I saw 3 movies at HIFF this year with the help of HPU. I saw Trespass Against Us, Fire at Sea and Moonlight.

I originally chose to see Lion instead of Trespass Against Us, however when I went to buy tickets, they were sold out!! What a bummer, I guess everyone caught wind of how great that movie apparently was! SO, since I could only make it to the theatre within the time frame that Lion was playing, I went to see what my other options were. I drifted toward Trespass Against Us as my next best choice simply because I prefer English language movie as opposed to reading subtitles (I made an exception in my choice to see Fire at Sea). And also, Michael Fassbender was in Trespass Against Us – I figured – he is a big name, and he wouldn’t be in a movie that was bad would he? Yes.. yes he would, in my opinion. Trespass Against Us didn’t sit well with me, but you can read my review on that in a pervious post.

I chose to see Fire at Sea because it was listed as a documentary, once in a while I like those and I thought that maybe I could learn something new about a topic I was mostly unfamiliar with – ย the refugee crisis in Europe and the island of Lampedusa.

And lastly, I chose to see Moonlight because of all the struggles and socially controversial topics. To me they weren’t controversial, but things like being gay and being black are still considered minorities or groups treated with inequity. They’re equal and fine to me, but not to many others out there, and I was interested to support this story, I loved that such a story was getting out there with love, progress and positivity and I wanted to learn about the journey of one boy facing struggles growing up in those shoes.

I was not able to attend the opening ceremony however I did see Moonlight TWICE! Once in a special private screening with the jury (lucky me!) and once on the closing night as one of the big ending films, and rightly so, it was amazing.

The highlight of the film festival was without-a-doubt, experiencing Moonlight. I feel lucky to have seen this movie early because I feel as though it will take box offices and theatres by storm very soon.

Participating in HIFF means more to me now that it’s over. I had heard about it in previous years, but did not realise what a reward it would be to participate. I got to learn more about the jurors, the workers who go behind the scenes in directing, marketing, organising PR, the filmmakers who attend for inspiration and because they love what they do. I got to really appreciate the process many movies go through before only a handful make it big, if that is their goal. I got to meet people that watched these movies for deeper reasons than just pure entertainment – which is actually great too and the only reason I go ๐Ÿ˜€ but it was something different. It was a new experience that I didn’t expect to learn from as I did.

None of the films really challenged any of my ideas or changed my values, Trespass Against Us I didn’t like so much nor could I relate in big ways, Fire at Sea I suppose reminded me to appreciate the people on boats searching for refuge, and Moonlight was great because I knew it would challenge OTHERS to think more open-mindedly and understand the struggles of being gay and being a minority better, but I already supported and understood the journey.

Moonlight sticks in my head, I want other people to see it and experience it’s depth, experience how it pierces your inner self, opens you up and asks you to face yourself deep inside. 10/10

This collaboration with HIFF and HPU is a very useful experience. It allows students to practice the skills they learn about in school or the skills they might use after. It gets us out into the field, in a real world experience that is easy-going, but also new and rewarding.

I would absolutely recommend HIFF to friends or family members, in fact I already had, and brought a friend with me to my last screening of Moonlight because he just HAD to see it ๐Ÿ™‚

I will definitely pay more attention in the future to HIFF and really appreciate and read more about the stories behind the movies and see as many as I can. It’s a great experience with a more intimate feel than the movies you see on a regular night out because you just feel closer to the makers, believers and workers of the industry

Thanks HIFF, love you long time.

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