The HIFF Opening Press Conference was held at the Rumfire inside the Waikiki Sheraton and led by Chuck Boller, the Executive Director of HIFF.
The panel of special people included:
Zhang Yimou – The Chinese director responsible for the film Under the Hawthorn Tree accompanied by his translator.
“This year I’m bringing my newest film Under the Hawthorn Tree to the Hawaii Film Festival.”
Nancy Kwan – An actress in To Whom It May Concern: Ka Shen’s Journey
To Whom It May Concern: Ka Shen’s Journey is “about Asian American actors working in Hollywood and the career, their lives, and it takes us all the way back to the beginning of Hollywood films, with using Asian Americans…ARE NOT using Asian Americans and how it has evolved through the years. It’s also the set piece to my life story.”
Stephanie Diaz-Mattos – Executive Producer/Music Supervisor, SEARCH PARTY MUSIC
SOUND X VISION is “a sort of complete program from film screenings, to music video showcases, to local band show case, to panel discussion, and film all related about music and film and how they work together and how music and movies combine to really elevate the art form and this is just an opportunity to explore all the things that I personally love about music and movies and film.”
Ruth Bolan – Executive Director, ONE VOICE
ONE VOICE is “about a unique tradition here in Hawaii every year the high school students at Kamahemeah schools compete against each other in song contests where they sing beautiful hawaiian music in acapella harmony. and we follow these students for a full year as they prepare for the competition…It’s a unique film about the people of Hawaii, about the youth of Hawaii…It’s a wonderful story about this place and the people of this place.”
Chris Lee – EUROCINEMA HAWAII
“We have eight films programmed by Anderson Lee and standing selections, all Hawaii premiers, including The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest…and Martin Scorsese’s restoration of The Leper, by Visconti. So we’re very excited about the films. We also have seven nominated films, short films, from the Academy for Creative Media…”
The two stars from Under the Hawthorn Tree were also there to answer a couple of questions.
The press conference itself wasn’t my cup of tea, but it was really interesting to see how they set it up and how the reporters and cameramen behaved. There was more talking during the press conference than in an average college classroom. However, unlike most college classes, getting questions from the reporters wasn’t like pulling teeth. Cameramen also tended to be polite with each other and followed unwritten rules. They weren’t going in front of each other’s shots, and they tried their best to duck and avoid getting in the way. They also knew exactly what to do and where to go.
I would write the transcript of the whole press conference but I’m pretty bad at recording stuff too (along with taking pictures).
Maybe I’ll update this post later with some of the questions the panel was asked.