New American Filmmakers in the Classroom

The New American Filmmakers program was pleased to bring delegates into local Hawaiian classrooms as a part of the Hawaii International Film Festival’s Guest Filmmaker Program.  On Monday, Ana Lily Amirpour, born in the UK to Iranian parents, spoke to the Digital Media Class of Farrington High School about the making of her latest film, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night. 

“You are all future filmmakers,” Ana said.  “Even if you’ve never made a film before, you’ve seen hundreds, or even thousands, of movies.  You might have never built a table before, but you know what tables are.”

Ana answered questions about screenwriting, vampires, and her family’s immigration to America.  She also shared some of her own student films, including a short made at the UCLA Film School, and a previously unseen early work, a one-person adaptation of Macbeth made for a middle school English class. 

Later, Farzad Sangari, Iranian-born director of the documentary Mudbloods, and Bao Nguyen, producer and cinematographer of Nuoc 2030, were received by the Punahou School’s Film Club.  They gave a guest lecture on documentaries, discussing different styles, establishing rapport between the filmmakers and subjects, and alternatives to film school.

Farzad and Bao also played clips from their previous works, and provided a list of must-see documentaries.  High on the list were Up the Yangtze, The War Room, and of course, Mudbloods.

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