HPU has been involved in the HIFF for the last six years. The Hawaii International Film festival was my first experience were I had press access with an international press pass, and what an amazing and delightful experience it was! I saw a total of four films during the festival, Snap, Trespass Against Us, That Demon Within, and The Tiger Hunter. I enjoyed all of these films, but my favorite was The Tiger Hunter.
I chose these four films because they were all very different genres and because of the time constraints that I’m under serving as HPU’s Student Body President. These film genres ranged from a Thai romantic youth drama(Snap), to Hong Kong paranormal ganster action film(That Demon Within), to an Indian immigrant comedy(The Tiger Hunter), and a family ganster drama(Trespass Against Us). I felt this wide spectum of films was a great sampling of the diversity of productions that HIFF offers on a yearly basis.
Two of these films were also screened at HPU’s new Aloha Tower Marketplace expansion in multipurpose room three. I had the distinct pleasure and great honor of introducing both Snap and That Demon Within. These were the first two HIFF films ever screened at Hawaii Pacific University. There was a great turnout with students and members of the community who came and enjoyed the films and we were able to offer everyone free pizza. For me, getting to introduce these films was a huge moment, but the highlight of my HIFF experience was having the opportunity to meet Lena Khan, the Director of The Tiger Hunter and then getting her autograph on my ticket for the film. Her film was so touching and helped me realize the importance of being yourself instead of judging your success by other peoples’ standards.
I learned that there is such a wealth of creativity and talent across all the cultures represented at HIFF. It’s really just a wonderful and amazing experience! I think that the collaboration between HPU and HIFF really benefits students in a variety of ways, professionally, creatively, educationally, culturally, and personally. I would recommend that future attendees schedule some time off to really immerse themselves in the festival experience. There is so much talent and hardwork that goes into every aspect of HIFF that really moves you when you can dig in and participate fully in the festival. I hope HIFF is around for many more years to come because it’s one of my favorite things about Hawai’i.