At the 2011 Hawaiian International Film Festival many amazing films were shown. If it were possible to see them all, I would have! Unfortunately, my schedule only permitted me to see “The Salt of Life,” “The Woman in the Septic Tank,” and “A People Uncounted.” I choose each film for a different reason. The Salt of Life took place in Italy, a culture I love learning about, with that in combination with the storyline I could not pass up watching it. A People Uncounted was about all the Non-Jews involved in the Holocaust. I find it fascinating to learn new things about our history, so I had to watch this film. I chose to watch The Woman in the Septic Tank based off the title alone. I figured there is no way I can watch a film with a name like that and not be entertained.
I attended both the opening press conference and closing press conference for HIFF. Both provided huge insight on what HIFF is about and the highlights of the festival. The atmospheres for both conferences were tropical and inviting. Each served delicious refreshments and had amazing speakers.
Personally, the highlight of the festival was the closing press conference because all the speakers gave substantial advice to those of us in the audience seeking a career that is film related. All the speakers had such passion for film and it really was inspiring.
HIFF opened my eyes to the fact that technology has changed everything about film. Through the festival I have learned the importance of social media in the filming process. Also, I was amazed to find that the cameras used for the film were cameras that we, as students, have access to. Students have the ability to make films and have them shown during HIFF if they really wanted to.
I was influenced by the film A People Uncounted because it made me realize there are things in history that were covered up that most people do not know about. We must not be naïve to think that everything that has been taught to us is the whole truth.
There was one part in the movie The Woman in the Septic Tank I did not like and it was the part of the storyline where they did not know what to make the film about. In film class whenever people did not know what to film they would make a film about not knowing what to film. I just think that concept is old.
The fact that the festival displayed different cultures is a better way for people to really see the films for what they are. When you do not understand the language you use your other senses more. Therefore your experience while watching the film is very different. Also makes the viewer learn more about other cultures.
The different cultures make it possible for the viewer to experience new places, food, and transportation on the screen. That experience would not be possible without these films.
I believe this collaboration was a very good learning tool for students and the filmmakers attending HIFF. A festival like this can broaden the horizon with those that are sheltered and only involved in their own lives. HIFF gives people the chance to see life through someone else’s eyes.
HIFF was fun and I would definitely recommend it to a friend. I took my husband to the first two shows and my mother to the last one. I think it is more fun to share my experiences with others.
I do not have any recommendations to make the festival better. I thought it was great just the way it was. I am so glad I was a part of it.