The new head of the Kaua’i Film Commission, appointed this week, says she will focus on expanding film productions to include advances in computer technology and digital filmmaking.
Tiffani Lizama, a member of Kaua’i’s business community, moved into her new office at the County Office of Economic Development Tuesday after Mayor Maryanne Kusaka officially appointed her to the film commissioner position.
Lizama takes over the position of Film Commissioner three months after the resignation of former commissioner Judy Drosd, who held the post since 1992.
“We have the best of both worlds here, the tropical locations, ocean scenes and jungle scenes – and we’re very high-tech,” Lizama said.
Lizama said she hopes to continue attracting film work to Kaua’i from a variety of markets, especially in the field of high-tech, computer-powered advances in movie production. Some recent examples include “The Time Machine,” “Dinosaur,” and “Lilo and Stitch,” all computer-heavy productions that used Kaua’i locations.
“Judy has done such an incredible job with bringing all levels of productions,” such as full-length motion pictures, commercials, independent films and promotional advertising, Lizama said.
Sustaining a balance between making filmmakers happy and preserving the community and our lifestyle is an important factor, one she will focus on heavily during her appointment, Lizama said.
“We are so pleased to have Tiffani on board as our new Film Commissioner. Even though her term is a short one under my administration, I am glad to know we have a full-time qualified individual to deal with the many film production inquiries our Office of Economic Development receives, and to secure film opportunities that could bring millions into our local economy,” Kusaka said.
Lizama’s position could potentially end when the new mayoral administration takes over at noon on Dec. 2, but Kusaka said the hiring process was quite thorough and is hopeful that Lizama’s experience in the office by Dec. 2 will make her an asset to the new administration.
“As the new Film Commissioner I hope to be able to bring added economic strength to Kaua’i by working with the film industry,” Lizama said.
In addition to her most recent employment as the development and community relations manager at the Kaua’i Food Bank, Lizama has worked with local and international production companies and has experience in marketing, public relations and business administration. She has lived on the island for 18 years.
The University of Hawai’i’s recent initiative to introduce a degree program in film studies will open up a lot of opportunities for Kauai Community College Students, Lizama said.
Welcoming and showing filmmakers what Kaua’i has to offer is an integral part of Lizama’s position. Her job duties will include assisting producers filming on Kaua’i, promoting the island as a production site and attending commercial film industry events.
The Kauai Film Commission is on the Web at www.kauaifilm.com.
Staff writer Kendyce Manguchei can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 252) and email@example.com