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.

 

FREE: Avocado Festival 2010

Wordless Wednesday – State Van

van