New American Perspectives Returning to Hawai’i International Film Festival

New American Perspective artists at the Hawaii International Film Festival

The Vilcek Foundation is excited to present the New American Perspectives program at the 39th Annual Hawai’i International Film Festival (HIFF), November 7–17, 2019. The mission of the program is to highlight the contributions of immigrant filmmakers and content creators in contemporary cinema and multimedia arts in the United States. 

This year, the New American Perspectives program features the films and multimedia projects of five artists: Saudi Arabian-born Haifaa al-Mansour and her film The Perfect Candidate; Filipino-born Isabel Sandoval and her film Lingua Franca; Taiwanese-born Emily Ting and her film Go Back to China; Japanese-born writer-director and cinematographer HIKARI and her film 37 Seconds; and Chinese-born multimedia artist Jenny Dorsey and her virtual- and augmented-reality presentation Asian in America

The festival’s engagement and presentation of new media formats—including virtual reality and multimedia cinematic art presentations—prompted us to rebrand our programming from New American Filmmakers to the New American Perspectives program. This approach honors the contributions of foreign-born artists working in unprecedented and innovative ways, bringing new modes of viewing and perspectives to the disciplines of contemporary cinema and multimedia arts.  

All of the artists featured in the 2019 New American Perspectives program are women. We are excited to develop and engage in discussion at HIFF around our programming focusing on the diversity of the artists’ experiences and perspectives as foreign-born female artists. 

The New American Perspectives program comprises a series of events that are available to all HIFF attendees. The Vilcek Foundation will present a masterclass with filmmaker Haifaa al-Mansour following the premiere screening of her film The Perfect Candidate. Centering focus on the artists, the foundation will also host Q&A sessions with Isabel Sandoval, Emily Ting, and HIKARI following the screenings of their respective films, highlighting how their experiences have informed and shaped their work and their creative processes. Jenny Dorsey will present her virtual- and augmented-reality dining program, Asian in America, on Tuesday, November 12.  

On Saturday, November 16, the Vilcek Foundation and HIFF will host a panel discussion with all five New American Perspectives artists. The panel will highlight the values of the Vilcek Foundation and the New American Perspectives program in honoring the contributions of immigrants in the arts, launching a discussion on the featured artists’ careers and experiences as foreign-born creators and innovators working in the United States.


2019 New American Perspectives Artists 

Haifaa al-Mansour (b. Saudi Arabia)
The Perfect Candidate, Film (2019)

Isabel Sandoval (b. Philippines) 
Lingua Franca, Film (2019)
Learn more about Isabel >

Emily Ting (b. Taiwan)
Go Back to China, Film (2019)
Learn more about Emily >

HIKARI (b. Japan)
37 Seconds, Film (2019)
Learn more about HIKARI >

Jenny Dorsey (b. China)
Asian in America, Virtual- and Augmented-Reality Presentation (2019)