Film festival opens in Waimea Thursday

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.


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


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.


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


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


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.


Director: Various | Year: 2017 | Runtime: 90 minutes | Language: English

Genre: Short Films

Sunday, 2:45 p.m.


Director: Nadine Truong | Year: 2017 | Runtime: 110 minutes | Language: English

Genre: Coming of Age, Drama, Family Friendly

Sunday, 4:45 p.m.


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

Genre: Drama

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.

  1. Sunrise_blue November 16, 2017 5:09 pm Reply

    Does the school know that there is another event In Lihue, Kaua’i high school gym? UH men’s volleyball is up on Kaua’i.

    Friday 17th, 18th.
    And this event runs the same time just about.

    Ah..yea? Ok. Who will show up? Ah..Your mayor used to play football for UH. Ah..yea, alright.

  2. Sunrise_blue November 16, 2017 5:33 pm Reply

    Britain, USA, Poland, Germany, Italy, Russia, and Japan were the players in WWII. We were just a speck. But here we are, U.S.A. in Hawai’i. I heard a lot about this generation. 442nd regiment Nisei, Issei, Sansei,Yonsei, Gosei. 5 of them.

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