Education Program

Guest Filmmaker Program

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 1, 2, 3 and 6 – 9, 2017 - ALL FILMMAKERS ARE BOOKED FOR OAHU

2017 Guest Filmmakers:

Christian Lee & Jason Chan

BananaMana Films is an award-winning production company that specializes in creating aspirational Asian dramas in English for film, TV and web. Co-founded by writing, directing, producing and acting duo Jason Chan and Christian Lee. Their debut feature film Jimami Tofu, which was filmed in Okinawa will premiere at HIFF37. Their web series Perfect Girl, made for $800, went on to win 7 international awards and was picked up by Netflix.

Christian and Jason are available for visits on Oahu.

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.

Noel Dockstader & Quinn Kanaly

Producer/Director Noel Dockstader began his documentary career in the UK, where he worked for leading independent production companies October Films and Diverse Productions. His UK credits include Show Runner/Director of several Discovery Channel series: Warrior Women, a popular history series hosted by Lucy Lawless of Xena, Warrior Princess fame, Hero Factor, exploring the science of sudden acts of heroism, and Trailblazers, a 13-part series following the adventures of scientists and journalists in some of the most dangerous regions of the globe.  

Prior to Far West Film, Producer/Writer Quinn Kanaly co-produced Supercoasters, a 2-hour special for National Geographic on the science of roller coasters. She wrote and co-directed several history and natural history documentaries for Discovery Channel and Travel Channel, such as Revolution on Wheels, a global history of motorcycles.  Kanaly also directed and wrote Sharks under Glass for Discovery’s hit series, 'Shark Week'.

Alexander Bocchieri & Stacey Hayashi

Alex graduated from the University of Hawaii Academy for Creative Media, and has worked in all facets of the film industry in Honolulu for the last 5 years. In 2014 he began a partnership with Lumos Media, a production company that produces documentaries about our most compelling social issues, including the celebrated film ‘Ike: Knowledge is Everywhere.  
Earlier this year he directed his first narrative feature film, GO FOR BROKE: AN ORIGIN STORY, which tells the origin story of Hawaii’s famed 442nd Regimental Combat team, an all Japanese fighting unit that became the most decorated combat unit in WWII. The brand new movie will premiere this fall at HIFF 2017.

Stacey T. Hayashi’s historically accurate manga Journey of Heroes, which she wrote and published in 2012, is internationally-acclaimed, garnering media attention in the US, Japan, Italy and France. In addition to her manga, she has executive produced two films (short narrative and documentary) about Herb Yanamura, Military Intelligence Service linguist, and the Battle of Okinawa, which screened at the Hawaii International Film Festival in 2015. She is currently screenwriter and executive producer for GO FOR BROKE, A 442ND STORY, screening at HIFF 37.

Alexander & Stacey are available for visits on Oahu on November 8 only.

Ciara Lacy

Ciara Lacy’s interest lies in crafting films that challenge the creative and political status quo, featuring strong characters and in-depth investigative journalism. Her directorial debut, the feature-length documentary OUT OF STATE, premiered this June at the LA Film Festival, and two weeks later won Best Documentary Feature Film at the Cayman International Film Festival. Her first documentary short, which she shot for the Guardian Online, was also released in June and has yielded over 600,000 views and counting. As a producer, Ciara has worked on documentary content for film and television, managed independent features, and coordinated product placement and clearances for various platforms. She is now launching several digital documentary shorts as well as her next feature project. 

Last year, Ciara was honored to have been selected as the inaugural Sundance Institute Merata Mita Fellow as well a Princess Grace Awards Special Project grantee. She has also benefited from fellowships with Firelight Media’s Documentary Lab, the Sundance Institute and Time Warner Foundation, the Sundance Institute’s NativeLab, Tribeca All Access, the Princess Grace Foundation, and IFP. Her work has been supported by ITVS’ Open Call, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Pacific Islanders in Communication, the Next Step Media Fund, and the Hawaii People’s Fund. Ciara holds a BA from Yale University, and is a proud graduate of Hawaiʻi’s Kamehameha Schools. Currently, she is a lecturer at the University of Hawaii West Oahu in its Academy for Creative Media.

Ciara is available for visits on Oahu Nov. 2, 3, 7, 9 only.

Austin Everett & Concepcion Alicino

Austin’s first introduction to the world of film was at the age of five in Tokyo, Japan, where he was cast in a reoccuring role for a NHK drama series. In his teens, he began making his own short films and it became obvious that his place was behind the camera, not in front of it. 

Austin made his directorial debut in 2016 with a feature film entitled, “Secondhand Hearts”. He continues to write and direct project like “Juventud” that focus on the experience and emotional aspect of storytelling.

Concepcion Alicino (Connie)/ film producer,  made the jump from crew member to producer when she decided she wanted to create opportunities to support the dreams and ideas of fellow talented crew and cast she met along her 10+ year journey on different sets and make creative independent content.

Years of working in the industry have helped Connie develop a great sensibility to merge ideas, cultures and personalities, which gives her a unique edge when developing new projects. A relentless film producer, that strives to help and grow filmmakers pursue their projects with both passion and a business plan.

Austin and Concepcion are available for visits on Oahu and Kauai.

Brian Kohne

Hawaii’s Brian Kohne is an award-winning music producer (BAREFOOT NATIVES, WILLIE K) and independent motion picture writer / director / producer (GET A JOB). A San Jose State graduate (Art and Radio/TV/Film), he returned home to Maui in 2005 from Silicon Valley having excelled as national director of sales and marketing, corporate video production, sports broadcasting, and as senior user interface architect for an interactive television corporation. Actively marketing his new motion picture KULEANA, a feature mystery/drama slated for 2017 theatrical release in Hawaii and beyond, Kohne is principal of both MALAMA PONO PRODUCTIONS and HAWAI’I CINEMA INC, a marketing / publicity company.

Brian is available on Oahu only.

Gemma Cubero del Barrio

Gemma Cubero del Barrio has been making documentary films for 18 years and started her career with Lourdes Portillo’s poetic and groundbreaking documentary film Señorita Extraviada. She is the director producer and writer of the award winning POV documentary Ella Es El Matador about female bullfighters. Her production company Talcual Films has worked on numerous films and her lasted film Homecoming: a film about Pukapuka is currently in production. Gemma also consults with filmmakers around the world and teaches documentary at the University of Hawaiʻi. For the last two years Gemma has also served as a judge for the Emmy® Awards.

Gemma is available for visits on Oahu and Kauai.

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 only.

Brian Watanabe

Brian Watanabe is the screenwriter of THE ROGUES GALLERY, which became the cult film OPERATION: ENDGAME, starring Maggie Q and Zach Galifianakis. He also wrote MAISA THE CHAMORU GIRL WHO SAVES GUAHAN, Guam’s first animated film, which screens at this year’s HIFF. Brian has developed scripts for production companies at Fox and Sony and teaches screenwriting at UH’s Pacific New Media Program. Brian is also an award winning advertising copywriter and film blogger for

Brian is available for school visits on Oahu only.

Jay Hubert

Splitting his time between the US and China, Hawaii-based filmmaker Jay Hubert began his professional career as a DP in China after studying in the prestigious cinematography department at Beijing Film Academy. He then worked as an assistant to top-tier Chinese cinematographer Wang Yu on numerous commercials and feature films for several years. More recently he has shot and/or directed a number of commercials, documentaries, and promos for clients such as Apple, Volkswagen, Peugeot, Intel, Lenovo, China Unicom, Bud Light, Vice, Nylon, and Xiaomi, while also working on several Chinese feature films. In 2013 he served as Director of Photography for Volkswagen Group China’s “People’s Car Project – Building the Car Series”, a 10-episode web series awarded a Gold Lion at Cannes Lions. Over the course of the past dozen years, Hubert has written and directed over two dozen short films, many of which have screened and won awards at international film festivals. Hubert currently serves as the Media Center Director at the University of Hawaii’s Academy for Creative Media. He is fluent in Mandarin and Japanese, and conversant in Cantonese and Korean.

Jay is available for visits on Oahu.

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