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About Us

As Hawaiʻi’s film school, The School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) is at the forefront of cinematic arts in the Pacific. Located in Honolulu at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, SCA is dedicated to academic and creative excellence through its Bachelor of Arts degree designed to encourage innovation and collaboration with emphasis on Hawaiʻi, the Pacific, and Asia. Focused in the heart of a state with a robust film and television industry, SCA encourages professional development, mentorship, and community engagement through a variety of programs including internships, master classes, and industry screenings such as the Hawaiʻi International Film Festival.


SCA nurtures and empowers students to develop their own unique voices as storytellers, exploring creative media forms rooted in personal experience and place-based learning through animation, critical studies, digital cinema, and screenwriting.


Driven by a boundless curiosity, SCA students collaborate and support each other in their creative endeavors and conduct themselves in a respectful and professional manner. SCA students create stories for the screen rooted in diversity and personal identity. These films offer windows into their communities, cultures, beliefs and experiences. Whether on set or in the classroom, SCA students embody the values and ethics of emerging artists and scholars who aspire to educate, challenge, and entertain audiences through their work.

SCA offers a core curriculum in three tracks: Cinematic Arts, Animation, and Digital Cinema.

Faculty / Staff

Click the filter buttons below to find the specialties of each faculty. Click the faculty photo to read their bio and see their work.

Christine Acham

Professor / Department Chair

Christine Acham received her Ph.D. in Critical Studies from the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. She is currently the Chair of the Academy for Creative…

Portrait Of Lisette Flanary

Lisette Flanary


As an independent filmmaker and a hula dancer, Lisette Marie Flanary creates documentary films that celebrate a modern renaissance of the hula dance and Hawaiian culture. She is the writer,…

Jun seo Hahm

Assistant Professor

Jun seo Hahm is an animation director and digital artist born in Korea. He started his artistic practice as a filmmaker working in experimental animation, and now has extended his…

Vilsoni Hereniko


Vilsoni Hereniko's research, teaching, and creative work explore issues related to climate change, indigenous storytelling, art and cultural identity, and the politics of representation in all kinds of media. He…

Jason Leigh

Professor / Director of LAVA

Jason Leigh is the Director of LAVA: the Laboratory for Advanced Visualization & applications, Co-Director of the Hawaii Data Science Institute, Director of Create(x) at University of  Hawaii at West…

Laura Margulies

Assistant Professor

Laura Margulies has been creating hand painted animated films and commissioned work for 30 years. Her work combines motion, color, texture, live action, rhythm and sound to create award winning,…

Anne Misawa

Associate Professor

Anne Misawa has worked internationally in various aspects of film production, with work in both film and TV since 1997.  She was largely raised in Hawaiʻi and has studied filmmaking…

Joel Moffett

Associate Professor

Joel Moffett was raised on the island of Maui where he graduated high school from Seabury Hall. He holds an MFA in Film Directing from the American Film Institute and…

Marc Moody


Marc moved to Los Angeles after graduating from the University of Arkansas, where his screenplay A Song for the Night climbed through the story department at ABC Motion Pictures. ABC…

Jim Parente

Assistant Professor

James Parente received his MFA in Computer Art from Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia. He has worked as a visual effects artist on both live action &…

Scott Schimmel

Associate Professor

Scott received his MFA in Documentary Film from Wake Forest University in 2017 and joined the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa that same year. He spent his first 4 years…

Florina Titz

Assistant Professor

Florina Titz is a filmmaker from Romania. Her film work has screened at Cannes, South by Southwest, South by Southwest, Berlin Music Video Awards, Napoli Film Fest, Sarajevo Fashion European…

George Wang


George Wang is Professor of Creative Media at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa. Recipient of a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award hosted by The University of Hong Kong (2014-15), George…

Wimal Dissanayake

Affiliated Faculty

Wimal Dissanayake is one of the leading scholars of Asian cinema and Asian communication theory. He has also been awarded an honorary D.Litt. for his scholarly work. He has written…

Brett Service

Academic Advisor / Educational Specialist / Lecturer

Brett Service is an advisor and lecturer in the Academy for Creative Media. He received his MA from the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts. He previously worked…

Tiffany Taira

Media Center Director / Educational Specialist / Lecturer

Tiffany Taira was born and raised in Lahaina, Maui. She works as a Director of Photography and Editor in all forms of production from narrative, documentary and music videos. She…

Three degree tracks offered: Cinematic Arts, Animation and Digital Cinema
Over 50 classes offered
Student Films Created Last Semester

Academic Tracks

SCA offers a core curriculum in three tracks: Cinematic Arts, Animation and Digital Cinema.

film tracks

Cinematic Arts

Cinematic Arts is the central track for SCA majors providing a strong foundation in cinema history, culture, storytelling, and cinematic production. This track provides students the flexibility to focus on areas such as producing, screenwriting, documentary, media studies, as well as the focused study and extended practice in the student’s chosen area of competence. Track requirements are interdisciplinary and allow for a broader understanding of cinema as an art, mode of storytelling, business, and cultural product.


The SCA Animation track focuses on storytelling through the art of animation. Students explore traditional, experimental, and computer animation techniques to best tell their personal and unique stories from Hawaiʻi, the Pacific, and all corners of the globe. Students gain a well-rounded understanding of the various roles, skills, and techniques used in the animation industry, enabling them to perform each task themselves when making an independent film, or recognizing areas of interest in which they want to specialize. Admission to the animation track is based on the submission of an artist’s portfolio.

Digital Cinema

Students in the Digital Cinema track focus on all aspects of filmmaking: screenwriting, directing, producing, cinematography, editing, and post-production sound. The program promotes diverse storytelling through the production of narrative, experimental, documentary, and indigenous short films. Production courses are taught using industry-standard film equipment, which allows students to gain an understanding of the technical aspects of filmmaking while using current technology. This track fosters a collaborative and professional environment for learning. Admission to the digital cinema track is based on the submission of an artist’s portfolio

Student Info

Visit our Student Info page to learn more about Tracks, Portfolio Requirements, Equipment Requirements, etc.

Contact Us

Click the map below to navigate to Crawford Hall

    Crawford 210
    2550 Campus Road
    Honolulu, HI 96822

    (808) 956-5660

    (808) 956-6662


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