Our History

In its 32nd continuous year, HRFF is one of the longest-running and most respected LGBTQ film festivals in the country.

Businessman Jack Law founded the non-profit Honolulu Gay and Lesbian Cultural Foundation (HGLCF) in 1997 as an umbrella organization for the Adam Baran Honolulu Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, now known as the Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival (HRFF).

Prior to establishment of the non-profit, the film festival (started in 1989) originally donated proceeds of the festival to the Life Foundation, the State’s main AIDS/HIV organization. Today, the HGLCF is a self-supporting non-profit 501(c)3, whose main mission is to educate and raise awareness in the community-at-large about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, mahu and aIkane people and culture. HGLCF also works toward instilling a sense of pride in our community, increasing acceptance and inclusion across boundaries of gender, sexuality and identity, and highlighting the unique culture and history of Honolulu and Hawai’i.

In its 32nd continuous year, the HRFF is one of the longest-running and most respected LGBT film festivals in the country. The festival has presented hundreds of documentaries, feature films, shorts and animations from around the world, with special consideration given to Hawai’i-based filmmakers and work from Asia and the Pacific.

The success of the HRFF over the years is attributed to deep community involvement and great partners. For over two decades, and through two horrific pandemics, the HRFF has been inspiring community and civic engagement through its programming and special events. The HRFF helps to engender mutual respect within our society, supports a vital and sustainable economy and provides a unique, memorable, and enriching experience.