Imagine a world where a little boy can grow up to be the woman of his dreams, and a young girl can rise to become a leader among men.
- 60 Minutes
Imagine a world where a little boy can grow up to be the woman of his dreams, and a young girl can rise to become a leader among men. Welcome to Kumu Hina's Hawaiʻi.
During a momentous year in her life in modern Honolulu, Hina Wong-Kalu, a native Hawaiian māhū, or transgender, teacher uses traditional culture to inspire a student to claim her place as leader of the school's all-male hula troupe. But despite her success as a teacher, Hina longs for love and a committed relationship. Will her marriage to a headstrong Tongan man fulfill her dreams? As Hina's arduous journey unfolds, her Hawaiian roots and values give her the strength and wisdom to persevere, offering a new perspective on the meaning of aloha.
Dean Hamer is an Emmy Award winning filmmaker and New York Times Book of the Year author with a long history in communicating complex and controversial ideas to diverse publics. He formed Qwaves with partner Joe Wilson to produce insightful and provocative documentaries about often overlooked social issues. Their films have been supported by Sundance, ITVS and Pacific Islanders in Communications, won awards at over 100 film festivals across the world, and used as outreach and educational tools by a wide range of community and educational organizations.
Out in the Silence, the first feature film from Qwaves, premiered at the Human Rights Watch International Film festival at Lincoln Center to great critical acclaim. With support from Sundance and PBS, it became a highly visible model for the use of film for social activism with wide distribution through public television, multiple digital portals, and over 700 community screenings.
In addition to his film work, Hamer is the author of several best selling nonfiction books including The Science of Desire and The God Gene, a consultant for the BBC and Discovery channels, and a sought-after lecturer and frequent guest on TV documentaries and news shows including Nightline and Oprah. In 2011 he moved to the north shore of Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi, to work on Kumu Hina.
Joe Wilson got involved in documentary filmmaking through his social activism on human rights issues. Frustrated by the limitations of traditional organizing and advocacy, he picked up a camera with hopes of reaching broader audiences with stories that would inform and compel people to act.
Otros Amores, his debut film, won the Videomaker National Documentary Film Challenge. Together with Qwaves co-founder Dean Hamer, his films on controversial and often ignored human rights issues have won jury and audience awards and official selection at more than 100 film festivals around the country and the world, and received widespread attention for their role in promoting social change.
In 2004, Wilson returned to his small hometown of Oil City, Pennsylvania, to direct and produce the Emmy Award-winning PBS documentary Out in the Silence. Through more than 700 grassroots screenings across the country, this film has become part of a national movement to open dialogue, counter school bullying, and support fairness and equality for all in small towns and rural communities. Wilson is a frequent speaker at colleges and conferences about justice and film activism. He lives with his partner Dean Hamer on the north shore of Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi.
Director/Producer: Dean Hamer
Director/Producer: Joe Wilson
Co-Producer: Connie M. Florez
Music Composer: Makana
Editor: Nels Bangerter
Animation: Jared Greenleaf
Advisor: Leonelle Akana
Film Characters: Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, Haemaccelo Kalu, Hoʻonani Kamai, Peter Dela Cruz, Laara Allbrett, Dana Kauaʻi Iki, Paʻula Chandler, & the students of Halau Lokahi Public Charter School
Closing night film of the Hawaii International Film Festival Spring Showcase
Presented by Pacific Islanders in Communications
Thursday April 10, 2014
Hawaiʻi Theatre, Honolulu, Hawaiʻi