December 1, 2016

Media contacts:

Scott Whelden
Tel: 808-532-8719

Lesa Griffith

Tel: 808-532-8712


In concert lineup are HAPA and Willow Chang, who perform songs of the season; theater will be closed for Dec. 19-Jan. 5 for maintenance 

WHAT: Staff Picks
Dec. 1-7, 2016
TICKETS: Regular screenings: $10, $8 museum members. Admission is free for kids 17 and under. 
INFO: 532-6097,, (publishable)
High-res images available on request

WHAT: Honolulu Surf Film Festival 2016: Winter Break
WHEN: Dec. 8-14, 2016
TICKETS: Regular screenings: $10, $8 museum members. Admission is free for kids 17 and under.
INFO: 532-6097,, (publishable)
High-res images available on request    

HONOLULU, HAWAI‘I—Before they take a break for holidays, the staff at the Doris Duke Theatre packs the first half of December with two film series—a selection of their favorite films of the year, an offshoot of the Honolulu Surf Film Festival—and three concerts.

Starting Dec. 19 the theater closes as it undergoes maintenance for its air conditioning system. It reopens Jan. 6, just in time for the opening reception of the Bollywood Film Festival Jan. 7.

Staff Picks
December is a time of getting together, spending time with loved ones, spreading cheer, and seeing Facebook feeds fill up with “Top 10 (insert noun here) of 2016” lists. Well, at least it’s better than seeing uncle’s political posts. The museum hops on the “best of” train with Staff Picks—a film program featuring the best movies that flew under the radar in 2016. Our savvy theater staffers selected six great films that you probably won’t get another chance to see on the big screen.

Among them is the New York Times Critics’ Pick Cameraperson. This documentary takes audiences behind the scenes in ways they’ve never experienced, as cinematographer Kirsten Johnson weaves together outtakes and unplanned moments shot over her 25-year career that do more to reveal the artistry of a cinematographer than finished films usually can.

Spa Night—another New York Times Critics’ Pick—is an American tragedy that follows an 18-year-old son of immigrant parents David Cho (Joe Seo), as he struggles with his identity, and the life his parents have chosen for him. David’s struggles are compounded by those of his parents, who fight to keep up appearances in their conservative Korean-American community after they are forced to close their failing business.

Honolulu Surf Film Festival 2016: Winter Break
By popular demand, the Honolulu Surf Film Festival returns for a second session this year with Winter Break—a selection of the best and newest surf films along with hana hou screenings of two sold-out films from this past July’s festival: View from a Blue Moon, and Shorebreak: The Clark Little Story.

Any surf “enthusiast” who complains about not having enough time, or says waves just aren’t good enough to paddle out, will be silenced after watching Gaza Surf Club. The Gaza Surf Club was founded by Explore Corps in 2008 to serve as an educational and community development resource for Palestinian surfers in the Gaza strip.

Also screening are two Hawai‘i premieres—Axi Muniain: El Niño follows big wave surfers Axi Munian from Basque Country and Jérome Sahyoun from Morocco as they travel the world in search big waves brought on by El Niño. In Sorria—which literally translates to “smile” in Portuguese—Gabriel Novis showcases the talent of the next generation of Brazilian surfers as they surf in Indonesia, Mexico, Hawai‘i, and California.

Music of the season
It’s a rare thing to see HAPA live on O‘ahu, they only perform on island two or three times a year, and their upcoming performance at the museum is one of them. Founding member Barry Flanagan returns with new partner Ron Kuala‘au as well as bass player/vocalist and Miss Hawaii USA Radasha Ho‘ohuli to put on a holiday show as only they can.

Willow Chang puts a twist on classic and contemporary holiday songs with her signature jazzy, cabaret-style vocals. She’s joined onstage with her musical friends to give a show that will make audiences want to reach for the eggnog.

Full Schedule

Staff Picks
Dec. 1-7

Directed by Celia Rowlson Hall. USA. 2015. 80 min.
Dec. 1 at 1 p.m.
Dec. 4 at 4 p.m.
Choreographer-cum-director Celia Rowlson Hall reimagines Mother Mary’s pilgrimage as a modern-day story told through movement and set in the American Southwest. The film playfully deconstructs Mary’s role as she encounters characters who are alternately terrifying and sublime.

Directed by Kirsten Johnson. USA. 2016. 102 min.
Dec. 2 at 1 p.m.
Dec. 3 at 1 p.m.
Dec. 4 at 7:30 p.m.
Documentary cinematographer Kirsten Johnson explores the relationships between image makers and their subjects and the complex interaction of unfiltered reality and crafted narrative through footage from her 25-year career. Go from a Brooklyn boxing match to a Nigerian midwife.

King Cobra
Directed by Justin Kelly. USA. 2016. 92 min.
Dec. 2 at 9:30 p.m.
Dec. 3 at 4 p.m. + 9:30 p.m.
Based on a true story of a turf war turned violent, King Cobra is a deliciously dark, twisted plunge into the pornography industry. Starring Garrett Clayton, Christian Slater, James Franco, Keegan Allen, Alicia Silverstone, and Molly Ringwald.

Spa Night
Directed by Andrew Ahn. USA. 2016. 93 min.
Tuesday, Dec. 6 at 1 p.m. + 7:30 p.m.
This atmospheric portrait of forbidden sexual awakening is set in the nocturnal world of spas and karaoke bars in Los Angeles’ Koreatown.

Certain Women
Directed by Kelly Reichardt. USA. 2016. 107 min.
Dec. 7 at 1 p.m. + 7:30 p.m.
Based on short stories by Maile Meloy, this film by indie queen Kelly Reichardt (Wendy and Lucy, Old Joy) is a stirring look at three women striving to forge their own paths in the American Northwest. Starring a powerhouse ensemble cast led by Michelle Williams, Kristen Stewart, and Laura Dern.

Honolulu Surf Film Festival: Winter Break
Dec. 8-14, 2016
Due to popular demand, as we approach the Honolulu Surf Film Festival’s 10th anniversary, the Doris Duke Theatre presents Winter Break program. See some of the best and newest surf action on the big screen, along with hana hou screenings from this past July’s festival, as the biggest surf competitions are underway on the North Shore.

Special thanks to our community partner Surf News Network.

Shorebreak: The Clark Little Story
Directed by Peter King. 2016. USA. 55 min.
Dec. 8 at 1 p.m. + 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 9 at 1 p.m.
Dive into the life of renowned water photographer Clark Little, as he takes on the world’s most dangerous shorebreak around O‘ahu.

Axi Muniain: El Niño
Directed by Javier Goya. Spain. 2016. 40 min. Spanish with English subtitles.
Dec. 9 at 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 14 at 7:30 p.m.
Last winter, surfers Axi Muniain (from Basque Country) and Jérome Sahyoun (from Morocco) left the Atlantic in search of El Niño action. Join us for this Hawai‘i premiere of this duo joining fellow big-wave riders at some of the world’s most famous XXL spots.

Directed by Gabriel Novis. Brazil. 2016. 42 min. Portuguese with English subtitles.
Dec. 11 at 1 p.m.
Dec. 14 at 1 p.m.
“Sorria” means smile in Portuguese and this film will definitely make audiences do that. Filmmaker Gabriel Novis showcases the talent of a new generation of Brazilian surfers as they shred waves in Indonesia, Mexico, Hawai‘i, Mexico, and California.

—Screens with—

Com Amor, Yago
Directed by Gabriel Novis. Brazil. 2016. 11 min.

Saltwater Buddha
Directed by Lara Popyack. USA. 2015. 60 min.
Dec. 11 at 4 p.m.
Fed up with teenage life in the suburbs of Sacramento, Air Force brat Jaimal Yogis ran off to Hawai‘i with a copy of Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha and enough cash for a surfboard.

Gaza Surf Club
Directed by Philip Gnadt and Mickey Yamine. Germany/Palestine. 2016. 87 min. English and Arabic with English subtitles.
Dec. 11 at 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 13 at 1 p.m. + 7:30 p.m.
Wedged between Israel and Egypt, Gaza is a strip of land with a disenfranchised population of 1.7 million citizens. But against this bleak backdrop is a small movement stirring in Gaza City’s surf community that gives young people a chance to experience a small slice of freedom.

View from a Blue Moon
Directed by Blake Vincent Kueny. USA. 2015. 59 min.
Dec. 12 at 7:30 p.m.
Hailed as the greatest surf film ever made, View from a Blue Moon focuses on Hawai‘i’s John John Florence—through three years of filming in some of the world’s best waves. This needs to be seen on the big screen.

Also in December

Kampai! For the Love of Sake
Directed by Mirai Konishi. Japan. 2016. 95 min. English and Japanese with English subtitles.
Dec. 2 at 7 p.m.
$15 general admission │$12 museum members
Each ticket includes a complimentary serving of sake.
An age-old staple of Japanese culture and cuisine, fermented rice wine is winning fans all over the world. This documentary takes audiences from rice paddies in Japan to breweries around the globe as it chronicles three passionate exponents of the increasingly popular beverage.

The theater welcomes audiences to join Malcom Leong, owner of the Sake Shop in Honolulu, for a post-screening Q + A.

Special thanks to community partner Joy of Sake.

The Curious World of Hieronymus Bosch
Directed by David Bickerstaff. UK/Netherlands. 2016. 90 min.
Dec. 15 at 1 p.m. + 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 16 at 1 p.m.
Dec. 17 at 1 p.m.
Delve into the vivid imagination of a true visionary. The Curious World of Hieronymus Bosch features the critically acclaimed exhibition Jheronimus Bosch: Visions of Genius at Het Noordbrabants Museum in the Netherlands.

Family Film Sunday: NYICFF Best of the Fest 2
Dec. 18 at 11:10 a.m. + 1 p.m.
See the second set of the best kid-friendly shorts from around the world that screened at the New York International Children’s Film Festival.

Her Body of Stories
Dec. 3 at 7 p.m.
$10 general admission $8 museum members
This new performance piece featuring local spoken-arts poets Lyz Soto, Jocelyn Ng, Serena Simmons, and Joanna Gordon combines slam poetry choreography with theater to explore themes of diaspora, settler colonialism, and growing up in Hawaiʻi.

Erin Smith Vocal Coaching presents: The "It" Kids 2016
Dec. 4 at 12 p.m.
$15 general admission $12 museum members
Singer, musician, songwriter and performer Erin Smith has a popular coaching program to build these skills in her students. See the results in a special concert by her vocal, stage craft, songwriting, guitar and violin students.

Willow Sings Songs of the Season
Dec. 16 at 7:30 p.m.
$25 general admission │$20 museum members
Vocalist Willow Chang and friends celebrate the holidays in song. From sacred to secular, old world to new world, Willow's favorite music spans wonderment and joy, and even the slippery slope of quiet melancholy. A musical, emotional journey not to be missed!

Music of Hawai‘i: HAPA
Dec. 17 at 7:30 p.m.
$25 general admission │$20 museum members
Maui-based HAPA performs in Honolulu only a couple times a year. Don’t miss this chance to see founding member Barry Flanagan and new partner Ron Kuala‘au play their trademark mix of traditional and pop sounds, with a dash of holiday cheer. Special guests: Tarvin Makala (bass and vocals) and Radasha Ho‘ohuli (Miss Hawaii USA, 2006).

For Kids and Families: Frozen Sing-Along
Directed by Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee. USA. 2013. 107 min.
Dec. 18 at 3 p.m. + 6 p.m.
$15 general admission │$12 museum members│$10 children
Grown ups and kids! Let go with this sing-along version of the magical, hilarious Disney extravaganza Frozen. The evening includes live performers to keep the singing going and special appearances by Elsa and Olaf!

Special thanks to Cherry Blossom Cabaret.


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About the Honolulu Museum of Art

One of the world’s premier art museums, the Honolulu Museum of Art presents international caliber special exhibitions and features a collection that includes Hokusai, van Gogh, Gauguin, Monet, Picasso and Warhol, as well as traditional Asian and Hawaiian art.

Located in two of Honolulu’s most beautiful buildings, visitors enjoy two cafés, gardens, and films and concerts at the theater. The museum is dedicated to bringing together great art and people to create a more harmonious, adaptable, and enjoyable society in Hawai’i.

Doris Duke Theatre information:

The Doris Duke Theatre opens its doors on Kina‘u Street one half-hour before each film screening and concert.

Film tickets: Available at the theater door on the day of screening, beginning one half-hour before each showing, or online in advance.

Film admission: $10 general admission; $8 museum members; free for children 17 and under

Matinee Rewards Card: Pick one up at the theater box office. When theatergoers attend three matinees, they receive free admission to a fourth screening. Or they can bring three friends to a single matinee and receive free admission to a future screening. The free screening pass is valid for three months.

Concession stand: In the lobby, visitors can purchase bags of glazed pecans, coconut ginger, chocolate- and Kona coffee–coated macadamia nuts, and butter crunch vanilla macadamia nuts, for $6 per bag. Also on the menu are handmade desserts and baked goods from Yummy Tummy, including peanut butter-oats-and-cranberry energy balls, green tea rice crispy treats and mini cookies ($3-$7). Drinks: coffee, hot tea, Arizona Green Tea, Vitamin Water, and bottled water ($2-$3).


Honolulu Museum of Art: 900 S. Beretania Street
Honolulu Museum of Art Spalding House: 2411 Makiki Heights Drive
Honolulu Museum of Art School: 1111 Victoria Street
Honolulu Museum of Art at First Hawaiian Center: 999 Bishop Street
Honolulu Museum of Art Doris Duke Theatre: 901 Kinau Street (at rear of museum)


Honolulu Museum of Art: Tues–Sat 10 am–4:30pm; Sun 1–5 pm; closed Monday.

Honolulu Museum of Art Spalding House: Tues–Sat 10am–4pm; Sun noon–4pm

Admission (permits entry to both museums on the same day):

$10 general admission; children 17 and under are free.

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