Four Films Selected for HIFF Student Showcase
Kaycee Nakashima '20

"Life in COVID-19," a documentary by Summer Lee '21, was one of four films by HBA students that was selected for the Hawaii International Film Festival's Student Showcase. 

The Hawaii International Film Festival hosted its fortieth festival online during the month of November. Four films by HBA students were selected for the festival's student showcase. They were:

  • “Quaranteens,” written and directed by Marisa Tonaki '21’;
  • “Life in Covid-19,” written and directed by Summer Lee '21;
  • “Heart in the Park,” written and directed by Karissa Tabadero '21;
  • and “Memory 2752,” written by Ian Yamashita ‘22 and directed by Jonathan Wilson '20. 

Lee’s “Life in Covid-19,” is a short observational documentary showing how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the world, but more specifically, Honolulu’s busiest spots. 

“The project was a perfect opportunity to document one of the most historical events that will ever happen in a lot of our lifetimes. It‘ll be very interesting to look back on,” said Lee. 

Tabadero’s screenplay, “Heart in the Park,” is an animation of a couple spending their day at the park. Since this was her final project, she knew right away that she wanted to do an animation to show off her artistic talent. Her love for art and film allowed her to create something special.

“I wanted to make people smile or feel a bit more relaxed while watching my animation since I made it at the beginning of the pandemic when things were really stressful.” 

However, the process of making this film wasn’t an easy task. Tabadero drew and colored everything by hand to make sure that her characters’ movements were “smooth and consistent.”

Yamashita and Wilson’s short film, “Memory 2752,” is set in the future where people can go to an establishment called Memory Bank to relive past memories. This film depicts the relationship between Nathan and past lover, Helen, and his mental issues. After a sad parting between the couple, Nathan goes to Memory Bank everyday to relive the wonderful memories he had with his love and uses it “as a crutch to keep him sane.” 

“Nathan tackles his demons. He battles depression, among other mental issues that may be implied, including his inability to let go and an addiction to the past as he dwells on it and cannot stay away from the good times and truly move on,” said Yamashita.

His inspiration for the film came from his view on short-lived relationships and the response people have after a relationship ends. 

“It was fun to think up the story: both what was shown in the film, what was implied, and even some things I kept secret about it and left for the audience to figure out,” says Yamashita. 

To check out these students’ films, you can visit