HRFF is one of the longest-running and most respected queer film festivals in the country, celebrating its 31st anniversary in 2020. It is especially well known as a bridge from Hawaii, the Pacific Islands and Asia to mainland USA, and is a member of the Asia Pacific Queer Film Festival Alliance.

The festival uses the power of film to raise awareness, engage, energize, and instill a sense of pride and respect in Hawaiiʻis thriving lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, transgender and mahu community. The festival is presented annually by the Honolulu Gay and Lesbian Cultural Foundation, a self-supporting non-profit 501(c)3, in honor of Hawaii LGBT pioneer Adam Baran.

Filmmakers are welcomed to the festival with a warm spirit of aloha. Screenings are held at the Dorris Duke Theater, in the unique cosmopolitan ambiance of Honolulu, and filmmakers are accommodated in the beach resort area of Waikiki. Donʻt forget your sunscreen!

COVID-19 UPDATE: At this point in time, we are still planning to hold our festival during the planned dates of August 13-16. However, we are watching the COVID-19 situation carefully, and will change the dates if and when needed to protect the safety and well being of our audience, staff, volunteers and filmmakers. Please stay tuned and be safe!

Best Feature
Best Documentary
Best Short
Jack Law (Humanitarian Award)
Phred Love Award (Local Filmmaker Award)
Rising Star Award

HRFF accepts films of any length and genre about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, mahu, queer, intersex and allied people and their communities. A separate FilmFreeway Entry Form is required for each film being submitted.

Narrative Feature films are 40 minutes and over. Documentary Feature films are 40 minutes and over. Shorts are films under 40 minutes. Episodic inclusdes Web series, webisodes, and ongoing storylines where multiple episodes will be shown.

Preview submissions must be submitted via secure online screener (e.g. with password), or through a secure online link via FilmFreeway.

HRFF will exhibit films via DCP with digital file backup. Non-English language entries must have English subtitles.

Please notify us if you are submitting a rough cut or work-in-progress and let us know your completion plans.

FilmFreeway submissions will be marked "In Consideration" once payment, entry forms, and an online link of the film have been received. Entrants will be notified of festival selections by early July 2019.

Exhibition copies should be sent to the festival prepaid. The Festival will pay for return or forward shipping. The Festival cannot accept nor assume responsibility for damage or loss of materials while in transit. In case of loss or damage during the Festival, the responsibility of the Festival is limited to the costs for repair or replacement of the print.

A fee waiver is available for filmmakers based in Hawai'i and on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us about your situation and to obtain a waiver code.

Overall Rating
  • Such a treat to be part of this Festival! Great exchanges with the selectors and organizers of the festival. Many thanks again.

    August 2020
  • I had the honor of screening my short film at the 2020 Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival. The staff was very warm and communicative and the participating films were excellent, diverse, and inspiring. I highly recommend submitting your film to the festival!

    August 2020