I didn’t know what to expect. Although I’m familiar with HIFF and what it’s about, I have never actually attended the event. I’ve been to a ton of movies at Dole Theatres, but HIFF sets itself apart right off the bat. There are long, neon-colored tape lines along the tile and neat rows of people waiting for their show to seat. There is truly excitement in the air.
After visiting the temporary box office, I got my ticket and went straight in to find my theatre. It was already quite full by the time I entered and the first thing I noticed were the swanky reserved seats. I sat in the very back row and got to watch as many more HIFFers piled in.
Chuck Boller, HIFF Executive Director, said a few words before the film began. Anticipation was really growing at this point. Throughout the movie I was very aware of the level of respect people had for this experience. There were no cell phones ringing, no texting, no talking. This was a dramatic French film and there were a few completely silent moments… it was as if the audience stopped breathing at those moments. Everyone seemed totally captivated.
When the credits rolled, we all clapped. It was really a different from the average movie-going experience and left me wanting more.
I am not a ‘HIFF’ster, but I want to be.