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DBEDT NEWS RELEASE: LOCALLY CREATED MEDIA INDUSTRY IN FOCUS AS HAWAI‘I CONTENT CREATORS HEAD INTO AWARDS SEASON AND LEVERAGE RANGE OF WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT EVENTS AT HOME

 

 

 

DEPARTMENT OF BUSINESS, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND TOURISM

 

 CREATIVE INDUSTRIES DIVISION

 

JOSH GREEN, M.D.
GOVERNOR

 

JAMES KUNANE TOKIOKA

DIRECTOR

 

GEORJA SKINNER

CHIEF OFFICER, CREATIVE INDUSTRIES DIVISION

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 18, 2024

 

LOCALLY CREATED MEDIA INDUSTRY IN FOCUS AS HAWAI‘I CONTENT CREATORS HEAD INTO AWARDS SEASON AND LEVERAGE RANGE OF WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT EVENTS AT HOME

 

DBEDT’s Creative Industries Division supporting awards marketing for “Aikane,” “The Wind and the Reckoning” and 2024 Slamdance selection “Chaperone”

 

HONOLULU – Paving the way toward a more vibrant locally created media industry, Hawai‘i State Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT)’s Creative Industries Division (CID) is supporting awards season marketing for local films to reach global audiences, while strengthening and expanding Hawai‘i-based opportunities for creatives to access craft workshops, events, and master classes.

 

“Together with the collective efforts of education and nonprofit organizations throughout the Hawai‘i creative community, we are carving a pathway to connecting audiences around the world with Hawai‘i films and filmmakers, creating strategic stepping stones towards a robust, independent film and creative media industry,” said Georja Skinner, chief officer of the DBEDT Creative Industries Division and founder of its Creative Lab Hawai‘i (CLH).

 

Narrative feature “Chaperone,” written and directed by Hawai‘i island filmmaker and CLH Producing Fellow Zoë Eisenberg, will premiere at the 30th Annual Slamdance Film Festival in Park City, Utah from January 19 to 25, 2024. “Chaperone” is one of only six selections to be featured in the Slamdance Breakouts program out of nearly 8,000 submissions. The project was developed by Eisenberg throughout two CLH accelerator cohorts, and in 2023, was shot in Hilo with an entirely Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (AANHPI) cast and Hawai‘i-based crew.

 

In addition to the marketing assistance for “Chaperone” and other awards and festival circuit opportunities, CID is supporting Hawai‘i-made animated short “Aikane” and feature film “The Wind and the Reckoning” throughout the awards season. Both films have been riding a wave of accolades and wins at prestigious and Academy Award-qualifying festivals. “Aikane” has garnered 11 awards, among them the 2023 Made in Hawai‘i Award for Best Short at Hawai‘i International Film Festival (HIFF) and Best Short Jury Mention at the 2023 New Orleans Film Festival.

 

With the development of pathways from curriculum-to-career, DBEDT/CID embarked in 2023 as a lead working with the University of Hawaiʻi, Department of Education, Career and Technical Education, Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Alliance of Hawaiʻi  under the federal Good Jobs Hawaiʻi grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration. The goal is to increase training and skills development and formalize a pipeline to job creation through talent development across the spectrum of creative industries sectors. According to the recent DBEDT Research and Economic Analysis Division report, film and creative media are key emerging industries, ready to scale.

                                                 

CID is focused on creating opportunities for Hawaiʻi students and residents through CLH partnerships with nonprofits such as the International Cultural Arts Network, Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC), and Hawaiʻi Women in Filmmaking. A recent series of master acting workshops for Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders in Hawai‘i’s television and film industry was conducted at the Entrepreneurs Sandbox from September through December 2023.

 

O‘ahu-based ‘Ohina Filmmakers Lab wrapped its 2023 workshop at the end of last year in collaboration with PIC, which provided filmmakers an opportunity to submit their short screenplays to be mentored by leading creative minds in the entertainment industry. The mentors then selected film projects to produce as short films, which may lead to development into full feature films.

 

“The future is promising for local filmmakers in 2024. Hawai‘i is cultivating local talent both behind and in front of the camera, and creatives have a passionate community from which to initiate and develop projects,” said Eisenberg, a winner of the 2021 ‘Ohina Greenlight Award and who has had prior work supported by Tribeca Studios and Netflix. “With accelerators like Creative Lab Hawai‘i and the vital support CID is providing to advocating for our community building creative media infrastructure, we have an environment in which local filmmakers and our dynamic stories can thrive.”

 

Digital assets are available here.

 

 

About the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT)

DBEDT is Hawai‘i’s resource center for economic and statistical data, business development opportunities, energy and conservation information, and foreign trade advantages. DBEDT’s mission is to achieve a Hawai‘i economy that embraces innovation and is globally competitive, dynamic and productive, providing opportunities for all Hawai‘i’s citizens. Through its attached agencies, the department fosters planned community development, creates affordable workforce housing units in high-quality living environments, and promotes innovation-sector job growth.

 

About Creative Industries Division (CID)

CID, a division within DBEDT, is the state’s lead agency dedicated to advocating for and accelerating the growth of Hawai‘i’s creative economy. Through initiatives, program development, and strategic partnerships, the division and its branches implement activities to expand the business development, global export and investment capacity of Hawai‘i’s arts, culture, music, film, literary, publishing, digital and new media industries.

 

About Creative Lab Hawai‘i (CLH)

Creative Lab Hawai‘i was founded in 2012 by the Hawai‘i State Department of Business, Economic, Development and Tourism Creative Industries Division to accelerate the growth of Hawai‘i’s creative entrepreneurs through immersive, hands-on training in broadband/new media, producing, screenwriting, interactive media, music and design/fashion. A key facet of Hawai‘i’s creative economy, CLH is developing an ecosystem to increase export, attract investment and build the state’s creative entrepreneurial capacity in media, music and fashion/design. CLH features three program components: 1) Immersive Programs; 2) Ideation Workshops; and 3) Public Keynotes.

 

Website: creativelab.hawaii.gov

Facebook: Creative Lab Hawai‘i – facebook.com/creativelabhawaii

Twitter: @CreativeLabHI – twitter.com/creativelabhi

Instagram: @CreativeLabHI – instagram.com/creativelabhi

 

 

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Media Contacts:

Laci Goshi
Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism
808-587-9006

[email protected]

 

Georja Skinner

Chief Officer, Creative Industries Division
Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism

808-586-2590

[email protected]

 

Susan Wright

Becker Communications

808-799-4293

[email protected]