The Political Film Society was formed at Honolulu in 1986. Originally, the Political Film Society was a project of the Hawai'i Political Studies Association, but the headquarters of the Society moved from Honolulu to Hollywood in 1998, when it became a nonprofit corporation under the laws of the State of California.
Each year, films that best promotes political consciousness are selected in four categories democracy, exposé, human rights, and peace. In addition, the Society can give special awards. From 1988 to 1998, the film that best raised political consciousness in the Hawai'i International Film Festival received an award from the Society. While the Society was headquartered in Honolulu, a special award was given to the film that best promoted political consciousness about Hawai'i.