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March 15, 2023

2022 Hawaii International Film Festival showcased student film

Lucie Reese in “The Artist’s Subject”Photography courtesy of Lucie Reese.

Originally published in the February 2023 issue of Lanai Today.

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If you think a black and white film without dialogue isn’t your cup of tea, then you probably haven’t watched “The Artist’s Subject,” a five-minute short film by Lanai filmmaker and high school student, Lucie Reese. The film, shot on Hulopoe Beach, was an official selection of the 2022 Hawaii International Film Festival.

Beautifully shot, carefully constructed, and sensitively acted, “The Artist’s Subject” is Reese’s follow up to “First Base,” her earlier short film that premiered at the Lanai Theater in September 2022. The prior film, shot over several months in 2022, starred multiple Lanai community members and relied on a crew of volunteers. In contrast, “The Artist’s Subject” had a cast and crew of just one person, Reese, who plays the only two roles in the film.

“It’s a film about perception,” says Reese. “There’s an artist and there’s a subject. The artist is painting who they think they are — their perception of how they see themselves.”

Reese shot the film in 2022 in under three hours, using a camera and tripod borrowed from her parents.

“I would set up the tripod, go behind the camera and take a few test shots,” says Reese. “There was no one else to help me. I was filming by myself.”

Her only company during the shoot were a few guests of the nearby Four Seasons Resort Lanai who wandered by and stopped to ask what she was doing.

She edited the film on her laptop, often using “little specks of time between classes” at high school.

Reese made the film as part of a class she took online from Hawaii Women in Filmmaking “Making Media That Matters.” She credits the organization with providing practical support and for submitting her finished work to the film festival.

Reese learned “The Artist’s Subject” had been accepted to the festival the night before “First Base” premiered in Lanai to an audience of 180 community members. A few weeks later she was attending the screening of her film at The 2022 Hawaii International Film Festival.

“It was the first time I had seen it on the big screen,” says Reese. “It was emotional for me. Ever since I was young, I’ve always wanted to act. I always had that vision of seeing myself on the big screen with people watching me. The moment the screen came on, my second-grade self was proud.”

“The Artist’s Subject” was part of the festival’s Student Showcase.

Today, Reese is submitting her earlier film, “First Base,” to multiple festivals and working on her next film project.

“I’m really excited for it because [the new film] is really different than ‘First Base,’” says Reese. “I have the outline done and I’m almost done with the script.”

Similar to “First Base,” she will be relying on members of the community to help with the project.

“It’s just amazing what this community has done. Such a positive community and I’m so grateful. I want to thank the community because without them ‘First Base’ wouldn’t be what it is.”

“The Artist’s Subject” and the trailer for “First Base” are free to watch on Reese’s YouTube channel, Lucia Cinema (youtube.com/@LuciaCinema).

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