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Our Mission

Hawaiʻi Women in Filmmaking advocates for women and girls (cis/trans), femmes, non-binary, gender-fluid and gender-queer to tell their stories through film with an intersectional lens.

Hawaiʻi Women in Filmmaking (HWF) is a groundbreaking organization dedicated to amplifying the voices of women and girls, cis/trans, non-binary and gender-expansive peoples through the powerful medium of film. Our work is pivotal in creating a diverse and inclusive cinematic landscape in Hawaiʻi, and the impact resonates deeply within the community. By prioritizing narratives that are often overshadowed or neglected, HWF ensures that everyone's story has the chance to be heard, making everybody count in a unique and transformative way.

One of the key ways HWF impacts the community is through our commitment to education. By offering workshops, mentorship programs, and screenings, we provide a platform for folxs to learn the art of filmmaking, thereby equipping them with the tools necessary to tell their own stories. This educational aspect not only nurtures a new generation of filmmakers but also fosters a sense of community and belonging among participants. Through these initiatives, HWF is effectively building a more equitable film industry from the ground up, where diverse voices can thrive.

Moreover, HWF's focus on social justice themes within our projects acts as a catalyst for social change. By tackling issues such as gender inequality, racism, and environmental concerns through their films, we invite the community to engage with critical topics in a meaningful way. These films not only entertain but educate, creating a ripple effect that encourages viewers to take action in their own lives. In doing so, Hawaiʻi Women in Filmmaking not only makes everybody count but also serves as a beacon of hope and change, demonstrating the profound impact that inclusive storytelling can have on a community. Through their dedication and passion, HWF continues to inspire and empower, ensuring that the rich tapestry of Hawaiʻi's stories is celebrated and preserved for generations to come.

What We Do

How We Do It

Why We Do It


Educate the next generation of Hawaiʻi wāhine storytellers to tell impactful stories through film.

Through in-person programs, virtual spaces and workshops to learn how to produce and create short films and media content. Check out our programs: Making Media That MattersReel Camps, and Workshops.


Make films about women by women.

Reel Wāhine of Hawaiʻi is a documentary short film series on Hawaiʻi women working in the film industry. 


Connect wāhine (cis/trans), femmes, nonbinary, genderfluid, and genderqueer in film with mentors and support for their creative projects.

Through our gathering series Wāhine in Film Talk-Story; workshops, mentorships, and support services in Wāhine in Film Lab; and our annual gathering Wāhine in Film Mixer, and Fiscal Sponsorship.


Create opportunities for film productions, employment in the industry, and video services for non-profits and local businesses.

The Internships and our Production Services contribute to the professional development of women and in filmmaking.


Discuss critical issues and amplify marginalized voices shared through film screenings.

Film festivals and screenings celebrate, share, and unite people in conversation through important stories in film. Check them out: Women of Wonder Film FestDocuClub Hawaiʻi, and Indie Lens Pop Up.

To create conditions for women and girls to express themselves through film

To promote a diverse and positive representation of women and girls in media

To raise awareness and visibility of wāhine (cis/trans), femmes, nonbinary, genderfluid, and genderqueerʻs work in film

HWF is a passionate and dedicated community that has been supporting women and girls interested in becoming filmmakers since 2011. Our goal is to provide opportunities and resources for women and girls to break into the film industry and succeed in their careers.

Over the years, we have collaborated with numerous film and issue-based organizations to launch initiatives that foster social change through the powerful medium of film. We are committed to addressing the needs of local women and girls, and our initiatives are designed to enrich and empower their lives.

One of our flagship events is the Women in Film Talk Story, a gathering that has been hosted annually since 2011. This event provides a platform for local and visiting women filmmakers to present their work, exchange experiences, and share their expertise. It is a great opportunity for aspiring filmmakers to learn from the best in the industry and get inspired.

In 2012, we launched the Indie Lens Pop-Up, a film screening series that features documentaries from the Emmy Award-winning series Independent Lens. The series has widened and diversified our audience and overall outreach to create a more inclusive and diverse community. Additionally, we launched the Reel Camp for Girls, a week-long intensive filmmaking program that offers girls the opportunity to learn about every aspect of filmmaking and create their own films.

In 2013, we presented the Women of Wonders Film Fest to celebrate women's lives with films made by women and girls. This festival is a celebration of the powerful and unique perspective that women bring to filmmaking. In 2014, we inaugurated Making Media That Matters, an after-school program designed to develop film and critical-thinking skills that examine issues in our communities. We also started Production Services in 2015, which offers paid opportunities for our program graduates to grow professionally.

In 2016, we opened HIFF with the Wāhine in Film Mixer to connect, collaborate, and corroborate during the festival. The mixer is a great opportunity for women filmmakers to meet and network with other professionals in the industry. In 2018, we started the Girls Lead initiative, which is designed to empower girls and young women to become leaders in their communities through digital storytelling. We also offered Oceania Voices, a program that focuses on supporting Pacific Islander filmmakers in telling their unique stories.

We completed the first of four seasons of Reel Wāhine of Hawaiʻi in 2018, a show that highlights the work of women filmmakers in Hawaiʻi. The show won an EMMY and is now in pre-production for Season 5.

In 2021, amid COVID, we launched the first annual Wāhine in Film Lab, an incubator for women filmmakers to transform their film ideas into viable projects. The lab provides filmmakers with a platform to develop their skills, gain mentorship, and connect with industry professionals. We also became the regional partners of DocuClub, the IDA work-in-progress screening series.

Year after year, we build on what we learn and continually find ways to serve our community better while staying true to our mission. We believe that filmmaking is a powerful tool for social change, and we are committed to foster an inclusive community for marginalized genders to use their voices and tell their stories through film.

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