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Completed in: 2016 | 60 min.

Section: Creative Lab

Premiere: World Premiere

Countries: United States

Languages: English

Genres: Educational, Free, Women


Sponsored by:


In 2012 HIFF held the first WOMEN IN FILM panel with the remarkable Debra Zimmerman Executive Director of Women Make Movies. This panel focused on the topics of women in production and the state of women in the film industry. In 2016 the Festival welcomes Debra back to Hawaii to present WOMEN IN FILM PART II, turning the focus this time towards film distribution. Featuring a panel of women filmmakers, and industry professionals, and moderated by Debra, WOMEN IN FILM PART II asks the question, so you’ve made an amazing film, now what? With the rapidly changing distribution landscape, and the evolution non-traditional platforms, how has this affected the playing field for women in the film industry? And how do we keep up?

Please note this event is FREE but ticketed, please click the link below to download your free tickets, and arrive early to ensure seating.

This panel is presented in partnership with Hawaii Women in Filmmaking and Pacific Islanders in Communications.


Panel Moderator DEBRA ZIMMERMAN has been the Executive Director of Women Make Movies since 1983. For 10 of the last 11 years films from WMM have won or been nominated for Oscars. She is in great demand around the world as a speaker on independent film distribution, marketing and financing. She is a member of numerous Advisory Boards for many media organizations, a jury member for many international film festivals, and regularly sits on foundation and government funding panels. She is the recipient of New York Women in Film and Television's Loreen Arbus Award and the Hot Doc's Doc Mogul Award, given to those who "over the course of their career has made an essential contribution to the creative vitality of the documentary industry, both in his or her country or abroad."

CHERYL HIRASA is the Director of Program Development & Content Strategy for Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC). In her role at PIC Cheryl oversees the development and distribution of all projects funded through various initiatives and is the series producer for Pacific Heartbeat, PIC’s signature series on public television. Previous to joining PIC, Cheryl worked at the Independent Television Service (ITVS) for nine years and was a Senior Production Manager overseeing the development and completion of over 150 productions for public television broadcast.

SHIRLEY THOMPSON is a 30+ year veteran documentary editor, writer and producer best known for the PBS documentaries she has produced and/or edited: KŪ KANAKA (2016), WINNING GIRL (2014), PIDGIN: THE VOICE OF HAWAI'I(2008). She recently completed FINDING KUKAN, a feature documentary premiering at HIFF 2016. As a Latina and a daughter of immigrants, she is committed to filmmaking that builds bridges across cultures and communities.

MARLENE BOOTH teaches film at the University of Hawai’i and is an award-winning filmmaker, who has worked in film since 1975, for public television station WGBH-TV in Boston and as an independent filmmaker. She has produced and directed several major documentary films screened on PBS and cable television, at national and international film festivals, and in classrooms nationwide. Booth’s latest film, KŪ KANAKA (STAND TALL) about the life and legacy of Hawaiian scholar and activist Kanalu Young, will have its premiere at this year’s HIFF.

Producer/Director ROBIN LUNG is a 4th generation Chinese American who was raised in Hawai‘i. She has a 16-year history of bringing untold minority and women’s stories to film. A graduate of Stanford University and Hunter College in NYC, Lung made her directorial debut with WASHINGTON PLACE: HAWAI'I'S FIRST HOME. She is producer/director of the feature documentary FINDING KUKAN (currently screening at HIFF 2016). In 2015 she was selected as one of four documentary fellows for the NALIP ARC female filmmaker residency.

FREIDA LEE MOCK is an Academy and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker of feature length and short form theatrical documentary films that include the Oscar feature winner MAYA LIN: A STRONG VISION and the Oscar nominated short films ROSE KENNEDY, A LIFE TO REMEMBER; SING! NEVER GIVE UP. She has received numerous best director festival awards, including the DGA Award for Maya Lin. Mock’s newest feature documentary movies are ANITA – SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER, and G-DOG. Mock was the first Governor elected to the new Documentary Branch of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, and was Co-chair of the DGA Documentary Awards selection Committee.


Saturday, November 05 1:00 PM Dole Cannery E Date Passed

Cast & Crew

Cast Marlene Booth, Cheryl Hirasa, Freida Lee Mock, Robin Lung, Shirley Thompson, Debra Zimmerman
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