Jim Orteza

HIFF Wrap – Up

Jim Orteza


My overall HIFF experience was definitely a good one. Despite only having time to view 3 movies, I still had a great time playing a small role in this event. Being able to publish my reviews and thoughts on each film really enlightened me on how to not only reflect on the plot of a movie but also to understand the approach each director / producer took to capture and convey the vision of a story (cinematography, camera angles, certain motion graphic effects, etc.) I also found it both remarkable and inspiring knowing that many of these films were created by independent filmmakers. I’ve created a few short videos myself and I gotta admit there is a big workload needed to be done in order to create a video. I can’t imagine doing a full featured movie for the public to view. There is no doubt that there was a lot of work put into creating these films and that in itself is extremely inspiring and humbling at the same time.

The only negative comment I’d have to say would be during the screening of Jalanan, where there were technical difficulties with the movie projector and the audience had to wait about 15 minutes for everything to get back on track, which wasn’t really that bad. So, BRAVO! to the HIFF staff members for putting together such an awesome film festival, and I will definitely be back next year for HIFF 2015!



HIFF Moment 1: 


For my first movie screening at the 2014 Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF), a few of my classmates and I went to see a full featured Indonesian documentary film called Jalanan. Producer Daniel Ziv takes us on a journey through the streets of Jakarta, Indonesia and introduces the lifestyles of a few street musicians in the area. We witness these musicians everyday performances throughout the most unorthodox places, and follow them back to their home villages as they narrate their achievements and struggles of searching for identity and love from the public of Jakarta.

Unfortunately, during the movie there were some technical difficulties with the movie projector so we pretty much stared at a black screen for about 15 minutes. Besides the technical errors, the overall plot of the movie was great. It really brings in a new perspective on how people from other countries live, and personally, I love being able to see different cultures and lifestyles.

9th Wonder / Hip-Hop Fellow










HIFF Moment 2:

Hip-Hop Fellow

For my second, and definitely my favorite movie screening at the 2014 Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF) I went to see a hip-hop documentary called The Hip-Hop Fellow. It features one of my favorite hip-hop producers growing up, 9th Wonder. This documentary takes us into 9th Wonder’s experience as a Harvard University professor where he teaches students about the history and standards of the hip-hop culture. The main focus of the film is to explore the relationship and show the beneficial significance of hip-hop studies in the educational realm.

Throughout the whole documentary I felt nostalgic because much of the information conveyed in the film has been information and lessons I’ve learned growing up. Throughout the mid / late 90’s and all the way until now, the hip-hop culture has been somewhat of a guide that helped mold the person I am today. I love the fact that this culture has taken a route towards education because it really opens peoples perspective on not just the music, but the lifestyle as well. My favorite parts of the film was the various artists that were interviewed. Artists that have taken up the role to keep hip-hop alive and well throughout the new generations.


The World of Kanako

HIFF Moment 3: 

The World of Kanako

The World of Kanako was my third movie screening at the Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF) and it was clearly the most unusual film I’ve seen in a quite a while. The movie introduces the audience to Akikazu, an alcoholic abusing father of one who has lost his family and his career as a detective due to his addiction and radical behavior. Akikazu has one child, a beautiful daughter named Kanako. Since losing both his job and his family, Akikazu hasn’t seen or spoken to his daughter for quite a while. One day, Kanako goes missing, with all of her materialistic items still left behind in her room. Kanako’s mother hesitantly asks Akikazu, her ex-husband to go find their daughter; this call to action begins the ongoing search for Kanako. This search takes the viewers on a wild ride, as an alcoholic, emotional and abusive ex detective goes on a rampage throughout the city to find his daughter. During the search Akikazu finds himself beaten up by gangsters, beating up anyone and everyone that couldn’t beat HIM up, consuming tons of alcohol, wrecking the only car he has (yet it still runs throughout the whole movie), he also kills a few people and rapes the wife of a serial killer. Oh! and he also finds out that his daughter is pretty much a drug lord who is infamous for sleeping with rich old men and killing anyone she can manipulate.

Now then, despite the unusual approach to this particular storyline, I found this movie fun to watch. It was kind of like a action/comedy/drama film filled with some Quentin Tarantino -esque cinematography styles (unusual amount of cartoon like bloodshed, funny one liners, etc.) The only part of the film that pissed me off was the ending. Akikazu thinks he’s close to finding his daughter but he never does, then the movie ends. I’m assuming there will be a part two, which I’m probably going to watch just because I need to find some closure after that cliff-hanger/horrible ending. Overall, I wouldn’t recommend children to come watch this, this is more of a “night out with mature friends who love making fun of movies” type film.

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