Nā Kamalei: The Men of Hula
Follow the journey of legendary teacher Robert Cazimero and the only all-male hula school in Hawaiʻi as they prepare to compete at the world’s largest hula festival.
- 60 Minutes
Beyond the stereotypes of "grass skirt girls," Nā Kamalei: The Men of Hula explores a resurgence of men who dance hula. Winner of the 2008 Independent Lens Audience Award, the program follows legendary master hula teacher, Robert Cazimero, and Hālau Nā Kamalei, the only all-male hula school in Hawaiʻi, as they journey to compete at the world’s largest hula competition. Celebrating the 30th anniversary of their school and competing with some of the oldest male dancers at the competition, Robert and his men are out to prove that the renaissance of male hula is not over. Nā Kamalei tells a story of Hawaiian pride through the exploration of male roles in the hula tradition.
Available until May 2011 on Independent Lens
As a filmmaker and a hula dancer, Lisette Marie Flanary creates documentary films that celebrate a renaissance of traditional Hawaiian culture in the modern world. A graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, she is the writer, producer, and director of Lehua Films based in New York City. Her award-winning film, Nā Kamalei: The Men of Hula, broadcast on the Independent Lens series on PBS in 2008 and screened in numerous film festivals both in the U.S. and abroad. In 2007, Nā Kamalei: The Men of Hula received the Emerging Director Award at the New York Asian American International Film Festival, the Audience Award at the San Francisco Asian American Film Festival, Best Non-Fiction Feature at the VCFilmFest, and Best Documentary at the San Diego Asian American Film Festival. The film celebrates the revival of men dancing hula by following legendary master hula teacher Robert Cazimero and the only all-male hula school in Hawai‘i. Premiering at the Hawaii International Film Festival’s Sunset on the Beach in 2006, Lisette received the Hawaii Filmmaker Award and an Audience Award for Best Documentary. Lisette’s first feature documentary,American Aloha: Hula Beyond Hawai‘i, broadcast nationally on the award winning non-fiction showcase P.O.V. on PBS in 2003 as well as internationally on ITVS’ True Stories series in 2007. Winner of the CINE Golden Eagle Award, the film focused on hula and Hawaiian communities living on the mainland in California. It screened in numerous film festivals and is now available on Netflix.com. Currently, Lisette is in pre-production on the final film of her hula trilogy entitled Tokyo Hula, which focuses on the popularity of hula in Japan. She was also nominated for Best Director of a Documentary at the 2010 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival for One Voice.
Lehua Film's Nā Kamalei: The Men of Hula page
Honolulu Star-Bulletin article: "'Auana contest delights with elegance, fluid style"
Honolulu Star-Bulletin article: "Cazimero brothers mark 20 years of song and celebration"