Maui News

Maui Film Commissioner Job Opening

October 3, 2013, 4:48 PM HST
* Updated October 3, 5:30 PM
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By Wendy Osher

Former Maui film commissioner Harry Donenfeld with Jessica Chastain, main actor of Zero Dark Thirty. Courtesy photo.

Former Maui film commissioner Harry Donenfeld with Jessica Chastain, main actor in the film Zero Dark Thirty. Courtesy photo.

The County of Maui put out a notice today seeking applicants for the position of Maui County Film Commissioner.

The person appointed to the post would be tasked with dual responsibilities in attracting productions to the county and promoting local film production in the community.

When asked about Harry Donenfeld, the individual who held the post for the past two years, County Communications Director Rod Antone confirmed that Donenfeld is no longer with the county.

Donenfeld posted parting words on the Maui County Film Office’s Facebook page (which Donenfeld said he would soon take down), writing: “It has been my honor being Maui County’s film commissioner. I am floored every day by the love and support this office has received from the people of Maui. Please offer the same to the new guy!”

Kama'aina Loan. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Reality TV film crews used old Wailuku Town as a backdrop in September 2012 for filming a proposed Pawn Stories pilot episode. Kama’aina Loan was among the businesses that hosted film crews. File photo by Wendy Osher.


In an announcement today, Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa said, “Maui County has always been an attractive place for film and television, from the cliffs of Molokaʻi, to the beaches of Lānaʻi and the valleys of Maui.


“Our last film commissioner worked to take us to the next level by providing a full-service county website for the film community, helping to establish the Maui Film Studio and lobbying the Legislature to increase film tax incentives. Now that we have the infrastructure, we need someone to bring production to our islands, in order to create a new industry that has a positive impact on our economy,” said Arakawa in a press release.

County officials say applicants will be reviewed by a search committee, and narrowed to five finalists, whose names will be forwarded to the mayor for final selection.

Individuals on the search committee reportedly include: actor and screenwriter Owen Wilson; USA Network Executive Jackie De Crinis; show industry veteran Shep Gordon; actor Branscombe Richmond; Maui Film Studio CEO Socrates Buenger; and On Location Services owner and location manager Glenn Beadles.


Applicants can send an email with a cover letter and resume attached to: [email protected], by the Oct. 14 deadline. A full job description will be posted here, according to the county (it was not at time of publishing).

'Iao Theater, courtesy photo.

The SYFY Channel’s cable series, “Haunted Collector” featured stories from Maui’s historic ‘Iao Theater in August of 2012. Photo courtesy County of Maui.

Several film related highlights over the past two years include: the reality TV filming of a proposed Pawn Stories pilot episode in Wailuku Town in September 2012; the filming of the SYFY Channel’s cable series, “Haunted Collector” that featured stories from Maui’s historic ‘Iao Theater in August of 2012; the launch of a web database for industry professionals on Maui through the Maui Film Office in October 2012; and the filming of the Lifetime Channel movie “The Blue Lagoon,” on Maui in April 2012.

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