25 May The Japan Times calls “Master Hoa’s Requiem” a must-see film
Our short film “Master Hoa’s Requiem” was reviewed by Kaori Shoji in The Japan Times this weekend and was included in the “must-see” list of films screening at the Short Shorts Film Festival in Tokyo, Japan.
The Short Shorts Film Festival was founded in 1999 and became a qualifying festival for the Academy Awards in 2004. The winner of the Grand Prix will be eligible for an Academy Award nomination in the short film category for the following year.
“While Edwards keeps a respectable distance from the subject, you still sense a deep and sincere sympathy”
The article also includes an excerpt from an interview with Scott as he discusses the short film and the follow up feature-length documentary, VIETNAMERICA.
Master Hoa’s Requiem” is another memorable title in this section…It’s impossible to hear Hoa’s story without your eyes tearing up.
Amazingly, Edwards says he knew “almost nothing about Vietnam” before taking on the project, but was approached by producer Nancy Bui of the Vietnamese American Heritage Foundation. …While Edwards keeps a respectable distance from the subject, you still sense a deep and sincere sympathy. “Master Hoa’s Requiem” proves that in a short film, a director can pare everything down to the bare minimum and still wind up with something profound.
The short version of “Master Hoa’s Requiem” is just 17 minutes long, but by the end of it you feel that anything longer might be unbearable.
“I think a short film has some advantages when dealing with stories of trauma,” Edwards says. “Tragedy can fatigue the audience. If you are telling a story like Master Hoa’s, 15 minutes might be better than an hour-and-a-half.”
Edwards tells The Japan Times that “Master Hoa’s Requiem is actually being turned into a feature-length documentary. While editing the feature, we thought we should tell just Master Hoa’s story by itself and submit it as a short film to festivals to help test the audience and see how people responded. We’ve had an incredible response. The feature-length (version) will be a much broader story about the largest refugee group in the U.S.”
Short Shorts Film Fest and Red Cross with be screening “Master Hoa’s Requiem” during the special program “War and the Power To Live,” four times during the festival, which takes place from June 4 – 14 in Tokyo, Japan.
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