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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.

GET A JOB! Premiers at the Hawaii International Film Festival

Media Release:

“GET A JOB!,” the hilarious, high-spirited motion picture comedy starring Willie K and Eric Gilliom and filmed and produced entirely on Maui, will have its World Premiere at the Hawaii International Film Festival at the Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18 on Saturday, October 16, 7:15pm and again will be shown on Saturday, October 23 at 3:15pm. Tickets are on sale now for both screenings. (Check www.HIFF.org for information on ticket sales.)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0XUuu2KQLc]

“GET A JOB!,” the first of several planned collaborations between Malama Pono Productions and Cicala Filmworks, is written and directed by Maui native Brian Kohne and produced by Stefan Schaefer.

The feature film also stars Oahu’s Carolyn Omine (who now writes for “The Simspons”), and comedian and radio personality Augie T. A who’s who of the top musical talent and personalities in Hawaii today rounds out the cast including Jake Shimabukuro, Henry Kapono Ka’aihue, Amy Hanaiali’i, Kealoha, Charles Ka’upu, Ernie Cruz Jr., Kathy Collins, and Alaka’i Paleka.


It also boasts special appearances by Mick Fleetwood, Willie Nelson, Pat Simmons of the Doobie Brothers, Marty Dread, and many many more. The “GET A JOB” soundtrack includes music by the Barefoot Natives, Don Tiki, Amy Hanaiali’i, the Throwdowns, Willie K, Avi Ronen, Kealoha, and Kristen Grove.

“GET A JOB!” is a contemporary comedy set on Maui. William (Willie K) is a successful employment agent whose own career is jeopardized when, over the course of one week, he repeatedly fails to find work for a 40 something year-old, Merton (Eric Gilliom), a simpleton who surfs everyday in a spot where there are no waves. He needs to “GET A JOB!” William’s problems are compounded tenfold by his longtime bridal shop employee girlfriend, Laura (Carolyn Omine), who wants desperately to be married and chooses this particular week to achieve her goal at all costs.

At week’s end, William finds himself jobless, homeless, car-less, girlfriend-less… but more resolved than ever to make the tough choices needed to find lasting joy, love and fulfillment.

“The time is right for Hawaii to unleash a project of this nature. We have the talent in front of the camera, the experience behind it, “says writer-director Brian Kohne, “and “GET A JOB!” showcases our unique sense of humor in such a way that, I believe, is indeed accessible to mainlanders and internationals alike.

On the surface this homegrown film is an outrageous ride, but beneath it beats the heart of our beautiful people and the daily struggle we face every day to live and work in the islands.”

In its listing of the film on its website, the Hawaii International Film Festival remarks: “Kohne’s play on stereotypes is gut-breaking indeed, but there’s a grander scheme to the madness in “GET A JOB”; It’s the pursuit of the American dream.”