Film series that spotlights wahine pioneers in Hawaii’s film industry to debut at HIFF

Six female filmmakers are featured in Season 3 of Reel Wāhine of Hawai'i. All share a passion to document moments in history so that they're never forgotten.
Published: Oct. 14, 2021 at 7:42 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A new film series that spotlights wahine filmmakers in Hawaii will make its debut at the Hawaii International Film Festival in November.

Meleanna Meyer, Joy Chong-Stannard, Joan Lander, Kimberlee Bassford, Zoë Eisenberg and Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu are the six filmmakers featured in “Season 3 of Reel Wahine of Hawaii.”

The six-episode season depicts the lives of these pioneers in Hawaii’s film industry, who all share a passion to document moments in history so that they are never forgotten.

“Meleanna Meyer who when the stuff started going down on Mauna Kea, she just grabbed a crew and went up there,” said one of the film’s producers, Shirley Thompson.

Because the series also focuses on addressing gender inequity in the male-dominated industry, Reel Wahine of Hawaii worked to provide more opportunities to wahine filmmakers.

“We’re really creating a space and a place in time for women filmmakers to tell their stories,” said Vera Zambonelli, film producer and founder and executive director of Hawaii Women in Filmmaking.

While featuring renowned Hawaii women filmmakers on screen, many of the women behind the camera are well accomplished in their fields. Award-winning filmmakers Anne Misawa, Heather H. Giugni and Erin Lau, along with the producers, each directed one of the short films.

The films were also completed with the help of all-women crews.

Having accomplished this all during the pandemic, “Reel Wahine of Hawaii Season 3″ will premiere at the 41st Hawaii International Film Festival on Nov. 7, which will screen in-person and will stream as part of HIFF’s online film festival from Nov. 4 to 28.

Tickets are available at

To learn more about Reel Wahine of Hawaii, listen now to our “Muthaship” podcast on our website or search for “Muthaship” wherever you download podcasts.

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