Hawai‘i International Film Festival (HIFF) Presented By Halekulani Unveils Inaugural 2021 HIFF Eat.Drink.Film Series

A scene from MIO’S COOKBOOK. Photo courtesy of HIFF

“HIFF is proud to present this multi-day feast celebrating exceptional culinary cinema from various nations,” says HIFF Executive Director Beckie Stocchetti. “This showcase spotlights the stories of nourishment beyond the plate and reminds us that what we consume (both food and film) matters.”

The Hawai‘i International Film Festival (HIFF) presented by Halekulani, continues their re-imagined 2021 Spring Showcase edition with the launch of the third mini-fest in the series, EAT. DRINK. FILM. an expansion of HIFF’s popular Eat. Drink. Film. program presented as part of the annual Fall Festival. Eat. Drink. Film. will run June 10th-20th, and will feature culinary films from around the world including dramatic features and documentaries. The program will feature 6 feature films & 4 short films along with filmmaker Q&As, live virtual foodie events, and special partnerships with local restaurants. Highlights include:

CRIOLLO, documentary feature directed by Pablo Banchero, follows Uruguayan chef Hugo Soca as he takes the audience through the heart of Uruguay’s rich culinary traditions.

The International Premiere of FOOD LUCK, directed by Jimon Terakado. Many are calling this Narrative Feature a cinematic love letter to Japanese grilled beef.

The United States Premiere of MIO’S COOKBOOK, directed by Haruki Kadokawa. This gorgeous period piece set in early 1800’s Japan, follows young Osaka-native Mio as she tries to infiltrate the Edo restaurant scene.

Virtual Panel program: THE SHEROES OF THE KITCHEN a special conversation with womyn chefs and food activists from Hawai‘i to discuss their careers in one of the nation’s most exciting culinary scenes, as well as issues involving gender parity, workers rights, food sustainability, the many challenges faced in the wake of a global pandemic, and the future trends of an industry in crisis. The panel will include Chef Leanne Wong (Top Chef, Koko Head Cafe, Pioneer Inn) and will be moderated by Martha Cheng (Food editor, Honolulu Magazine, Author of THE POKE COOKBOOK).

“HIFF is proud to present this multi-day feast celebrating exceptional culinary cinema from various nations,” says HIFF Executive Director Beckie Stocchetti. “This showcase spotlights the stories of nourishment beyond the plate and reminds us that what we consume (both food and film) matters. As we work to rebuild a sustainable landscape in Hawai’i, HIFF is partnering with local restaurants and providers to spotlight our diverse and remarkable culinary industry here in the islands.”

Current restaurants and providers include Bitesquad, Kamitoku Ramen, Kokua Market and Shokudo. Stay tuned for additional partners in the coming weeks.

The HIFF Showcase Series will end the season with VIVE LE CINEMA, a celebration of the latest films by emerging filmmakers in French cinema. Festival Passes and individual ticket purchases available online at hiff.org. Follow HIFF on Instagram and Facebook for more information.

2021 HIFF Showcase Series

CRIOLLO
Uruguay 2020
Director: Pablo Banchero
Documentary Feature
Hawaii Premiere
Raised on his grandmother’s cooking, celebrated Uruguayan chef Hugo Soca takes us through the heart of his nation’s rich culinary traditions—from homemade wine to Pampas barbecue to simmering fish stew and all points in-between—in this mouth-watering, joyous celebration.

FOOD LUCK
Japan 2020
Director: Jimon Terakado
Narrative Feature
International Premiere
Food writer Yoshito grew up with his single mother who ran a yakiniku restaurant after his father died. But since the closure of the restaurant, he has become estranged from his mother, and from yakiniku. When he is given an assignment to cover yakiniku for a new online magazine, it stirs up both his love for this grilled meat delicacy, and secrets from his past. Directed by actor/comedian and popular food critic Jimon Terakado, FOOD LUCK is a love letter to Japanese grilled beef.

HER NAME IS CHEF
United States 2020
Director: Peter Ferriero
Documentary Feature
Hawaii Premiere
Her Name is Chef showcases the stories of six amazingly talented, inspiring, females of the kitchen. Each share their triumphs in cutting through the clichés of the restaurant industry, and explore how they broke down the doors to ‘earn’ the title of Chef. Host Leia Gaccione sits down with Elizabeth Falkner, Fatima Ali, Hillary Sterling, Esther Choi, Juliet Masters, and Caroline Schiff. They open up their hearts and minds to the world, leaving no stone unturned.

MEAT THE FUTURE
Canada 2020
Director: Liz Marshall
Documentary Feature
Hawaii Premiere
Meat the Future is a timely documentary about “cultivated meat”, a food science that grows real meat from animal cells in a controlled environment, free from disease and infection; a revolution in food production, proposing a sustainable way to feed the world in the future – without the need to breed, raise and slaughter animals. At the forefront of this urgent new frontier is cardiologist Dr. Uma Valeti, the co-founder and CEO of Memphis Meats, one of the leading start-ups in the field. From a meatball which cost $18,000 per pound in 2016 to the world’s first “clean” chicken fillet in 2017 for half the cost, the film follows Valeti over three years as the cost of production continues to plummet, and consumers eye the birth of this industry.

MIO’S COOKBOOK
Japan 2020
Director: Haruki Kadokawa
Narrative Feature
United States Premiere
Early 1800’s Japan. Young Osaka-native Mio finds herself estranged from her hometown and her best friend Noe when her parents die tragically. Years later, after being taken in by a local restaurateur, she finds herself cooking at a soba shop in Edo. It’s not long before it becomes clear that she is a masterful chef, quickly creating a sensation in town, and unknowingly connecting her with Noe (now a famous courtesan). However, challenges abound for a young woman trying to infiltrate the Edo restaurant scene.

SEXUAL DRIVE
Japan 2021
Director: Yoshida Kota
Narrative Feature
North American Premiere
Three short stories about sex, aphrodisiac foods and secret desires. In part one, Natto, named after the fermented soybean dish, wiley food obsessed Kurita visits designer Enatsu purporting to be in an affair with the latter’s wife Masumi. In Mapo, named after the Chinese tofu dish, Kurita asks Akane, the woman who used to bully him, to hit him with her car. And in Ramen, Kurita infiltrates the adulterous affair between married Ikeyama and Momoka.

SHORTS PROGRAM

BLOODLINE
United States | 27M
Directors: James Q Chan, Santhosh Daniel
An intimate profile by directors James Q. Chan (Forever, Chinatown) and Santhosh Daniel of Vietnamese-American chef, Tu David Phu, and the evolution of his culinary aesthetic—borne from a bloodline that traces back through childhood and his family’s unspoken history of war, and set within a conversation of image-making and cultural bias, or how preferences for food often mirror our perceptions, and prejudices, of people.

FARMING SLOWLY
United States | 8M
Director: Anthony Newen
Catherine Nguyen is a passionate young Vietnamese-American woman farmer who rejects the industrial mono-crop way of growing food, and focuses on traditional and natural ways. Her philosophy that we should slow down, build a community around our food, and do it organically can help us live a happier, healthier, and more engaged life.

CHEF MAVRO’S ALOHA
United States | 27M
Take a deep dive into the remarkable cooking style of the James Beard award winner and one of the pioneers of Hawai‘i’s famed pacific culinary movements, Chef Mavro.

FAMILY INGREDIENTS: WISCONSIN
United States | 25M
Valerie Kaneshiro, a mixture of Japanese and Native American, was raised on the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe reservation in Wisconsin, her mom’s ancestral home. Forced to leave her home at 15, disconnected from her Indian roots she so loved, Valerie tells a story of loss and rediscovery and all the lessons learned while sharing an ingredient to a cultural dish found in Wisconsin and Hawai‘i.

Virtual Panel Discussion
THE SHEROES OF THE KITCHEN
Inspired by the documentary HER NAME IS CHEF, which spotlights six bad-ass, inspiring, sheroes of the kitchen, this free HIFF virtual panel will invite womyn chefs and food activists from Hawai‘i to discuss their careers in one of the nation’s most exciting culinary scenes, as well as issues involving gender parity, workers rights, food sustainability, the many challenges faced in the wake of a global pandemic, and the future trends of an industry in crisis. The panel will include Chef Leanne Wong (Top Chef, Koko Head Cafe, Pioneer Inn) and will be moderated by Martha Cheng (Food editor, Honolulu Magazine, Author of THE POKE COOKBOOK).

EAT.DRINK.FILM. Fest: June 10-20
VIVE LE CINEMA: July 8-18

Event Listing
What: 2021 HIFF Showcase Series (April 15, 2021 – July 31, 2021)
INDIGENOUS LENS powered by Pacific Islanders in Communications: April 15 -25
J-FEST: May 13 – 23
EAT.DRINK.FILM. Fest: June 10-20
VIVE LE CINEMA: July 8-18

Festival Passes and individual ticket purchases available online at hiff.org.

http://www.HIFF.org
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HIFFHAWAII/
Twitter: @HIFF
Instagram: @HIFFHawaii

Tickets
All Series Pass (includes all 4 series)
Early Bird $120 General | $100 Member
Regular $150 General | $120 Member

Individual Series
$45 Regular | $40 Member

Individual Tickets
$8 General | $6 Member

About Hawai‘i International Film Festival presented by Halekulani (HIFF)
Established in 1981, the Hawai‘i International Film Festival is a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of cultural exchange and media in the Pacific Rim. HIFF is a premier international film event that has won the praise of international filmmakers, scholars, educators, governments, programmers and film industry leaders across the globe. HIFF’s programming has two particular mandates: to be a festival of record for emerging films from Asia, the Pacific, and North America and to present the top festival films from around the world, annually screening films from over 45 countries. HIFF Industry and HIFF VR presents content and panels in the fields of film, music, virtual reality, and new media entertainment. These transmedia programs reflect HIFF’s commitment to exhibiting innovative creative content coming from the Asia Pacific Rim. Visit hiff.org for more information.

HIFF’s key presenting sponsor is Halekulani Corporation and major sponsors are: Hawaiian Airlines, and Middle Management.