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the HIFF-ster handbook

The 31st Hawaii International Film Festival presented by Halekulani returns with another awesome line-up of worldly cinematic goodness.

The selection for opening night is the official Korean submission to the Foreign Academy Awards: The Front Line directed by Jang Hoon. The war film depicts the relationships between North and South Korean soldiers during the battles to capture Aerok Hill during the later years of the Korean War. Director and lead actor, Ko Soo, will be in attendance.

This year’s centerpiece film is Pina 3D from legendary auteur Wim Wenders (Paris, Texas, Wings of Desire). The documentary honors the work and legacy of dancer and choreographer Pina Bausch, and in a surprise move for HIFF, it’s presented in three dimensions.

The film for closing night is a little movie called The Descendants. Though it was filmed here, you may not have heard about it since it was so low-profile. It stars some guy named George Clooney.

Famed Chinese actor and director Jiang Wen is the Confucius Institute Filmmaker in Focus this year, and his box-office hit Let the Bullets Fly will be presented as well.

The Sound X Vision section returns with none other than master composer Michael Giacchino, the Oscar winner for Up as well as the dude responsible for the scores for Star Trek, Mission: Impossible 3 and some cult show named Lost. He will be discussing his phenomenal career after a special screening of this summer’s alien hit, Super 8.

Also part of Sound X Vision will be producer, DJ and academic extraordinaire, 9th Wonder. He will be attending a screening of his film The Wonder Year and will follow it up with a DJ set at Nextdoor on Oct. 14.

The glamorous “festival within a festival” Eurocinema Hawaii returns, and their buzzworthy line-up includes The Artist, The Salt of Life, We Need to Talk About Kevin, The Fairy, Tyrannosaur, The Kid with a Bike, La Havre and the restoration of the Fellini classic, La Dolce Vita.

And in an unexpected shout-out to Generation X, there will be a 25th anniversary screening of the Oahu-filmed The Karate Kid Part II. The lead actress Tamlyn Tomita will be in attendance to spread the Glory of Love.

All in all, 229 films will be presented from 46 countries. Tickets go on sale for members Thu., 9/29 and to the general public Mon., 10/3. Get your schedules and wallets ready, it all begins on Oct. 13.

For details, check out [hiff.org]