Hawaiʻi Women in Filmmaking attended the 23rd Annual Children and Youth Summit on Friday, October 7, at the State Capitol. HWF was one of a dozen youth-focused organizations attending the event, sponsored by the state legislature’s Keiki Caucus. It was a chance for students, advocates, professionals, parents and policymakers to get together to discuss issues that affect the lives of our youth, their families and their communities.
This year’s theme was “Growing Our Future/Going Back to Our Roots.” Summit goers attended discussions led by various community leaders, business professionals and youth, on topics such as bullying prevention, sustaining the environment, embracing our culture, community service, juvenile justice, sexual abuse prevention, and much more. HWF was joined by other non-profits not just from Oahu, but from the Neighbor Islands as well.
In effort to further its mission to inspire future generations of filmmakers, our HWF outreach team, Vera and Dani, took this as an opportunity to not only reach girls who may be interested in filmmaking, but also as a chance to connect with other organizations that work with our young people. It was a good way to talk story with people one-to-one and up close.
“I really enjoyed speaking with young women interested in the program and people trying to make a difference in the youth lives” Vera said.
HWF met with organizations that focus on enhancing mental wellness for all Hawaii’s youth [http://mentalhealthhawaii.org] or on helping young people transitioning from hospitalization to everyday living [http://www.kahimohala.org], or on tackling sex trafficking [http://hoolanapua.org] to mention few. Events like these lead the way for potential collaborations that contribute to the betterment of our mission.
For instance, organizations may want to produce public service announcements promoting themselves but might not know how to start. This is where the collaboration between them and HWF comes in. “The leading organization would be the expert of the content,” Vera said. “Then we would provide the filmmaking support as we also expose our girls to issues that affect as all, directly or indirectly.” Collaborations made through meetings such as these also to help mobilize the community to take action.
“And, basically, [we] say yes to everything,” she said. “and nothing like making those connections face-to-face.”
Vera said that HWF does not want to miss any opportunity to do so. HWF plans on attending more statewide events in effort to continue making its presence well known and make an impact on the community.