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Celebrating Women in Film: REEL WĀHINE OF HAWAIʻI 4 Takes the Center Stage

On October 15, 2023, REEL WĀHINE OF HAWAIʻI SEASON 4 had its world premiere screening simultaneously in 3 entirely sold out rooms at the 43rd Hawaiʻi International Film Festival.

The Reel Wāhine of Hawaiʻi screening was an impactful and emotional experience that showcased the crucial contributions of women to the film industry. The films featured female filmmakers and their works, which explored the intersection of gender, culture, and identity with the context of Hawaiʻi and its people and places.


The series depicted the challenges that women face in the industry, as well as their triumphs. It emphasized the importance of representation in storytelling and the need for diverse voices to be heard, in order to foster an inclusive and equitable society. The films also delved into the significance of Hawaiian culture and traditions in the stories being told, and how these narratives have the power to bring people together and bridge gaps between different communities.


Overall, the Reel Wāhine of Hawaiʻi screening was a thought-provoking and inspiring experience that left a lasting impression on the audience. It highlighted the importance of supporting and uplifting women in the film industry and emphasized the need for more diverse stories to be told on screen.


For the first time, we are eligible for the Hawaiʻi News Now Audience Choice Award. If you attended the screening, but did not scan the QR Code and vote at the theater, you can vote for us using the following link. (1 - Worst | 5 - Best). If you bought a ticket for a friend you can forward this link to anyone who attended so they can vote as well. Voting ends Monday October 23rd.


Series co-producers Vera Zambonelli and Shirley Thompson welcomed the filmmakers behind and in-front of the camera with a lot of joy and pride. This season, entirely produced by wāhine, featured:

  • Ann Marie Kirk, (Happy Birthday Tūtū Ruth), a native Hawaiian activist and filmmaker, whose documentaries inquire into Hawai‘i’s past and history’s impact on how we live today.

  • Jana Kealokaokeakua Park, (My Partner, E Mālama Pono Willy Boy) a Moloka‘i born producer/director whose narrative films bridge the diverse communities which make up Hawai‘i.

  • Stephanie J. Castillo (An Uncommon Kindness: The Father Damien Story), a Kaua‘i-based Emmy award-winning writer and director whose documentaries explored the lives of people driven by devotion to others.

  • Sancia Miala Shiba Nash, (Ka moʻopuna i ke alo, The grandchild in the presence) an emerging voice in independent filmmaking from Kihei, Maui. Her films are rooted in oral histories, archives and acts of translation.

  • Leanne K. Ferrer, a groundbreaking executive producer who, before her untimely death in 2021, had a profound impact on the Hawai‘i independent film industry through visionary funding and support of local film by the organization she led, Pacific Islanders in Communications.

  • Shaneika Aguilar (Mama’s Wish), an Emmy Award winning cinematographer and editor whose rich, textured images transport the audience into the world of the protagonist. Aguilar also lensed three of the six films.

AMEFIL by Eleni Avendaño and DUCKWORTHY by MG Evangelista opened the screening.



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