Get to know Hawaiʻi-based women filmmakers on “PBS Hawaiʻi Presents: Reel Wāhine of Hawaiʻi” Season 1, 9 p.m. Thursday, April 30, on PBS Hawaiʻi. The hour-long compilation of locally-produced short films focuses on the creative philosophies, challenges, and triumphs of six filmmakers, including Heather Haunani Giugni, cultural collections specialist and producer at ‘Ulu‘ulu: The Henry Ku‘ualoha Giugni Moving Image Archive of Hawaiʻi at UH West Oʻahu.
Featured in the film are (pictured, clockwise from top left): Connie M. Florez, Giugni, Victoria Keith, Jeannette Paulson Hereniko, Anne Misawa, and Ciara Leinaʻala Lacy. “Reel Wāhine” was co-produced by Vera Zambonelli, UH West Oʻahu Academy for Creative Media lecturer and Executive Director of Hawaiʻi Women in Filmmaking, a nonprofit organization seeking to redress gender inequity in the film industry, as well as Shirley Thompson.
In Hawaiʻi, there is a strong history of women behind the camera, including Native Hawaiians and women of color, many of whom have never told their stories before – stories of great accomplishments, Zambonelli said.
“We need to research, record, and disseminate this knowledge to counter the ways that academic and cultural histories regularly neglect women’s authorship and work in film and in the arts in general,” Zambonelli said. “The series was envisioned as an intergenerational project, where we put our active women filmmakers to work, documenting the stories of veterans of the field, while mentoring and training the next generation of Hawaiʻi women filmmakers.”