LANAI, Hawaii (July 17, 2014) — The Lanai Documentary Film Festival (Lanai DFF), established by Larry Ellison, today unveiled that “Governance for Africa” will be the theme of its first annual festival, which will take place on the Hawaiian island in February 2016. Each year the festival will choose a new theme focused on an urgent global issue.
The festival will showcase paradigm-shifting, conversation-starting short and feature-length documentaries in five supporting categories: women’s rights, education in developing countries, animal welfare, innovation in sustainability, and technology accelerates economics. Films in the various supporting categories may address issues and stories from anywhere in the world.
The objective is for the films to educate, empower, and inspire individuals and communities to go out into the world and make real change—an attainable goal given Lanai DFF’s unique, year-round festival structure.
“The Lanai Documentary Film Festival is turning the traditional film festival model upside down, making it collaborative, resourceful, and ongoing,” says Audrey Cavenecia, co-creator of the festival. “It’s a vehicle for encouraging global citizens to take action.”
In fact, the Lanai DFF is unlike a standard film festival, where most filmmakers screen their films with the hope of acquiring a distribution deal. Instead, the Lanai DFF plans to build an audience for its films before the festival event, therefore creating a momentous groundswell of support that will cultivate change.
Beginning in 2015, the Lanai DFF will accept film submissions and select filmmakers for fellowships. Throughout the year, the festival will then follow the progress of the filmmakers through online, social, television and media platforms to raise awareness and traction for the films. The Lanai DFF’s website, lanaidff.com, will be a hub of engaging community and social dialogue, behind-the-scenes updates, interviews with influential topical ambassadors, and more.
With audience interest and participation fostered in 2015, only then will the films make their world premieres at the festival event in February 2016—complete with film distribution secured in advance. Awards will be bestowed upon films that not only excel in artistic merit, but also create and inspire effective change.
“By using the festival to educate people about pressing global issues,” Cavenecia says, “we hope to empower people to empower themselves to make an identifiable difference in the world.”
Since 2012, when Mr. Ellison purchased the majority of Lanai, efforts have been under way to improve the island’s schools and develop economical green energy, clean water, and commercial agriculture. Lanai is committed to developing, advancing, and nurturing a compassionate, sustainable future and extends an invitation to the global community to also embark on this journey.
To sign up for updates on the festival, please visit: www.lanaidff.com.