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USA202077 minEnglish, HawaiianInternational PremiereDrama
PART OF THE CENTREPIECE SPOTLIGHT ON HAWAI'I
Kea can’t make ends meet, even while working as a luau dancer, karaoke-bar hostess, and elementary school Hawaiian-language teacher. After a violent altercation with her boyfriend, Kea accidentally hits a homeless man with her car. Not wanting to involve the authorities, she decides to take care of the mysterious man herself. But while she continues to struggle with her own financial hardship and difficulty finding housing, Kea’s downward spiral begins to reveal a deeply rooted trauma from her past. As her life careens out of control, so too does her grasp on the world around her.
Christopher Kahunahana’s captivating storytelling ventures beyond the world-famous titular tourist destination and strikes an aesthetic that is perhaps unfamiliar to those with cursory knowledge of idyllic Hawaii. Kahunahana’s juxtaposition of the latter against the cold concrete of looming and perpetual urban development casts a critical look at the gentrified waste of ecological decay, systemic poverty, and the enduring legacy of U.S. colonization, which haunts the faces and spaces of Kahunahana’s film. Waikiki is a critical contribution to the growing body of Native Hawaiian cinema.
- Kevin Lim
Hawai’i International Film Festival, 2020
Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, 2020
Seattle International Film Festival, 2021
Best Hawai’i Feature Film, Hawai’i International Film Festival, 2020
Best Feature and Best Cinematography, Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, 2020
Christopher Kahunahana is a Sundance Institute Native Lab and Feature Film Program Alumni. As the founder of 4th World Film, he’s written and directed LĀHAINĀ NOON and directed a short documentary for the Smithsonian Institute’s Asian Pacific American “A Day in the Life” project.
In this artist talk, Golboo Amani introduces us to her body of work, which often addresses and challenges the formal conditions of knowledge production and invites us to consider the power of alternate sites of pedagogy in creating collective agency and community building.
12 Nov. 5:00 pm
So You Think You Can Pitch is back! Celebrate our 15th year of pitch competitions by supporting your favourite emerging filmmakers in our live event! Featuring a total of five finalist individuals or teams, the winner will walk away with our amazing prize package to kickstart or finish their short film, including a cash award, in-kind support, and the opportunity to premiere their work with us at next year’s festival!
Set up on a pre-arranged date by their old-fashioned Indian parents, Ravi (Karan Soni) and Rita (Geraldine Viswanathan) seem to have nothing in common, which makes their first encounter comically awkward.
10 Nov. - 19 Nov.