Academy of Creative Media Student Films Featured at HIFF

The international language of cinema will be celebrated by eight student films from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s Academy for Creative Media at the 2011 Hawai‘i International Film Festival. The annual ACM Night @ HIFF will feature student films in English, Hawaiian, Pidgin, Shanghainese and a sprinkling of Farsi, on Friday, October 21, at 6:30 p.m. at the Regal Dole Cannery Theatres.

“These highly creative student films run from high drama to clever comedy, with a side journey into family relations and some philosophic fantasy,” said Tom Brislin, ACM chair. “They are true reflections of ACM’s mission to empower our students to develop their own voices to tell original stories for the screen that reflect and transmit authentic cultures of Hawai‘i, Asia and the Pacific.”

The program includes three films, woven together as “Destiny, Fortune, Love,” shot in Shanghai and co-produced with student filmmakers from Shanghai University as part of the unique SMART (Student Media Art) Exchange, the only university program of U.S.-China student film co-productions.

Six other films from SMART Exchange student filmmakers from Shanghai will be featured at an earlier 3:45 p.m. screening, including the shot-in-Hawai‘i documentary, “Yoyo’s Story.”

In addition to the upbeat made-in-Shanghai film of “Happy Accidents,” referring to the happy accidents that life can bring, by ACM filmmakers Laurie Arakaki and Jason Kaneshiro, and Shanghai University filmmaker Cai Huihui, the ACM program of short films will feature:

・Pa’ahana” by Lana Dang, a Hawaiian-language film that won the 2011 ACM Best Drama Award. “Pa’ahana” was also a SMART Exchange collaboration filmed with Shanghai University students, who visited Hawai‘i in October 2010 for HIFF. It will also be shown at two additional HIFF screenings, featuring emerging Hawaiian and Pacific voices on Sunday, October 16, at 6:30 p.m., and on Saturday, October 22, at 1 p.m.

・“Huki Ulua,” also by Lana Dang, a light look at dating and the importance of knowing your roots. It will also be featured at the two additional Pacific Showcase screenings.

・“Flat” by Alex Bocchieri, which shows how a flat tire can also take the air out of an intense sibling rivalry.

・“Skin Therapy” by Andrew Snyder, a tale of how even bikers can have a midlife crisis.

・“Theurgy for the Soul” by Nick Ower, a “what-if” film where lives are re-lived till they get it right.

・“The Reason” by Chadwick Shimomura, a war story set in Afghanistan and that reverberates to Hawai‘i.

・“The Sweepstakes” by Jamie Poliahu, where the real prize just might be friendship.

・“Musubi Man” by Paul Higa, a tasty tale in Pidgin about where those everywhere “grindz” really come from.

The student filmmakers will be present at the ACM Night @ HIFF screening to be recognized for their outstanding accomplishments and to discuss their films.