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Hau’oli Makahiki Hou to our 665 ‘Ohana!

Aloha, Brothers and Sisters!

We were blessed to have a lot of work in 2018 – the most in the history of our local – and 2019 looks to be a well-paced year as well. As you know, our film tax credit was capped on January 1st, and although the impact is uncertain, I know our industry is strong enough to weather any adversity. Currently, House Bills (HB) 540 and 645 have been introduced this session, and the Hawaii Film and Entertainment Board (HFEB) is monitoring the bills and developing a cohesive strategy to address them. I will be calling on you to provide testimony when the time comes, so please think of how the film industry has made a difference in your life. HFEB is comprised of all of the entertainment unions, all of the film commissioners, representatives from the State’s Creative Industries division, and a few producers. It is very important that all of the players in the industry work together and use our combined efforts to move forward as one. Additionally, HFEB will produce a video that will explain the many benefits that our film industry brings to the State: hundreds of millions of dollars into the economy, an increase in jobs, global marketing of our islands, a green industry that improves locations it uses and many more.

Recently, I attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the Student Film Academy at the University of Hawai’i – West ‘Oahu. In about 18 months, we will see a state-of-art film school where our future film makers will emerge with fresh, homegrown content. Our local will help develop a workforce training program with the State to reinforce their curriculum and strengthen their skills. After the film academy is built, plans for a full-fledged stage lot is planned on the same campus. We have an obligation to keep the industry strong so these graduates are able to work at home.

As I write, “American Idol” is loading in at the ‘Aulani Resort, and “Lionel Richie” is poised to do his first concert here at the Blaisdell Arena. We are blessed to have “Hawaii Five-O” going strong and look forward to hearing if the changes with “Magnum P.I.” will help the show get picked up for their second season. The “Wrong Missy” Netflix film is scheduled to shoot in February and March, and we have a couple small films planning to prep/shoot in April.

In closing, I want to thank all of you for your professionalism and hard work. I wish much prosperity and ALOHA for you and your families in the coming year. The vision I have for our local is optimistic and bright.

In Unity,
Irish Barber

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