Seminar with local film industry professionals to discuss AAPI representation on Saturday


HONOLULU (KHON2) — Next month is Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage month, and AAPI actors, writers and directors from the film industry are coming together to help the next generation get their foot in the door. They say with more shows heading to Hawaii, now is the time to act.

Some locals in the film industry like Amy Hill, Chris Lee and Kimee Balmilero will be sharing a screen in a seminar to talk about Hawaii representation in media.

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“We’ve experienced, you know the past and all those feelings are valued but how can you make this now is energy into, into moving forward and to really really just getting our stuff out there?,” said Kimee Balmilero, Magnum P.I. actress and founder of Kimee J Productions.

The film industry in Hawaii is booming. Georja Skinner, Hawaii Creative Industries Chief Officer, said there could be four to five series being filmed in Hawaii next year, including recent addition, “NCIS: Hawaii”.

“This time in our world and this time in media has never been more opportune for local creatives in the state of Hawaii,” said Skinner. “Pandemic or no pandemic, Hawaii’s creatives have been preparing for this moment in the creative space for a long time. Now is their time.”

She said this also provides opportunities for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

“We’re seeing it happen right now, I mean, you know we have Jo Koy who’s creating his, you know, big movie focused on his Filipino family. We just got the announcement today a network television show is putting a Filipino lead as their number one,” said Balmilero.

Balmilero said she and others want to pass on their knowledge to help locals trying to break in to the film industry. This weekend’s online seminar is a way to do it.

“I want people to feel motivated,” said Balmilero. “I’m a local actor. I want to see me up there, I want to see my face up there, what can I do now, or I have this amazing story this family history that I want to put on paper and I want to see that on the big screen. Well, what can I do now?”

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