Submissions Now Open for Made in Hawai‘i Film Festival

January 4, 2020, 11:35 AM HST (Updated January 4, 2020, 11:35 AM)

MIHFF signage on Hilo’s bayfront, 2019. Copyright, MIHFF 2019, PC:
Jeremiah Lofgreen

Submissions are officially open for the 3rd annual Made in Hawai‘i Film Festival, happening on Hawai‘i Island in late May.

The independent film festival brings a weekend long lineup of Hawai‘i-made content to the Hilo Palace Theater on May 30-31, with a kick-off “Sneak Peek” evening at Kona’s Aloha Theatre on May 23. In 2019, the festival played 35 films with 46 filmmakers in attendance over the main Hilo weekend.

Submissions run through March 15, and categories include feature-length and short narrative films, documentaries, music videos and web series. Filmmakers will be notified about their acceptance by April 1. To qualify, projects must have at least 50% of principal photography shot within the state of Hawaii, completed no earlier than January 2018.

All selected films are eligible for award nominations; this year’s award categories are: Best Short, Best Narrative Feature, Best Documentary Feature, Best Music Video and the Ka Moʻomeheu o Hawai’i Award. The latter award is part of the festival’s recent refocus on Native Hawaiian content, spearheaded by the festival’s Director of Native Hawaiian Programming, Vincent Keala Lucero, an Emmy-nominated filmmaker himself.


“I’m excited to help develop this new Native Hawaiian Initiative,” says Lucero. “Our people were natural storytellers who shared their ‘ike, knowledge, through oli and hula, keeping a record of important events and information. Today, as Hawaiian cinema shares the stories of our time, it can be seen as a familiar evolution of this poetic narrative.”

Submissions must go through Film Freeway, and filmmakers can find more information on or on Facebook,

Direct Film Freeway submission can be found here:


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