National PBS Documentary Features Local Efforts to Perpetuate Hawaiian Language

What does it take to save a language? Poet Bob Holman travels across the globe to uncover answers – including a stop in Hawaii to feature ongoing efforts to perpetuate our native language. Language Matters with Bob Holman makes its Hawaii broadcast premiere Thursday, March 19 at 8:00 p.m. on PBS Hawaii. language matters

Filmed around the world, the two-hour documentary features Hawaii in the third of three acts. Among those featured: Puakea Nogelmeier (pictured in attached photo with Holman), Pele Harman (pictured in attached photo with students from Ke Kula O Nāwahīokalani‘ōpu‘u), Kauanoe Kamana, Larry Kimura, Kepa Maly, W.S. Merwin, Lolena Nicholas, Keali‘i Reichel and Kau‘i Sai-Dudoit.

Holman makes two other global stops:

  • In Australia, Holman visits Charlie Mangulda, an Aboriginal songman (poet), who is the only person left on the planet who speaks Amurdak. With linguist Nick Evans, Holman also flies to Goulburn Island off the coast of Northern Australia, where he meets a community of 400 people speaking ten languages, many endangered, all vulnerable.
  • In Wales, Holman explores the humor, rage and lyricism of the Welsh people, who brought their language back from the edge of extinction. Currently, three million people live in Wales and speak the native language.

Language Matters with Bob Holman is a co-production of David Grubin Productions Inc. and Pacific Islanders in Communications. For more information, visit the film’s website:

All-Star Ensemble Cast for New Hawaii’i-Based Film: “The Fishing Club”

Zippo Film Productions announced that it will begin production of a new made-in-Hawai‘i narrative festival film, led by award-winning director David Rosen and starring an ensemble cast of Hawaii’s top talent including KITV4 Sports Director Robert Kekaula and musical artist and kumu hula Keali‘i Reichel.  Filming is scheduled to begin in May on Oahu, with a world premier planned for later this year, and film festival tour to follow.

Keali'i Reichel and Robert Kekaula

Keali’i Reichel and Robert Kekaula

In “The Fishing Club” a group of longtime fishing buddies hatch a plan to save their favorite fishing spot from development.  When outside forces come into play, events start to spin out of control and the Fishing Club’s members have to question not only their plans, but their own, and each other’s, personal motives and kuleana.

One of Hawaii’s premier directors, Rosen (Shooters Film Production) is known for his visual storytelling style which has helped create successful marketing campaigns and garnered numerous local and national awards, including Hawaii’s 2010 Advertising Man of the Year.  With him, Shooters Executive Producer Darrin Kaneshiro brings key organizational skills and 20 years of production storytelling to the quality film project.

In addition to Kekaula and Reichel, the cast includes veteran actor Allan Okubo, who began his career in “Magnum P.I.” and appeared recently in “You May Not Kiss the Bride.”  Fellow “Bride” actor Theo Coumbis has also played roles in iconic TV series from “Fantasy Island” to “Lost” and “Hawaii Five-0.”  And, musical theatre actress-singer Mary Gutzi performed in “Les Miserables” and “CATS” in New York, and most recently, the television military drama “Last Resort.”

A serious story with a sense of humor, “The Fishing Club” is based on short fiction written by Hawai‘i Island author Catherine Tarleton in the 1990’s, though its themes, and its questions, are alive and well today.  Executive Producer Dana Hankins of Redhead Productions selected the story from entries written for the Honolulu Magazine Fiction Contest , as with previous short films, “The Lemon Tree Billiards House” with Ray Bumatai, “Dancing with the Long Bone” (Henry Kapono and Karen Keawehawaii), and “True Love and Mimosa Tea” (Tamlyn Tomita and Elizabeth Lindsey).  Hankins also produced the award-winning short film “Chief,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

For more information, follow The Fishing Club Movie on Facebook or visit

The Fishing Club



Best Dressed Award at the Na Hoku Hanohano Awards Goes to… Kainani Kahaunaele

The 34th Annual Na Hoku Hanohano Awards was last week and folks from throughout the Hawaii Islands came out in their best outfits.  While Sig Zane Designs was popular among many folks in attendance there was this one dress that kept catching my attention and that was the dress that was worn by Kainani Kahaunaele.

Kainani Kahaunaele

Kainani smiles for the press outside the Hawaii Convention Center Main Ballroom

The previous day Kainani was one of the speakers on a panel at the Hawaii Convention Center that was conducted completely in Hawaiian called “Ma La Olelo Hawaii” (Thinking in and writing from a Hawaiian perspective)

Haku Mele

Haku Mele Breakout panel conducted in Hawaiian. From Left - Kamaka Fernandez, Kainani Kahaunaele, Anuenue Punua and Larry Kimura

Kainani won two Na Hoku Hanohano Awards that evening one for the “Haku Mele” Award and the other for Hawaiian Language Performance of the year.

Kainani Kahaunaele

Winning two Na Hoku Hanohano Awards

I was totally fascinated by her dress and had seen nothing like it before so when she was on the awards platform the media got to ask her questions and the only thing I could think of at the time was where did she get that dress.  So I asked… “Kainani, can you tell us about that dress?”

Kainani Kahaunaele

Kainani answering questions from the press

Kainani replied that it was a Hawaiian Kapa Cloth design by her cousin artist/practitioner/farmer/kumu hula/fashion designer Micah Kamohoali’i.

Micah Kamohoali’i

Micah Kamohoali’i and a kapa print similar to Kainani's Dress

After the awards I wanted to know more information about the dress so I asked her on facebook for more information about the dress and found out the name given to the ONE OF A KIND dress was “Kaiʻihilena“.

Dezigns by Kamohoaliʻi share foundational values of Hawaiian culture to its audience through art and design. Created by Micah Kamohoaliʻi, this line of clothing strives to educate in the ways of Hawaiian designs, metaphoric imagery, cultural significance with strong symbolisms and interpretations.

Dezigns by Kamohoaliʻi encompass all of Hawaiʻiʻs natural environments and honor the excellence and brilliance of the Hawaiian race. Micahʻs passion for art and design led him to produce a line of Kīkepa, and his passion for Kapa led him into fashion. While merging these two elements the birthing of this company was formed. We honor the breath of life from our Kupuna and perpetuate our culture through the designs we wear on our clothing. Releasing in the winter of 2011 get ready to lose yourself in the layered sheets of Kapa. Stay tuned!

“He liʻi i ka ʻohe kāpala a he nui i ke kiʻi”
A little bamboo stamp can make a big picture

I was happy to see Kainani winning a couple Na Hoku Hanohano awards this year, but what is even more cool is that she is a Big Island wahine that is really kind and giving to everyone that she meets.  It was great to catch her in the workshops and if you ever have a chance to see her perform… I highly suggest it.  I’m glad I got to catch her in a few workshops!

Haku Mele Panel

HARA Board Member Keola Donaghy announces the panel from left to right: Moon Kaukahi, Kainani Kahaunaele, Puakea Nogelmeier and Keali'i Reichel

You can learn more about Kainani and her music at her website: Kainani Kahaunaele

Waikoloa Entertainment and KWXX-FM Present Hawai’i’s Very Own Best Selling Singer Live in Concert, Keali’i Reichel

Media Release:

For the first time in Big Island history, Waikoloa Entertainment and KWXX present the entire stage production including, full band and award-winning Hula Halau with Hawai’i’s very own Grammy nominated, best selling singer, songwriter and musician; Keali’i Reichel, on Saturday, July 24 at 8:00pm at the Hilton Waikoloa Village.

Born and raised in Maui, Keali’i has played for huge crowds all over America for many years including headlining such prestigious venues as New York’s Carnegie Hall and the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. He has also opened concerts for musical superstars such as Bonnie Raitt, LeAnn Rimes, Celine Dion and Sting. Keali’i has sold well over a million records just in Hawaii and has become a Hawaiian cultural icon promoting Hawaiian language and culture to a new generation of Islanders.

As Keali’i was growing up in Lahaina, he spent weekends and summers at his grandmother’s house in Pa`ia on the windward side of the island. His passion for the language and culture of Hawai’i led him to become the founding director for Punana Leo O Maui, the Hawaiian language immersion school. He has taught Hawaiian culture and language at Maui Community College, and he was the Cultural Resource Specialist and Curator at the Bailey House Museum in Wailuku.

In 1980 He founded his own hula school, Halau Ke’alaokamaile and has won numerous awards over the years. In 1994 he independently produced and released a collection of Hawaiian traditional and contemporary songs and chants entitled “Kawaipunahele” (RIAA Certified Gold Record). His subsequent music releases, “Lei Hali`a” (1995), “E O Mai” (1997), “Melelana” (1999), and “Ke`alaokamaile” (2003), Kamahiwa I (2005), Kamahiwa II (2009) have cemented his place in the Hawaiian music industry. All told, he has been awarded 25 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards, and his consistent placement in Billboard Magazine’s World Music and Heatseeker Charts has garnered him international attention.

Tickets go on sale Saturday June 19th at 10:00am HST and are priced at $79 for Reserved seating (only sold online), $59 Resort Guests general admission and a special Kama’aina  rate of $39 available to locals  with a valid Hawaii license. Ticket prices do not include taxes and fees and can be purchased by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000 or online at or Tickets are also available at the following local outlets: CD Wizard- Hilo, Big Island Surf – Hilo, Big Island Surf – Waimea – Persimmon at Queens’ MarketPlace and Kona Wine market in the Kona Commons. Tickets are also available at the new Ticketmaster outlets at Wal-Mart in Kona and Hilo.

Exclusively for Keali’i Reichel concertgoers, Hilton Waikoloa Village is offering special kama’aina room packages, starting at $219 per room, per night, based on double occupancy for stays on Saturday, July 24, 2010.  Packages include resort view accommodations and two general admission tickets to the concert. A limited number of VIP ticket packages are also available starting at $299 per room. To book a stay at Hilton Waikoloa Village under the Kealii Reichel Concert Kama’aina package deal, visit Under reservation details, select Kealii Reichel. Hawaii ID is required at check-in for both packages.

About Waikoloa Beach Resort
Waikoloa Beach Resort is the gathering place of the spectacular sunny Kohala Coast situated on 1,350 beautiful acres. Waikoloa Beach Resort offers two championship golf courses – the challenging Kings’ Course and the sporty Beach Course, two world-class hotels, the Hilton Waikoloa Village and Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa. For shopping, dining and entertainment, the successful Kings’ Shops recently welcomed the Queens’ MarketPlace in 2007 making Waikoloa Beach Resort the resort shopping destination of West Hawaii and the Kohala Coast. For more information about Waikoloa Beach Resort, call (808) 886-2055 or visit