About two years ago, I got involved with a dear friend’s (Keo Woolford) film project. The working title back then was “Under The Hula,” and chronicled the life of a cheesy Waikiki entertainer named “Jonny Kealoha,” and his journey back to his hula roots. This indie film was a labor of love and qualified as a (super) micro budget project by movie standards. Since I have past experience in casting, location scouting, and running lines with actors, I thought this would be something fun to work on so I helped wherever I could. I was there at the beginning of the casting process and got to see about 90% of the local actors that would end up being in the film. I watched young men read lines for the coveted lead roles, watched women read for the part of “Timo’s Mom,” and watched Kumu Hula, Robert Cazimero, put the actors through initial paces to access dance skill level. Later, I assisted with a host of other odds and ends that needed attention.
Soon, filming began with shooting at various locations all over O’ahu- beaches, in a hula studio, in a make-shift “nightclub,” in a high school auditorium, and in a gorgeous high-end home. Then once that part was completed, it was time for a full year of editing. Scoring the film came next, as well as the development of original songs. Finally one day, Keo came over to my house so I could screen the film. I was in awe. It was a rough cut, but it was awesome and I knew that this would be a gem to promote and share with the world. Fast forward to October 2013 and the indie film renamed as “The Haumana,” has taken the islands by storm, garnering awards along the way, and winning fans left and right. The film is so special and has been building such momentum in a most authentic and genuine way- mostly through a grass roots campaign. People see the film, love it, then share it on. This movement of “The Haumana” is the most amazing thing to watch. Organic is the word that comes to mind.
Now, the film is enjoying a U.S. tour in film festivals as well as in 4-wall theaters. Some involve Hawaiian or Hula organizations participating as well, which makes sharing the film even more fun. If you haven’t had a chance to see it and would like to find out how you can do a screening in your city, go to www.haumanamovie.com for further info. Trust me, you’ll love this film. Congratulations to Keo, the cast, and crew! I am so proud to be a part of this love project.