This story follows 16-year-old Hawaiian raised Lei’ala, as she attempts to pick up the life of an MMA fighter, as her deceased father once had, by competing in a local MMA tournament and seeking the help of her Lua Master grandfather, who denies to teach her. Yet only when they are able to step beyond their limitations are they able to find compromise and ultimately what they’ve been searching for in their individual lives.
Erin Lau - Director
Native Hawaiian Erin Lau is a Sundance Institute Native lab fellow and a University of Hawaiʻi Academy for Creative Media alum. She has written and directed multiple award-winning shorts, which have screened at festivals around the world, including New Zealand, France, Guam, Shanghai, and Canada. Her most prominent work, Little Girl’s War Cry, was selected by the Film Raro Competition to be one of six fully funded and produced films in the Cook Islands. Other accolades include the Sino-US Student Documentary Award at the 2012 Shanghai International Film Festival and the 2013 Eurocinema Best Student Film Award. She is currently pursuing her MFA in Film Directing at Chapman University on a full-ride merit scholarship. Despite her deep passion for storytelling, especially fictional tales based in the Asian-Pacific community, Erin fears she will lose all her hair by the time she retires.