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Hawaiʻi Women in Filmmaking to Receive $20,000 Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

[Honolulu, HI]—National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Mary Anne Carter has approved more than $84 million in grants as part of the Arts Endowment’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2020. Included in this announcement is an Art Works award of $20,000 to Hawaiʻi Women in Filmmaking for the production of REEL WĀHINE OF HAWAIʻI SEASON 3 - a documentary short film series that celebrates Hawaiʻi women working in the film industry. This is one of 1015 grants nationwide that the agency has approved in this category.

“These awards demonstrate the resilience of the arts in America, showcasing not only the creativity of their arts projects but the organizations’ agility in the face of a national health crisis,” said Mary Anne Carter, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. “We celebrate organizations like Hawaiʻi Women in Filmmaking for providing opportunities for learning and engagement through the arts in these times.”

In Hawaiʻi, we have a strong history of women behind the camera, including Native Hawaiians and women of color,” says series co-producer Vera Zambonelli, who is also Executive Director and founder of Hawai‘i Women in Filmmaking. “Most of them had never told their stories before. And their accomplishments are great. We need to research, record, and disseminate this knowledge to counter the ways that academic and cultural histories regularly neglect women’s authorship and work in film and in the arts in general.”

“Women filmmakers just aren’t getting the same opportunities as men, in terms of hiring, pay, access to financing and access to gatekeepers.” says series co-producer Shirley Thompson. “Film is a powerful medium that shapes our very society. If we exclude women from writing those stories, or deciding which stories get told, we are excluding women’s voices from shaping our society and our future.” 

For more information on Reel Wāhine of Hawaiʻi, visit:

For more information on this National Endowment for the Arts grant announcement, visit

Contact information: Vera Zambonelli,


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