Selections for 2013 New American Filmmakers Announced

New York, NY, Sept. 27, 2013 — The Vilcek Foundation is pleased to announce this year’s line-up for the New American Filmmakers (NAF) program.  Curated and presented in collaboration with the Hawaii International Film Festival in Honolulu, NAF features a selection of films made by foreign-born filmmakers – directors, producers, editors, actors and more – that demonstrate the vitality and creativity immigrants add to American cinema. 

“The New American Filmmakers program is an exciting and diverse selection of films that represents cinematic genres and traditions from around the world,” said Rick Kinsel, Executive Director of the Vilcek Foundation.  “We are pleased to continue this partnership with HIFF to showcase some of the most innovative filmmakers working today.”

This year also introduces the NAF Featured Filmmaker program, which invites an established immigrant film professional to screen at the festival and conduct a master class.  New Zealand-born director, producer and writer Andrew Adamson (Shrek, Shrek 2, and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe); and UK-born composer Harry Gregson-Williams (Shrek, Prometheus, Total Recall) will be the inaugural NAF Featured Filmmakers; their recent collaboration, Mr. Pip, will be presented at HIFF. 

The 2013 selected films are:

Mr. Pip, directed by New Zealand-born Andrew Adamson and scored by UK-born Harry Gregson-Williams.  An adaptation of the novel by Lloyd Jones, Mr. Pip focuses on a young girl in Papua New Guinea who escapes the chaos of the Bougainville Civil War through her fascination with the novel Great Expectations and her friendship with a local schoolteacher.  Both Adamson and Gregson-Williams will be present for a one-hour master class. 

Escape from Tomorrow, produced and edited by South Korean-born Soojin Chung.  Filmed covertly without permission (and dubbed ‘the ultimate guerrilla movie’), Escape from Tomorrow is a visually thrilling fantasy horror film that depicts a family man’s descent into madness and paranoia while on vacation. 

I Learn America, co-directed by French-born Jean-Michel Dissard.  I Learn America follows five teenagers during a year in school at New York’s International High School at Lafayette, a school devoted exclusively to newly arrived students.  The students adapt to a new country, a new language, and a new sense of identity as they ‘learn America’.

This is Martin Bonner, directed by Cyprus-born Chad Hardigan (to Irish parents).  The winner of the NEXT Section’s Audience Award at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, Hardigan’s sophomore film is a subtle meditation on friendship and human connection.  Martin Bonner is in his fifties when he decides to leave his life behind and relocate to Reno, Nevada, where he befriends a man recently released after twelve years in prison.

Sake-Bomb, directed by Japanese-born Junya Sakino.  A pair of cousins, one from America and the other from Japan, embark on a quest through California to win back their ex-girlfriends in this road trip comedy.  Along the way, cultural misunderstandings, hijinks and hilarity ensue. 

The 33rd annual Hawaii International Film Festival will take place in Honolulu from October 10-20, and fr0m October 24-27 on the Big Island and Kauai.  For ticket information, or more information about HIFF, please visit  For more information about the Vilcek Foundation, please visit

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