HIFF this year was a good experience. Unfortunately I only had the opportunity to watch 3 films. The films being as followed, Moana: ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi, The Empty Hands and The Blood of Wolves. To go down the list I chose Moana because I wanted to see how well done the Hawaiian dub was. For The Empty Hands mainly to watch it’s Karate scenes and The Blood of Wolves for it’s raw take on the Yakuza genre. It was great opportunity to watch these films but I was unable to attend any other events during the festival. But I must say that my favorite part of the festival was the panel for Moana since it had a splendid and informative group of panelists. I really enjoyed attending this part of the event because it does make me proud to be a Hawaiian living in Hawaiʻi. Sharing our culture in a platform that can potentially reach many people from all over. It really influenced me to pursue my passion as a filmmaker because I want to make stories that can best portray my culture. Not a misrepresentation from Hollywood. Apart from this film, I was really impressed with the work from both China and Japan. They both have great film communities outside of Hollywood. Attracting a large audience in their own homeland while having the ability to portray their own stories. And that is what I want to work toward. Thanks to this collaboration with HPU I was able to learn much from the film communities in and out of Hawaiʻi. I would highly recommend any aspiring filmmaker young and old to attend this event to get more insight on how they can reach heights like the creators at this event. I hope to see my work at the event one day but not until I graduate college first.

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