Featured NETPAC@25 Panelists
Founder and President of NETPAC, Keynote Speaker of NETPAC@25, India
Aruna Vasudev is the Founding President of NETPAC and has been involved in promoting Asian cinema as a filmmaker, author, film festival director, journal publisher, jury member for four decades. She is well-known as the Founding Editor of Cinemaya, the Asian film Journal that she started in 1988 and continued publishing until selling it in 2004 to Osian’s. She has a PhD from the University of Paris, and has written several books on Indian, Japanese and Asian cinema.
She has been president or member of the international juries of the film festivals of Locarno, Cannes (Camera d'Or), Asia Pacific festival in Taipei, Japanese Biennale at Orleans, and of Vesoul (France), Thessaloniki (Greece), Fribourg (Switzerland), Shanghai, Tehran, Hawaii, Singapore, Tallinn (Estonia), Cinemanila and Cinemalaya (Philippines), Karlovy Vary (Czech Republic), Jeonju and Chungmuro (South Korea), Las Palmas, Granada and Barcelona (Spain), Istanbul, Antalya and Malatya (Turkey), Sale (Morocco), Hong Kong Asian Film Festival, Beirut, and many others.
She was awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters) by the French Government; the Korea Prize from the Pusan International Film Festival, South Korea; the Star of Italian Solidarity by the Italian Government; the Lifetime Achievement award from Cinemanila film festival, Manila; the Satyajit Ray Memorial Award; the Kalpana Chawla Award for Excellence for Women; and the Lifetime Achievement award by Icongo (International Confederation of NGOs) in India.
Garin Nugroho was born in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, in 1961. He studied filmmaking at the Institut Kesenian Jakarta, where he later taught filmmaking and was the Dean Assistant of Film Faculty & TV. Garin's artistic practices include filmmaking, writing and directing theatre productions, installations, writing, curating and organizing film festivals and publishing newspapers. He concentrates on themes that examine the culture and political issues in Indonesia, particularly in Papua, Aceh, Sumba, Java and Bali. Garin is considered the pioneer of new generation of Indonesian filmmakers. Most of his films have been screened in international film festivals, including Cannes, Venice, and Berlin. He is currently the director of SET Film Workshop. His feature films include Of Love and Eggs, Under the Tree, The Blue Generation, Opera Jawa and Blindfold.
Garin Nugroho's participation is sponsored by Doris Duke's Shangri La, a Center for Islamic Art & Cultures.
Professor/Vice President, Beijing Film Academy, China
Born in Yan'an in 1942, Xie Fei graduated from the Beijing Film Academy in 1965. Today he is a Professor, Dean of the Director Division, and Vice President of the Beijing Film Academy. Xie Fei has taught many Fifth Generation Chinese filmmakers, including Chen Kaige, Zhang Yimou and Tian Zhuangzhuang. His film Black Snow won the Silver Bear Award for personal achievement at the Berlin Film Festival in 1989, where he later won the Golden Bear Award for Sesame Oil Woman in 1992. Three years later, his movie A Mongolian Tale won Best Director at the Montreal Film Festival. A Girl From Hunan won the Golden Panda Award, Montpelier in 1988, as well as the Don Quixote Award, Spain in the same year. Xie is also a member of the council of the Chinese Filmmakers' Association and Executive Vice Chairman of the Chinese Film Directors' Association. In 2001, Xie was also the first Chinese to be invited to sit on Berlin Film Jury. He has also served as jury member on many award committees, among them the Chinese Golden Rooster Awards, the World Film Festival at Montreal and the Asia Pacific Screen Awards.
Most recently, Xie Fei is the winner and recipient of the CILECT Teaching Award for 2015 in Asia and the Pacific.
Xie Fei's participation is sponsored by the Academy for Creative Media, University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Filmmaker/Film Historian, Phillippines
Nick Deocampo is a prizewinning filmmaker, film historian, and a Professorial Lecturer at the College of Mass Communication at the University of the Philippines. He received his Master of Arts degree in Cinema Studies at New York University, his Certificate in Film as a French Government scholar in Paris, France, and his A.B. in Theater Arts from the University of the Philippines. Deocampo has won numerous awards for his gritty documentaries and personal films depicting modern Filipino society. He has written and published several books on cinema, and has served as jury member in more than thirty international and Philippine film festivals.
Nick Deocampo's participation is sponsored by the Academy for Creative Media, University of Hawaii System.
Professor, School of Film-TV, Shanghai Theatre Academy, China
Shaoyi Sun is Professor of Film and Media Studies at Shanghai Theater Academy and Adjunct Professor at NYU Shanghai. Sun received his Ph.D. in Asian literature and film from the University of Southern California (Los Angeles) in 1999. He has taught Chinese film, literature, and cultural studies at the University of Southern California, University of California at Irvine, Shanghai University, and New York University in Shanghai. Sun is the author and editor of several books about Chinese cinema, its history and its relation to the rest of the world. He has also served as a NETPAC juror of multiple international film festivals, including the 2011 Bangalore International Film Festival, the 2009 Singapore International Film Festival, the 2007 Brisbane International Film Festival, and the 2001 Hawaii International Film Festival.
Zakir H. Raju
Professor/Dean, School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Independent University, Bangladesh
Zakir Hossain Raju, PhD, is a professor and the Dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at the Independent University in Dakha, Bangladesh. He received his master’s degree (first class) in Mass Communication and Journalism at the University of Dhaka in 1995, and earned his doctorate degree in Cinema Studies ten years later from La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia. His research primarily focuses on global media and the South Asian diaspora, transnational cinema and cultural translation in post-colonial South Asia, and the relationship between film and the popular culture and national identity of Malaysia and Bangladesh. As a filmmaker, he has directed and produced several documentaries, all of which address various social issues and the culture of Bangladesh. In 2012, he served as a jury chair for the Asian Cinema Awards at the 16th International Fantastic Film Festival in Pucheon, South Korea, and as a jury member for the Meena Media Award for UNICEF, Bangladesh the following year. Zakir is a founding member and served as Vice President of the Bangladesh Short Film Forum, and acted as a Country Representative for the Asian Media Information and Communication Centre (AMIC) in Singapore. Zakir also served as Jury at Rotterdam, Melbourne and Vesoul (France) film festivals
Zakir H. Raju's attendance is funded by the School of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (SLASS) of Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB).
Dr. Ella Henry
Te Ara Poutama, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand
Ella Henry is a Maori woman from the far north of New Zealand. She is a Senior Lecturer in Te Ara Poutama, Faculty of Maori Indigenous Development at Auckland University of Technology. Ella has a background in Sociology, Maori Studies and Management. Her Masters' thesis focuses on Maori women in management, and her PhD thesis on entrepreneurship in Maori screen production. She has also been involved in the development of the Maori screen industry. Ella has been actively involved in Maori broadcasting and pioneered one of the first on-campus Maori film festivals while studying at university in the 1980s. In 1996 she co-founded the Nga Aho Whakaari, the Association of Maori film, video and television. She has been an announcer for Maori Radio Waatea, as well as the host of a TV show called "Ask Your Auntie" on Maori Television.
Dr. Ella Henry's participation is sponsored by Pacific Islanders in Communication.
Film Editor, India
A graduate of the prestigious Film and TV Institute of India, Bina Paul started her career as editor of the ground breaking Malayalam feature film Amma Ariyan. She has worked in more than 50 films and has won the National Film Awards for Best Editing twice for Mitr My Friend and Unni, State Film Awards for Sayahnam, Margam and Meghmalhar, and numerous State Television Awards.
Having been involved in the conception of International Film Festival of Kerala, and as the Artistic Director of the Kerala Festival for 13 years, Bina has been instrumental in making it one of the top film festivals in the world. She has also served in the juries of many international film festivals of Berlin, Loacarno, Durban, and others. Currently she is the Regional Director of the LV Prasad Film School in Trivandrum, Kerala, India, where she teaches and trains faculty. Bina is also the Executive Producer for an international documentary on women’s sexual and reproductive rights that is currently being produced by the International Association for women in Radio and TV, and has been involved in film education for more than two decades.
Bina Paul's participation is sponsored by the University of Hawaii Academy for Creative Media System.
Interdisciplinary Media Artist, Bangladesh
Born in Rangpur, Bangladesh and raised in New York City, Hasan Elahi is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Maryland as the Distinguished Faculty Fellow in Design/Cultures and Creativity in the Honors College. He is the former director of the Digital Cultures and Creativity Honors program at the University. He previously taught at San Jose State University; Rutgers; the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida; West Virginia University; Wanganui School of Design, in Wanganui, New Zealand; and also in Houston, Texas.
He has talked about his work and creativity and culture at the Tate Modern, Einstein Forum, and at the American Association of Artificial Intelligence. His work has been presented in numerous exhibitions at venues such as the Centre Georges Pompidou, Sundance Film Festival, Kassel Kulturbahnhof, The Hermitage, and at the Venice Biennale, and has been supported with significant grants and numerous sponsorships from the Creative Capital Foundation, Ford Foundation/Philip Morris, and the Asociación Artetik Berrikuntzara in Donostia-San Sebastián in the Basque Country/Spain.
Hasan Elahi's participation is sponsored by the University of Hawaii Academy for Creative Media System.
Hassan Abd Muthalib
Hassan Abd Muthalib is a self-taught artist, designer, animator, photographer, writer and film director with a 50-year active involvement in the Malaysian film industry. He has written and directed documentaries, public service advertisements, animated commercials and directed Malaysia’s first animated feature film. He has been officially recognized as the Father of Malaysian Animation by the Prime Minister of Malaysia and as an Asian Animation Pioneer by the Nanyang Technological University of Singapore, where he was a Visiting Scholar in 2013.
Having won a number of awards for his works, Hassan has curated animation programs for the Stuttgart Animation Film Festival (2012) and for the Kecskemet Animation Festival (Hungary, 2013). He has lectured part-time at many top universities and colleges as well as in countries like Singapore, Norway, Sudan and India. This led him to research and write academic papers on film and animation for magazines such as Cahiers du Cinema and the International Film Index as well as academic journals such as Southeast Asia Research, Kinema and Inter-Asia Cultural Studies. His articles also appear in the books, Film and the End of Empire (BFI), and Glimpses of Freedom (Cornell University), among others. His book on Malaysian cinema history (in collaboration with NETPAC) was published in 2013 while the history of Malaysian animation will be published in 2015. Hassan is recognized as a film critic in Malaysia and has his own radio program where he speaks on film.
Hassan Abd Muthalib's visit is made possible through a grant from the Glenn Cannon Foundation.
Film Programmer/Scholar, Brisbane, Australia
Anne Démy-Geroe is a scholar and programmer of Asian cinema, specializing in Iranian Cinema. She has PhD in cinema from the University of Queensland, and teaches Asia Pacific cinema at Griffith Film School. Dr. Démy-Geroe established the Iranian Film Festival, Australia in 2012, and continues to serve as its co-director. She was the inaugural Artistic Director and then Executive Director of the Brisbane International Film Festival from 1991 to 2010. She steered the festival to a position of national acclaim and an international presence. In particular, the festival was noted for its Asian Pacific focus.
Anne has worked on numerous special film events, festivals and conferences including the annual Queensland New Filmmakers Awards, silent and regional film festivals. She has been a judge on the prestigious Queensland Premiers Literary Awards, a past Council Member of the National Film and Sound Archive and currently serves on the Nominations Council for the Asia Pacific Screen Awards. She has served on international juries from Hawaii to Tehran. She is a board member of NETPAC, the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema. In 2003, Anne was awarded an Australian Centenary Medal for services to the film industry.
Anne Démy-Geroe's participation is sponsored by Griffith Film School.
Anthony Kaauamo Pacheco
Anthony Kaauamo Pacheco is the founder of the Kekulamano Company, which focuses on Hawaiian and local motion picture storytelling. As a part of his work at Kekulamano, Anthony works as an independent filmmaker, writing and directing short-films that feature Lanaʻi residents and Lanaʻi stories. He has a reputation for spreading the love of film and local storytelling around his home island of Lanaʻi.
Anthony is also a founding member of the Maka Maka Film Society, an organization on Lana‘i that promotes local filmmaking, organizes community film events and hosts screenings and lectures from Hawai‘i filmmakers. The film society also teaches film literacy and production classes for young adults and community members. Prior to starting up the Kekulamano Company, Anthony worked on a wide range of film projects including: Hawaii 5-0, Off the Map, The Tempest and The Descendants.
Co-convener of "Chasing the Dream: Culture, Capitalism, and Cinema," Hawai'i
Vilsoni Hereniko is a professor, filmmaker and playwright, born the youngest of eleven children in Rotuma, a small Polynesian island that is politically part of Fiji. After receiving his PhD from the University of South Pacific in 1990, he moved to teach literature and film at the University of Hawai'i, Manoa. In 1997 he received the Elliot Cades writing award for his "significant body of work of exceptional quality," given in recognition of his essays, books and seven plays. In 2005, Cambridge University awarded him a Fellowship with Corpus Christi College. Hereniko has written and directed shorts, documentaries and an award-wining narrative feature film The Land Has Eyes that has played in over 30 international film festivals. He is currently producing a narrative feature film set in the Marshall Islands that he wrote and will direct, entitled Fall Out. It was awarded an Asia Pacific Screen Award for R&D, and is currently part of the Asia Pacific Screen Labs. Hereniko is a professor at the Academy of Creative Media at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa.
Dr. Wimal Dissanayake
Co-convener of "Chasing the Dream: Culture, Capitalism, and Cinema," Hawai'i
Dr. Wimal Dissanayake is a leading scholar in Asian film. He obtained his doctorate from Cambridge University, England. He has been the recipient of Fulbright and Rockefeller Fellowship and an advisor to UNESCO. From the 1983 until 1997, Dr Dissanayake was on the film selection committee of the Hawaii International Film Festival and was one of the originators of the HIFF academic conferences when it was associated with the East West Center. He is currently a professor at the Academy of Creative Media and is the former director of the Intercultural Studies Program, University of Hawai‘i and the East-West Center. In 2014 he received the highest award given by the country of Sri Lanka for his contributions to Humanities and Literature
Peter Rockford Espiritu
Artistic Director of the Oceania Dance Theatre; Founder, Executive and Artistic Director of Tau Dance Theater, Hawai'i / Fiji
Peter Rockford Espiritu has created a large body of work during his years as Artistic Director and has garnered many awards. Scholarships to study include the School of American Ballet founded by George Balanchine in NYC, American Dance Festival at Duke University and the Colorado Dance Festival & Aspen Dance Festivals. He is proficient in Ballet, Hula, and Modern Dance (Limon' Technique) and has danced and taught globally. The topics and ideas that Mr. Espiritu has chosen to the impetus of his many dances include: mixing of cultures, native spirituality, responsible fusion and cultural evolution, and global village awareness. The work functions as an artistic mirror that reflects the impact of what Oceania was, has become, and where it is headed. This movement based viewpoint produces specific artistic images that are unique to geographical location, Pacific Island culture, and native pluralism.
Wong Tuck Cheong
President of Kelab Seni Filem Malaysia; Senior Editor at HELP University, Malaysia
Wong Tuck Cheong majored in history at the University of Malaya, trained as a librarian in Wales and worked as an editor with London publisher before becoming a lecturer in library and information science at Institut Teknologi MARA (now Universiti Teknologi MARA). He is president of Kelab Seni Filem Malaysia, a cineclub which also helps to showcase Malaysian independent films (shorts and features) and introduce them to film festivals abroad. He is honorary secretary of NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema, founded in India, now based in Sri Lanka). He served a term as NETPAC's general manager when it was located in Busan, South Korea. He also served as a member of the board of directors of FINAS, the National Film Development Corporation of Malaysia. Currently he works as a senior editor at HELP University, a private university in Kuala Lumpur.
Creative Producer; Editor in Chief of Tanzconnexions, Indonesia
Jala Adolphus is a Creative Producer based in Jakarta, Indonesia and also Editor in Chief of Tanzconnexions, the online magazine for contemporary dance in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, an initiative of the Goethe Institut. Jala specializes in the current topics of the region and the connection between dance practitioners, theoreticians and audiences. Currently working between Southeast Asia, Australia and Europe, Jala works with a number of Indonesia’s leading directors and choreographers on major international projects including Garin Nugroho, Rianto, Eko Supriyanto and Nan Jombang. Additional projects include Arts Festival programming and the 2013 Indonesia Performing Arts Market (IPAM2013) for the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy. Jala is also a member of the Asian Producers Platform, an annual program over the next four years bringing together 40 producers from the Asia Pacific region with a focus on nurturing the trajectory and voice of work in the region. Drawing on her extensive training and rich background as a performer and dance teacher Jala has worked for the Indonesian Embassy in Europe, Performing Arts Collages in the UK and key Asian arts institutions in Japan and New York. Her performance background is combined with an early career in education, developing Indonesian language, culture and dance programs and Indonesian Arts education programs for teachers.
Filmmaker, Actor and Instructor, Hawai'i / New Zealand
Misa Tupou graduated from the University of Auckland and Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School. His work focuses on live theatre and film. In film, he currently explores non-dialogue filmmaking through short films. In theatre, his focus is on mask performance, physical theatre and devising new works. Misa recently assisted in co-producing theatre and TV productions from Aotearoa New Zealand and is the co-founder and festival organiser of the O’ahu Fringe Festival – a live performing arts event. He is also the co-founder of the Aotearoa New Zealand Film Festival in Honolulu. Misa is currently on the film selection committee of Hawaii International Film Festival. In addition, he speaks to college students on the topic Pacific Islanders in Theatre and Film in Aotearoa New Zealand. As an actor he has performed in various productions in New Zealand and Hawai’i. Currently, Misa teaches Beginning Acting at Kapi’olani Community College.
Aboriginal Filmmaker, Australia
Darlene Johnson is one of Australia's talented Indigenous filmmakers. She is from the Dunghutti tribe of the mid north coast of New South Wales. Darlene works at Metro Screen TV as a documentary tutor and facilitator for their mobile unit, producing short docos with Aboriginal teenagers in regional communities. Darlene regularly lectures and conducts filmmaking workshops for secondary and Tertiary institutions both in Australia and Internationally. She has had several articles published on Indigenous filmmaking and art practice. In 2010 Darlene was a Jury member for Flickerfest International Short Film Festival. Also in 2010, Darlene and Mitch Torres conducted the first Indigenous Documentary Workshop for the Sami Film Institute in Guovdageaidnu, Norway. Darlene was chosen for the Annual SBS Indigenous TV Mentorship Award 2010/11.
Film Critic and Film Programmer, Singapore
Philip Cheah is a film critic and Asian film programmer for major film festivals around the world. He currently serves as the Vice President of NETPAC, and is the program consultant for Asian Film Online, the Jogja NETPAC Asian Film Festival, the Tripoli International Film Festival of Resistance, and the Shanghai International Film Festival. Philip Cheah co-founded the Southeast Asian Film Festival and the Singapore International Film Festival, and is an advisor to the Hanoi International Film Festival. Philip is Patron of the SEA (Southeast Asia) Screen Academy in Makassar, Indonesia and is founding member of the Asia Pacific Screen Lab. He is also the co-editor of the books Garin Nugroho: And the Moon Dances; Noel Vera: Critic After Dark and Modernity and Nationality in Vietnamese Cinema. He was given an award for Achievement in the Promotion of Asian Cinema at the 8th Cinemanila International Film Festival in 2006, and the Korean Cinema Award at the 9th Pusan International Film Festival in 2004.
Nā Maka o ka ‘Āina Joan Lander & Puhipau
Independent Documentary Team, Hawai’i
Joan Lander and Puhipau make up the independent documentary team Na Maka o ka ‘Aina (“the eyes of the land”), focusing on the land and people of Hawai’i and the Pacific since 1982. Documenting traditional and contemporary Hawaiian culture, politics, history, language and the environment, the team is committed to giving voice to the current movement toward recognition of Hawaiian sovereignty and independence.
Their productions have been seen on PBS, Hawai’i Public Television, Deep Dish satellite network, World Link TV, Free Speech TV, and commercial stations in Hawai’i. Their work has also been seen on television in Australia, Denmark, Japan, Canada (Aboriginal Peoples Television Network), on WorldLink, and on Maori Television in Aotearoa (New Zealand). A complete video catalog of over 90 productions is available at HawaiianVoice.com. Online, their programs can be viewed at Oiwi.tv and at www.youtube.com/HawaiianVoice.
Na Maka o ka ‘Aina productions have screened at film festivals from Yamagata to Berlin, and Vancouver to Wellington, capturing awards such as the CINE “Golden Eagle,” the Bronze Plaque (Columbus International Film Festival), the Silver Award (Corporation for Public Broadcasting), Hawai’i Filmmakers Award (Hawai’i International Film Festival), and the Berkeley Video & Film Festival documentary award. Recognition has also come from indigenous film festivals such as National Geographic’s All Roads Film Festival, Dreamspeakers (Canada), the Aotearoa Film Festival (New Zealand), The Two Rivers Native Film and Video Festival (Minneapolis), the Native American Film and Video Festival (New York City), and Video America Indigena (Mexico).
Jason Paul Laxamana
Filipino Filmmaker, Philippines
Filipino filmmaker Jason Paul Laxamana, 28, is a graduate of BA Broadcast Communication from the University of the Philippines Diliman. In 2008, he worked as script supervisor in Brillante Mendoza’s “Serbis,” which competed in Cannes. He made his first feature film in 2010 when his screenplay for “Astro Mayabang” (Proud Astro) became a finalist in the Cinema One Originals Film Festival 2010 in the Philippines. In 2013, he became a finalist in the New Breed category of Cinemalaya, the Philippines' most prestigious independent film festival, with his second feature film "Babagwa" (The Spider's Lair), which became one of the festival's box office hits. The film went on to compete and participate in international film festivals in Warsaw, Hawaii, Vancouver and Cleveland. In 2014, his third feature film “Magkakabaung” (The Coffin Maker) was selected in different film festivals around the world, including Hanoi (won NETPAC Prize for Best Asian Film) and Dublin (won Best Film). The lead actor of the film won Best Actor awards in Hanoi, Dublin and Harlem. Laxamana is currently breaking through the Philippine mainstream film and TV industry, with his first commercial film "100 Tula Para Kay Stella" (100 Poems For Stella).
Choreographer, Dancer, Performer, Indonesia
Rianto mastered the traditional dance of Banyumas called "Lengger" while studying at SMKI (Sekolah Menengah Karawitan Indonesia). He studied the Javanese traditional dances of Gagah and Alus under Mr. Daryono and the court dance in Istana Mangkunegaran. He graduated from the Academy of Dance of STSI (ISI: Institut Seni Indonesia) Surakarta (Solo) in 2004. In 2005 Rianto became a member of TBS Dance Theatre Studio in Solo and participated in the works of Korean choreographer Sen Hea Ha in Ujiengbou, Seoul, Singapore, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Austria. Since 2007 he has been creating his own works such as Pintu Amaterasu, Healing, Hallucination, and Shadowing the Body and presenting them in various countries such as Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, and India. In February 2009, Rianto was invited by the Indonesian Embassy and Santi Budaya LCCD to choreograph and dance in a reception for the inauguration of US President-elect Barack Obama in Washington D.C. He is a member of Orange Blossom Dance Company and performed Monteverdi's Orfeo at the Schubert Theatre in Boston (2006) and The Coronation Of Poppea at the London Coliseum (2007) with English National Opera. He is currently Director of the Dewandaru Dance Company of Tokyo for Indonesian Friendship Culture between Indonesia and Japan. Currently Rianto is touring his solo performance lecture, SoftMachine directed by Choy Ka Fai through Europe, Asia and Australia, the dance opera Gandari and To Belong both choreographed by Akiko Kitamura.
Dr. Gulnara Abikeyeva
Kazakh Film Critic and Film Researcher, Kazakstan
Since 2005 to 2013 Gulnara was an artistic director of the International Film Festival Eurasia in Almaty. During different years she made film magazines Asia-kino, Territoriya Kino as editor-in-Chief, TV programmes about Kazakh cinema. In 2001-2002 she was a Fulbright scholar at Bowdoin College. She is the author of ten books about cinema, mostly about Kazakhstan and Central Asian countries. Cinema of Central Asia: 1990-2001 was awarded by «White Elephant» award ofGild of film critics of Russia as the best book about cinema of the year published in CIS. The book Nation-Building in Kazakhstan and other Central Asian States, and How This Process is Reflected in Cinematography’ (2006) was awarded by national prize «Kulager» in 2007. In 2013 she has three international publications: Cinema in Central Asia. Rewriting Cultural Histories (Great Britain), co-edited by Michael Rouland and Birgit Beumers, The Unknown New Wave of Central Asian Cinema (South Korea), co-edited by Kim Ji-Seok and Mahmalbaf’s Film House (Russia). As a member of FIPRESCI and NETPAC she was jury member on different international film festivals.
Director & Cinematographer, Hawai'i
Anne Misawa grew up in Hawaii. Having graduated from University of Southern California’s Graduate Film and Television Program, Anne Misawa has worked internationally in various aspects of film production. Her primary work is as a Director and as a Cinematographer. Directorial credits include WAKING MELE, (Sundance Film Festival, 2000), and EDEN’S CURVE, (Emerging Film Best Feature Award, NCGLFF, 2003). Anne is currently an Associate Professor and Chair at the Academy for Creative Media, University of Hawaii at Manoa where she teaches cinematic production. She produced & directed the feature length documentary, STATE OF ALOHA, which has garnered various awards, (Halekulani Golden Orchid Award Nominee for Best Documentary at Hawaii International Film Festival, 2009).
Anne’s work as cinematographer include many award-winning films—MARGARITA, WITH A STRAW, (directed by Shonali Bose, Sundance Institute’s Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award 2012, NETPAC award at Toronto International Film Festival, Busan International Film Festival, BFI London Film Festival, 2014,) JACK & DIANE, (directed by Bradley-Rust Gray, Tribeca Film Festival, Locarno International Film Festival, 2012), TREELESS MOUNTAIN, (directed by So Yong Kim, NETPAC award at Busan International Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Berlin International Film Festival, and New Directors/ New Films, 2008), TIME OUT, (directed by Xelinda Yancy, executive produced by John Singleton, HBO Award, 2004), SALT, (directed by Bradley-Rust Gray, Caligari Award for Innovative Filmmaking at Berlin International Film Festival, 2003), and LIV, (directed by Edoardo Ponti, executive produced by Robert Altman and Michaelangelo Antonioni, Venice International Film Festival, 1998). Her work in TREELESS MOUNTAIN was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Cinematography in 2010.
Anne also has a background in writing: Master's degree in Creative Writing, Poetry, from New York University and has studied at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, Naropa Institute with its multidisciplinary approach to writing with renown writers and artists such as William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, and Stan Brakhage.
Hawai'i State Film Commissioner
Donne Dawson is Hawai‘i's State Film Commissioner. She has spent more than 14 years building Hawaii's film industry, which during her tenure has generated nearly $4 billion for the state's economy. The Hawai‘i Film Office is responsible for facilitating all film and television production throughout the Hawaiian Islands. Dawson’s office administers the consolidated statewide permitting system and the Act 88/89 refundable production tax credit, Hawaii’s first comprehensive film, television and digital media tax credit. Her office also manages the 7.5-acre Hawai‘i Film Studio at Diamond Head, the only state owned and operated studio in the country, where the hit TV show Hawaii 5-0 is headquartered. During the time that Dawson has managed the state’s film office, she has worked as an advocate for the industry nationally and internationally; within state government and throughout our community. She was instrumental in securing, implementing and managing the state’s first tax credit program dedicated to film during the industry’s most globally competitive climate and the state’s most economically challenging period. Dawson has also secured nearly $13 million in capital improvement funds for the Hawai‘i Film Studio. She is currently overseeing the latest phase of these much-needed improvements as Hawaii Five-0 is currently in production for its 6th successful season in the Islands.
Prior to directing the Hawai‘i Film Office, Dawson worked as a journalist, producer and communications professional dedicated primarily to the promotion of film, the environment, native Hawaiian issues, and community building.
Dawson is native Hawaiian, born and raised in Nu‘uanu Valley. She on the board of trustees for the Historic Hawai‘i Foundation, the board of advisors for the Sex Abuse Treatment Center of Kapi‘olani Medical Center, and the Advisory Board of Pacific Islanders in Communications, and the Hawaiian Native Corporation. Dawson dances hula with Ka Pā Hula o Ka Lei Lehua and is an active member of the Protect Kaho‘olawe ‘Ohana.
Dr. Young-A Park, PhD
Assistant Professor, Asian Studies Program, University of Hawai'i - Manoa
Young-a Park obtained her B.A. and M.A. from Seoul National University and Ph.D. from Harvard University. She is currently an assistant professor in the Asian Studies Program at University of Hawaii at Manoa. Her research interests are located within the fields of cultural anthropology, Asian studies, and Korean studies. Her main research has focused on the dynamics between politics and cultural production in Korea, especially with respect to South Korea’s independent cinema from the 1980s to the present. She is the author of Unexpected Alliances: Independent Filmmakers, the State, and the Film Industry in Postauthoritarian South Korea (2015, Stanford University Press).
Chief Officer, State of Hawaii Creative Industries Division
Georja Skinner brings a wealth of experience in mainstream media, arts, sound recording and music to her position as Chief Officer of the State of Hawai’i’s Creative Industries Division (CID). Located in the Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT), she brings the breadth of industry expertise necessary to helm the division charged with the development of Hawaii’s creative economy. A seasoned film, television and new media production professional and Emmy nominee, Skinner served as Maui’s first film commissioner, as well as serving as Maui Commissioner for the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and The Arts. As a published author, producer and member of the Producers Guild of America (PGA), Skinner leveraged industry resources to launch Creative Lab Hawaii in 2012 - a key facet of the State’s HI Growth Initiative which mentors creative entrepreneurs and ignites opportunities for investment and distribution of creative content and products. Skinner’s talent for connecting diverse communities and forging strategic partnerships to leverage minimal budgets for maximum results are the hallmarks of her career.
Prior to taking her current post in 2007, Skinner’s entrepreneurial passion led to developing Skinner Entertainment, with clients in both tourism and entertainment industries (1999-2006) and Skinner Communications, a public relations firm (1983- 1990) which was acquired by Hill and Knowlton/Communications Pacific in 1990, where she served as General Manager until 1993. In 1994 Skinner was named Maui County’s first film commissioner and left the post in 1999 to create the non-profit organization Hawaii Filmmakers Initiative and partnered with the USC School Cinematic Arts. She expanded the Maui Writers Conference screenwriting program and served as its marketing director from its inception in the 1980’s. Her own passion for storytelling led her to pen her non-fiction memoir, “The Christmas House” published by New World Library and later optioned by Wolper Productions to be adapted for the screen.
Skinner spent her early career in the 1970’s as a filmmaker, news editor, graphic artist, public relations and on-air promotions manager at Metromedia Television in Los Angeles. She handled all aspects of media relations for its flagship station KTTV, then transitioned to roles in scripted entertainment serving as production manager, producer and assistant director. She was the first woman to be nominated for an Emmy Award for tape sound mixing for Hallmark Hall of Fame’s “Return Engagement” starring Elizabeth Taylor and has the distinction of being recognized as the first female sound mixer in network television. Her prime time credits include Norman Lear’s “All in the Family”, “The Jefferson’s”, “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman” and music shows “Soul Train” and “Going Platinum.”
Skinner was awarded the Na Honoapiilani Award, KCET/PBS’ Young Filmmakers Award and is currently a member of the Producers Guild of America, Women in Film, and the Recording Academy. Her mantra: Making the impossible possible.