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Long-Awaited ‘KULEANA’ Opens Today

“KULEANA” is here. PC: BIN

The award-winning film KULEANA began its statewide theatrical release today, Friday, March 30, 2018, at Regal and Consolidated Theaters throughout Hawai‘i.

The film opened the Regal Keauhou Stadium 7 at the Keauhou Shopping Center in Kailua-Kona and the Regal Prince Kuhio 9 in Prince Kuhio Plaza in Hilo.

Big Island Now attended the noon showing at the Regal Prince Kuhio, where 90 of the 100 seats in theater were filled.

Moviegoers enjoyed the film, sharing their comments with Big Island Now—”great,” terrific,” “brilliant,” “it was wonderful,” “loved it,” “it gave me chicken skin.”

Produced entirely in Hawai‘i, KULEANA has received the Audience Choice Award in the Santa Cruz Film Festival, the Maui Film Festival and the San Antonio Film Festival, as well as “Best of Fest” in the Guam International Film Festival.

Boasting high production values in picture, performances and music, KULEANA has earned the faith of mainland theater giants Reading International (Consolidated) and Regal, which will also open the movie in Guam.

“Kuleana” is the Hawaiian word for spiritual responsibility. In KULEANA, set in Hawai‘i in 1971, a disabled Vietnam vet rediscovers the Hawaiian warrior within to protect his family, defend their land, and clear his father’s name.

Kristina Anapau (True Blood, Black Swan), one of the film’s stars and executive producers, is a Hilo-native, now living and working in Hollywood.

The film also stars Moronai Kanekoa, Stefan Schaefer, Sonya Balmores (Marvel’s INHUMANS), Vene Chun, Augie T, Marlene Sai, Branscombe Richmond (CHICAGO MED) and Mel Cabang.

KULEANA was written and directed by Brian Kohne and produced by Stefan Schaefer.

Willie K provides an original score; the soundtrack boasts hit songs by Joni Mitchell, Procol Harum, and Tony Orlando and Dawn, with Hawaiian classics of the era by Genoa Keawe, Lena Machado, Sunday Manoa, Sons of Hawaii, Marlene Sai and more.

REVIEWS

MAUI TIME, Barry Wurst II: “Brian Kohne’s eagerly awaited KULEANA is a film island audiences deserve but might not be expecting… Ambitious and more absorbing than most 2017 films, [Director Brian] Kohne infuses magical realism, social commentary and Hawaiian history into a dense, busy, but coherent narrative… An original blend of Hawai‘’s history, spirituality and culture. Kuleana introduces a unique new film genre: Hawaiian Noir. While the setting may be tropical paradise, it’s set against a shocking and densely plotted mystery that twists and turns like a Raymond Chandler thriller.

THE MAUI NEWS, Rick Chatanever: “This is heady, heartfelt stuff, a vision of Hawai‘i very different from the Hollywood version. While the plot is sometimes convoluted, and the film’s subtleties, including extensive use of Hawaiian language, might not be as resonant elsewhere… KULEANA’s message is universal. It’s a work of powerful emotions, rich imagination, uncommon cultural sensitivity, and performances and production values belying its tiny budget.

The film received an MPAA PG-13 rating, and also holds a spot on popular movie review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.

Keauhou Shopping Center is located at 78-6831 Ali‘i Drive, H-24. Prince Kuhio Plaza is located at 111 E Puainako St., #400.

Mainland residents can sign up to host/attend a screening in their city at www.hawaiicinema.com via Gathr.

For more information, go online.

Pacific Media Group, Big Island Now’s parent company, is a shareholder in the film KULEANA.

Award-Winning ‘Kuleana’ to Open on Big Island March 30

The award-winning film KULEANA will begin its statewide theatrical release on Friday, March 30, at Regal and Consolidated Theaters throughout Hawai‘i.

KULEANA Writer-Director Brian Kohne told Big Island Now that the film will open at the Regal Keauhou Stadium 7 at the Keauhou Shopping Center in Kailua-Kona and the Regal Prince Kuhio 9 in Prince Kuhio Plaza in Hilo.

Produced entirely in Hawai‘i, KULEANA has received the Audience Choice Award in the Santa Cruz Film Festival, the Maui Film Festival and the San Antonio Film Festival, as well as “Best of Fest” in the Guam International Film Festival.

Sonya Balmores and Hilo Native Kristina Anapau at the “Kuleana” world premier at the Maui Film Festival. Courtesy photo.

“Kuleana” is the Hawaiian word for spiritual responsibility. In KULEANA, set in Hawai‘i in 1971, a disabled Vietnam vet rediscovers the Hawaiian warrior within to protect his family, defend their land, and clear his father’s name.

Kristina Anapau (True Blood, Black Swan), one of the film’s stars and executive producers, is a Hilo-native, now living and working in Hollywood.

The film also stars Moronai Kanekoa, Stefan Schaefer, Sonya Balmores (Marvel’s INHUMANS), Vene Chun, Augie T, Marlene Sai, Branscombe Richmond (CHICAGO MED) and Mel Cabang.

The film was produced by Stefan Schaefer.

Willie K provides an original score; the soundtrack boasts hit songs by Joni Mitchell, Procol Harum, and Tony Orlando and Dawn, with Hawaiian classics of the era by Genoa Keawe, Lena Machado, Sunday Manoa, Sons of Hawaii, Marlene Sai and more.

The film received an MPAA PG-13 rating, and also holds a spot on popular movie review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.

Boasting high production values in picture, performances and music, KULEANA has earned the faith of mainland theater giants Reading International (Consolidated) and Regal, which will also open the movie in Guam.

KULEANA opens on O‘ahu in the Consolidated Theaters at Pearlridge, Kapolei, and also Kahala Mall, where a question-and-answer session with Writer-Director Brian Kohne and star Moronai Kanekoa will follow the March 30, 7:30 p.m. opening night screening, with another question-and-answer following the March 31, 7:30 p.m. screening with other members of the cast participating.

The film also opens in the Regal Maui Mall in Kahului and Wharf Cinema Center in Lahaina.

Kukui Grove Cinema is a likelihood on Kauai, and Mainland residents can sign up to host/attend a screening in their city at www.hawaiicinema.com via Gathr.

Keauhou Shopping Center is located at 78-6831 Ali‘i Drive, H-24.
Prince Kuhio Plaza is located at 111 E Puainako St., #400.
For more information, go online.

Hilo Native Stars in ‘Kuleana’ at HIFF

Kealani Warner and Kristina Anapau star in “Kuleana.” Courtesy photo.

Kuleana, directed by Brian Kohne, is the opening-night movie at the Hawaii International Film Festival kick-off in Hilo on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017, at 7 p.m. at the Palace Theater.

Kristina Anapau (True Blood, Black Swan), one of the film’s stars and executive producers, is a Hilo-native, now living and working in Hollywood.

The film also stars Stefan Schaefer, Sonya Balmores, Vene Chun and Branscombe Richmond.

“Kuleana” is the Hawaiian word for spiritual responsibility. In 1971, few understood the concept of kuleana, as the Hawaiian Renaissance, a reawakening of island culture, had yet to begin and ancient customs and values teetered on the precipice of extinction.

In Kuleana, which takes place on Maui, childhood friends Nohea and Kim share a common nemesis: Kim’s father, Victor Coyle, a real-estate developer who blatantly exploits the land and the people he has managed to usurp and control. Ancestral spirits and modern day warriors also contribute to the fight as Nohea and Kim learn the most important lesson: kuleana is not a burden; it is a privilege.

Burt Sakata and Hawai‘i State Film Commissioner Donne Dawson. Courtesy photo.

Burt Sakata is the production designer for Kuleana and Get a Job, the previous feature comedy from Writer-Director Kohne and Producer Stefan Schaefer.

He will attend the Big Island premiere, introduce the movie and be on-hand for a Q&A sessions after the screening.

Sakata is also a member of the Protect Kaho‘olawe ‘Ohana since the 1970s. He served as an island commissioner through the 10 years clean-up through 2004.

HIFF will be held from Nov. 16 through 19. As the vanguard forum of international cinematic achievement in the Asia-Pacific region, HIFF endeavors to recognize new and emerging talent, promote career development and original collaborations through innovative education programs, and facilitate dynamic cultural exchange through the cinema arts.

The Palace Theater is proud to be a part of the Hawaii International Film Festival with 10 full-length films and nine shorts to offer this year, including Kuleana.

Sonya Balmores and Kristina Anapau at the “Kuleana” world premier at the Maui Film Festival. Courtesy photo.

TICKETS: $8 General; $7 Seniors & Students. Purchase a HIFF PASS for $35 and see ALL HIFF films. Tickets can be purchased at the Palace Theater box office or over the phone with a credit card at (808) 934-7010, Monday through Friday, between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Kealani Warner and Big Island native Kristina Anapau at the O‘ahu Premier of Kuleana at the Hawaii International Film Festival. Courtesy photo.

Burt Sakata and Hawai‘i State Film Commissioner Donne Dawson (also a member of Protect Kaho‘olawe ‘Ohana) at the O‘ahu Premier of Kuleana at the Hawaii International Film Festival. Courtesy photo.

The theater is located at 38 Haili St.

Aloha From Lavaland Documentary Debuts Online

Courtesy image

Hawaiian anthropological documentary Aloha From Lavaland is scheduled to be released on Amazon and iTunes on Nov. 15, 2017. The film follows the aftermath of the 2014 eruption of Hawai‘i’s Kilauea volcano, which sent a flow of lava directly toward the center of Pahoa, a small rural town on Hawai‘i Island.

Hard to predict and impossible to stop, the flow threatened to cut off the town’s only access road, leaving the residents of this remote community to rely heavily on one another as they prepare for possible isolation.

Produced in conjunction with Gift Culture Media, Larkin Pictures and Pure Mother Love, this 55 minute documentary explores an inner community perspective of the lava flow, following residents as they ask and answer important questions about community, sustainability, harmony, and what it really means to live in such an unpredictable paradise.

In addition to street interviews and news coverage, the documentary follows a local Hawaiian kumu (healer), a sustainability expert and the leader of a sovereign Hawaiian community over a period of seven months as they attempt to prepare for the unpreparable.

“Puna is unlike any place I’ve ever lived,” says co-director Suzenne Seradwyn, who has created films in Los Angeles, New Mexico and Hawai‘i. “The people here have different values because of the natural elements at play and the rich cultural history surrounding those elements. There is a very important message to share about what happens when you allow yourself to trust these elements.”

“This film is important for anyone living in a state of change, whether it be due to external elements or an internal shift,” says the film’s co-director, Phillips Payson. “Part of what this film explores is how one’s attitude toward change can make all the difference.” Before moving to the Big Island, Payson worked in the film industry in New York and Los Angeles. This is his fourth film.

Aloha from Lavaland premiered at the Hawai‘i International Film Festival and has won three awards including Best Hawai‘i Film at the Honolulu Film Awards.

To view the Aloha from Lavaland trailer, click here. You can also learn more about the film online.