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Hawaii Tourism Authority Encourages Film Production

April 26, 2010 By: Jena Tesse Fox

HawaiiWith Lost closing up shop, Hawaii's film community might be a little anxious. The Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) is looking to keep cameras on the island with a pending legislation (HB2690 SD2) that seeks to establish within the Authority the Hawaii Film Office, currently attached to the Department of Business Economic Development & Tourism (DBEDT).

Mike McCartney, president & CEO Hawaii Tourism Authority, released the following statement about the legislation:
"There’s a positive synergy that exists between the television and film industry and tourism. Given the changes taking place in the global travel market, having the Hawaii Film Office within HTA will allow us the ability to integrate both industries in an effort to maximize opportunities in the state’s core visitor markets including North America and Japan, as well as the developing markets of Korea and China. In this economic environment, we need to look for synergies to enhance business and optimize benefits.
"Film commissions from around the world operate under various entities, both public and private. Each location must capitalize on its strength; for Hawaii it’s our cultural diversity, natural beauty and world-class visitor infrastructure. The most important factor for success of a film office or commission is its ability to assist production while they are on location. The pending legislation transfers the responsibility, funding and staffing to HTA that will enable the Authority to provide that type of support.
"As Hawaii’s tourism agency, the HTA is tasked with marketing and promoting Hawaii, in a culturally sensitive and respectful way, as a visitor destination with the goal of increasing visitor spending. The film and television industry help to support key Hawaii branding messages, provides economic benefits to the state, creates both tourism and non-tourism related local jobs, and generates national and international media coverage that showcases Hawaii as an alluring visitor destination. In addition to the creative decisions by filmmakers, the HTA also has resources to help educate mainland film studios about respectfully honoring Hawaii’s host culture and history.
"In HTA’s Strategic Plan, emphasis is placed on showcasing Hawaii’s unique, experiential attributes and film and television are an important vehicle to highlight these qualities.
"We are hopeful that HB2690 SD2 will pass this session," he concluded. "However, regardless of the outcome, HTA remains committed to working with all stakeholders and interested parties related to the film and television industry for the benefit of Hawaii and our visitor industry."

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By Jena Tesse Fox | April 26, 2010
The HTA is promoting a bill that would create a Hawaii Film Office to encourage filming on the islands.