The Hawai‘i Film Office and Maui County Film Office were nominated together in the “Outstanding Film Commission” category for the 9th Annual Locations Managers Guild International-LMGI Awards in Los Angeles on August 27, 2022. The local film offices shared the spotlight with five other prestigious film commission nominees in the nation.
The State and County nomination came from HBO’s “The White Lotus” series. Filmed during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, it was shot under the most difficult conditions in Hawai‘i’s film industry history. The White Lotus, filmed on location within the Four Seasons Maui in Wailea, has since received 20 Emmy Nominations.
The Oklahoma Film & Music Office ultimately won the Outstanding Film Commission award for “Reservation Dogs,” a ground-breaking Hulu series created by New Zealand Maori Taiki Waititi and Oklahoma Seminole Sterling Harjo. The comedy-crime series is the first ever to feature an all-indigenous cast.
“Congratulations to Donne Dawson from the Hawai‘i Film Office and to our own Maui Film Commissioner Tracy Bennett,” said Mayor Michael Victorino. “Filming of ‘The White Lotus’ started before COVID-19 vaccines were available, so it was a difficult decision, but the ‘resort bubble’ concept was the safe way to go.”
“Most people are unaware that Maui County welcomed the state’s first film productions during the pandemic,” Bennett explained. “Mayor Victorino endorsed a hypervigilant approach that allowed many unemployed residents to return to work. It would not have happened without the support of The Four Seasons Maui, its staff and executive leadership. It was a true team effort.”
Maui Film Commissioner Bennett has 20 years of international experience in production for TV shows, commercials and feature film productions. He is a long-time member of AFCI and ICG 600, the International Cinematographers Guild.
The Maui County Film Office provides support for productions on Maui, Molokai and Lāna‘i and works to develop a stronger film and digital media industry as part of Maui County’s efforts to diversify the economy.