Important News Update



Aloha mai kakou,                                                                                                                                                                            January 30, 2015


As longtime manager of the Hawai‘i Film Office, I’d like to reach out to our community of still photographers and videographers to clear up some misunderstandings that have come about with changes that our office made to our Annual Permit program and which took effect Jan. 1 of this year.  On behalf of the Hawai‘i Film Office, I apologize for any confusion or frustration that these changes may have caused.  That was not our intention.

We appreciate the suggestions and recommendations that have come to light. We are addressing these concerns and working with our state agencies and online vendor to make changes that will improve the system and allow us to continue to carry out the state’s policies and regulations as they pertain to film permitting.

Given that the Hawai‘i Film Office is the central point of contact for all film permitting activity on public state lands and waters, we are the appropriate agency to dispel some of the misinformation that has continued to circulate.

We’ve included a list of Fact vs. Fiction information to help clear up any misunderstandings.   Additionally listed are some FAQs to help provide further clarity.

We believe that the new Open and Accessible (O/A) ePermit will prove to be an easier, more convenient process and are looking at ways to better serve the smaller, low-impact photography/videography productions.   It is important to note that this new online system will allow you to apply for your O/A locations for multiple two-week durations at one time, so long as your insurance is valid for the duration of the time you are requesting.  The online $10 convenience fee would only be charged once for this type of extended transaction.

After further meetings and review of the insurance requirements with our Risk Management and DLNR agencies,  it has been determined that O/A permit applicants will now have the ability to apply with only the $1M general liability insurance coverage.  DLNR has agreed that the $1M automobile liability will not be required to obtain the O/A permit.  However, if you anticipate needing to shoot at locations other than the Open and Accessible sites (such as certain State Parks [i.e. Makena State Park or Ka Iwi State Scenic Shoreline at Makapu‘u Point Lighthouse Trail], state hiking trails or anything in the water) which require a Standard Film Permit, the $1M automobile liability insurance is still required.

My office is working diligently to make our film permitting system easier and more efficient.   We ask for the industry’s patience as we work through these issues and make the necessary changes.

If you have any questions, please call or email us directly so we can continue to serve as a consistent central source of information for all film permitting on state lands.



Me ka ha‘a ha‘a,

Donne Dawson

Hawai‘i State Film Commissioner