Marketing & Outreach Associate Amber Gualano’s Top 10 Films to watch with the HIFF40 10-Pack

By HIFF News | November 20, 2020

We are sharing HIFF staffers TOP 10 FILMS TO WATCH. With varying personal tastes, these lists are a great jumping-off points for audiences who want to dive in and purchase our newly announced HIFF40 10-PACK, a discounted ticket package of 10-online vouchers for only $40! Get 10 movies for yourself or others to share. Think of this as our Black Friday sale, but we’re pushing it up one week early and extending it for the final 10 days of HIFF40!

In this blog post, Marketing & Outreach Associate Amber Gualano lists her HIFF40 Top 10. She does provide a caveat…She likes sad movies:

BOAT PEOPLE
If you are looking for a gut wrenching piece of cinema, this is the one. Ann Hui’s raw but empathetic approach at humanizing the true horrific aftermath of the Vietnam war comes out as a masterpiece of a perspective not often seen. This has been on my list for a while, and I am thankful HIFF provided the opportunity! Part of the Ann Hui Retrospective / Spotlight on Hong Kong.

MOVING ON
A touching slice of life family drama that dives deep into the members in this simple narrative. It is in the ordinary that we are given the opportunity to truly observe how the characters conduct themselves through their average life.

LUNANA: A YAK IN THE CLASSROOM
On a more positive and hopeful note, Lunana: A Yak In The Classroom is for the soul. With the beautiful scenery of Lunana, a remote village in Bhutan, and the healing spirits of the villagers, the director’s journey is affirming that the best of life is in the simple things.

MOGUL MOWGLI
The exploration of generation trauma and a man balancing heritage with a modernized identity makes this drama, featuring an astonishing performance by Riz Ahmed, a must watch at HIFF. (and better yet make it a double feature with SOUND OF METAL screening Sunday November 22nd for a night full of musical Riz Ahmed.)

76 DAYS
A terrifying documentary because everything that feels staged, the empty streets, the extreme measures medics take “suit up,” and the were real actions taken just a few months ago. An enlightening observation of current events that rapidly changed our everyday lives that puts the unbelievable into perspective.

CANE FIRE
Filled with archival Hollywood footage, and insights into the locals of Kauai, this Hawaii made documentary is a must see for anyone interested in the social and economic forces that influence Hawaii.

KAMA’ĀINA (CHILD OF THE LAND)
This MADE IN HAWAI‘I short film is a quick watch that packs a punch reminding us that there is always hope. A sympathetic look into Pu’uhonua O Wai’anae that quietly reminds us to reflect on who is affected by the overdevelopment of “Paradise.”

NIGHT OF THE KINGS
The use of all the cinematic elements, imagery and sound design, pushes this majestic film above and beyond showcasing the evolution of storytelling while the premise honors storytelling origins – by word of mouth. Viewable on November 21st, 7pm-11pm HST only.

VOICES IN THE WIND
Take the classic road trip premise, place it in Japan, and attach a coming of age protagonist, who lost her family to the 2011 tsunami and you get this quiet, beautiful gem about loss and grief. The long takes and static shots allow the real star, Serena Motola, shine through and deliver a powerful performance packed with moving emotion.

THE KILLING OF TWO LOVERS
Make sure to catch this film on November 20th because director Robert Machoian is a rising star. Simple in story, and execution, this film really earns it’s praise from the scenery, chemistry between father and family, and the sound design. This family drama takes the phrase “I’ll do whatever it takes” to a new level with the hyper articulate sounds that overlay static contemplating shots. Viewable on November 20th, 7pm-11pm HST only.