With civil unions now legal in Hawaii, there’s no wonder this year’s Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival (HRFF) is taking a more light-hearted approach to an issue still front and center in U.S. politics. The 23rd annual event will kick off with a bit of humor by debuting the film Cloudburst (2011), which follows a pair of 70-something-year-old lesbians who escape from their nursing home and head to Canada to get married.

Film festival founder Jack Law at last year’s fundraising event.

As one of the longest-running and most respected Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) film festivals in the U.S., the HRFF began in honor of one of the first video jockeys, Adam Baran. (Hence, the original name was Adam Baran Honolulu Gay and Lesbian Film Festival). Since 1989, the festival has featured hundreds of documentaries, shorts and animations from around the world and at home in the islands.

There will be 35 films at this year’s festival, which runs from May 31 to June 2, 2012. According to the HRFF website, there will be a variety of films – from a transcendent singer-songwriter finding her voice to a proud, gay Korean-American male who comes out to his family by producing a documentary. There will also be a short that asks elementary-aged children what they know about gays and lesbians.

Many are excited to meet the actors and filmmakers, who will be attending the opening night gala. Birds of a Feather (2011) writer/director/lead actor Anthony Meindl will be hosting a workshop after the film with Hawaii Five-0 actress Larissa Oleynik.

23rd ANNUAL HONOLULU RAINBOW FILM FESTIVAL • May 31-June 2, 2012 • Honolulu Museum of Art’s Doris Duke Theatre and Luce Pavilion Courtyard • For ticket and film info, www.hglcf.org or 808-447-0577

Photo Credit: HRFF

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