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December Events...

  • Aks International Minorities Festival, Film – Art – Dialogue
  • Bahamas International Film Festival
  • Beijing Queer Film Festival
  • Berlin Lesbian Non-Binary Filmfest
  • British Urban Film Festival
  • Cine+Mas SF
  • Curta Cinema
  • Divergenti
  • For Rainbow
  • International Queer & Migrant Film Festival
  • Lesflicks Xmas Film Festival
  • Ljubljana Gay & Lesbian Film Festival
  • Merlinka International Queer Film Festival
  • Monaco International Film Festival
  • New York No Limits
  • Oaxaca FilmFest
  • OMovies
  • Outfest Screenwriting Lab
  • Queer Porto
  • Queer Wave
  • Santo Domingo OutFest
  • The Queer Games Festival: Melbourne
  • Trans Stellar Film Festival
  • Whistler Film Festival
Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival

Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival

HRFF is one of the longest-running and most respected queer film festivals in the country, celebrating its 33rd anniversary in 2022. It is especially well known as a bridge between Hawai'i and the Pacific, Asia, and the USA. HRFF is an IMDB-qualified festival and 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 Hawaiʻiʻs thriving lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, transgender, mahu and aikane 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.

This year we expect to present a hybrid festival, featuring a mixture of virtual and live screenings. The festival will occur in October to coincide with Honolulu Pride, a joyous celebration that draws visitors from all over the world.

We're looking forward to welcoming you to the warm sands of Hawai'i. Aloha!

Best Feature
Best Documentary
Best Narrative Short
Best Documentary Short
Jack Law (Humanitarian Award)
Phred Love Award (Local Filmmaker Award)
Rising Star Award


 

2022 films...

WILDHOOD

Two Spirit, Drama, Romance

Two brothers embark on a journey to find their birth mother after their abusive father had lied for years about her whereabouts. Along the way, they reconnect with their indigenous heritage and make a new friend. Filmed in English and Mi’kmaq, Wildhood is written and directed by Hannam (Wildfire, Deep End) and produced by actor-turned-producer Gharrett Patrick Paon of Rebel Road Films (I am Syd Stone, The Sinner), with Julie Baldassi (My Dead Dad’s Porno Tapes, Dim the Fluorescents) and Hannam as Producing Partner and Damon D’Oliveira (The Grizzlies, Honey Bee, The Book of Negroes) as Executive Producer. One of the first film productions in Nova Scotia to start up post-COVID lockdown, filming took place in the Annapolis Valley along the Bay of Fundy in Mi’kma’ki (Nova Scotia) in the summer of 2020.

Year:  2021
Runtime: 108 minutes
Language: English / Mi’kmaq
Country: Canada
Director: Bretten Hannam

Preceded by:

It Should Have Been Me

The fabulous Fatima, winner of the Tonga Miss Galaxy Pageant, brings down the house in this performance clip, followed by a Q&A with trans entertainer and fashion designer.

 

WHEN MEN WERE MEN

Drama, Coming of Age, LBTQIA+

Set in the beautiful landscapes of Ireland, this debut feature film written, directed, produced, and acted by trans/non-binary filmmakers Aidan Dick and Izzi Rojas tackles issues of toxic masculinity in the trans community and in the process, creates a trans story by trans people for everyone.

Bullied at school and tormented by his religious mother to be a traditional girl, the only place Kieran, a trans teen, can be himself is the theater, where he is deeply respected and always ends up getting cast as the lead male. When Egan moves to the rural Irish town, Kieran’s precariously balanced world is in danger of crashing down, especially when he realizes that, despite himself, he has fallen in love with the new boy, who doesn’t know Kieran is trans. Pulled in several directions at once, Kieran has to let go of his idea of masculinity before he loses sight of who he is and those he loves.

Year: 2021
Runtime: 1 hour 36 minutes
Language: English
Country: United States/Ireland
Director: Izzi Rojas, Aidan Dick

 

SWEETHEART

Comedy, Drama, LGBTQIA+, Coming of Age

Socially awkward lesbian teenager AJ begrudgingly joins her family on a seaside vacation. She finds herself constantly at odds with her painfully “normal” mother and older sister, neither of whom can understand why she doesn’t smile more or “dress like a girl.” Her anticipated “week of hell” takes an unexpected turn when Isla, a free-spirited and sun-loving lifeguard, catches her eye. Full to the brim with teen angst and romantic fumbling, Sweetheart wryly captures the bittersweet pangs of adolescent yearning, self-realization and personal connections, all against the hilarious ups and downs of the quintessential British family holiday. Praised as an “authentic account of the murky, counterintuitive waters of the queer adolescent experience” (Little White Lies), Marley Morrison’s feature debut is a surprisingly ebullient coming-of-age charmer not to be missed.

Year: 2021
Runtime: 1 hour 43 minutes
Language:English
Country: United Kingdom
Director: Marley Morrison

 

JIMMY IN SAIGON

Documentary, Mystery, Gay

Executive Produced by Dan Savage, Jimmy in Saigon is a feature documentary by filmmaker Peter McDowell who chronicles the story of Jim, his eldest brother, and a Vietnam War veteran. In 1972, when Jim was 24 and Peter was only 5, Jim died under mysterious circumstances while living as a civilian in Saigon. Through over 200 of Jim’s letters, candid interviews with Jim’s friends and family, and filming of the truth-seeking journey that led him across the United States, Vietnam, and France, Peter creates an elegiac work that examines grief, family secrets, war, drug use, sexuality, and healing, amounting to a celebration of a short but powerful life.

Year: 2022
Runtime: 89 minutes
Language: English
Country: United States
Director: Peter McDowell

 

POTATO DREAMS OF AMERICA

Drama, Comedy

Struggling to survive in the USSR during the turbulent years of Perestroika, Lena and her gay son, Potato, escape into the fantasy world of pirated American movies, but soon the movies are not enough and Elena decides to become a mail-order bride and discover America for herself.  Soon after Lena marries a much older and very eccentric John, the mother and son find that they’re in for a lot of surprises.  Closely based on the writer-director Wes Hurley’s childhood, Potato Dreams of America is one of those stories that prove that real life is often much stranger than fiction.

Year: 2021
Runtime: 1 hour 37 minutes
Language: English
Country: United States
Director: Wes Hurley

 

BEFORE I CHANGE MY MIND

Drama, Coming of Age

1987: While the other students wonder if new kid Robin is a boy or a girl, Robin forges a complicated bond with the school bully, making increasingly dangerous choices to fit in. IndieWire named Before I Change My Mind as one of “10 Must-See Movies at the 2022 Locarno Film Festival,” praising its “soft and transportive ’80s aesthetic,” and notes that the film “seems determined to confront the challenges and triumphs of self-becoming with the unwavering honesty of someone who remembers them both.”

Year: 2022
Runtime: 89 minutes
Language: English
Country: Canada
Director Trevor Anderson


 

ADMIT ONE

2022 • English • United States • Director: Emma Aikman

Piper falls for the girl behind the snack counter, but to ask out her “love at first sight”, she must battle her way through a Western shoot-out and an Alien Invasion in the movie theatre lobby.

ALL I EVER WANTED

2022 • English • United States • Director: Erin Lau

Rom-com obsessed teen Christine has always longed for the picture-perfect romance – but she’s soon confronted with the fact that her ideal prince charming might actually be a princess charming instead.

BÉSAME (KISS ME) 

2022 • Spanish • Mexico • Director: David Barba

A curious teen spends an afternoon exploring an empty beach house–unaware of the security cameras keeping a close eye on him–until he gets caught by the object of his desire.

COCK Nʻ BULL 3

2022• English • United States • Director: Nathan Adloff

Flight attendants, Chris and Wes, instigate twisted mile-high games with passengers, leading to the unimaginable – maneuvering an emergency landing after someone poisoned the pilot. 

COSMIC LAUNDRY

2022 • English • United States • Director: Alexandra Livingston

As Sumai grapples with her past mistakes, she meets an unusual therapist named Munnokki who takes her on a surreal journey to loving the self.

DISCOVERY

2022 • English • United States • Director: Ashley P Causey

After revealing her sexuality, a young woman comes to terms with living her truth, but a tragic event puts a damper on her new found freedom.

FIREWORKS

2022 • English • Australia • Director: Sam McGowan

In order to fulfill his New Year’s resolution, a lonely teenager downloads Grindr and attempts to lose his virginity in the final hours of the year.

FIRSTS

2022 • English • New Zealand • Director: Jesse Ung

On the eve Chinese New Year, Steven, a closeted Chinese international student living in New Zealand oppressed by the expectations of his parents, plans to lose his virginity to a stranger that he meets online.

FISHBOWL

2021 • English • United States • Director: Jaqueline Chan

After her first semester of college, Natalie drives home to LA with her childhood friend for Chinese New Year, There, Natalie must juggle between the growing attraction shared herself and Joanne, and the prying eyes of those she once called home.

FLAMES

2021 • English • United States • Directors: Deondray Gossfield and Quincy LeNear Gossfield

Two childhood friends find themselves alone together in the woods. Soon, unresolved issues and old resentments ignite a forbidden blaze between them that must be doused if either are to have any chance of escaping the past.

GENDER OUTLAW, A BODY SURFING SOTRY

2022 • English • United States • Director: Peter Williams

A documentary that navigates the tumultuous waters that Tyler Wilde has had to move through as he searched for big surf, his true self, and his chosen family.

GERANIUM

2022• English • United States • Director: Kait Schuster

A queer couple takes to the bedroom to process a sexual assault through role play until things fall apart when they forget their floral safe-word.

HIDDEN

2021 • English • United States • Mathilde Suissa

A slice of life coming-out story that bonds three women unexpectedly.

HOTTER UP CLOSE

2022 • English • United States • Director: Leland Montgomery

On the eve of his 30th birthday, a gay slacker must overcome his crippling insecurities in order to find love.

MY GIRLFRIENDʻS FAMILY

2022 • German w/ English subtitles • Germany • Director: Kimberly Schäfer

Rebellious daughter Lila wants to introduce her new friend Kim to her strict Catholic parents. But the supposedly peaceful family dinner ends in political disaster.

NORTH STAR

2021 • English • United States • Director: P.J. Palmer

A rural rancher and his ailing husband, struggling against poverty and isolation, make a heartbreaking decision in order to preserve the dignity of their marriage.

NOVENA

2022 • English • United States • Fernando Lopez

Manual and his estranged high school best friend reunite at a rosary ceremony, or “novena”, for Manuel’s deceased mother, where complex feelings come up as the two tackle masculinity, homophobia, religion, and family.

RECUERDO DE UNA TARDE EN LA AZOTEA

2022 • Spanish / English subtitles • Mexico / United States • Director: Tavo Ruiz

These are the whispers of the last time two best friends were together one afternoon on the rooftop.

SAX

2022 • English • United States • Director: Andrew Van Heusden

A college alto saxophone musician prepares to audition for a spot in an elite quartet, but things hit a flat note when he discovers his rival also wants the spot.

SPIN

2022 • English • United States • Director: Lisa Marie Tedesco

Abigail and Sky have had a connection all through high school drama club. The night of the their final performance and cast party they let their desires wander.

 

THATʻS FAMILY

2022 • English • United States • Director: Puppett

Lynne and Gloria’s “special date night” is thrown for a loop when dad drops in unexpectedly with some surprising news.

THE COMFORT ZONE

2022 • English • United States • Director: Ran Yatim

A passionless executive is reawakened from his static existence when an aspiring musician comes crashing into his world

THE LETTER MEN

2021 • English • United States • Director: Andrew Kish-Vallentine

Based on the real love letters written by Gilbert Bradley to his sweetheart, Gordon Bowsher during WWII, The Letter Men follows the two men as they fight to keep their love alive in the face of war and loss.

THE NOTE

2022 • English • Singapore • Director: Jen Nee Lim

To connect with her new class, an inexperienced teacher asks each student to anonymously share a personal secret. Chaos ensues when a note reads: I have HIV.

XMAS EVE EVE

2021• English • United States • Director: Anthony Dazhi Huang

December 23, 2020. While attempting to move out of New York City, Dennisʻ ex-lover Tom attempts to convince him to stay.