Latest Blog Posts

Video Review: ANOMALISA

By Silje Solland (Ebert Young Writers Participant)

The main idea for this film review came to me when I decided to watch a movie, but the idea of doing a conventional written review felt wrong for this. One of my classes at HPU focus on analyzing movies to gain a greater understanding, but these things often leads to studying the film prior to seeing it. Some may find it natural to read the synopsis of a plot beforehand. I am one of those people and that is often what decides if a mov…

THE ASSASSIN Kills Some Audience Members; It Leaves Others…Confused

By Alexandra Yam (Ebert Young Writers Participant)

THE ASSASSIN is Hsiao-hsien Hou’s magnum opus. Shu Qi plays the female assassin who struggles with a moral dilemma when she is assigned to kill her cousin, the military governor of Weibo. Tensions between Weibo and the Imperial court are rising and the death of the Weibo governor would throw China into turmoil. It’s easy to see why Hou won the 2015 Cannes Film Festival award for best director. Each frame is a visual masterpiece. T…

Candid Chat With CAMINO Crew at Hawaii Premiere

By Jordan Csigi and Michael Andrews (Ebert Young Writers Participants)

Filmed entirely in Hawaii, CAMINO is an intense thriller following a photojournalist on the run in the forests of Columbia after she snapped photos that some very bad people would’ve preferred she didn’t. We met up with director Josh Haller and lead actress Zoë Bell briefly before the Hawaii premiere of CAMINO for a candid discussion about Hawaii, the production of CAMINO, and their artistic aims as filmmakers. T…

Young Writers Program Mentor Encourages Everyone to Be A Critic

By Michael Andrews (Ebert Young Writers Program)

As part of the inaugural Ebert Young Writers Program, I’ve had an unforgettable time. In just the past week, and still several days left before HIFF 2015 comes to an end, I’ve met with directors, producers, actors, publicists, critics, and have had my reviews published on HIFF website. And on top of that, I’ve been able to gain a wealth of knowledge about films and the industry from program mentor, Kevin B. Lee. (And I’ve watched som…

THE KIDS Grows Into a Satisfying Coming of Age Film

By Cheyanne Flowers (Ebert Young Writers Participant)

The Kids is a compelling coming of age story about high school students Bao-Li (Wu Chien Ho) and Jia-Jia (Wen Chen Ling) who must go through everyday life as teenage parents in modern day Taiwan. Issues such as abuse, gambling, and crime plague the two as they strive to do what they can to raise their daughter.

During a Q&A session after the film’s premiere at the Hawaii International Film Festival, the director and creator,…

TYRUS Takes Flight


By Dominic Schweingruber (Ebert Young Writers Participant)

The documentary TYRUS, follows the Chinese-born American artist Tyrus Wong from his home in Guangzhou to Los Angeles. Wong is best known for his concept art used in the 1942 Walt Disney production, Bambi. Wong is also widely celebrated for his paintings, murals, lithography and kite building.
In 1920, at the age of nine, Wong moved to the United States with his father. Once arriving in the United States, young Tyrus…

A Unique Life Forged by War

By Alexandra Yam (Ebert Young Writers Participant)

Nien-Hsiu Lee’s documentary– HEBEI TAIPEI (河北台北)–took 15 years to film. It recounts the colorful life of her father, Li, as his childhood was torn apart by the Chinese Civil War. In the Q&A session after the film, the director revealed how her father requested her to make this film. At first she didn’t take the request seriously as she found her father’s story to be lies or exaggerations, but she became fully…

Director John Hill Brings Light to Big Island Indie Films


by Cheyanne Flowers (Ebert Young Writers Participants) 

Midori in Hawaii is a fun comedy that follows Midori, a wedding photographer listening to the criticism of her sister and brother-in-law when they decide to leave Japan to visit her in Hawaii. The film itself is filled with beautiful shots of Big Island as well as great chemistry between the actors. I was fortunate to sit down and talk story with the director and creator of this film, John Hill.

“I always loved Japanese films…

Pictures Are Worth Thousands of Words in FRAME BY FRAME

By Tricia Khun (Ebert Young Writers Participant)

Farzana Wahidy

“Photographing women is a very sensitive thing. The culture is for women to hide themselves. I want to focus deeper on the lives of Afghan women, not just one side.”

At an indoor boxing rink, Farzana takes photos of young girls during boxing practice. The photo is surprising. None of the young girls are wearing a headscarf as they would if they were to walk down the streets of Afghanistan. It was a new side of Afghan…

A CANDLE LIGHTS THE HEART is Made to Move Audiences


By Michael Andrews (Ebert Young Writers Participant)

It’s understandable that a film focusing on a memorial ceremony might slip into over-sentimentality, and A Candle Lights The Heart is no exception. With that said, this is a movie made for catharsis; a movie with only the most benevolent intentions to move hearts and induce tears.

The film is a labor of love for producer and director Shinji Kondo, a Shinnyo-en reverend who has been working on the film since at least 2007, editing it…

Content and Design Copyright © 2009-2015 Hawaii International Film Festival