During this year’s film festival I chose to see four different movies; Paradise Broken, Almost Perfect, Bob Marley: The Making of a Legend, and SENNA.
The reason for why I chose these films were because I wanted a variety of genres to be able to get a little taste of everything. The very first film I decided to see was SENNA, a documentary about the life and death of the famous Formula 1 driver Ayrton Senna. I had wanted to see this documentary for some time and when I saw that it was going to play at HIFF I knew I had to see it. Next I decided on seeing Paradise Broken since it was one of the local Hawaiian films that premiered during HIFF and I was excited to see a film about the “backside of paradise”. After that I chose the Bob Marley documentary due to my curiosity of discovering the reggae legend’s early life and last I decided to throw the romantic comedy Almost Perfect in the mix.
I only managed to attend one media and press event, which was the opening press conference at Rum Fire at the Sheraton Waikiki. It was very interesting to get a presentation on what the festival hoped to bring and to listen to what the guest speakers had to say about their own projects and involvements in the festival.
The highlight of HIFF for me personally was probably the SENNA documentary since I was so eager to see it and yet it still exceeded my expectations. I very much enjoy watching Formula 1 and have been to the Grand Prix in Monaco and Budapest, Ayrton Senna was such a great race driver and of course I knew of him and his legacy already, but this documentary showed me a different side to the sport and captured Senna the person perfectly.
The film that influenced me that most however, was Paradise Broken. I must admit that had a few unjust predetermined judgments on what I thought the film was going to be like since it was a local production, but it definitely proved me wrong. The film was so tough and really provoked a lot of dark emotions, while at the same time giving a very truthful image of the backside of the tourist paradise that is Waikiki.
I really enjoyed getting to interview and talk to a lot of different people in the theatre entrance hall. I got to hear so many interesting and different views, thoughts, and perspectives on the film festival from the visitors. It made me really realize what a broad audience HIFF reaches and the impressions the films make on people’s lives.
This was my very first year at HIFF, and any film festival for that matter, and I really feel like it gave me a lot. Not only the films but also being able to go to the festival and talk to other visitors and see what a multicultural audience HIFF gets.
I think that the collaboration HPU has with HIFF is very important and exciting and just wish I could have been a part of it earlier years too. I even invited some of my friends whom are not part of the HPU@HIFF to come with me.