Hawaii’s only independent international film festival has begun! Hawaii International Film Festival 37 (HIFF 37) kicked off it’s first night, Nov. 2, 2017, at Dole Regal Theater with the opening night Hawaii premiere movie, a Japanese anime special, Mary and the Witch’s Flower.
Movie goers lined up for the film’s seating to open at 8:00 p.m. Some even grab snacks from the refreshment bar prior to entering just for the wait!
As to be expected, if the line for the movie is long, the line’s for the refreshments would be as well.
All of the HIFF opening night volunteers wore smiles and handed out warm greetings to all who entered.
The festival information table was easily located directly in front of the entry doors, with the PR and press table only a few steps away.
Once the doors opened and seating began, the theater seemed alive. All who was attending was directed by the HIFF volunteers to the proper theater and seated where they were greeted with HIFF executive director Beckie Stocchetti to give an opening speech before the movie. Once Stocchetti gave her speech, the lights dimmed and the movie began.
Directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi (When Marnie Was There, The Secret World of Arrietty) and produced by Yoshiaki Nishimura (The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, When Marnie Was There Mary and the Witch’s Flower), is an adventurous anime for the whole family. Based on Mary Stewart’s 1971 children’s book The Little Broomstick. The anime tells the tale of a little girl with fiery red hair who’s curiosity leads to her find rare flowers which grants untold magical powers with a catch, her powers only last for one night.
A classic tale of magic and adventure with the struggle between good and evil, Mary and the Witch’s Flower is for sure one to add to any anime lover’s home collection. The anime is colorfully crafted, igniting sparks in one’s imagination driven with fantasy.
Director Yonebayashi has captured the youth’s desire for adventure and friendship yet again such as before in The Secret World of Arrietty and When Marnie Was There. As an anime enthusiast, I look forward to many more of his works and hope his partnership with producer Nishimura continue to create many more magical tales.