Going to a film festival as a member of a jury is different to going as a critic: You get better treatment for one thing. As the chairman of the jury for the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC) Award at the Hawaii International Film Festival (Nov. 7-17), I stayed at a five-star hotel on Waikiki Beach. Walking in, I never wanted to leave — not the right mindset for someone expected to attend the festival, rather than attend to the excellent Hawaiian coffee served by the hotel pool.

But I stirred off my lounge chair to the Regal Dole Cannery — a mall multiplex that was the main festival venue — where I sampled the event’s eclectic lineup, with its focus on the Asia-Pacific region.

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