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Brian Kohne

Brian Kohne, a University of Hawaiʻi Maui College associate professor at the Academy for Creative Media (ACM), has been named County of Maui film commissioner. The award-winning music producer and filmmaker, who grew up on Maui, oversees the Maui County film office and works with film, television, new media and industrial media production companies to cultivate Maui County’s film industry. He started on April 1.

“It is an honor to be named Maui’s new film commissioner, and I will continue to lead Academy for Creative Media and serve as an associate professor with UHMC. We are having so much fun these days returning to in-person instruction—it’s a party I do not want to miss,” said Kohne. “In May, we’ll celebrate our 50th graduate, will soon finish renovation of our primary lecture/lab space, and our talented staff is fully established to implement a dynamic four-degree curriculum in the years to come.”

Kohne headshot
Brian Kohne

Kohne has worked in music production with Maui musicians Barefoot Natives and the late Willie K, and he has writing, directing and producing credits for local motion pictures Get a Job and Kuleana. He said his work the past six-years building ACM Maui is the primary reason he took the film office role.

“Our success in establishing media paths from high schools through UHMC and on to four-year degrees or industry has exposed a troublesome fact: Maui still cannot provide predictable, viable paths into the workforce because sustainable industry is lacking. Perhaps the same can be said on other islands,” Kohne said. “After the events of August 2023 on Maui, I am hearing the call to do even more to make a difference in our community and develop the workforce, while also supporting pre-college media education. Island creatives deserve a viable present and future here, at home. We all do. Being a member of our greater UH community is a source of tremendous pride.”

Luana Mahi, the county’s Economic Development Director, praised Kohne and said Maui County’s film, TV and new media industries help diversify Hawaiʻi’s economy.

Mahi said, “Highlighting Maui’s local talent is an important part of our past, present and future, and there is no better person than Maui-raised Brian Kohne to help amplify our voice and our stories in a competitive industry.”

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