Creative Lab at HIFF


Mission Statement
Creative Lab is an immersive year-round program to accelerate global export of Hawaii’s creative content and creative products to strengthen our creative entrepreneur’s capacity for success.  Co-founded in 2012 by the Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF) and the State of Hawaii’s Creative Industries Division, Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism (DBEDT), Creative Lab Hawaii and Creative Lab at HIFF provide a rich environment for creative collaboration and building new business relationships with a global audience. Industry partners including the Writers Guild of America, Producers Guild of America, Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts, Screen Actors Guild/AFTRA, Honolulu Film Office, City and County of Honolulu. Creative Lab offers public panels, workshops, and hands on coaching and mentoring by industry leaders in areas of Screenwriting, New Media, Broadband, Producing, Directing, Songwriting/Music, Technology, the Business of Acting, and Design/Fashion.


2015 Creative Lab at HIFF Programs:

unnamed (1)Asian Pacific Entertainment Finance Forum (APEFF)
In association with Winston Baker, the leading producer of film finance forum around the world, HIFF is launching the new Asia Pacific Entertainment Finance Forum (APEFF) in Honolulu during the HIFF35.

The ​APEFF ​is ​a ​comprehensive ​program ​unlike ​any ​finance ​conference ​being ​offered ​today! ​Through ​a ​combination ​of ​keynotes, ​presentations, ​and ​panel ​discussions, ​industry ​leaders ​will ​address ​investment, ​financing ​and ​growth ​strategies ​within ​the ​film, ​TV ​and ​gaming ​sectors, as well as a focus on breaking into the China market and co-production packaging with the intent to shoot on location in Hawaii. The conference will be held at one of HIFF’s major sponsors, THE MODERN HONOLULU HOTEL, on Thursday, November 19, 2015 with separate events off-site on November 18 and 20.

To read more about APEFF and to register, click here.


SISKEL EBERTRoger Ebert Foundation Young Writers Program for the Arts
For HIFF35, we will be launching the first EBERT YOUNG WRITERS PROGRAM FOR THE ARTS in Hawaii. In a swiftly changing media environment, informed writing and criticism on cinema is vital to a strong film culture and industry. This program’s mandate is to broaden and strengthen film criticism culture in Hawaii and teach young writers classical, as well as current methods and tasks in critical thinking and writing by reviewing films and interviewing filmmakers in a live film festival setting.

In an age of Yelp, Rotten Tomatoes, TV episode recaps and unboxing videos on YouTube, critical reporting has morphed in a culture where everyone has an opinion. Digital media allows for a diversity of voices yet poses challenges for writers seeking employment in the field. HIFF will address these issues and better prepare participants for a successful career in writing in digital and print media. 8 young critics will be chosen through an open call, and will be open to local high school and college students. The inaugural group will screen select films, write short reviews and also receive full access to HIFF as an industry delegate.

To read more about this program, click here. 


TWENTY FEET FROM STARDOM wins Oscar for Best Documentary

TWENTY FEET FROM STARDOM wins Oscar for Best Documentary

HIFF Doc Lab: Anatomy of Oscar Winning Documentaries
In an intensive workshop led by Oscar-winning filmmakers Freida Lee Mock (MAYA LIN, ANITA) and James Moll (LAST DAYS, FOO FIGHTERS: BACK AND FORTH), participants will discover and analyze the qualities that make some documentaries stand above the rest. Viewing excerpts from films such as MAN ON WIRE, 20 FEET FROM STARDOM and WAITING FOR SUGARMAN, we’ll examine key components of the production process and will answer the question: What are the common ingredients in documentaries that win Academy Awards? This is an ideal workshop for both aspiring filmmakers and experienced documentarians that are about to launch into their next project.

The mentors for this workshop are Oscar documentary winners Freida Lee Mock (MAYA LIN: A STRONG VISION and the Oscar nominated short films ROSE KENNEDY, A LIFE TO REMEMBER; SING! NEVER GIVE UP) and James Moll (THE LAST DAYS, RUNNING THE SAHARA, FOO FIGHTERS: BACK AND FORTH).

To read more about this workshop, click here. 


2013 Creative Lab Writers Accelerator Josh Kim’s motion picture HOW TO WIN AT CHECKERS (EVERY TIME) had its world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival in February 2015. Part of the State of Hawaii’s HI Growth Initiative, Creative Lab was founded by the Creative Industries Division (CID) in the Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) , the Writers Guild of America, West – Diversity Department (WGAw) and the Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF). Josh was recommended to CLWA by Hawaii-based Producer Chris Lee who, along with 2014 Creative Lab Writers Accelerator participant, Edward Gunawan, and Anocha Mai Suwichakornpong, share producing credits on this exceptional motion picture. Stories on the film’s official selection and acquisition of the film by M-appeal World Sales were covered in The Hollywood Reporter and Variety respectively.

HIFF is honored to host the Hawaii premiere of this film and first finished feature project to come out of Creative Lab at HIFF. Director Josh Kim will be in attendance of the first screening at HIFF35.

The Modern Honolulu copy