Film and Video Center Program Manager at Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian
Melissa Bisagni is the Media Initiatives Program Manager in the Department of Museum Learning and Programs at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), in Washington, DC. She is the Festival Director for the DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival and serves as the Board Chair of the DC Shorts Film Festival.
Founder and Director of the Academy for Creative Media System at University of Hawai’i
Chris Lee is a motion picture and television producer, the first Asian American to run production at a Hollywood studio as the President of Production at TriStar Pictures and Columbia Pictures, and the Founder and Director of the University of Hawai‘i Academy for Creative Media System, which supports media programs on all ten campuses and is dedicated to diversifying our economy.
Senior Manager for the Indigenous Program at Sundance Institute
As Senior Manager for Sundance Institute’s Indigenous Program, Ianeta’s focus is to identify and support emerging Indigenous filmmakers and their stories from across the U.S. and globally. She manages the implementation of all Labs, Fellowships, and Intensives, as well as facilitates outreach and engagement efforts. Raised in Waialua, Hawai’i, she previously worked at Pacific Islanders in Communications, managing non-fiction programs and content for public broadcast. Ianeta is a graduate of Brigham Young University (BYU) with a degree in Sociology, minor in communications, and received a Master of Public Administration degree from the BYU Marriott School of Management.
SHORT FILM CATEGORY
Actor (X2, THE SCORPION KING, THE HAUMANA)
Born in Honolulu. Kelly Hu catapulted into the spotlight in 1985 when she was crowned Miss Teen USA becoming the first Asian American to win the title. Kelly would fulfill her wish to become an actress and has worked in film and tv ever since in such major motion pictures like THE SCORPION KING (opposite Dwayne Johnson), X2: X-MEN UNITED and CRADLE TO THE GRAVE, battling Jet Li. Kelly’s latest venture is her socially conscious apparel line called ’33 Edge,’ (33edge.com). Inspired by the division and riots she witnessed during the recent quarantine, she launched a t-shirt line which encourages unity, diversity and humanity.
Senior Producer-Director for Jubilee Media, THE MOON AND THE NIGHT (HIFF38 Award Winner)
Raised in the small town of Kahaluʻu on Oʻahu, Native Hawaiian filmmaker Erin Lau fell in love with film while videotaping concerts & public access TV commercials for her father’s Hawaiian music non-profit. After graduating from the University of Hawaii, Erin started her career, working as a videographer and editor for a Native Hawaiian production company, ʻŌiwi TV. She later moved to LA after receiving a full-ride merit scholarship from Chapman University, where she completed her MFA in Directing. During her education, she was selected as a Sundance Native Lab fellow for her film The Moon and The Night. As a result of the film’s success, Erin signed with UTA and LINK Entertainment. She then shifted her attention to episodic content and participated in Powderkeg’s Break The Room writers’ room for the Quibi show Last Resort. Most recently, she was shortlisted for the 2020 HBO Directors program and accepted into the Sundance Indigenous Intensive presented by WarnerMedia. Now, by day, Erin works as a Senior Producer-Director for digital media company, Jubilee Media, creating content that has garnered millions of views. By night, she is developing projects inspired by her family, heritage, and the socioeconomic issues that plague Pacific Islander communities.
Writer-Director, MOLOKAI BOUND (HIFF39 Made in Hawai‘i Award Winner), MAUKA TO MAKAI, Best Live Action Short, imagiNATIVE
Alika Maikau is a working filmmaker based out of Honolulu, Hawai’i. In 2017 he earned a mentorship under Joe Robert Cole (Black Panther), who oversaw the development of what would become his next short, Mauka To Makai, which premiered at the end of 2018 and was awarded Best Made In Hawai’i Short at the Hawai’i International Film Festival. Filmmaker Magazine published an article in 2019 entitled Made Visible, where they went on to say about Mauka “Bringing to the screen a world little seen even in Hawaiian films, it wove a universal tale of economic struggle and longtime friendship into a proudly local, indigenous setting.” Alika followed up Mauka with Moloka’i Bound, which premiered at ImagineNative 2019 and won the award for “Best Short Work,” granting them Oscar Consideration for the 2021 Academy Awards.