As the vanguard forum of international cinematic achievement in the Asia-Pacific region, Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF) endeavors to recognize new and emerging talent, promote career development and original collaborations through innovative education programs, and facilitate dynamic cultural exchange through the cinema arts.
HIFF started as a project of the East-West Center, an educational and research institution created by U.S. Congress and located on the University of Hawai`i Manoa campus in Honolulu. Jeannette Paulson Hereniko was HIFF’s Founding Director, from 1981 to 1996.
In 1981, HIFF’s inaugural year, the program consisted of seven films from six countries which were viewed by an audience of 5,000. Today, HIFF is a premiere cinematic event in the Pacific and annually attracts more than 70,000 film enthusiasts from around the state, the nation and throughout the world.