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BIFF filmmaking, screenwriting workshops (May 24-28)


The Big Island Film Festival announces the lineup of professional screenwriting and filmmaking workshops during BIFF 2012, May 24-28 at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii and The Shops at Mauna Lani.

Limited space will be available on an advance registration basis for workshops presented Thursday, May 24 by story/career consultant Jen Grisanti and Maui hit filmmaker Brian Kohne at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii Amphitheatre.

Jen Grisanti

Jen Grisanti

A story/career consultant, writing instructor for writers on the verge at NBC, former 12-year studio executive, Jen Grisanti is a blogger for The Huffington Post and author of the new books, Story Line: Finding Gold In Your Life Story and TV Writing Tool Kit: How To Write a Script That Sells.

After starting her career as an assistant to Aaron Spelling in 1992, and with him as her 12-year mentor, Grisanti climbed the ranks to become VP of Current Programs at CBS/Paramount.

Jen Grisanti Consultancy Inc. launched in 2008 as a consulting firm dedicated to helping talented writers break into the industry. Since then, Jen has worked with over four hundred writers working in television, film and novels. Twenty-six of her clients have staffed as writers on TV shows and ten have sold pilots, two that went to series.

Grisanti’s workshop, “How to Write TV Spec & Pilot Scripts” will help screenwriters get ten steps ahead by understanding what producers and executives are looking for in a TV spec and pilot script, including all the story components for telling the one-hour drama and half hour sitcom stories.

Grisanti said, “With experience in staffing over 15 primetime shows, I will reveal secrets from the executive side and guide you to utilize your voice in your story as a way to help your TV spec/pilot scripts rise to the top of the stack.”

Brian Kohne

Brian Kohne

Named as “Person Who Made A Difference in 2011” by the Maui News, Hawaii native Brian Kohne is writer/director/editor/producer of “Get A Job,” an award-winning independent feature comedy starring islanders Willie K, Eric Gilliom, Augie T, Jake Shimabukuro, Henry Kapono, Amy Hanaialii, and Mick Fleetwood.

The movie won “Best of Fest” and “Best Hawaiian Feature” at BIFF 2011, along with numerous honors at festivals in the U.S. and abroad.

A film and art school graduate, and music producer of the “Barefoot Natives,” Kohne boasts a diverse work history which includes sports broadcasting, interactive television, corporate video, concert promotion, and sales/marketing.

He is currently at work on a new independent island feature: “Brother’s Kuleana.”

Kohne’s workshop is titled “From Conception to Completion: Indie Features.”

“Movies were traditionally ‘made’ three times,” Kohne said. “They were written, produced, and edited. But with technological shifts, movement away from theatrical exhibition, and the evolution of distribution models, an independent auteur now ‘makes’ a movie four times. This workshop explores the necessary inter-connectivity, as marketing/distribution has become an integral part of the production process and equally critical to an indie’s success.”

In his interactive “Talk Story” workshop Kohne will use clips from “Get A Job” to structure the presentation and add levity.

“One of my big messages is meant to be nurturing and inspirational,” he said. “If a local knucklehead like me can do it, then you probably can too … or at least become a valued member of a team.”

Workshops cost $50 each. Advance registration is required and participants will be accepted on a first-come first-served basis.

Workshop registration forms are available at

Registration deadline is May 20.

The Big Island “Talk Story” Film Festival is a celebration of narrative filmmaking, Memorial Weekend, May 24-28. Events include free family films under the stars at The Shops at Mauna Lani, daytime movies and nightly double features at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii (self-parking validated), stellar social events, networking opportunities, celebrity receptions, awards and a closing night “Best of the Fest” with a celebrity Hawaiian music concert, silent auction for the Wounded Warrior Project supporting America’s veterans, and the audience-voted Best Feature and Best Short from BIFF 2012.

Major sponsors include The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii, The Shops at Mauna Lani, Hawaii Tourism Authority/Hawaii County CPEP and many others.

For more information and to purchase ticket online, call 883-0394 or visit

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