This year I attended the Hawaii International Film Festival Spring Showcase at the Regal Dole Cannery Stadium. HIFF is actually the first film festival I have ever attended. I am excited for the upcoming fall festival, and I look forward to seeing the variety of movies that are selected for display.
On Thursday April 16th I convinced my roommate Kristin to accompany me to a HIFF showing of Slow West, directed by John Maclean. She was reluctant at first about the movies offered in the festival. She also had never attended a film festival. Neither of us was sure what to expect. The showcase did not meet our expectations. It surpassed them.
The theatre was crowded and bustling. People were found rustling around in their seats, off on the side of aisle’s talking, and making concession stand and bathroom trips before the start of the showing. Two artists recently featured in Flux Magazine found themselves seated next to a business man in front of us, who recognized them from his work with the magazine. A young man entered with a microphone to give background about the film and festival. Phones began being silenced and shifting into their owner’s hideaways. Lastly the man announced the featured film, and wished us a good night bidding our return with his exit.
I choose the film Slow West out of the showcase pamphlet. The description given stated that the movie was a story of America’s lack of pity for the innocent. The movie covered this concept and so much more. It conveyed love, friendship, greed, and a cold side of the world. It invoked a range of emotions while eloquently telling the story of a love stricken 16-year-old Scottish boy named Jay. The movie exceeded Kristin and my expectations. We found ourselves talking about the film the whole way home. We discussed lines that resonated with us, different perceptions of the film, how happy we were to have attended the festival, and overall how impressed we were with the film and festival.
I highly recommend attending at least one showing of the Hawaii Film Festival, if ever given the opportunity. I was thoroughly impressed, and will be following my own recommendation. I am planning to attend several showings this upcoming fall.