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Support Staff

Art Umezu - Film Commissioner
4444 Rice Street, Suite 200
Lihue, HI 96766-1300
Phone: (808) 241-4948
Fax:     (808) 241-6399


For information on the Kauai film industry
go to the Kauai Film Commission website 








A. Program Description



The film commission works with film, TV and other entertainment producers, writers and directors worldwide to encourage them to bring projects to Kauaʻi, by resourcefully explaining the benefits and positive experiences they will receive, and then helps to assure their success. Concurrently, the office works to support the diversity of resources that make Kaua`i an attractive filming location including local industry, cultural heritage, community support and the scenic environment.



B. Program Objectives

Utilizes existing marketing campaigns and collateral to maintain a continuous marketing effort.

2. Works directly with location managers, producers, directors and industry decision-makers to encourage decisions to produce on Kauai, and to make them aware of the incentives and resources available to them.

3. Works directly with producers filming on Kauaʻi to assure that their needs are met and that the community and environment are treated with respect and are protected.

4. Works with the community to assure both the economic well being of local film industry resources and production success.

5. Monitors the technology trends in production and film to help further establish Kauaʻi as a technological asset to filmmakers, as well as help to assist the island’s infrastructure to better support production.

Major productions for Kauaʻi during FY 04 included:

Hilary Duff’s Island Birthday Bash

Endurance: Hawaii

(June 2004) – Reality show for kids on NBC Discovery Kids (Saturday mornings), now in its third year. Production took place in and around Wainiha on the north shore. Despite numerous challenges associated with the production, the resulting show aired September – October 2004 and provided excellent exposure for Kauaʻi, again on a major network.
(September 2003) – one hour special on Warner Brothers network. Filmed entirely on Kauaʻi at various locations on the island. The program provided excellent exposure for the island on a major network with a major television and film star.

Additionally, numerous smaller productions took place on Kaua`i throughout the year, including commercials, infomercials, and still photo shoots for catalogues and other publications.


Program Highlights & Accomplishments


Marketing Activities

The film office utilized and distributed existing marketing materials including a "movies made on Kauaʻi" information piece, location brochure and production resource directory, while attending three distinct industry film festivals and trade shows that offered direct contact with industry professionals and decision-makers. Four color advertising with four different location photos were placed in trade journals and mainland publications, as well as in the Hawai`i Production Index. This advertising is done to secure a high level of continuous production projects, which in turn provides economic benefits to the community, as well as a high level of visibility and promotion for Kauaʻi’s tourism industry. All production inquiries and potential projects are immediately mailed a packet of marketing materials, as well as a letter of introduction and filming guidelines.


Film Offices of the Hawaiian Islands

The Kauaʻi Film Office, in conjunction with the Hawai`i film offices on Oahu, Maui and Big Island, as well as the State Film Office (DEBD& T), operate as a consortium under the name of Film Offices of Hawaiian Islands (FOHI). FOHI attended trade shows, film festivals, and met with and marketed to industry leaders and decision makers about the benefits of filming in Hawai`i. Trade shows and festivals traditionally attended were:

        • Sundance Film Festival
        • AFI Film Festival
        • Locations Trade Show
        • Hawai`i State Film Industry Day – Sponsored by City Bank

The Film Offices of the Hawaiian Islands actively worked to develop relationships with state legislators to lobby for increased production incentives for Hawai`i.


Legislative Activity

The Film Offices of the Hawaiian Islands continued the efforts of the past two years to increase tax incentives available to qualifying productions.


Hawai`i Film and Television Development Board

A Governor-appointed board, which was formed in 2000 and includes four appointed private citizens, the representatives of Film Offices of the Hawaiian Islands and the Director of DEDE&T, met at regularly scheduled meetings to discuss the production industry, funding for local production, tax incentives, film studio related capital improvements and film permit restructuring, along with a number of related issues.

Hawai`i International Film Festival (HIFF)

The Kaua`i Film Commission assisted local organizers and HIFF in presenting a number features locally in November 2003, in conjunction with the Statewide event.

D. Program Evaluation/Impact


Program Measures


Film Commission program is measured primarily on economic impact and jobs creation through the tracking of film revenues. Revenues are tracked by the State Film Office on a calendar year basis. For 2003, the Office tracked direct revenues of $1,871,720 attributable to the film and television production industry.

Annual Exhibit, based on FY’04 Program Budget

Program Measures FY2003 FY2004

Actual Actual

Film, TV and other

Entertainment 2.05M 1.87 M

Program Resources (General Fund)



E. Future Outlook

Expense Type

FY 2003

FY 2004

Equivalent Personnel



Salaries & Wages









Program Total





From 1934 to the present, Kauaʻi has been the production site of more than 55 feature films, along with numerous television series, commercials, still photography, documentaries, and the subject of stories in the travel and entertainment media. Currently, global economic situations and the development of digitalization in the industry have lessened the demand for big budget and on-location productions. Financial tax incentives for production provided by other states and countries worldwide have made it an incredibly competitive arena. In spite of these challenges, Kauaʻi has numerous unique and spectacular assets, which must be used to attract productions of all sizes. The Kauaʻi Film Commission has begun a re-examination of the product that Kauaʻi has to offer, and will be refining its marketing efforts based on what is learned through further dialogue with community members, industry professionals and other stakeholders.



C. Production Activity