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©Gensler/Ryan Gobuty

More than 100 University of Hawaiʻi Academy for Creative Media (ACM) System students will be reaping the benefits of a new partnership with the Hawaiʻi International Film Festival (HIFF)—the HIFFxACM Accelerator, which was announced this summer.

Any ACM System student in Hawaiʻi can sign-up for a free HIFFxACM Accelerator student pass to the 43rd Hawaiʻi International Film Festival presented by Halekulani (October 12–22 on Oʻahu and through November 5, on Maui, Kauaʻi, Lanaʻi and Hawaiʻi Island), which includes:

  • Five free admissions to day-of screenings (tickets limited by availability)
  • Invitation to HIFFxACM Gather networking event (Metaverse virtual event)
  • Invitation to all HIFF industry panels
  • Free HIFF industry membership for the year

By early October, more than 130 students had signed up. Among the perks for the ACM System students—access to the first HIFF screening and guest speaker to be held at UH West Oʻahu.

On October 21, 2–3:30 p.m. an ʻUluʻulu film presentation and panel, in partnership with Bishop Museum, will feature three episodes of Treasures, a docuseries that was produced and broadcast on KHON in 1985. Treasures will be shown at the UH West Oʻahu ACM campus, a state-of-the-art facility and headquarters of ʻUluʻulu: The Henry Kuʻualoha Giugni Moving Image Archive of Hawaiʻi.

Also on October 21, 4–5:30 p.m., a conversation with celebrated Māori actor, Cliff Curtis, whose work ranges from The Piano, Once Were Warriors and Whale Rider, to playing different ethnicities in major motion pictures and network series over more than three decades. Audiences will gain insight into a journeyman actor’s career, reflecting the past, present and future of Pasifika entertainment.

Lee headshot
Chris Lee

“We are so excited for this partnership that is bringing HIFF to UH West Oʻahu ACM and the West Oʻahu region for the first time,” said ACM System Founder and Director Chris Lee. “And 20 years after our first ACM short films debuted at HIFF, we could not be prouder to see that the majority of Hawaiʻi-made films are either debuts from UH Mānoa’s ACM:School of Cinematic Arts students, premieres from our ACM graduates, or features that our students and graduates worked on for other local filmmakers.”

Lee added that the HIFFxACM Accelerator also helps HIFF bring educational and screening opportunities to the neighbor islands and ACM System programs there, something he hopes to expand upon in coming years.

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