Hawai‘i International Film Festival Adds Screenwriting and New Media Programs To This Year’s Festival

Hawai‘i International Film Festival (HIFF), Hawai‘i’s premier international film event – together with the Creative Industries Division (CID) of the Hawai‘i state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) – is launching new tracks in Screenwriting and Broadband Content as part of Creative Lab, which will hold Accelerator Programs in each of these two areas during HIFF in October in order to accelerate the growth of Hawai‘i’s creative content industry.


Through hands-on mentorship, panels and workshops taught by mentors from across the globe in writing, acting, music, new media and finance, Creative Lab provides entrepreneurs with the business and creative skill sets necessary to profit from their intellectual property and expand their distribution channels.

“Our vision is to establish Hawaii as a center of creative development, providing business opportunities in media, music and the arts,” said Robert Lambeth, HIFF deputy director.

“The program provides an environment to connect, collaborate and create content for export on multiple platforms, through guidance from industry leaders who are committed to mentoring talent.” said CID chief officer, Georja Skinner.

An impressive collection of organizations and strategic partners is collaborating to expand the scope of the Creative Lab @ HIFF program, which was launched at HIFF in 2012. Leading industry organizations participating in the program include the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW); Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA); SAG Indie; Hawaii Academy of Recording Artists (HARA); the State of Hawai‘i Film Office and Hawai‘i’s county Film Offices.

This year’s Creative Lab @ HIFF launches a Writers Accelerator in partnership with the Diversity Program of the Writers Guild of America West. “The WGAW Diversity Department is pleased to support the Creative Lab program in collaboration with the Hawai‘i International Film Festival and the state’s Creative Industries Division,” said Kimberly Meyers, WGAW’s Director of Diversity. “This annual program is an important outreach effort to accelerate the careers of aspiring television, film and new media writers. Our WGAW members are looking forward to serving as mentors to program participants, helping develop future writers and WGAW members at the outset of their careers.”

Additional collaborators include the executive producer and writers from CBS Productions – “Hawaii Five-0”; National Academy of Recording Artists and Sciences (NARAS); American Society of Composers; American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP); and the Hawai‘i Association of Media Artists (HAMA).

Creative Lab @ HIFF is led by Director Michael Andres Palmieri, a Los Angeles-based producer, writer and instructor, whose executive, producing and writing career spans motion pictures, television and new media. “I am thrilled to be working with HIFF, the State of Hawaii, and our partners and sponsors, to fulfill this vision of developing Hawaii as a world-class destination for creative talent in media, content and music seeking the perfect environment to collaborate and accelerate their projects and careers.” Palmieri has a long history in Hawai‘i – his first producing credit was on the feature “Six Days, Seven Nights” which was shot on Kaua‘i, and he was the Director of the Screenwriting Program for the Maui Writers Conference and Retreat for five years. He has mentored writers, taught and lectured at USC, UCLA, Chapman University, Columbia College, American Film Institute (AFI), and the University of Texas – Los Angeles.

Creative Lab @ HIFF Writers Accelerator – October 16 to 20, 2013

HIFF is seeking writers and storytellers to submit material to participate in the four-day intensive Accelerator program. A final 12 writers will be selected by a panel of industry professionals to participate. Writers in film, television, mobile and new media who have a treatment, script or concept to develop are encouraged to apply. Submissions will be accepted through Wednesday, September 11. For details visit www.hiff.org/education/creative-lab/writer-accelerator.

One-on-one instruction and mentoring by a team of industry professionals in features, television and new media include Palmieri, along with WGAW writers Dennis Leoni (“Resurrection Blvd”), Julia Cho (“Betrayal”) and Ligiah Villalobos (“Under the Same Moon”) and Peter Lenkov (CBS Productions’ Hawaii Five-0).

Up to three top writers will be selected as finalists to attend a week-long career-building program in Los Angeles, including a week in the Writers Room at CBS Productions’ Hawaii Five-0, attending WGAW workshops and meetings with leadership, as well as meeting other industry insiders designed to network these writers with people who can help advance their career goals.  All 12 writers will continue to hone their craft through a 12-month follow-up coaching process conducted by Palmieri.

In addition to the four coaches, this year’s keynote speaker will be Academy Award-winning  actor, director, producer and writer Bobby Moresco (“Million Dollar Baby” and “Crash”), who will partake in a one-on-one conversation open to general audiences entitled “A Conversation With…” as well as meet with the 12 participants. Moresco recently finished writing the feature “Hubris” for Universal, to be directed by Academy Award nominee Todd Field (“Little Children,” “In the Bedroom”). Also slated for production in 2013 is “Castro’s Daughter,” a script he wrote with Pulitzer Prize winner Nilo Cruz, to be directed by Academy Award nominee Michael Radford (“Il Postino”).

Creative Lab @ HIFF Broadband Accelerator – October 10 to 12, 2013

Broadband, as defined by the Producers Guild of America, is the platform whose primary distribution outlet is the Internet. The Broadband Accelerator is a three-day immersion workshop for up to eight pre-qualified participants with one-on-one instruction and mentoring by Palmieri, along with creatives Bernie Su, creator of the webseries “The Lizzie Diaries,” Wendy Jo Carlton, creator of the webseries “Easy Abby,” and Laura Allen, Yahoo! Head of Production for Third Party – Video & Original Programming.

Participants in the Broadband Accelerator will be instructed and coached on writing and producing, as well as intellectual property protection, licensing, marketing, distributing and monetizing content on the Internet and mobile platforms.

Up to two participants will be selected from the eight to participate in a week-long immersion program in Los Angeles in which they will visit and meet with Guild representatives and other industry insiders. All eight participants will be coached for an additional 12 months by Palmieri.

Writers/Producers/Directors/Talent interested in applying for the Broadband Accelerator are asked to visit www.hiff.org/education/creative-lab/broadband-accelerator and apply. Applications will be accepted until Wednesday, September 11.

The Modern Honolulu is the hotel partner for Creative Lab @ HIFF.

Additional programs to be offered by Creative Lab @ HIFF will be announced shortly. They will include:

  • Producers Accelerator
  • Sound X Vision
  • Acting Workshops

For more information about Creative Lab @ HIFF and HIFF from October 10-20, visit www.hiff.org.


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