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The Hawaii International FIlm Festival Awards Keye of Life, best feature

With every new year of films comes a new batch of award winning projects. The Hawaii International FIlm Festival (HIFF) presented by Halekulani recognizes its top films with the Halekulani Golden Orchid and NETPAC awards. Of the numerous films that were up for nomination, three standout films have been recognized by winning these top awards from HIFF.

KEY OF LIFE, a japanese comedy about identity switching, has been given the Halekulani Golden Orchid Award for Narrative Feature. Jurors for this category were Tim League - Founder & CEO of Alamo Drafthouse / Drafthouse Films / Fantastic Fest, Todd Brown - Founder & Editor of / Partner xyz films, and Elizabeth Brambilla of IFC Films. The Festival jurors had this to say about the film: 


"A quirky comedy with uncommon depth, Kenji Uchida's KEY OF LIFE delights in consistently surprising its audience with twists on seemingly familiar elements. The trio of main actors is fabulous, the direction assured and the script blends gently absurd comedy with uncommon insight into - and love for - this isolated and awkward trio who simply need to find some connection in this world. We are proud to present the Halekulani Golden Orchid Award for Best Narrative Film to Kenji Uchida's KEY OF LIFE". 


The film is playing one more time at the festival on on Friday, October 19 at 7:45 PM.


WHERE HEAVEN MEETS HELL, a documentary that follows Sulfur Miners in Indonesia, has been awarded the Halekulani Golden Orchid Award for Documentary Feature. Jurors for this category Lisette Marie Flanary - Filmmaker/Professor at the Academy for Creative Meda UH Manoa, Walea Constantinau - Film Commissioner at the Honolulu Film Office, and Philip W. Chung - Creative Director of YOMYOMF Network. The Festival jurors has this to say about the film:


"The filmmakers take us on an emotional and insightful journey into the brutal and little known world of sulfur miners at Kawah Ijen in Indonesia. This is a beautifully crafted cinematic work that paints a vivid portrait of the miners and their families in a way that is intimate, poignant and universal".


The film is playing one more time at the festival on Saturday, October 20 at 1:00 PM.


The NETPAC Award, which is presented by the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema, has been awarded this year to APPARITION.  Jurors for this award were Vilsoni Hereniko - Filmmaker / Professor at Academy for Creative Media UH Manoa, Chaoyin Deng - President & CEO of Red Dragonfly Entertainment Ltd, and

Keoprasith Souvannovong - Film scholar. 


"The NETPAC award is given to APPARITION directed by Vincent Sandoval of the Philippines for its courageous exploration of religious faith, guilt and forgiveness through masterful storytelling and visual imagery".


The film is playing on Saturday, October 20 at 6:45 PM.


At the end of this year's festival, HIFF will be announcing the winners of the Audience Choice Awards presented by Hawaii News Now on Tuesday, October 23rd. The Audience Award winners will include Best Feature Film, Best Documentary Film, and Best Short Film.


Earlier in the festival, HIFF awarded the filmmakers of AMAZON GOLD, James Cavello, Magarite Almeida and Sarah Dupont, with the HIFF Humanitarian Award. Japanese film icon Koji Yakusho was awarded with the Career Achievement Award, and Yue Sai-Kan received the Lifetime Achievement Award.


The 32nd Hawaii International Film Festival presented by Halekulani features over 200 different films from 43 different countries and is at Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18 Theatres & IMAX from October 11-21.


For more information about HIFF, visit


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