In Partnership with the Southern Weekend

Catching up with filmmakers nominated for HIFF Made in Hawaii Film Award

Filmmakers take to the red carpet ahead of Awards Gala

Sponsored by Hawaii International Film Festival

The 39th edition of the Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF) came to a close on Oahu with the Awards Gala at the Halekulani. HI Now hosts Jobeth Devera and Kanoe Gibson were there on the red carpet catching up with talented filmmakers and stars as they made their way inside.

“This is an incredible festival, and I’m happy to be apart of it,” said filmmaker Alika Maikau. His film MOLOKAI BOUND was nominated for the Made in Hawaii Film Award. It tells the story of a wayward young man, recently released from prison, who struggles to reconnect with his son and Hawaiian heritage.

“The category gets stronger every year, and this is objectively, I think, the strongest year thus far,” Maikau said.

In 2018, Maikau’s film Mauka to Makai was awarded HIFF’s Best Made In Hawaii Short.

Anela Ling is also one of the Made in Hawaii Film Award nominees with her film Mo’o. The narrative short tells the story of two grieving cousins navigating Oahu’s haunted terrain in search of life — before and after. Kekoa is a rebellious teen hell-bent on ignoring the death of his mother until his younger cousin, Mika, decides to intervene.

“It comes from a very personal place based on a loss in my own family and how I dealt with my mourning,” said Ling.

Mo’o was first submitted to the 2018 ‘Ohina Filmmakers Lab that ended up winning both the Judge’s Award and PIC (Pacific Islanders in Communication) Mentorship Award.

“I think (HIFF) is super important just because Hawaii is so small that any little event that comes here is kind of a big deal,” she explained. “It’s really important that Hawaii establishes itself as a place that can have events like these.”

HIFF will continue screenings from November 21-24 on Hawaii Island, Maui, and Kauai.

For more information:,, Instagram: @HIFFHawaii, and Twitter: @HIFF