Latest Blog Posts

Analyzing a frame in YOUTH

By Jordan Csigi (Ebert Young Writers Participant)

Youth is filled with a lot of beautifully composed shots but the one that was imprinted into my mind took place within the first 10 minutes of the film. Michael Caine plays Fred, a retired maestro living in a Swiss Spa and is being given the opportunity to perform for the Queen but he refuses to do so. Meanwhile being asked, we see Paul Dano’s character, Jimmy tree listening in on the conversation. As he is listening, it cuts to Jimmy…

Directors Connect their Lives to LOST & FOUND

By Tricia Khun (Ebert Young Writers Participant)

“ LOST & FOUND is a story about message, hope and connection.”

LOST & FOUND, directed by Nicolina Lanni and John Choi is an emotionally relatable documentary that intimately follows the journey of several families as they search for meaning in the most mundane of debris. The debris was a result of the aftermath following the devastating Japanese tsunami in 2011 and still remains afloat circulating across the Pacific Ocean…

YOSEMITE Lives in James Franco’s Childhood

By Silje Solland (Ebert Young Writers Participant)

Set in 1985 and based on James Franco’s short stories from his collections, A California Childhood & Palo Alto, Yosemite is a visually stunning 4-part story about three boys exploring their feelings and imagination as they face the reality of adulthood and the threat of a mountain lion.

Director Gabrielle Demesteree’s debut feature film manages to use the thoughts and minds of young boys to deliver a story that is ambiguous and…

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…

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