HIFF 2013 was of course AWESOME! The majority of the selection of films that were chosen to be a part of the festival were all very unique in their individual regards. Of the selection of films that were a part of the HIFF this year I was able to attend a total of 7 films. The 7 films which I was in attendance for came from a range of categories, but I noticed that a concurring theme that was present in the majority of the films that I attended was that they somehow were related to the entertainment/ media industry. Others that I had watched were light hearted comedy films. As I had attended some of the films in the afternoon and evening, I wanted to watch films that weren’t too deep, and fun to unwind with.
There was a lot of Social and Media Press events that had happened this year at HIFF. There was for example creative labs with individuals working in the industry, as well as Q&As with directors of particular films. I was personally able to attend only one Q&A session with the director of Sake Bomb, Junya Sakino. The event was very insightful, as Sakino talked about his motivations for constructing the film, and how the title of the film came about. The Q&A session with Junya Sakino was for me the highlight of my HIFF experience this year. Being able to participate in HIFF this year was for me a very memorable experience. As I had only previously heard at large, being able to actually participate in it really allowed me to feel as if I was a part of a media event. HIFF was a very useful supplemental tool for the modern media systems class that I am currently taking, because after reading about the film and cinema industry in the textbooks, I was able to finally see the end product.
Of the 7 films that I attended during the duration of the film festival, Kink was the film that was both the most memorable, as well as the one that challenged my beliefs and values the most. Before watching the film, I, much like the majority of the public had felt that the porn industry was somehow bad and dark, and that it was only a vehicle used in the exploitation of women. I had the expectation of seeing a film that talked about the exploits of those in the industry, and how they were somehow messed up and ashamed about what they were doing. The opposite happened however, as all of those who were involved in the industry had justifications for their choice, and in fact felt almost no shame in what they were doing. Until this day, the film is still on my mind, as I try to digest the entirety of the film and it’s underlying concepts.
The films that were selected to be in this year’s selection of films at HIFF were from all around the world. I went to a lot of different films from Asia, and was able to better understand about Asian culture. The Way We Dance for example depicted the everyday life of the average person in Hong Kong. I saw how American pop culture made its way into Hong Kong society and had influences on those living there. Also there was depictions of the remnants of Chinese culture that was incorporated into the daily lives of the Hong Kong people.
My HIFF experience this year was both a great learning experience, as well as an insightful professional experience. The films brought for me a very insightful look into the current stage at with the film and cinematic media industry is currently like. But the experience was also a very helpful professional experience because as someone who hopes to one day have a career in the entertainment/ media industry, I believe that watching and being a part of the film festival really allowed me to understand and get a first hand feel of what working and being a part of the industry would be like.
I personally really enjoyed being a part of the HPU and HIFF collaboration this year, and hope to in the upcoming years continue to participate in HIFF. From this initial exposure to HIFF on, I believe that I would myself try to be a part of the film festival, as well as try to get my friends involved as well. The HIFF experience is truly like no other, as it brings to audience mebers many rich, funny, and insightful films that they would not have otherwise known about. LONG LIVE HIFF!!!