a reawakening of island culture, had yet to begin and ancient customs and values teetered on the precipice of extinction. On Maui, childhood friends Nohea and Kim share a common nemesis: Kim’s father, Victor Coyle, a real-estate developer who blatantly exploits the land and the people he has managed to usurp and control. Ancestral spirits and modern day warriors also contribute to the fight as Nohea and Kim learn the most important lesson: kuleana is not a burden; it is a privilege.
HIFF four-day pass, $100; three-day pass, $75; General admission per film, $10.