The Vilcek Foundation will present the New American Perspectives program at the 40th annual Hawai’i International Film Festival (HIFF), November 5–29, 2020. The purpose of the New American Perspectives program is to shine a spotlight on the contributions of immigrant and foreign-born filmmakers to contemporary cinema in the United States. This year, HIFF is being presented as a hybrid in-person and virtual festival.
In 2020, the New American Perspectives program provides support for the inclusion of six films led by foreign-born filmmakers in the 2020 festival lineup:
- Minari, executive produced by New American Perspectives Special Guest Steven Yeun (b. South Korea)
- Shadow in the Cloud, directed by New American Perspectives Featured Filmmaker Roseanne Liang (b. New Zealand)
- Death of Nintendo, screenwritten and produced by Valerie Castillo Martinez (b. Philippines)
- First Vote, directed by Yi Chen (b. China)
- Mogul Mowgli, directed and screenwritten by Bassam Tariq (b. Pakistan)
- 76 Days, directed by Hao Wu (b. China)
The Vilcek Foundation has a long-standing relationship with the festival going back to 2007, when the first iteration of the New American Perspectives program was launched. “HIFF’s leadership and ethos drive our participation,” said Rick Kinsel, president of the Vilcek Foundation.
HIFF celebrates how fundamental diversity and representation are in the arts, culture, and society, and provides a platform for those voices and experiences that need to be heard.
For #HIFF40, the Vilcek Foundation is pleased to support the opening-night screening of Minari, with New American Perspectives Special Guest Steven Yeun and the film’s director, Lee Isaac Chung. The film follows the dual traditions in American narrative of being both a pioneer story and an immigrant story, focused on the experience of a family as they navigate the challenges of building a home and a life in a new land.
In addition to the opening-night screening of Minari, the New American Perspectives program will host a master class with Featured Filmmaker Roseanne Liang on Friday, November 13. The program also will include online Q & A sessions featuring all six of this year’s New American Perspectives filmmakers, and several of them will also participate in HIFF’s Guest Filmmaker Program, in partnership with local schools in Hawai’i.
On Saturday, November 14, HIFF and the Vilcek Foundation will host a live panel discussion featuring Roseanne Liang, Valerie Castillo Martinez, Yi Chen, Bassam Tariq, and Hao Wu focused on their careers and experiences as foreign-born artists, and how their experiences and perspectives shape their creative processes. The New American Perspectives panel will be live-streamed via Zoom; registration for the panel is free to the public.