Film Showcase Embraces New Media

By Carmichael Doan, Kapiʻo Staff Writer

Cyrina Hadad, co-owner and producer of the independent film showcase Showdown in Chinatown is working to bring new media technologies to the 10-year anniversary of the event.

“We’ve noticed that there is an awareness of the DIY/Makers movement in technology and in how we view media being activated in Hawaiʻi,” says Hadad who has spent the last decade bringing her unique brand of avant-garde stylistics and goofy idealism into the sprawling underbelly of the downtown fashion, film, and design scene. “This is a key component in the future of filmmaking, and Showdown is taking it to the next level.”

In an effort to highlight these changes, Hadad plans to introduce a high-tech extravaganza for the SIC Championships event this November.  Among the displays shown will be a 3-D interactive visual display that combines elements of streaming water mist that will work in tandem with various light sources to deliver an eye-popping experience.

KCC New Media Arts students interested in getting a look at groundbreaking and inventive technologies that are seeping into mainstream film are sure to appreciate both the new technologies and the conventional film offerings showcased at SIC. The competitive filmmaking event, which is staged five times a year, has been a hotbed of activity for independent filmmakers and up-and-coming talents affiliated with the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Academy for Creative Media, the Hawaiʻi International Film Festival’s Creative Lab and other programs.

As the Showdown approaches its 10th anniversary, Hadad has been attending conferences and expos on the West Coast while working closely with her right-hand woman, Director of SIC Interactive Aisis Chen, in moving forward with incorporating high-end technology into its showcase.

“Showdown not only harbors creativity and invokes growth in every avenue of film, we are now moving forward into combining visual storytelling with trans-media technologies,” Hadad said. “We are joining forces with hackers, makers, and students in the community of Hawaii. The future will be in holographic projections, gestural interactivity, and integrated into live performances.”

Hadad sees the advancement of the Showdown as a natural one, paralleling the ideological growth of the showcase itself.

“Showdown is a bridge to a place where filmmakers and students of film can show off all of their hard work,” she said. “It’s a place where they can watch it, show it, compare it, and evolve it.”

KCC student Leinaʻala Cuevas has attended the gala before and is anticipating more from this new stage the Showdown’s evolution.

“I think it’s amazing how technology is advancing to the point where we can see and do things that we would have never thought possible before, especially in the entertainment industry,” Cuevas said.

For more on Showdown in Chinatown, visit its website: