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About Us

Welcome to the Big Island Film Festival

Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i brings filmmakers and film lovers together for new narrative movies, networking and fun in one of Hawaii’s most luxurious resort environments.



Waves at the Fairmont Orchid
Photo by Catherine Tarleton

A Memorial Weekend Tradition! Big Island Film Festival dates surround Memorial Day Weekend: Thursday, May 21 through Monday, May 25, 2015

In addition to features and shorts from Hawaii and around the world, BIFF presents many opportunities to interact with fellow filmmakers and film lovers.

Fine tune your craft in professional workshops, talk story with celebrity guests at receptions and salutes, cheer the winners at Awards Brunch and enjoy closing night “Best of the Fest” with a fabulous Hawaiian music concert, plus the Audience Choice Feature and Short films.

Only new narrative films are eligible for Golden Honu Awards. We have opened a few time slots for movies with distribution in order to bring in established filmmakers and actors, whose insights can be valuable for the independent filmmakers and everyone in attendance.

We are thrilled and proud to be selected for MovieMaker Magazine’s acclaim!

“20 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee"

“25 Coolest Film Festivals”

“Cool Fests 2011: Counting Down 20 Can't-Miss Festivals.”

In 2012, the Hollywood Foreign Press surprised BIFF with a Film Festival Award.

Now in our 10th year, we’re proud that BIFF, the “talk story” film festival, has grown into a premiere event on our beautiful Hawai’i Island.


With three different film venues, our “Talk Story” film festival is a celebration for narrative filmmakers and their short and feature films, for all ages. Parking is free for BIFF attendees, and the tropical settings are unmatched.

Grand Opening Thursday, May 21 happens at the Family Films venue, aka The Shops at Mauna Lani center stage. We’ll kick off the festival with special guest introductions and short films beginning at 7:30 p.m. Beach chairs are welcome. This FREE event welcomes our guests to Hawai’i Island. Join Us!

Daytime Films are shown indoors at the newly renovated and air-conditioned Lehua Theatre at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i. Daytime Films are presented Friday through Sunday, in two-hour blocks of narrative features and/or shorts. Parking is Free!

Family Films (up to “PG”) and Festival Films (up to “R”) are both set in outdoor locations to take advantage of Hawaii’s beautiful starry skies. The Family Films venue is located center stage at The Shops at Mauna Lani. Friday through Sunday, one family feature and short film are presented FREE, starting at 7:30 p.m., through the courtesy of The Shops at Mauna Lani. Beach chairs are welcome. Some chairs available.

Festival Films are presented at Plantation Estates (next to the tennis pavilion) at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i. We show nightly double features and shorts, no-host bar, gourmet pupus and other refreshments, Friday through Sunday starting at 7:30 p.m. Daily Social events and “The Best of the Fest” on Monday afternoon and evening are also located at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i.

Please note: Plantation Estates is lawn seating, so bring your beach chairs or blankets. Some chairs available for visitors without beach chairs. You may bring your own snacks, but no outside liquor or ice chests, please.

“Best of the Fest” takes place at Plantation Estates, on Memorial Day, Monday, May 25, 2015. We’re excited to present Roughriders in the late afternoon followed by the Audience Choice feature and short at 7:30 p.m.

A silent auction to benefit Fisher House at Tripler Army Medical Center will be held on May 25th during the concert. (Items may be donated to the silent auction by calling the Big Island Film Festival office at 808 883-0394 prior to May 14, 2015).

Active duty military personnel with ID
will be admitted to all films FREE of charge.


Waves at the Fairmont Orchid
Photo by Kathleen Honey

Enjoy elegant indoor-outdoor receptions for celebrity honorees, Saturday and Sunday evenings 5-7 p.m. at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i.

Join fellow filmmakers and fans and cheer the winners at Golden Honu Awards Brunch, Monday, May 25, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i.

Tickets are required for these events and can be purchased online or from the Concierge Desk at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i. (Concierge desk transactions must be made by credit card.)

Special opportunities to meet and greet our visiting filmmakers will take place before and after the showing of their films and at special events. Q & A as time permits.
See Special Events page for details.

Friday, May 22, 2015 5-7 p.m. at The Shops at Mauna Lani

10th Anniversary Celebration! 10 Chefs – 10 Years. We’ve invited ten of the island’s very best chefs to share their specialties inspired by the movies – a tasty feast from favorite foodie films capped off with “Chocolat.” this event is a benefit for future BIFF programming. $75 admission includes food tastings, beverages, and a ticket to the Friday 5/22 double feature at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii – Free Parking. Reservations required - Phone Reservations Only. Call 883-0394. Deadline May 18 or when sold out.



TICKETSBuy Tickets Online Ticket Derby

Daytime Films: $8 per 2 hour block; $6 Kama’aina
Family Films: Free - 2 hours
Festival Films: $16 per 4 hours double feature & shorts; $12 Kama’aina
Additional $10 upgrade to Ali’i Seating (lounge chairs) – if space available.
Best of the Fest: ROUGHRIDERS Concert + Audience Choice feature & short
Gen Adm $45, Kama’aina $35, Keiki (7-12) $10, $5 MORE at the DOOR

Movie tickets are always available for purchase at the door. Note: Best of the Fest is $5 more at the door. Please Pre-purchase tickets online to avoid ticket lines. Only social event tickets & Best of the Fest tickets are available at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i Concierge desk next to the lobby. Kama’aina prices are available for Daytime films, evening Festival Films & Best of the Fest. TicketDerby is an online ticketing service where you print your tickets at home. Phone orders may be emailed to you or will be on a pre-paid list at the door.

Pre-registration only: Filmmaker Workshops: Three workshops will be presented in 2015. Friday, morning by Steve Edmiston. Saturday morning by Jennifer Grisanti. Sunday morning by Brian Kohne. Details will be posted here. Prices vary.

Online ticket sales and phone orders will be available starting April 1, 2015 to PRINT TICKETS AT HOME. There is a $1 convenience fee per ticket.

Tired of sorting tickets? PASSES AVAILABLE

Ali’i Pass: $425. Includes all films with upgraded Festival Films seating and social events PLUS pre-festival Mayor’s Welcome Reception for filmmakers, sponsors, & media. Filmmaker Workshops are excluded.

Receptions Only Pass: $225. 5/21– 5/25
Includes all food & beverage events, starting with the Mayor’s Welcome Reception through the Awards Brunch.

Talk Story Film Pass: $100. Includes all movies day & night and Best of the Fest Concert & Audience Choice films. ($131 value)

WeekendTalk Story Film Pass: $75. Includes all movies Saturday mid-day through Monday’s Best of the Fest Concert & Audience Choice films. ($99 value)

Saturday or Sunday Movie Pass: $30. Includes all movies on Saturday or Sunday.

Call BIFF office for information on passes. To arrange for Special ADA accommodations please call by May 18th. Contact Jan at 808 883-0394.

TRAVELING TO BIFF? See some special discounts below:



Special BIFF hotel room rate $189+ resort fee + tax, May 19 – 27, 2015 at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i

Resort fee includes the following:

  • Unlimited basic internet access in your guest rooms and resort public areas, wireless and wired. (Fairmont President’s Club Members receive upgrade to premium speed internet access)
  • Self-parking for one vehicle per room (Fairmont Gold guests receive valet parking for one vehicle per room)
  • Any local, domestic long distance and 1-800 access calls from your guest room
  • Nightly housekeeping turndown service with bottled water for each registered guest
  • 24-hour access to the fitness center
  • On-demand shuttle transportation within the Mauna Lani Resort
  • 10% discount on published pricing for the public Gathering of the Kings luau when booked through the hotel’s Concierge (may not be combined with any other discounts or special offers)
  • One-hour snorkel equipment rental (based on two sets per room, per day)
  • Various Cultural Activities including Outrigger Canoe Rides, Daily Arts & Crafts, Cultural Hikes, Tide Pool and Snorkel Introductions
  • Cultural Activities, Shuttle Service and Snorkel Rentals are subject to space availability.

    Contact reservations at the hotel directly and ask for the Big island Film Festival rate. Rates are in effect (space available) May 19 – 27, 2015
    Direct reservation number is: Fairmont Orchid: 800-845-9905



Dollar Rent A Car is offering a special rate to Big Island Film Festival patrons. Dollar Rent A Car special corporate discount code (BR1796) for use by all participants who need to rent a car on the Big Island. This cd# will extend a 5% discount off our lowest discountable rates (all available car types) on In addition, use of this code will waive the additional driver fee (retail $12.00/day + tax/fees) and also waive the young driver (21-24 years old) fee (retail $27.00/day + tax/fees).

To use this code: go to, select the location and dates (this code can actually be used to rent a car at any Dollar Hawaii location, except Lanai), then populate the "Corporate" field with BR1796 and press "Get Rates" Reserve as early as possible for maximum savings.



Book with Hawaiian Airlines Book with Hawaiian Airlines and receive a 5% discount for mainland travel. Click here for more information. Login code: BIFF 2015


Alaska AirAlaska Airlines is pleased to provide discounted travel to the Big Island Film Festival on Hawai`i Island! Fly Alaska Airlines to Kona and save 5% on flights from any Alaska Airlines city (excluding Mexico and Prudhoe Bay, Alaska). Simply click here and travel between May 15-28, 2015. Book by May 28, 2015. The discount is automatically applied. Or enter ECMW282 in the discount code box at Restrictions apply. See site for details.

See you at the Movies!



This event is being photographed and/or video taped for non-commercial promotional purposes
Your presence constitutes consent that your image may be used, without compensation or legal recourse.
No images will be used in any form to promote third party commercial enterprises. Mahalo.


Wounded Warior Project
Silent Auction to benefit the Fisher House at Tripler Army Medical Center, Monday,
May 25, 2015

Big Island Film Festival At A Glance
BIFF At A Glance


2015 Big Island Filim Festival Program
2015 BIFF Program



Fairmont Orchid
  The Shops at Mauna Lani
Hawaii Tourism Authority
Festivals of Hawaii
County of Hawaii R&D CPEPCounty of Hawaii
Pau Maui Vodka


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For more information contact us at Phone: 808-883-0394 Fax: 808-883-0254 Email Us at

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