Erin Lau photo

ACM student Erin Lau won the award for Best Documentary at the 2012 Shanghai Film Festival

University of Hawai’i at Mānoa’s Academy for Creative Media student Erin Lau’s film Ka Pua earned top honors at the 2012 Shanghai International Film Festival for the Best Documentary in the Sino-U.S. Student Shorts Program.

Ka Pua looks into the life of Elizabeth Lau as her beauty is reflected through her sense of family and aloha. She shares stories about her handicapped granddaughter, husband and belief in love without boundaries.

Lau and fellow ACM students participated in the academy’s bi-annual Student Media Art Exchange (SMART) with Shanghai University’s School of Film and TV department.

Read the for an interview with Lau.

SMART opportunities

Each year students from ACM and Shanghai University submit short films to the Shanghai International Film Festival and Hawaiʻi International Film Festival. Six films are selected each summer and fall and the filmmakers are invited to participate as official film festival delegates. They also take part in a three-week, hands-on film workshop as part of the SMART Exchange Program.

“For as long as I’ve been a student of the Academy for Creative Media, the SMART Exchange program has been regarded as an invaluable opportunity for any student filmmaker,” said senior Kristin Kouke. “Given the challenge of collaborating on three short films and overcoming the obstacles of time and language, this trip has provided me with a new, real-world perspective on the collaborative nature of filmmaking.

Students worked under the guidance of SMART Exchange Founding Director and ACM Professor Anne Misawa, SMART Exchange Workshop Coordinator Keahi Chun and Professors Liu Haibo and Wangli Huang from Shanghai University.

The SMART program was founded by Misawa in 2006 and has given nearly 80 students an unprecedented opportunity to travel to Hawaiʻi and China. More than 120 others have participated in the Filmmaker’s Workshops. All of the film collaborations from the SMART Exchange program have premiered in film festivals worldwide.

Adapted from a University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa news release.

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