Last Taxi Dance
In the aftermath of World War II, a proud Hawaiian singer dances with a returned U.S. Soldier and debates the dignity of the American dream. But when the dancing stops, this man will die.
Mahea sings atop a makeshift bandstand, full of masked contempt for the audience of G.I.'s below. Later, when the lights have come on and the crowd has cleared out, Mahea sits alone on the stage lost in thoughts about a simpler time, until a lone soldier returns holding unused dance tickets. A taut tete-e-tete follows on the ballroom floor as Mahea accepts the Soldier's invitation to dance only to indict the American way of life he serves. With every step, Mahea puts colonialism on trial, defending the honor of her people against fetish and exoticization. As they move around the room, Mahea's Hawaiian values come into conflict with her own prejudices, as this soldier has no designs on living past tonight. This last taxi dance is either a strange cry for help or a final happy moment in an otherwise forgotten life. For as Mahea comes to learn, this man is dead already.
Brayden Yoder - Director
Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi to an Indonesian immigrant mother and an American father, Brayden Yoder spent more than five years at the Film & Television Institute of India, where he first learned to practice his craft in film direction. His most recent short film, Breakdown, gained acceptance to several festivals in North America and around the world, winning the “audience award” at the March 2014 HollyShorts Screening in Hollywood and an “emerging artist” award at the 2014 Taos Shortz Festival in New Mexico.
Ciara Lacy - Producer
Ciara has a background in producing documentary content for film and television, managing and supervising independent narrative features, as well as coordinating product placement and clearances for a variety of platforms. Her work has shown in theaters and has aired on PBS, ABC, TLC, Discovery, Bravo and A&E. She is the inaugural recipient of the Sundance Institute's Merata Mita Fellowship (2016) in addition to currently benefiting from a Princess Grace Awards Works in Progress residency. Ciara is also honored to have been a Firelight Media Lab Fellow (2014-2016), a Sundance Institute Time Warner Fellow (2015), a Tribeca All Access Fellow (2014), a Princess Grace Foundation Award Winner (2013), a Sundance Institute NativeLab Directing Fellow (2012), and an IFP Producer of Marketing and Distribution Fellow (2012). Her work has received support from institutions such as ITVS, the MacArthur Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and National Minority Consortia member Pacific Islanders in Communications.
Chapin Hall - Cinematographer
Straddling the worlds of fiction and documentary filmmaking, Chapin is a Hawaiʻi & Los Angeles based Cinematographer. Trained by the legendary documentary cameraman, Bob Richman, Chapin has worked on feature films, commercials, and TV under some of the best directors of non-fiction film; from RJ Cutler, Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky, and Albert Maysles, to Academy Award winners like Nathaniel Kahn, and Davis Guggenheim. An accomplished visual artist in several media before picking up a film camera, Chapin seeks to craft visual language which is unique to each creative endeavor through an artistic approach to cinematography and deep trust for the collaborative spirit of film.