Lily Nakasone spotted the one and only table she wanted to visit. As soon as she saw the purple Hawaiʻi Women in Filmmaking sign, the 10-year-old Maemae Elementary student and aspiring animator, had to stop and find out what it was about. According to her mother, Connie Nakasone, after spending the day at the State Capitol and Kalanimoku buildings for the Annual Children and Youth Day, this was the perfect booth for her.
“As soon as she saw the sign, her face lit up,” her mother said. “She wants to be an animator and a director. She even asked for her own YouTube channel.”
But according to Connie, Lily can’t have one just yet. As soon as she makes 10 quality films, then she could have her own channel. Luckily for Lily, HWF, with its many camps, is perfect place for her to start.
HWF Executive Director Vera Zambonelli and our team of women attended the annual Children and Youth Day to “spread the love” about HWF and to get the word out about all its upcoming events. Throughout the day, children ranging from ages 5 to 15 sat down with other teens that have been with HWF for years and chatted about their interests. They even got a crash course into animation by making a classic flipbook.
Kaiser High School student Sky Jeter has been with HWF for two years and was one of the veterans who helped the kids in making their flipbooks.
“I came out today to show support Hawaiʻi Women in Filmmaking,” Jeter said. “I feel like not enough people know about us, so the more people show support, the more people know about it.”
The planned worked. As more and more families came by, more kids sat down to create. Vera and HWF Outreach Coordinator Daniella Ortiz-Padilla, armed with clipboards, successfully signed up parents and potential filmmakers for our email list.
Waianae High School student Amber Rosa was one of them. The 15 year old was ecstatic to see HWF.
“I had a dream one night that I was a director,” she said.
Rosa is already busy with Searider Productions at Waianae and is currently working on a public service announcement. She’s hoping to be even busier with HWF.
“I want to get a taste of what it’s like,” Rosa said. “I want to get into the [reel] camps as soon as possible, starting with the Spooky Reel Camp. Then I want to take all the other camps. I want to get into the basics of filmmaking. After I graduate high school, I want to move to New York or LA and get into filmmaking.”
Barb Jordan of Ewa Beach was a parent who subscribed to the mailing list because she said her 9-year-old daughter was creative and always up for trying new things. Watching as her daughter drew her flipbook, Jordan shared that she thought HWF and its camps was a great idea.
“I’m going to look into it,” she said.
HWF was one of more than 50 vendors for Children and Youth day. The day, which takes place on the first Sunday of October, was the kick off to honor the state’s celebration of Children and Youth Month in Hawaiʻi. Every year, approximately 50,000 people attend the event. HWF hoped to reach out to as many as possible.
“I wanted to spread the love about this organization,” Vera said. “I think we did a good job. Mission accomplished.”