Another great season of the Hawaii International Film Festival has ended and my only regret is not being able to go to more films. HIFF came at a difficult time this year and I was only able to see three films. However, I was lucky enough to see three films that interested me rather than only ones that fit my schedule. We had the opportunity to not only attend HIFF, but also receive screenings of the films, which helped tremendously. I saw “Gaza Surf Club”, “A Midsummer’s Hawaiian Dream”, and “Mele Murals”. I chose these films because each of these films related back to Hawaii in one way or the other and all with completely different perspectives. The variety that I found in these films seemed to encompass what HIFF is all about.
The best part of HIFF is the amount of diversity and admiration HIFF attracts. I’ve attended HIFF for three years now and I always seem to be amazed that even in a culturally diverse place like Hawaii there is still so much more culture out there that we don’t get to encounter in a typical day. I am extremely happy to attend HIFF every year not only for the films, but also the amazing people you meet in line for the films, after the films, and even sometimes the people at the ticket counter. The HIFF crowd is definitely one that is prime for learning new things or to just talk story with and these relationships I’ve made will stay with me for life.
The people you meet is only complimented further by the films you experience at HIFF. One film that I really enjoyed was “Gaza Surf Club.” Before I saw this film the only real exposure I’ve had to the Middle East is was gets broadcast on the news. I had no idea what so ever what the people were like on a more personal level and “Gaza Surf Club” helped show me this. I was so interested after this film that I researched even more about the people, their situation, and how to help. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to see a new perspective.
This year was the first year I was able to participate in HIFF as part of the press and it was a very rewarding experience. I am thankful to have had the same opportunity as members of the media and am sad I wasn’t able to attend more of the media events like the press conferences. This relationship that HPU has created with HIFF is a very good step in the right direction and I believe that the opportunity should not only be open to specific classes, but also other interested students who are motivated in keeping this relationship strong. I have recommended HIFF to several other students and friends and if the opportunity arises to be apart of the press for you, it is one that you can’t pass up!