Education Program

Guest Filmmaker Program (GFP)

HIFF Guest Filmmaker Program (GFP)

Classroom Visits

(open to primary & secondary students on Oahu and Kauai)

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

The filmmakers below are available for classroom visits on these dates, except where noted:
Oahu: Nov 8 - 9, and 12 - 16, 2018
Kauai: Nov 19 – 20, 2018 

2018 Guest Filmmakers:

Gerard Elmore

Gerard is a Emmy® Award nominated writer / editor / producer / director who has a range of experience
varying from television production, film and TV commercials. As a commercial director, he has directed a number of award-winning spots for clients such as Wet N Wild, Taco Bell, Central Pacific Bank, First Hawaiian Bank, Oceanic Time Warner Cable, Hilton, Erik’s Deli (Santa Cruz, CA), Mr. Pickles and McDonald’s.  Winning multiple local Peles (ADDYs) & this year, winning a national Gold ADDY award.  Music videos he directed have gained national attention and have aired on CMT, FUSE TV, and other outlets on the mainland.  As a producer, he has helped coordinate popular Discovery channel specials for Shark Week.  In addition, he has directed a feature film titled ALL FOR MELISSA, which premiered at HIFF was distributed nationally.  His feature length comedy concert film, the Na Ali’i of comedy starring Augie T, Andy Bumatai, Mel Cabang, Frank Delima and Ed Kaahea was a success theatrically in Hawaii and on Pay-per-view.

In addition, Gerard is a lecturer at the Academy for Creative Media, Manoa and West Oahu.  Heʻs also serves as the Executive Director for the `Ohina Short Film Showcase,, that is designed to help local filmmakers promote and screen their films in Hawaii.

Gerard is available for visits on Oahu and Kauai.

Ty Sanga

Ty Sanga was born and raised on the island of Oʻahu and has always had a passion for storytelling. He is the director of the Emmy award-winning PBS food travel showFamily Ingredients. His short film Stoneshas won a number of awards and screened at festivals around the world including the Sundance Film Festival. He directed the feature documentary Visions in the Dark: The Life of Pinky Thompsonwhich was nominated for Best Documentary at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. His feature film After Mele was developed at the Sundance Labs and is currently in pre-production. He received an M.F.A in Film Production from Chapman University and a B.A. from the University of Hawaiʻi in Ethnic Studies. 

Ty is available for visits on Oahu.


Alika Maikau

Born, raised, and still residing on the island of O’ahu, Alika Maikau has narrowed his focus to simply this - tell stories about the  Hawai’i diaspora as authentically as possible. Suffering a car accident after graduating the University Of Hawai’is film program in 2013, he took several years off to recover and reflect on what he wanted to do with his life. He eventually wrote and Co-Directed Keep You Float with his friend Jonah Okano.In 2017, which was accepted into the “Ohina Showcase, and Hawai’i International Film Festival, where it was nominated for Best Made In Hawai’i Short. Riding that  momentum, he wrote and Co-Directed another short in the beginning of 2018 entitled Mauka To Makai, a film developed under the mentorship of Joe Robert Cole (Black Panther, The People v O.J. Simpson). This mentorship was earned through the ‘Ohina Filmmakers Lab, in which Joe hand-picked the script to oversee through completion. Mauka To Makaiis currently in post.

Alika is available for visits on Oahu.

Eric Ries

Creative Director, ‘Ohina Short Film Showcase

Executive Producer, ‘Ohina Films (Kālewa)
Ries is an award-winning independent senior art director in entertainment advertising with over twenty years of experience and expertise. He currently supports the creative agency B O N D out of Hollywood, CA working with such studios as; Disney, MARVEL, Warner Bros., Lionsgate, Sony Entertainment, Netflix, A24, and many more. He is a psuedo-photographer, illustrator, mixed media artist, producer, and screenwriter. He is currently wrapping up post-production for the sci-fi/drama short Kālewa, with writer/director Mitchel Viernes and is in his third draft of ‘For Resolution and Discovery’, an underground Honolulu crime/comedy set against the backdrop of the illegal occupation of Hawai'i.

Eric is available for visits on Oahu.

Anne Misawa

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 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.

Her work as cinematographer include many award-winning films — MARGARITA, WITH A STRAW, JACK & DIANE, TREELESS MOUNTAIN, TIME OUT, SALT, and LIV.

Anne is available for school visits on Oahu and Kauai.


Bradley’s ability to blend stunning composition and authentic emotion is front and center in his work. He’s a skilled visual and docu-style storyteller and is always attentive to using natural environments and locations in beautiful ways to bolster the impact of his work.

Born in Hawaii, Bradley eventually moved to California and attended Stanford University, receiving a degree in molecular biology before deciding to pursue his lifelong love for film and narrative storytelling. Self taught in digital filmmaking and editing, he worked with creative agencies in LA before moving to New York, where he is based now, and has gone on to direct projects for clients such as Google, Condé Nast, CB2, Square, Le Labo, The WSJ, and Yahoo.

His work has been featured on Ad Age, VICE, Nowness, National Geographic, Vimeo staff picks and short of the week.

Available NOV 15 & 16 ONLY

ERIN LAU (Available NOV 12, 13 & 14 ONLY)

Raised in the quiet valley of Kahaluʻu on Oʻahu, Native Hawaiian filmmaker Erin Lau has shaped her career around projects inspired by her heritage, the female perspective, and the Asian Pacific community. Originally a documentary filmmaker, Erin transitioned to scripted after her screenplay Little Girl’s War Cry, which focused on domestic violence and cultural identity, was selected out of 2,000+ submissions by the Film Raro Competition to receive funding. After completing her Bachelors at the Academy for Creative Media at the University of Hawaiʻi, Erin worked as a videographer and editor for a Hawaiian grass-roots news and documentary company, ʻŌiwi TV, till receiving a full-ride merit scholarship from Chapman University, where she graduated with her MFA in Directing. Over the course of her education, Erin has written and directed multiple award-winning shorts and was selected as a Sundance Native Lab fellow in 2017. She is now working in Los Angeles and is currently represented by the United Talent Agency. Her ultimate dream is that her work will help to empower and inspire minority and female voices.

Available NOV 12, 13 & 14 ONLY


Christopher Makoto Yogi is a filmmaker and artist from Honolulu, Hawai‘i. His debut feature film, "August at Akiko's", had its world premiere at the International Film Festival of Rotterdam in 2018 to critical acclaim. Richard Brody in The New Yorker called it “transcendently inventive” while The Guardian wrote it was a “beguiling Hawaiian reverie”. It will be released theatrically in early 2019 by Factory 25. His next feature film in-development, "I Was a Simple Man", participated in the Sundance Screenwriters and Directors Labs, IFP Film Week, and received a Jerome Foundation grant. Chris works in both fiction and documentary.

Available for school visits on Oahu.

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