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Mayor Mufi Hannemann will attend the 14th annual Critic’s Choice Awards in Santa Monica, Ca., tomorrow to help draw attention to Honolulu’s role in the film and visitor industries.

The event draws international media attention, and its opening and closing receptions will have distinctly Honolulu and Hawaii themes, thanks to the city’s participation as a sponsor.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to attract film projects to Honolulu, which in turn provide some of the best advertising available anywhere,” Hannemann said. “One of our goals is to keep our home visible to a wide audience as travelers become increasingly selective about their destination choices.”

The awards show honors the best year’s films, as nominated by the Broadcast Critics Association, and attracts the best in the business and the brightest stars. It will be televised live on January 8 on VH1.

Shortly after Hurricane Katrina, the Critic's Choice Awards departed from the normal awards show decor and themed the event around New Orleans to bring attention to the locale and its film industry. “The sponsorship was a great success,” said event producer Ken Rose.  “Mayor Ray Nagin was thrilled with the reach and visibility the event achieved.”

Honolulu hopes for similar exposure. Event organizers and leaders in the visitor and film industry approached the city to participate “to maximize the outreach and raise the whole imprimatur of the messaging,” said Honolulu Film Commissioner Walea Constantinau. “The film industry has traditionally weathered economic storms very well and is generally thought to be recession-proof.  Indicators in our current climate still support this thought – as recently as this week there was another article in the New York Times that touted the industry’s resilience.”

The city’s involvement and mayor’s participation were key to securing the opportunity to create a Hawaii ambiance and allure, she said.

The city is contributing $10,000 as an event sponsor. In addition to helping create a Hawaiian sense of place in Santa Monica (thanks to the Universal Studios prop department), the city will be included in the event press materials and on-site interviews, and Mayor Hannemann will be a presenter at the closing reception.

Mayor Hannemann will depart this evening and will return on Friday morning.


Media contact: Bill Brennan, Mayor’s Office, 527-6928