Throughout the Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF), I was only able to view 4 movies because of my busy school schedule. That didn’t even give me time to attend any of the events for the press. If I didn’t have so many projects, exams, and homework assignments to work on, I would have seen all the films available at the festival. The 4 films I saw are Big Hero 6, CROWS: Explode, Tokyo Tribe, and Animation Ground Control.
Only film I was dying to see was Big Hero 6. The other films on my list were not what I was interested in, I just pretty much liked the setting. Also, for Animation Ground Control, I liked how it was a movie with just a bunch of short films. Short films have a lot of thought put into them and tell a really fascinating story and present an important message just within a few minutes time slot.
In my opinion, the highlight of the film festival would have to be Big Hero 6 and getting the chance to see incredible films from different countries. I like learning about different cultures and how life is in different parts of the world, especially through the eyes of various people. It gives me a sense of what the country or place is about and an insight to what life is like through other people’s perspectives.
In the movie, Animation Ground Control, there’s a particular short that made me think about my family and my future. The short is called “The Bigger Picture” and it’s basically about these two guys who have a sick mother. One of them is a workaholic and the other stays with the mother to take care of her. Time passes by and eventually the mother dies, leaving both the sons to be in this state of sadness. The short hit me hard because it makes me think of the people I’ve lost whom I hold close to me like my cousin and my grandparents. It also made me think about my future and how that will possibly be me and my brother. It’s not a good thing to think about; death, but it’s what everyone has to go through eventually. It might sound cliche, but it’s best to keep your loved ones close and cherish every moment you have with them because something can happen at any moment.
On the other hand, there was one film i most especially didn’t really appreciate and that’s “Tokyo Tribe”. The reason i didn’t really like it was because I’m not a major fan of rapping (the story was told through the characters rapping). Another reason was that it was just a little odd for my taste in movies.
Out of the films I watched during HIFF, I was able to get a sense of different cultures. One of the major cultures I learned about was gangs in Japan, especially in the Tokyo/Shibuya area. It was really interesting to see what goes on when no tourists are around, just locals trying to prove their better than one another. Because of this, I believe the collaboration between HPU and HIFF is a good learning experience, especially for those who are unaware of different cultures and the different types of stories that can be expressed through film. In other ways, this can also be viewed as a good professional experience because there are a lot of opportunities that allow HPU students to enhance their media and journalism skills. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get this kind of experience, once again due to my busy schedule.
Altogether, I would definitely recommend HIFF to everyone, in fact I have. The Hawaii International Film Festival is one of the events in Hawaii that I anxiously look forward to every year. The reason being is that there are so many different film types from various countries so that allows me to broaden my horizon and get a feel of what goes on in other parts of the world. I definitely cannot wait until next year’s festival!