Due to a crazy busy schedule, I was only able to see four films (The Rope Curse, Sir, Border, and Vox Lux). I went through the HIFF program guide before the film festival started and circled anything that looked or sounded interesting to me and then just matched up whatever I could fit in my schedule during those two weeks. My schedule didn’t allow me to attend any social or media press events. While I may not have been able to watch even half of the ones I wanted at the actual film festival, they will definitely go on my long list of movies to watch in the future. The highlight of the film festival was just getting to see films that I wouldn’t have otherwise watched. I’ve always wanted to attend a film festival, so I was super stoked to get the chance to attend so many films without cost. Participating in HIFF really opened up my eyes to quality of independent filmmaking. I was really amazed and impressed to see such high quality productions.
Vox Lux definitely inspired me to be more creative with my shots and editing for any future productions of mine. All of the visuals in that film were so aesthetically pleasing to me and something that I hope to achieve for my own work one day. One thing that definitely bothered me about ¾ films that I saw was the confusion it left me with at the end. It wasn’t a “What happened?” in a curiosity sense, but with me feeling like there was something I didn’t understand. Some explanations in the storylines were so vague and I just constantly felt like I was missing something. It was even more frustrating not knowing if that was the intent or if something just flew over my head.
I don’t know that I can really explain what I learned about the different cultures represented at HIFF, but it was really impressive to see how many international films were screened. I’ve tried to make it a personal goal to watch more international films, and three out of the four movies I watched were international films. While all of the films had relatively “indie” vibes, I still feel like the American film I watched was a bit more commercialized than the international ones I watched.
I think that this collaboration was definitely a useful learning and professional experience. Especially as a cinematic production major, it’s important for me to watch films like these and take note of what they’re doing right and what they’re doing wrong (in my own opinion) and apply it to my work in the future. There were so many opportunities to meet people as well and we all know how important connections are. I would definitely recommend HIFF to friends and family because it’s refreshing to see movies that aren’t Hollywood blockbusters all the time. I also think it’s important to support artists in general, no matter how “big” or “small” they are. I really hope that I’ll get the chance to participate in this collaboration and have more free time to watch the films in the future because I really did enjoy having this opportunity.