As far as I can remember, early August traditionally hasn’t been the time to start thinking about the Hawaii International Film Festival. We usually got a few showcase film teasers followed by a big horking roster reveal sometime in September, leaving us to soak up the final few weeks of the summer season and ponder countless “what-ifs” and dream selections in the meantime.
The 33rd annual installment, slated this year for Oct. 10-20, is shaking up that thinking in a big way. For the past two weeks over on the HIFF blog, Christopher Hall has been releasing information about this year’s film roster in blocks of 10 films. (It looks like the reveals will be continuing Thursdays through the month.) And among this week’s films is quite the eye-opener: the CGI-animated 2013 revival of Space Pirate Captain Harlock.
Harlock, based on the classic Leiji Matsumoto manga and directed by two-time Kawaii Kon guest Shinji Aramaki, will be appearing a little over a month after it premieres in Japan on Sept. 7. A quick check online finds only one other international venue screening this film at the moment — the Venice International Film Festival in Italy, being held from Aug. 28 through Sept. 7, according to this Anime News Network post — meaning HIFF may well mark Harlock’s U.S. premiere. We’ll see if that distinction holds. Here’s the film’s official website (in Japanese), and here’s a trailer:
Last week’s reveal wasn’t lacking for otaku-magnet material, either: Rurouni Kenshin, the live-action adaptation of Nobuhiro Watsuki’s wandering swordsman manga starring Takeru Sato as Himura Kenshin and Emi Takei as Kamiya Kaoru, will also be screening at HIFF. It’s been making the global rounds ever since it debuted in Japan last August; it has been licensed for distribution in more than 60 countries, after all. Here’s another trailer.
Exact screening dates and times for these films will be released around Sept. 1; ticket sales for members starts Sept. 20, with general sales starting on Sept. 24. Keep an eye on www.hiff.org in the meantime … this year’s shaping up to be another exciting one, methinks.