Christine TsuzakiHawaii Film Connection

Major: English

I was born in Osaka, Japan on October 19, 1992.  My mother was from Japan and my father was from Hawaii, so English was my first language.  My family moved to Oahu, Hawaii in 1996.  As a child, I had a lot of exposure to homeless and needy people, as my father was a pastor for his own homeless and needy ministry.  When I was 13, my family moved from middle-class Kailua to Waianae, one of the poorest areas in Oahu.  My friendships and experiences with less fortunate, sometimes drug-addicted individuals filled me with the desire to tell their sad stories to the world.  However, I did not yet have a passion for filmmaking, but a passion for writing.  Hence I entered college as an English major, and unexpectedly fell in love with film in my junior year.  I began nurturing my new love for film by starting a YouTube channel, in which I starred as an online critic who shared her own unique and humorous opinions about TV shows and movies of my own interest.  

In 2015, I released my first feature-length documentary, in which I interviewed 3 formerly homeless and drug-addicted couples who have become successful, thriving individuals.  I also had the opportunity to work with other independent filmmakers in my area, performing mainly acting jobs for them.  I have continued my YouTube channel for 4 years, which I see as my emotional outlet.  I have had to work part-time jobs to pay for my student loans and daily expenses though.  My primary goal is to be able to pursue a career in film, preferably in direction or production.  However, since I do not have a film degree, and I live in Hawaii, which is not known as a place very rich in film opportunities, I saw that as a goal that would be difficult, if not almost impossible to reach.

When I found out about The Film Connection, I finally saw that my goal was no longer so far out of reach.  The program offered me exactly what I wanted-- hands-on experience, an opportunity to meet people in the film industry, a chance to prove myself-- I couldn't believe that everything I was hoping for was about to become a reality.  I have just joined the program and am ready to embark on the new challenges the program has to offer me.  I embrace every challenge-- especially if they will help me to reach my goals.

My name is Christine Tsuzaki, and I am a Japanese-American filmmaker.  I can't wait to see what I can do.

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