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HIFF begins! The schedule. The 4 films we can't wait to see.

Film fanatics rejoice! The Hawaii International Film Festival is back!

The 29th annual installment of HIFF begins today and runs through the Oct. 25, 2009, with films screening at Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18 Cinemas on Oahu.

Since its founding in 1981, HIFF has become the premier festival in the Islands for Hawaii, domestic and international independent film. The fest's signature mission in recent years, however, has been procuring the best cinema from Asia and the Pacific Rim—often films you won’t find anywhere else in one place. This year, more than 170 films from around the world will be screened at HIFF, continuing the festival’s global span.

You’ll find the entire HIFF schedule here

But enough talk about the fest. What you really want to know (at least in my perfect dream of matching Roger Ebert thumb for thumb in the realm of film criticism) is what HIFF films you’ll find me taking an aisle seat at.

So here they are: The 4 films I’m looking forward to seeing most at HIFF (in no particular order):



I always enjoy a good Korean psychologial thriller. So it's just my luck, I guess, that one kicks off the festival’s opening night. In Mother, an acupuncturist’s quiet, small-town life turns upside down when her mentally challenged son is accused of murdering a young woman. As she races to prove her son’s innocence, secrets about the small town slowly unfold. The film is Korea’s official entry into the Best Foreign Language Film category for the 2010 Academy Awards. It makes its international premiere tonight at HIFF.

Screening: Thurs., Oct. 15, 8:00 P.M., Fri., Oct. 16, 8:45 P.M.

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Check out these related HawaiiMagazine.com posts:
Maui Film Festival returns in June
The stars come out at the Maui Film Festival
Hawaii International Film Festival turns 33, expands screenings to Kauai and Big Island

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