Latest Blog Posts

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…

AFTER THE WAVE Shows People Standing Together After Tragedy


By Silje Solland (Ebert Young Writers Participant)
Over 250,000 people died in the devastating tsunami generated by an earthquake that hit Thailand on Christmas 2004. Somebody had to identify the bodies. AFTER THE WAVE is a collaborative documentary focusing on the stories of survivors, volunteers and the forensics that took upon the task to identify thousands of dead bodies, some left beyond recognition.

I was only 11 years old in 2004, yet I still remember the day when these surrea…

100 YEN LOVE Takes an Underdog from 0 to 100

By Cheyanne Flowers (Ebert Young Writer Participant)

100 YEN LOVE (Hyakuen no Koi) is the story of Ichiko Saito, a destitute woman in her early 30s who has no career, no husband or kids, and no obvious goals in life. Through an unexpected relationship between her and the man that she would see at the boxing club when walking to the convenience store, Ichiko decides to take up boxing as a way to cope with the pent up rage that seems to be the only part of her that we see in t…

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