Inaugural Lanai Documentary Film Festival slated for February 2016

The first Lanai Documentary Film Festival will take place in February 2016, organizers announced last month.

The theme for the inaugural event will be “Governance for Africa.” Each year, the festival will focus around a new theme that reflects an urgent global issue.

The film festival was established by billionaire Larry Ellison, who since acquiring the majority of Lanai in 2012 has been making efforts to “improve the island’s schools and develop economical green energy, clean water and commercial agriculture,” the announcement said.

The festival will feature short and feature-length documentaries in five categories: women’s rights, education in developing countries, animal welfare, innovation in sustainability and technology accelerates economics.

“The Lanai Documentary Film Festival is turning the traditional film festival model upside down, making it collaborative, resourceful and ongoing,” Audrey Cavenacia, co-creator of the festival, said in a statement. “It’s a vehicle for encouraging global citizens to take action.”

Festival organizers will begin accepting film submissions and select filmmakers for fellowships in 2015. Throughout the year, the festival will follow the progress of the filmmakers through online, social, television and media platforms. The community will be allowed to engage in social dialogue and behind-the-scenes updates as the film is being made.

Awards will be given to films that not only excel in artistic merit but also create and inspire effective change.

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