HRFF is one of the longest-running and most respected queer film festivals in the country, celebrating its 31st anniversary in 2020. It is especially well known as a bridge from Hawaii, the Pacific Islands and Asia to mainland USA, and is a member of the Asia Pacific Queer Film Festival Alliance.
The festival uses the power of film to raise awareness, engage, energize, and instill a sense of pride and respect in Hawaiiʻis thriving lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, transgender and mahu community. The festival is presented annually by the Honolulu Gay and Lesbian Cultural Foundation, a self-supporting non-profit 501(c)3, in honor of Hawaii LGBT pioneer Adam Baran.
Filmmakers are welcomed to the festival with a warm spirit of aloha. Screenings are held at the Dorris Duke Theater, in the unique cosmopolitan ambiance of Honolulu, and filmmakers are accommodated in the beach resort area of Waikiki. Donʻt forget your sunscreen!
Jack Law (Humanitarian Award)
Phred Love Award (Local Filmmaker Award)
Rising Star Award
A WALK HOME
DIRECTED BY: TSUYOSHI SHOJI
Synopsis: The scene is set for the year 1944, wartime Fukuoka, Japan. On his way home from a draft check, Kanji, who is hiding his gayness, agonizes over whether he should declare his feelings for his friend Sakunosuke, who is leaving for the front lines tomorrow.
AFTER THAT PARTY
DIRECTED BY: CIAO SCOT
Synopsis: Leo had never imagined he would see his Father kissing another man in the middle of a party… Until it happened. Now, with the help of Carol, his best friend, he has to find the most perfect way to tell his Father that he found out about his secret.
AJUMMA! ARE YOU KRAZY???
DIRECTED BY: BRENT ANBE
Synopsis: Three Hawaii Ladies addicted to Korean Soap Operas. Hawaii’s First Kim Chee Comedy.
DIRECTED BY: SHAE XU
Synopsis: In the two weeks they’ve known one another, yoga instructor Tammy hasn’t had a chance to talk to Marcus about her trans experience. Does she have to? A question considered by thousands of transgender people daily.
DIRECTED BY: ALEC MAPA
Synopsis: “Family Restaurant” is a children’s film that celebrates young children with gay or lesbian parents. It’s set in a magical family restaurant filled with cute characters who reflect these kids’ family lives.
DIRECTED BY: KIT HUNG
Synopsis: Forever 17 explores an imaginable future for the queer community in Hong Kong, through love and acceptance, betrayal and forgiveness, pain and recovery, death and survival, inheritance and eternity, and honoring life long commitments.
DIRECTED BY: ERIC SHAHINIAN
Synopsis: When Aram, a young Armenian man fresh out of the closet, decides to take Jason to his room after their first date, he must decide how far he is willing to go as long as they can both have a good night.
DIRECTED BY: GAYATRI BAJPAI & NIRAV BHAKTA
Synopsis: Sujata Chopra attempts to find some joy in her broken marriage, until she learns about the passing of her childhood companion’s spouse on Facebook. Having been disconnected for over 30 years, Sujata finds the courage to reach out to send her condolences. They reconnect, sparking friction when Sujata’s controlling husband finds out.
I AM MACKENZIE
DIRECTED BY: ARTEMIS ANASTASIADOU
Synopsis: Caught among toxic masculinity, a sequin dress and a teenage crush, a teen skater, growing up in rural Texas, will have sex for the first time in the back of their dad’s truck.
DIRECTED BY: SOHAM CHAKRABORTY, HANXU CHEN, METON JOFFILY, JUSTIN POLLEY & JULIA TROUVÉ
Synopsis: In a far future, Sonia is about to be transferred from her space station to a newer one. While everything appears to be going well for her, her mind is elsewhere, disturbed by a past not far behind.
DIRECTED BY: SZU-WEI CHEN
Synopsis: Jay, a 13-year-old Taiwanese boy, is fascinated by his toned and athletic older brother. In order to get close to him, Jay feigns an interest in basketball so that his brother will practice with him. Steadily, Jay’s fascination develops into an attraction.
KAMA’AINA (CHILD OF THE LAND)
DIRECTED BY: KIMI HOWL LEE
Synopsis: A queer sixteen-year-old girl, Mahina, must navigate life on the streets in Oahu, until she eventually finds refuge at the Pu’uhonua o Wai’anae––Hawaiʻi’s largest organized homeless encampment.
DIRECTED BY: MOXIE PENG
Synopsis: When Little Jia is asked to read his essay about how he spent Women’s Day with his mom out loud in class, he has to hide the painful truth that only his friend Dong knows.
MIN MIN AND CLAIRE
DIRECTED BY: MOXIE PENG
Synopsis: A tale between two Chinese immigrant high schoolers and their secret crush.
MY FRIEND MICHAEL JONES
DIRECTED BY: IAN LEAUPEPE & SAMSON RAMBO
Synopsis: MJ is the ridicule of his high school peers, which makes him a target for relentless bullying. Chief among his tormentors is Selena. When MJ discovers a secret that threatens Selena’s standing within her devout Samoan family and popular school clique, the two teenagers form an unlikely bond.
NEXT LEVEL SHIT
DIRECTED BY: GARY JAFFE
Synopsis: Taylor (Ben Baur) prepares obsessively for the perfect third date with dreamboat Chris (Daniel K. Isaac), but his efforts backfire, sending the relationship spiraling to a whole new level of intimacy.
OUR PLACE TOGETHER
DIRECTED BY: CLAY MARSHALL PRUITT
Synopsis: Two young husbands retreat to their favorite camping spot to hash out some life-altering news and the ramifications it will have on their marriage and their future together.
PARENTAL GUIDANCE SUGGESTED
DIRECTED BY: DANE NEVES
Synopsis: Real parents seek advice from leaders in Hawai’i’s LGBTQI+ community advice on how to better understand their gay son. To keep their identities anonymous, the parents’ recording will be re-enacted with puppets.
DIRECTED BY: MATTHEW ALLEN
Synopsis: After befriending his new classmate John, Eric is forced to come to terms with both his sexuality and the tragic death of a friend. This is a coming-of-age film that examines what it is like to struggle with sexuality, depression, anxiety, and loss in high school.
SAFE AMONG STARS
DIRECTED BY: JESS X. SNOW
Synopsis: A queer chinese-american woman struggles to tell her immigrant mother and her partner the reason why she left school. Using her powers, she teleports into her own galaxy where no violence can touch her.
DIRECTED BY: DREW PRASKOVICH
Synopsis: Mars, a pregnant boy, must confront the tabloid persona created by his fame-obsessed mother on the final day of his pregnancy.
SO LONG, PARIS!
DIRECTED BY: CHARLES DUDOIGNON-VALADE
Synopsis: A bittersweet comedy about a fanciful and rebellious pre-teen who ends up accepting her parents’ divorce after an unexpected encounter with her dad’s male lover.
THE CHANGE UP
DIRECTED BY: JORDAN AUTEN
Synopsis: A young softball coach finds himself at a crossroads, throw the pitch or throw in the towel.
THE LONGING FADE
DIRECTED BY: KAVEH KARDEN
Synopsis: A lonely woman longs to connect with a stranger who doesn’t know she exists.
DIRECTED BY: DEAN HAMER & JOE WILSON
Synopsis: An intimate glimpse of the first visible group of transgender men in the Pacific Islands – the Rogers of Samoa.
DIRECTED BY: ROSIE WESTHOFF
Synopsis: When friends Belle and Jessie go away for the weekend and drunkenly hook up; what seems like an awkward slip up to firmly heterosexual Jessie, is in fact an incredible betrayal to bisexual Belle.
WE ALL FLOAT DOWN HERE
DIRECTED BY: ALEXANDRA LIVINGSTON
Synopsis: Move over, Pennywise! Candi is down in the Sewer (Derry’s hottest nightclub), luring young twinks to the pulsating beats and drag shows below. Starring Gregory Rogers as Georgie, this is the gay ‘It’ parody you’ve been waiting for.
WE’RE NOT HERE
DIRECTED BY: BONNIE MOIR
Synopsis: When tragedy interrupts their secret seaside tryst, the prospect of going public brings two men to a standoff.
WERE YOU GAY IN HIGH SCHOOL?
DIRECTED BY: NIKI ANG
Synopsis: Two queer women recall their awkward, closeted high school days of kissing boys and straight-girl crushes.
DIRECTED BY: NICK NEON
Synopsis: Jimmy Park is visiting home for the first time in years and has nothing to show for his time away in Seoul. But old tensions come to a head when he confronts his homophobic sister over a deeply, dysfunctional family dinner.