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Creative Lab Hawaii (CLH), founded by the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism’s (DBEDT) Creative Industries Division (CID), will host an Indigenous Storytellers Panel and Discussion on Saturday, November 16, 2019. Coinciding with an intensive CLH Weekend Ideation Program for Indigenous Storytellers, the free public panel will be held at Hawaii Pacific University and will offer insights from the program’s esteemed coaches. The timing of the panel further aligns with a number of other creative and media related development events happening in the state this November.

“It’s an exciting time for indigenous creative content. The Ideation Weekend will allow more local talent to develop compelling stories and explore the growing opportunities to reach new audiences across multiple platforms—from streaming media and videogames, to virtual reality and beyond,” said Mike McCartney, director of DBEDT.

Emerging indigenous writers, media creatives, oral history practitioners and spoken word artists, as well as non-indigenous storytellers who are working on indigenous stories and seeking partners in indigenous communities, are encouraged to attend the public discussion. Panelists will include:

Princess Saazhraii Johnson – Neets`aii Gwich`in; Producer, Actor, Writer, Director; Creative Producer “Molly of Denali” (PBS)
Jason Suapaia – Native Hawaiian; Executive, Producer, Consultant; Co-Founder of `Ohina; Content producer for ABC, HBO, NatGeo, PBS, Revolution
Micah Ian War Dog Wright – Muscogee (Creek) Nation; Executive, Writer, Director; Video Game/VR Designer for “Call of Duty,” “Transformers,” “Looney Tunes,” and “The Blu”

Designed to help emerging storytellers find a pathway for developing their stories for global media platforms, while retaining the integrity of their distinct voices, the CLH Indigenous Storytellers Panel and Discussion will start at 6:00 p.m. at 1 Aloha Tower Drive. Participants are encouraged to register their attendance at:

“There are tremendous indigenous stories and storytellers just waiting to be heard, and in an exciting first for Hawai‘i, we are seeing more and more leading organizations across our local creative economy offering storytellers a chance to develop their work both pre-and-post the Hawaii International Film Festival,” said Georja Skinner, chief officer, Creative Industries Division and founder of CLH. “Given an opportunity to develop their concept and a strategy to navigate the entertainment industry, these creatives can better bring their vision to the marketplace while vitally upholding the essence of what makes these narratives so unique.”

CLH was founded in 2012 to develop an ecosystem to increase export, attract investment and build the state’s creative entrepreneurial capacity. Its Ideation Workshops are designed for entrepreneurs in early stage project development with the goal of building the pre-requisite requirements for CLH Immersive programs or other relevant accelerators.

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