Guest Filmmaker Program

Classroom Visits

(open to primary & secondary students on O’ahu)

Visiting filmmakers will help to enrich classes such as media production, journalism, language arts, foreign language and social studies. These visits will offer the logistical benefit of bringing speakers into classrooms rather than requiring field trips. Students will learn first-hand from successful professionals in the filmmaking/media industry. Teachers will be encouraged to plan activities that will involve students interacting with their guest speakers.


Filmmaker Dates and Availability

All the filmmakers below are available for classroom visits on O’ahu on these dates: October 10, 11, 14-18, 2013.

Update 9/26: Guest Filmmaker Program applications are now closed for 2013.

The following filmmakers are available for Big Island (Hilo area only) & Kauai visits on October 24-25, 2013.

  • Ren Hanami
  • Christen Marquez
  • Anne Misawa
  • Keo Woolford


GFP Signup Form – O’ahu   GFP Signup Form – Big Island/Kauai


2013 Guest Filmmakers


Jean-Michel Dissard

Jean-Michel-DISSARDBefore directing I LEARN AMERICA, Jean-Michel produced several critically acclaimed films chronicling adolescent youth, including: RAISING VICTOR VARGAS (2002), RIKERS HIGH (2005), and EZRA (2007). He was also a writer and producer on DOWN TO THE BONE (2004), directed by Debra Granik. Dissard is on Cine-Institute’s Advisory Board, the only film school in Haiti.  Originally from France, Jean-Michel immigrated to America when he was a teenager.  He is a dual French-US citizen.



Ren Hanami

Ren-HanamiRen Hanami began her professional acting career on stage while still in school at UCLA, landing a role in A FLOWER DRUM SONG. Soon after she added television and film to her credits working alongside Academy Award winners Glenn Close in AIRFORCE ONE, Martin Landau and Lee Grant in THE ALI GERTZ STORY, Patty Duke in ONE WOMAN’S COURAGE, and Sally Field in a recurring role on ER. Other notable credits include GREY’S ANATOMY, WITHOUT A TRACE, SOUTHLAND, PRIVATE PRACTICE, and THE STORM. Recent credits include: HUNT FOR THE LABYRINTH KILLER, Disney’s MULAN, and THE KATNISS CHRONICLES.

Ren’s parents met and married in Honolulu. They honeymooned at the Royal Hawai’ian Hotel. Her mother’s family began in Kauai and branched out to Oahu. Her cousin Colin is the Chef/Owner of the popular Side Street Inn restaurants. One of Ren’s most important on-going roles is as the television host and spokesperson for AAA Hawai’i.

Ren is currently in development on a film project based on her character NINJA MOM, a superhero mom who goes beyond logical feats to protect her family and community from every day bullies and extraordinary villains.,


Rene Haynes

Rene-HaynesRENE HAYNES – Casting Director, is a two-time Emmy Nominee for the TNT/DreamWorks mini-series INTO THE WEST and the HBO feature BURY MY HEART AT WOUNDED KNEE, for which she also received the Artios Award for excellence in casting. She is recognized in the entertainment industry as one of the foremost experts in Native American and First Nations casting and consults on many projects, both domestic and foreign. During her career she has easily moved back and forth between large studio projects with industry icons such as Steven Spielberg and Terrence Malick, to casting lower budget first features for emerging and student filmmakers. Rene became part of the uber-crazy pop culture world surrounding the popular Twilight Series – when she joined the casting team to find the Wolf Pack for TWILIGHT SAGA: NEW MOON and then went on to cast all the leads in TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE.

Among her current credits, she is particularly proud of having cast Jeff Barnaby’s feature debut, RHYMES FOR YOUNG GHOULS and the independent feature WINTER IN THE BLOOD based on the acclaimed James Welch novel, both of which are currently on the festival circuit. Rene is attached to cast DEERSLAYER, SINS OF OUR FATHERS, DIE LAUGHING, MONKEY BEACH and numerous other very exciting feature projects!

Rene was one of the producers on the award winning, independent film, BUTTERFLY DREAMING and she is on the producing team of THE BAKER’S SON, BOOKWORM, and several additional projects which are currently in development.


Chad Hartigan

Chad Hartigan headshotChad Hartigan was born in Nicosia, Cyprus and attended the North Carolina School of the Arts, School of Filmmaking. He wrote and directed his first feature, LUKE AND BRIE ARE ON A FIRST DATE in 2008, which premiered at the Hamptons International Film Festival and went on to spawn a Latin American remake in 2013 called LUNA EN LEO. THIS IS MARTIN BONNER is his second feature.


Christen Marquez

Christen-Marquez-headshotChristen Hepuakoa Marquez holds a BFA in Film and Video Production from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. In 2011 she produced her first feature film TWO SHADOWS, which went on to win the audience choice award for Best Feature Narrative at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film festival. In 2012 she finished her Directorial debut feature documentary called E HAKU ENOA: TO WEAVE A NAME which will be broadcast statewide in Hawai’i October 24th, 2013 on PBS Hawai’i and nationally on public television in May of 2014.

She has experience working with arts education for high school and middle school aged students through a non-profit organization in Seattle, WA called Native Lens. Where she was the Program Developer and Instructor for a hands on media arts program with the Puyallup Tribe of Indians.

She is currently developing several documentary projects, one which focuses on Hawaiian language protest songs. She also works as a personal historian and promotional video producer for small businesses and non-profit organizations. She studies hula and ‘Olelo Hawai’i in Highland Park, Los Angeles, CA and she also enjoys watching mixed martial arts.


Anne Misawa

Anne Misawa grew up in Hawaii.  Having graduated from University of Southern California’s Graduate Film and Television Program, she 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 teaches cinematic production at the Academy for Creative Media, University of Hawai’i where she produced & directed the feature length documentary, STATE OF ALOHA, which has garnered various awards, (Halekulani Golden Orchid Award Nominee for Best Documentary at HIFF, 2009).

Her work as cinematographer include many award-winning films–
JACK & DIANE (2012), TREELESS MOUNTAIN (2008), TIME OUT (2004), SALT (2003), and LIV (1998).  Her work in TREELESS MOUNTAIN was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Cinematography in 2010.


Michael Ng

Michael-NgMichael Ng holds a B.A. in Theatre from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.  As an actor, he has worked with various theatre companies in Honolulu and Los Angeles, as well as having numerous film, television, and commercial credits.  He has made guest appearances on shows such as Nickelodeon’s ICARLY, BIG TIME RUSH, FOX’s DOLLHOUSE, CBS’ CRIMINAL MINDS, HAWAII FIVE-0, and most recently ABC’s LAST RESORT playing the recurring role of Sonar Operator Cameron Pitts.  As a filmmaker, Michael makes his writing, producing, and directorial debut with PEACE BY PIECE premiering at the Hawaii International Film Festival this Fall.


Junya Sakino

Junya-SBSakino was born and raised in Japan. He moved to the United States in 2000 to pursue his directing career. In Japan, Sakino produced and directed television programs. In the states, his directorial debut The Jazz Addict was an official selection for Crested Butte Film Festival. Soon after he attended California State University Long Beach’s film program where he went on to direct VANITY MIRROR, THE SPIRAL RING and ORIZURU. VANITY MIRROR won the Grand Prize for UTB Picture Battle competition. ORIZURU hit the worldwide film festival circuit in 2006 and received a generous handful of awards including the Hollywood International Film Festival award for Best Period Drama, the Best Screenplay award at the Media Arts Festival, Best Film at No Nuke Festival. The film was eventually aired on PBS. Currently, Sakino has been working in the commercial and film industry. He has also worked with acclaimed directors such Kazuaki Kiriya and Shunji Iwai. SAKE BOMB marks Sakino’s debut as a feature-length director. His credits include TAKAMINE, BANDAGE, BOKUTACHI NO PLAYBALL, STOLEN, HALFWAY, ETIENNE!, etc.


Angela Sun

Angela SunAward-winning television host/journalist Angela Sun’s passion for storytelling and love for the oceans led to her directorial debut of the independent feature documentary PLASTIC PARADISE: THE GREAT PACIFIC GARBAGE PATCH. The film won the Environment Award at its first film festival screening during the SF International Ocean Film Festival. She is an alumnus of UCLA and studied abroad at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. Angela is on the board of advisors for Ocean Defender Hawaii. She has produced/hosted for MTV News, ProSeiben Network, and Emmy Award-winning LXTV and Current TV-where she won a Telly award for her documentary series about religion in China. As an on-camera host she broke boundaries in the world of sports and media as the first Asian American female sportscaster to appear on networks such as Fox Sports Net, ESPN, Tennis Channel, and Yahoo Sports. She hosted season 4 of NBC’s AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR and is currently host of the Webby award-winning YAHOO! SPORTS MINUTE, the #1 sports show online seen by millions daily and pre-game host for the Los Angeles Dodgers. She is an avid surfer and scuba diver who loves to chase stories, sharks, sunsets and surf around the world.


Keo Woolford

Keo WoolfordKEO WOOLFORD is a multidisciplinary artist, born and raised in Hawai`i. He recently made his feature film directorial debut with THE HAUMĀNA, which won the Audience Award and Best First Feature Award at the 2013 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. His short film LUNCHTIME continues it’s successful film festival run around the globe, garnering him the Phred Love Hawai`i Filmmakers Award from HRFF and Special Jury Prize from SQFF among others. Keo also recently directed the critically acclaimed hit stage play THREE YEAR SWIM CLUB at East-West Players in Los Angeles.

As an actor, Keo was mostly recently seen in the number one box office hit ACT OF VALOR and as Detective/Sgt. Chang, his recurring role on HAWAII 5-0His self-penned one-man show I LAND was nominated for an Ovation Award and won the Stage Scene LA Outstanding Solo Show Award and toured for three years after it’s Off-Broadway debut. Keo has also starred as the King of Siam in Rogers And Hammerstein’s THE KING AND I at the London Palladium in London’s West End, opposite Elaine Paige and Josie Lawrence.

Keo is also a prolific songwriter, having written many hit songs in Hawai`i and Japan. As a songwriter and vocalist, he contributed to the Island Warriors CD which was the first album from the U.S. ever to be nominated for a Grammy® Award in the Best Reggae Album category.

Keo is a member of Robert Cazimero’s Hālau Nā Kamalei O Lililehua and is the co- producer of the award-winning documentary NĀ KAMALEI: MEN OF HULA.