Maui Business

TechOhana to feature writer and director of Kuleana

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Brian Kohne, Writer, Director & Music Producer will speak at the April 13 Maui TechOhana

The writer and director of the movies “Kuleana – Maui” and “Get a Job” will be the guest speaker at the next virtual Maui TechOhana on April 13.

Hawaiʻi’s Brian Kohne is also an award-winning music producer (Barefoot Natives, Willie K). He will ‘talk story’ at the virtual meeting, presented by Maui Economic Development Board, with support of the County of Maui.

“I’m hoping attendees gain a greater sense of our interconnected industries, the arts, media, and motion pictures,” shared Kohne. “That in order to build a thriving, sustainable industry here on Maui, that we must place an equal emphasis on Infrastructure, Workforce Development, and Education.”

An Art and Radio/TV/Film graduate of San Jose State, Kohne returned to Maui in ’05 from Silicon Valley having excelled as a national director of sales and marketing, in corporate video production, sports broadcasting, and as senior user interface architect for an interactive television corporation.  Kohne is principal of Hawaiʻi Cinema Inc., and director of the Academy for Creative Media at the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College.

“I’ll illuminate a few projects we were able to successfully complete here, and how the state tax incentives were essential as was the support of our local community,” Kohne added. “I’ll also share of the Academy for Creative, a media school I’ve built in recent years that is beginning to thrive. We offer degrees in Creative Media, Filmmaking, Graphic Design, and soon, Animation. Island creatives no longer need to leave the island to receive high level educational opportunities in media.”

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Speaking about opportunities on Maui, Kohne said, “Productions from outside Hawaiʻi will come and go, and once the pandemic is no longer a major, governing issue, producers and studios will return to business as usual in chasing the ripest tax/financial incentives in determining where they will spend their time and money. So, we must continue to invest resources to support and grow an industry from within. It is not enough to provide crew, Hawaiʻi residents must originate viable productions in order to truly enjoy the benefits of the arts, media, and motion picture industries.”

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Supported by the County of Maui, Maui TechOhana includes informal networking opportunities. The meeting will be virtual and will take advantage of breakout rooms to encourage information sharing and social interaction amongst the participants.

“Technology as a tool for creating and promoting Culture and the Arts can be a key ally in the preservation and evolution of Hawaiian values and culture as evidenced by the work of Brian Kohne,” said Frank De Rego, Jr., Director of Business Development Projects for MEDB. “We welcome Brian to Maui TechOhana as he shares with us his unique experiences in film and music along with his efforts to build the creative industries sector of our local economy.”

Maui TechOhana is on April 13, 5 to 6:30 p.m. online via Zoom. Registration is necessary and space is limited. Details and RSVP at www.mauitechohana.com.

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