Hawaii Film Blog

Friday, October 07, 2005

Who are Donne, Judy, and Walea?

There is a lot of confusion (especially among some of you press guys) over exactly who these ladies are, particularly, their current roles in Hawaii's film and television industry. Let me illuminate:

Donne Dawson is the Hawaii State Film Commissioner, also known as my boss. Donne manages and oversees the Hawaii Film Office, the primary point of contact for producers and photographers interested in shooting in Hawaii. Established in 1978, the Hawaii Film Office is the central coordinator for film and photographic use of state-administered parks, beaches, highways, and facilities. The office works closely with state agencies to assist filmmakers with acquiring film permits, and if necessary, directs them to the appropriate county and federal agencies. The office also provides location and production resource information to filmmakers, manages the Hawaii Film Studio at Diamond Head, promotes Hawaii as a filming destination, and develops the local film and television industry in the islands. Meet the rest of the Hawaii Film Office.

UPDATE, 1/9/06: Judy has resigned from DBEDT.
Judy Drosd
was the Chief Officer of the Arts, Film, & Entertainment Division (AFED), which is within the state's Department of Business, Economic Development, & Tourism (DBEDT). A relatively new division, AFED is composed of two branches: the 27-year-old Hawaii Film Office described above and the new Arts & Culture Development Branch, which covers Music, Visual Arts, Performing Arts, Applied Arts, Literary Arts, and Ethnic/Cultural Activities. AFED was created two years ago to help diversify the state economy by promoting existing and emerging arts and culture industries, attracting new investment and businesses that have the potential to create skilled jobs in the state, and increasing exports of Hawaii products and services. To help you make sense of all this government alphabet soup, please see
DBEDT's organizational chart.

Walea Constantinau is the Honolulu Film Commissioner--that's Honolulu, which is a city/county within Hawaii (a state). Walea is the point person for filming on property owned by the city and county of Honolulu, which is essentially the island of Oahu. Her counterparts in the other counties are Benita Brazier, Maui County Film Commissioner (Maui, Molokai, Lanai); Marilyn Killeri, Big Island County Film Commissioner; and Art Umezu, Kauai County Film Commissioner. Together the state and county film commissions market Hawaii under the banner "Film Offices of the Hawaiian Islands." The county film commissioners are the location experts for their respective counties, serving as liaisons between filmmakers and local communities, businesses, and government agencies. They also promote filming on their respective islands, and facilitate permits for county property such as city streets, parks, municipal parking lots, and other county facilities. The difference between the county film offices and the Hawaii Film Office is like the difference between the L.A. County Entertainment Industry Development Corp. and the California Film Commission, or the between the NYC Mayor's Office of Film, Theater & Broadcasting and the NY State Governor's Office for Motion Picture & TV Development. City/county vs. state, get it? Learn more about our county film commissions here:
Meet the County Film Offices.

County Film Commissioners Benita Brazier (Maui), Marilyn Killeri (Big Island), and Art Umezu (Kauai), who together with Walea Constantinau (Oahu) and Donne Dawson (state of Hawaii) lead film offices that comprise the "Film Offices of the Hawaiian Islands."

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