Maui Business

Donne Dawson Returns As Hawaii Film Commissioner

May 10, 2012, 12:52 PM HST
* Updated May 10, 4:53 PM
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Donne Dawson has returned to State service as Film Industry Development Manager for the Hawai‘i Film Office. Courtesy of DBEDT.

By Sonia Isotov

Donne Dawson has returned to state service as Film Industry Development Manager for the Hawai‘i Film Office.

Located within the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism’s (DBEDT) Creative Industries Division, the Hawai`i Film Office serves as the State of Hawaii’s central information resource to filmmakers, manages the Hawai‘i Film Studio at Diamond Head, promotes Hawai‘i as a filming destination, and develops the local film, television and digital media industries in the islands.

“We’re fortunate to have Donne back,” said DBEDT Director Richard C. Lim, director of DBEDT, in a written statement.

“She brings a wealth of experience to the post, including a strong background in government, marketing and outstanding expertise in Hawaii’s film industry.  She will be responsible for leading the development of the state’s high-profile film industry during a period when we have great potential to grow as a film production destination.”


Dawson managed the Hawai‘i Film Office from 2001 to 2009 during its most competitive period.  She was instrumental in pushing for and implementing Act 88, the state’s first comprehensive film, television and digital media tax credit.  She also was responsible for overseeing renovations and continued operations of the Hawai‘i Film Studio and managing the state’s film permitting program.


Dawson will again lead Hawaii’s film industry efforts and work toward streamlining the state’s film permitting system, strengthening the film tax incentive program, managing the next phase of CIP improvements at the state’s Hawai‘i Film Studio, and marketing Hawai‘i globally as one of the world’s premiere filming locations.

A graduate of California State University, Dawson majored in communications.  She worked for more than 15 years as a writer and editor and served in public relations and marketing capacities for numerous Hawai‘i companies including Alexander and Baldwin, DBEDT, and the Hawaiian Native Corporation.

She is a board member of the Pacific Islanders in Communications and the Sex Abuse Treatment Center, and is actively involved with the Protect Kaho‘olawe ‘Ohana.

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