During HIFF, I was only able to attend three film screenings. Unfortunately, one of the foreign films I went to see couldn’t be shown. The Hawaii Kai theatre was unable to play any foreign films because of an incompatibility with the Blue Ray … that’s what the theatre’s manager told the half-full theatre waiting for the show.
This was very disappointing — especially since I drove all the way to Hawaii Kai to see it! I hope that the executives at HIFF learn from this and test the DVDs (or whatever formats the films are in) before the actual screening.
I wanted to see Sand Wars because it is a topic very real in Hawaii. The reallocation of sand from the sea floor or even from other shore areas to popular beaches has many environmental impacts. Recently on Oahu this was done to Waikiki Beach.
The Film Raro showcase was appealing because it features real people from the Cook Islands. I enjoy documentaries and the collection of short films gave viewers a glimpse into what the locals are like. Several of the shorts highlighted cultural differences and how to bridge the social gaps.
The other film I saw was Jellyfish. This was more of a typical Japanese drama; I thought it was very well done. I attended this showing with one of my coworkers because her friend worked on the production team. Jellyfish was not particularly influential in how I think but it beautifully portrayed the complications of adolescence.
The discussions after the films were essential. The analysis of the films and background story the speakers were able to provide were very valuable. They were thought provoking and made the audience continue to think about the film after they left the theatre.
Every HIFF I hear about students who actually get to work with writers and be more involved than just watching films and discussing them. It would have been nice to know more about how to be that involved.
I always recommend HIFF to my friends and try to make as many of them go see the films with me. To my surprise, many of my friends don’t know what HIFF is and look at me like I’m crazy when I say “film festival.”
Overall, I think HIFF is a valuable experience for students and I am grateful the HPU was able to collaborate in the film festival.