NETPAC/USA (Network for the Promotion of Pacific Island and Asian Cinema/United States of America) exists to promote an understanding and appreciation of Asia and the Pacific Island cultures through their film.
NETPAC/USA is a 503(c) non-profit organization, incorporated on December 8, 1994 in the state of Hawaii, and recognized by the IRS to accept donations for tax deductions. This was during a time when Americans had few opportunities to see films made by Asian and Pacific Islanders. In large part this was because the American film distribution industry discouraged commercial theaters from screening movies made outside America.
However, because of Hawaii’s strong connections to the diverse cultures of Asia and the Pacific, the population embraced opportunities to see films from these places, as proven by the growing popularity of the Hawaii International Film Festival that started in 1981. For this reason, Hawaii became the perfect place to establish NETPAC/USA, encouraging the screening and appreciation of films made by Asians and Pacific Islanders in order to better understand one another.
NETPAC/USA is associated with NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema), a worldwide community with representation in 32 countries, formulated in 1990 as a result of a conference in New Delhi on Asian cinema organized by Cinemaya, the Asian Film Quarterly, with the support of UNESCO, Paris.
NETPAC/USA differs from the international NETPAC organization in that they include films from Pacific Islands as well as Asian films. Once NETPAC/USA was established, high quality film events and projects were immediately organized that encouraged dialogue and discussions after film screenings in order to better understand cultural nuances in films from Asia and the Pacific Islands.
NETPAC/USA past activities include organizing Asia Pacific film tours throughout the United States on college campuses: seminars and conferences with film critics, scholars and filmmakers; the launching of books that provide insight into films from the region; distribution of Asian and Pacific Island films online; and overseeing the selection of a jury that presents the NETPAC award to the most promising emerging Asian film director during the annual Hawaii International Film Festival.