OUR TEAM

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EXECUTIVE TEAM

 
GERARD ELMORE | EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Gerard is an Emmy-nominated writer, editor, producer, and director with over 15 years of experience - creating independent films that have been nationally distributed and music videos that have aired on CMT and FUSE TV, coordinating Discovery Channel specials for Shark Week as a producer, and working as a commercial director on award-winning spots for clients including Hilton, Time Warner, McDonald’s, and First Hawaiian Bank. He is also a lecturer at UH’s Academy for Creative Media. 

 
DARRIN KANESHIRO | MANAGING DIRECTOR

Darren is a freelance film producer and production expert, formerly executive producer at Shooters Film Production, involved in production at McHale Video Film, and McMahon & McMahon. He’s a 20-year veteran of Hawai‘i’s film and television industries. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
ERIK RIES | CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Ries is the creative director of brandHAWAII, an experiential ideation agency that generates brand impact through strategic storytelling. He is an award-winning indepedent entertainment advertiser who has worked with such Hollywood studios as Disney, Marvel Studios, Warner Bros, Lion's Gate Films, Sony Entertainment, Netflix, A24 and many more over the last twenty years. 

 
JAMES CHARISMA | EDITORIAL DIRECTOR

James is editor-in-chief of the award-winning Abstract Magazine, contributing editor for HONOLULU Magazine, and creative director of Charisma Industries, a creative company. He is a regular arts and entertainment contributor for Playboy, VICE, Complex, Collider, Paste, Hi-Fructose, Hyperallergic, Thrillist, and other publications. 

 
BRIAN WATANABE | EDUCATION DIRECTOR

Brian is an award-winning copywriter and creative director of the media agency 26 Keys Creative, a screenwriting instructor at Pacific New Media Outreach College, and has developed scripts for production companies at Fox and Sony. His screenplay, The Rogues Gallery, became the cult film Operation: Endgame, starring Ellen Barkin, Maggie Q, and Zach Galifianakis. 

 
DONNA BLANCHARD | GRANTS DIRECTOR

Donna is the Managing Director of Kumu Kahua Theatre, Consulting Director of The ARTS at Marks Garage and host of Backstage with Donna Blanchard. She's an accomplished nonprofit and for-profit business development professional with more than 20 years experience in business rescue, management and alignment for strong stability and growth. 

 
SUSAN WRIGHT | PUBLIC RELATIONS DIRECTOR

Susan is a publicist with 20 years of experience specializing in the entertainment industry, has directed campaigns for the home media distribution group at Paramount Pictures and studio partners CBS, Comedy Central, DreamWorks Animation, MTV and PBS. 

 

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

 
 
 
 
MERICIA ELMORE

Mericia is the executive director of the SAG-AFTRA Hawai‘i Local and a practicing attorney in the State of Hawai‘i, with decades of experience in the entertainment industry, nonprofits, publishing, and advertising. 

 
MATT HEIM

Matt is the “Chief Operating Brother” of the HONBLUE print family of companies: Electric Pencil, JETGraphics, Zoombis, and Brue Bar. A lifelong entrepreneur, he is a strong supporter of Hawai‘i’s local design and business communities. 

 
JASON SUAPAIA

Jason Suapaia is one of the original founders of the ‘Ohina Short Film Showcase in 1999, and a 22- year veteran of the Hawai‘i video production and advertising industries with experience in producing a variety of digital media content for local, national, and international markets. He is the vice president of creative services for PBS Hawai‘i. 

 
JASON CUTINELLA

Jason Cutinella is the founder and CEO of the award-winning publishing company Nella Media Group. With more than 15 years of experience in media, marketing, and brand development including roles with McCann Erickson Worldwide and Sony Music International, Jason is a visionary who pushes the boundaries of innovation in today’s media market.