Maui County is fortunate to have a new film commissioner in Tracy Bennett.
The story that ran in The Maui News on Dec. 1 did well to point out his film industry background and the good work he is already doing for Maui to utilize his experience and solid industry relationships formed over the past 17 years as a production photographer.
What the story didn't highlight is that Maui County is at a critical crossroads in its efforts to take the industry to the next level.
This appointment communicates to the global production community that Maui County is open for business and ready to showcase its diversity and capability to the world. Mayor Alan Arakawa and the selection committee's unanimous decision in favor of Tracy was spot-on. They should be commended for such an outstanding selection.
From the state's standpoint, having a strong film commissioner in place for every county is vitally important. This is especially true for Maui County, which comprises four very different islands. Tracy is keenly aware that Maui Nui is different from Molokai, Lanai and Kahoolawe. The new film commissioner has already made plans to meet with community members representing every island in the county.
Tracy's talent and expertise bring much to the table and will go a long way to strengthen the industry statewide. We are fortunate to have found him and grateful for his willingness to be of service in support of Hawaii's film industry.
State Film Commissioner
Hawaii Film Office/DBEDT