HIFF and DANIEL K. INOUYE INSTITUTE Launch Middle and High School Student Short Film Contest

By HIFF | May 31, 2018

This summer, the Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF) invites High School and Middle School students to create works for a new short film contest. In partnership with the Daniel K. Inouye Institute (DKII), the contest calls on young students to create films inspired by Senator Inouye’s historic speech from the 1968 Democratic National Convention.

“We are honored to partner with DKII on this initiative and are proud to continue our work in cultivating the next generation of Hawaii filmmakers. It is critical to our mission that we expand opportunities for youth to leverage their voices to tell their own entertaining, authentic stories and participate thoughtfully in media making,” says Beckie Stocchetti, HIFF’s executive director.

Senator Inouye, a decorated veteran who served in World War II as part of the 442nd Infantry Regiment, was the first person of color to deliver a keynote address at the Democratic National Convention. In that historic speech, Inouye boldly addressed lingering racism in America or what he called the "immorality" of the Vietnam War. Student filmmakers will get to choose 1 of 4 themes/excerpts from Senator Inouye’s 1968 speech. Filmmakers will use their chosen theme/excerpt to “interpret” or be “inspired” to produce a short film (no more than 3 minutes in length). The content of the short film can be open to all genres and themes, either fiction or non-fiction. Students are allowed to submit group projects with a group limit of 5 students.

The films will be reviewed and juried by the HIFF programming team. Finalists will be presented at the 38th Annual Hawaii International Film Festival (November 8-18) in a special presentation screening as part of the Festival’s annual Student Showcase. These finalists will be given industry filmmaker badges that will provide them unprecedented access to HIFF (free screenings, panel talks, party entry). They will also receive prizes at the showcase.

Finalists will also be invited to attend the FUTURE FILMMAKER LUNCHEON held in conjunction with the 38th Hawaii International Film Festival presented by Halekulani (November 8-18, 2018), where the young filmmakers will be hosted for a lunch and attend a keynote speech with a young and established talent. Submissions must be received by October 15, 2018 in order to be considered.

For more information, please visit the HIFF/DKII Student Film Initiative Website

About Hawaii International Film Festival presented by Halekulani (HIFF):
Established in 1981, the Hawaii International Film Festival is a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of cultural exchange and media awareness in the Pacific Rim. HIFF is a premier international film event that has won the praise of governments, filmmakers, scholars, educators, programmers and film industry leaders across the globe. HIFF’s programming has two particular mandates: to be a festival of record for emerging films from Asia, the Pacific, and North America and to present the top festival films from around the world, annually screening films from over 45 countries. HIFF Industry presents educational content and panels in the fields of film,music, mobile and web entertainment, and gaming. These transmedia programs reflect HIFF’s commitment to exhibiting innovative creative content coming from the Asia Pacific Rim. For more info, visit the HIFF website.

HIFF’s key presenting sponsor is Halekulani Corporation and major sponsors are: Hawaii Tourism Authority, Middle Management, and Regal Entertainment Group.

About the Daniel K. Inouye Institute (DKII):
The Daniel K. Inouye Institute was established in 2013 to preserve Senator Inouye's papers and tell his life story; support STEM education, civics learning and international educational-cultural exchanges; and establish a repository of the Asian American/Pacific experience. For more info, visit the DKII website.

Download a transcript of Senator Inouye’s keynote address at the 1968 Democratic National Convention.

Here is a video clip of Senator Inouye's speech at the 1968 Democratic National Convention:

Here is a video interview with former Hawaii governor John Waihe'e reminiscing on the power of Senator Inouye's speech and the uniqueness in seeing a person of color give the keynote address in 1968:

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