1. How many and what films did you see?
I saw two films, “With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story” and “Dance of Two Left Feet”.
2. Why did you choose those particular films?
I originally intended to see four films, the two mentioned previously along with “Letters to Momo” and the Fullmetal Alchemist film because they were both anime, which I enjoy watching. I decided to view the two other films with Hannah Ashley. She chose “With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story” since she’s a big comic fan; I’m one too, but not as much as she is. “Dance of Two Left Feet”‘s storyline hooked me along with it being a film from the Phillipines. Being a Filipina, I thought it’d be interesting to see a Filipino film aside from the things featured on TFC (The Filipino Channel).
3. Which Social and Media Press Event did you attend?
I attended the Opening Press Conference.
4. What the highlight of the film festival for you personally?
I loved the Q&A session after the showing of “Dance of Two Left Feet” with the producer. It was great to hear about how long it took to film and what specific things in the film straight from the source.
5. What did participating in HIFF mean to you, and what did you learn in general?
it was my first time attending HIFF and it was a rather interesting experience. I enjoyed the two films I saw and reading about the others within the HIFF program book. There were a lot of films I wanted to see but time did not allow. It was great to see what kinds of films are being produced through out the world and the subjects and issues they focus on.
6. Have any of the films influenced you in any way or challenged your ideas or values?
“With Great Power” actually helped me write a paper on censorship since comic books in the 1950s, as explained in the film, experienced censorship as people started to think children could be influenced by the violent scenes within comic book pages to commit violent crimes themselves. My paper then further went into detail that it’s not necessarily the media that influences them, but there are other outside influences like family (those who should be responsible for teaching their kids right from wrong) and friends. I’ve always felt this way; I did some research back in early 2010 in my Writing, Research, and Argument class about violence being related to video games.
7. Was there something you enjoyed or hated about the film(s) you saw, perhaps something you are still thinking about?
I ended up buying the soundtrack from “Dance of Two Left Feet” since the producer was selling them after to the film and Q&A session for only $10. The music is truly beautiful and I still listen to it. (However, to be honest, I don’t really know what it’s saying; I only recall some it from the movie’s subtitles.)
8. What did you learn about the different cultures represented at HIFF?
For “With Great Power,” I learned about an important American innovator and still-living icon who represents the comic book industry. It was interesting to see the celebrities give their testimonies about how they were influenced by Stan Lee just by reading the comics and characters he helped bring to life. The title of the film, which is a line taken from Spider-man after he learns that he must use his power for good to prevent any more disasters and mistakes from happening to those around him, is inspirational to use your abilities for the greater good. As Americans, we’re always trying to find what’s righteous and just; however, not everyone has the same views on what exactly is right.
9. Is this collaboration a useful learning or professional experience?
Professionally, it was useful in the eye of a cinematographer. While I sat in my seat, I would sometimes mouth to myself, “Oh, man. That is a beautiful shot,” especially during “Dance of Two Left Feet”. Because the film involved so much movement and emotion being portrayed through movement, the camera would have to be strategically placed and moved to portray angles and gestures correctly in order to translate the emotions and messages.
10. Would you recommend HIFF to a friend or family member? If so, why?
Of course! It’s a special event anyone should attend. Not all these films are released around the world like, for example, the latest Disney film. Not only that, it’s a great event to witness different stories and ways of storytelling. One should take the opportunity when given.
11. Any other recommendation or insight you would like to share?
Make sure you plan ahead and get their early to guarantee a good seat in the theatre!