John Sayles named 2014 Inouye Distinguished Chair in Democratic Ideals

Godfather of the independent film movement to speak on importance of storytelling

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Vernadette Gonzalez, (808) 956-5404
Department of American Studies
Posted: Feb 4, 2014

John Sayles (photo by Mary Cybulski)
John Sayles (photo by Mary Cybulski)

John Sayles – known as one of the country’s godfathers of the independent film movement – has been named as the 2014 Dan and Maggie Inouye Distinguished Chair in Democratic Ideals.  He will be giving a free public presentation about the importance of storytelling at 7 p.m. on Friday, February 21, at Orvis Auditorium on the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa campus.

Sayles is an award-winning director, writer, actor and author. He is credited with writing and editing most of his projects, including his latest film, Go For Sisters, and his recent historical novel, A Moment In The Sun. Sayles supports his directing career as a “writer for hire” in Hollywood. His book Thinking In Pictures: The Making Of The Movie Matewan, is still taught in film classes. He wrote and directed several films that have been nominated for Academy Awards, including Lone Star and Passion Fish. Sayles also directed three music videos for Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the USA, I'm on Fire, and Glory Days.

Doors to the February 21 presentation at Orvis Auditorium will open at 6:30 p.m. for the 7 p.m. event. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. On-campus parking is available for $6.

In addition to the public presentation, Sayles will also be in residency at UH Mānoa and will appear at the following events which are open to the public:

Wednesday, February 12 at 3 p.m. – Creative Writing Reading & Discussion (Kuykendall 410, UH Mānoa Campus)

Thursday, February 13 at 4 p.m. – “Amigo” Screening with a Discussion with Filmmaker (Art Auditorium, UH Mānoa Campus)

Sunday, February 16 at 3:30 p.m. – “Amigo” Screening & Panel (Filipino Community Center, Waipahu)

These events are presented in partnership with the UH Mānoa Chancellor’s Office, UH Foundation, and the UH Mānoa Department of American Studies.

For more information, contact Dr. Vernadette Gonazlez at, call (808) 956-5404, or visit

The Dan & Maggie Inouye Distinguished Chair in Democratic Ideals at UH Mānoa engages scholars and public figures dedicated to sharing their knowledge and life experiences. With an emphasis on democratic processes and the importance of public life, the Chair enhances understanding of the unique context of Hawaiʻi, Asia and the Pacific within the traditional positions of power and influence in the U.S.

Note to media: To obtain a photo of John Sayles, email