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Mid-Pacific Student Films Win Top Honors at HIFF ‘Ōpio Fest

Mid-Pacific Student Films Win Top Honors at HIFF ‘Ōpio Fest
Mid-Pacific Communications Staff

Mid-Pacific School of the Art’s student films took center stage this weekend at the Hawai‘i International Film Festival’s inaugural ‘Ōpio Fest for student filmmakers.48 short films were showcased, all made by young creators hailing from Oahu, Kauai, Maui, Lanai, Hawai‘i Island, and Alaska. 

Chosen as Official Selections were Christmas Lights by Cameryn Koike ’25, which also took home the top prize of the festival: Best ‘Ōpio Student Film Award, Young Again by Kailey Holbrook, which secured the Best Screenplay Award, as well as Butter Mochi, by Michi Yorkston ’25 and Kailey Holbrook ’25 and DUSK by Pono Wong ’27. 

Mid-Pacific Student Films Win Top Honors at HIFF ‘Ōpio Fest

Butter Mochi was selected to be part of the Future Filmmakers Showcase which provided Kailey, Michi, and their actress Nikki Kottak with an opportunity to attend the Future Filmmakers Awards Ceremony at Wai Wai Collective, where they met Auli‘i Cravalho (voice of Moana) and Emmy-Award winning voice actor Eric Bauza. 

Cameryn shared, “Seeing all of the stunning visuals and stories that other students created was incredible, and it was surreal to see my film on the big screen.” While Kailey added, “Attending HIFF was a magical experience I will not forget, especially since I am an aspiring filmmaker in search of a team and audience. The event showed me I have a community ready to support my art and allow me to support others.” 

Best ‘Ōpio Student Film Award
Christmas Lights directed by Cameryn Koike, Mid-Pacific Institute

Best Screenplay Award
Young Again directed by Kailey Holbrook, Mid-Pacific Institute

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