Our History


In its 28th continuous year, HRFF is one of the longest-running and most respected LGBT 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 and Transgender (LGBT) culture, arts, and lifestyle. HGLCF also works toward instilling a sense of pride and respect among the members of the LGBT community, as well as to highlight the unique cosmopolitan ambiance of the city of Honolulu.

In its 28th 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. Films programmed at the HRFF have gone to win Peabody and Emmy awards. The HRFF has an excellent reputation in the film festival community and has been the venue for both U.S. and world premieres.

The success of the HRFF over the years is attributed to deep community involvement and great partners. For over two decades, 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.