KAPAEMAHU

Director : Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu

Co-directors : Dean Hamer, Joe WIlson

Director of animation : Daniel Sousa

Country of origin : United States 

Runtime : 00:08:00

Project time : Animation

Language : Hawaiian with English subtitles

Long ago, four extraordinary individuals of both male and female spirit brought the healing arts from Tahiti to Hawaii. Beloved by the people for their gentle ways and miraculous cures, they imbued four giant boulders with their powers.  The stones still stand on what is now Waikiki Beach, but the true story behind them has been hidden – until now. Narrated in an ancient Hawaiian dialect, Kapaemahu brings this powerful legend back to life in vivid animation, seen through the eyes of a curious child.

Director's note - Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu : 

Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu is a Native Hawaiian teacher, cultural practitioner, composer and filmmaker who uses digital media to protect and perpetuate indigenous languages and traditions. She began her film work as a protagonist and educational advisor for the award winning documentaries Kumu Hina and A Place in the Middle, and received a National Education Association Human Rights Award, Native Hawaiian Educator of the year and White House Champion of Change for the groundbreaking impact campaigns associated with those films. Continuing her journey to the other side of the lens, Hina produced the PBS/ARTE feature documentary Leitis in Waiting and award-winning short Lady Eva about her transgender sisters in the Kingdom of Tonga. Hina is also a transgender health advocate, burial council chair, and composer of “Ku Haaheo E Kuu Hawaii”, the internationally-known anthem for the protection of Mauna Kea.

Films : 

  • 2020 : Kapaemahu : Animation ‧ 8 min

  • 2018 : Leitis in waiting : Documentairy ‧ 1h 12m

  • 2017 : Afterearth : Short/Documentary ‧ 13 min

  • 2017 : Lady Eva : Short/Documentary ‧ 11 min

  • 2014 : Kumu Hina (A Place in the Middle) : Short/Animation ‧ 25 min

Note on Co-Directors - Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson :

Co-directors/producers Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson are Emmy and GLAAD award-winning filmmakers dedicated to telling stories that emanate from the voices of those on the outside. Their work has been screened at film festivals in Berlin, Toronto and Los Angeles, on PBS and international programs, and has been supported by Sundance, Ford, ITVS and Pacific Islanders in Communications. This is their fifth film with Hina.

Note on Animation Directors - Daniel Sousa :

Daniel Sousa is an Oscar-nominated artist who uses themes rooted in myths and legends to examine the inner struggles between our intelligence and our unconscious impulses. Born on the island of Cape Verde, he approaches film from a painter's perspective, focusing on the fragility of moments, memories and fleeting perceptions. His films include the Oscar-nominated Feral, which premiered at Sundance, and the four-part PBS special Native America, which uses animation to weave history and science with living indigenous traditions.

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