two men standing by tattoo sign
Film clip from Skin Therapy by Andrew Snyder, photo courtesy of the Academy for Creative Media

The Annual Academy for Creative Media Night at the Hawaiʻi International Film Festival will feature eight 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.

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.

“These highly creative student films run from high drama to clever comedy, with a side journey into family relations and some philosophic fantasy,” said ACM Chair Tom Brislin. “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 Hawaiʻi, Asia and the Pacific.”

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-Hawaiʻi documentary, Yoyo’s Story.

Films to be screened include—

  • Happy Accidents, an upbeat made-in-Shanghai film referring to the happy accidents that life can bring, by ACM filmmakers Laurie Arakaki and Jason Kaneshiro, and Shanghai University filmmaker Cai Huihui
  • Paʻahana by Lana Dang, a Hawaiian-language film that won the 2011 ACM Best Drama Award, was also a SMART Exchange collaboration filmed with Shanghai University students
  • Huki Ulua, also by Dang, a light look at dating and the importance of knowing your roots
  • 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 Hawaiʻi
  • 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 at HIFF screening to be recognized for their outstanding accomplishments and to discuss their films.

The Academy for Creative Media, part of UH Mānoa’s College of Arts and Humanities, emphasizes narrative, or story telling, theories, skills and application across multiple platforms of digital media and within a context of cultural and aesthetic values. ACM offers a core curriculum in three tracks—digital cinema, computer animation and critical studies. See the program’s website for more information.

This video is courtesy of the Academy for Creative Media