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    One woman is working to better her Hawaiian homelands and the girls who aspire to be creating work on the big screen. Read about Vera Zambonelli and her work towards a better tomorrow for Hawai'i and women as a whole below!

Vera Zambonelli

by Leilani Wetherell - High School - from Livermore, California in United States

In Hawaiʻi, we have a strong history of women behind the camera, including Native Hawaiians and women of color....Most of them had never told their stories before. And their accomplishments are great. We need to research, record, and disseminate this knowledge to counter the ways that academic and cultural histories regularly neglect women’s authorship and work in film and in the arts in general - Vera Zambonelli

Vera Zambonelli has made major waves for women in media. A Honolulu native, Vera works to cater her work towards the Hawaiian culture and equality amongst genders in the space, as well as the importance of inclusion and diversity. 

She has accrued multiple credits from her startup production in 2017 of Reel Wahine of Hawai'i, that documents the journey of a woman in the fight for equality as filmed from all-women crews. Zambonelli acknowledges the great work Hawaiian women have created and aims to bring it to light all across the world, saying, “In Hawaiʻi, we have a strong history of women behind the camera, including Native Hawaiians and women of color ... Most of them had never told their stories before. And their accomplishments are great. We need to research, record, and disseminate this knowledge to counter the ways that academic and cultural histories regularly neglect women’s authorship and work in film and in the arts in general."

Vera and her team on Reel Wahine make extraordinary strides in providing women with more careers in the film industry, as well as progressing with with several new films in the works, adding to their manifesto of exquisite documentaries which touch on the Hawaiian culture and the beauty behind it.

In addition, Zambonelli holds two master's degrees (Japanese and Political Science) as well as a PhD in Urban Planning, showing there are no limits to what she or any woman can do. Founding the feminist nonprofit Hawai'i Women in Filmmaking, Vera aims to raise awareness and provide education to young girls on all things film through classes, summer camps, and many other filmmaking programs. She has also expanded her teaching to Hawai'i based colleges: UH Manoa and West Oahu. 

When not working to better the film industry and breaking bounds on gender inequality, Vera can be found thinking and corroborating artistic and inventive ways to secure a positive future for the Hawaiian islands as part of the Creative Resurgence Collective. 

Vera Zambonelli is truly a name to remember in the journey women and young girls are taking to make our voices heard in the industry. She showcases the power of an educated woman and just how important it is to keep the fight going to reach equality of genders, races, and cultures. 

Page created on 3/22/2021 12:22:54 AM

Last edited 3/22/2021 5:39:54 AM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Related Links

Reel Wahine of Hawai'i - A film series that aims to bring awareness and showcase the issues on gender inequality in the film industry.
Hawai'i Women in Filmmaking - Nonprofit organization dedicated to to reaching gender equality and provide an open space for girls and women to create.

Bibliography

, . Vera Zambonelli, Phd. [Online] Available https://www.womensmediacenter.com/shesource/expert/vera-zambonelli-phd-1.

, . Hawaii Women in Filmmaking. [Online] Available https://www.hawaiiwomeninfilmmaking.org/.

, Hawai'i Women in Filmmaking. Reel Wahine of Hawaii. [Online] Available https://www.reelwahineofhawaii.org/.2020.

 

Author Info

Hi! My name is Leilani Wetherell. I am 18 years old and a dual-enrolled senior in high school. My passion lies within the arts, moreso film, painting, and writing. My dream is to go on to write and direct films, maybe even star in them. When I'm not writing screenplays, I am always looking for a way to get involved in my community. As a member of the Rotary Vietnam Project and Shooting Stars Club, a former cheerleader, and a volunteer at my local senior citizen residence home, I am always looking for ways to make a change. I have started my own project called Clothing for a Cause, which sells gently-used clothing, in exchange for proceeds that go to a charity of the buyer's choice. We have donated to Planned Parenthood, the Human Society, the Red Cross, Black Lives Matter Foundation, and many more. Those who are working to also conduct change and address social issues inspire me on a daily basis, and help me to learn of more ways to get involved. I want to spread the word on how to make change, and aim to do so by showcasing some of the fantastic people I look up to here on MY HERO.