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Running from 2018 through 2022, the Made in Hawaii Film Festival showcased the best of Hawaii-made independent films over a weekend-long festival at the historic Hilo Palace Theater in downtown Hilo on Hawaii Island, with a "Sneak Peek" preview evening in Kona at the Aloha Theatre.

Though the festival shut its doors in 2023, it still holds true to its mission of spotlighting the cinema being made in and about the Hawaiian islands in an effort to support Hawaii’s independent arts, foster community engagement, and perpetuate the importance of Hawaii's culture on and off the screen.

Meet the Team

Our core team of executives are also filmmakers. Together we create a unique space that not only celebrates Hawai'i on screen, but is built FOR filmmakers, BY filmmakers.

Zoe Eisenberg

 Executive Director

Co-founder and Executive Director Zoe Eisenberg is a Hawaii island-based film and performing arts producer. She has written and produced several award-winning feature, short and documentary films within the state of Hawaii. Most recently, she co-founded the Hilo-based performing arts and talent company Aerial Arts Hawaii. She is passionate about supporting the growing independent film and performance art scene in Hawaii.

Phillips Payson

 Technical Director

Co-founder and Technical Director Phillips is a Hawaii-based filmmaker and film festival coordinator. He has worked with the Hawaii International Film Festival, Chicago International Film Festival, Palm Springs International Film Festival, Seattle International Film Festival, and post-production house Deluxe New York. As the co-founder of Hawaii-based production company Larkin Pictures, Phillips has been making films in Hawaii since 2012. He is currently the Executive Director of the Hilo Palace Theater, MIHFF's beloved home venue.


Vince Keala Lucero,

Head of Development,

Native Hawaiian Programming

Vince Keala Lucero grew up spearfishing and surfing the oceans of West O'ahu. Lucero is the co-founder of production company Co Creative Studios, which produces TV, commercial, and film projects for clients like The Kamehameha Schools, Showtime Networks, Discovery Channel and RedBull. As a camera operator, Lucero's work on PBS series "Family Ingredients: Season 2," was nominated for a Daytime Emmy. As a native Hawaiian filmmaker, Lucero's passion has always been to produce works that positively affect the way people think about their impact on the environment, their communities, and themselves.

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