One Voice tells the story of the Kamehameha Schools Song Contest through the eyes of the student song leaders.
- 60 Minutes
One Voice tells the story of the Kamehameha Schools Song Contest through the eyes of the student song directors. Every year in Hawai‘i, 2000 high school students compete in the Kamehameha Schools Song Contest where young leaders direct their peers in singing Hawaiian music in four-part harmony. The Contest is a unique cultural celebration that has become a major local event, broadcast live on TV, played on the radio, and streamed on the Internet.
One Voice shares the thrill of the competition via the personal stories of the student song directors as they experience the trials and tribulations of competition in this annual high school event. Following the elected student song directors, the audience sees how the tradition creates an indelible experience that builds class unity, instills cultural pride, and builds character. The film also explores their world outside of school by meeting their families, or ʻohana, and revealing their hopes and dreams for the future. Through the stories and lives of these contemporary high school students, the audience will experience Hawaiian culture as it has survived, flourished, and grown through the universal power of music and song.
Director - Lisette Marie Flanary
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.
Producer - Heather Haunani Giugni
Heather Haunani Giugni is a passionate Hawaiian media content collector that celebrates her community through the lens of a camera. She has been the guiding force behind Juniroa Productions for over 25 years, producing hundreds of short and long programs about Hawai‘i and its native people. She describes herself as a Hawaiian media activist who practices malama kākou (caring for all). She also mentors, produces, directs, writes, and connects the Hawaiian dots that help to tell the story of Hawai‘i’s native people to a global audience.
Since 2006, Heather has produced the Kamehameha Schools Song Contest’s live broadcast. She is also a producer of the highly acclaimed Merrie Monarch Festival, which is broadcast locally and can be seen worldwide on the Internet. Her most recent effort is the establishment of a digital film and video archive for the State of Hawai‘i. Her success can be attributed to great collaborations, one of which is her partnership with Pacific Islanders in Communications on the documentary ONE VOICE.
As a proud graduate of Kamehameha Schools and a lifetime storyteller, Heather has always seen the power of the message in the frames of her Pacific Island life.
Producer - Ruth Bolan
Ruth Bolan is executive director of Pacific Islanders in Communications, a national non-for-profit media arts organization established in 1991 in Honolulu, Hawai‘i. The organization supports film, video, and new media reflective of the Pacific Islander experience in order to build greater voice and visibility for Pacific Islanders in the national and international arenas.
A graduate of Harvard University, Bolan is a 30-year veteran of the film and television industry and has produced for American Playhouse and HBO. In Hollywood, she ran the film division of Overland Entertainment and founded her own media development company. In 2005, she took over the helm of PIC, a part of the National Minority Consortia, which collectively addresses the need for national programming reflective of America’s growing ethnic and cultural diversity. Other Consortia members serve the Asian American, black, Latino, and Native American communities. PIC produced Holo Mai Pele, the first time ancient hula was presented on the PBS series Great Performances, and brought the film Whale Rider to PBS primetime.
PIC receives primary funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private not-for-profit that distributes federal funds to public broadcasting. Other PIC funding and support comes from individuals, corporations, and foundations.
Funded solely by Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC), One Voice is a one-of-a-kind presentation of Hawaiian music. The melodies of a cappella choral music performed in harmony by thousands of high school students are unforgettable. Filmed in High Definition, this feature length documentary follows the student song directors as they experience the trials and tribulations of competition in this annual high school event. Given a front row seat for a unique contest in a unique setting, the audience is lead through a process that demonstrates a love for community, passion for Hawaiian music, and the story of a people who nearly lost their language and culture.
The annual competition involves tremendous amounts of preparation and rehearsal. Following the elected student song directors, we see how the tradition creates an indelible experience that builds class unity, instills cultural pride, and builds character. Song Contest is the event students anticipate all year long, and each year the competition among the classes is intense. While the film follows the lives of several song directors as they prepare for the Song Contest, it also explores their world outside of school by meeting their families, or ‘ohana, and revealing their hopes and dreams for the future.
One Voice embodies the aloha spirit that is at the center of a dynamic and thriving Hawaiian society in the 21st century, while paying tribute to the long and glorious history of Hawaiian music and culture. For the students, it all culminates in one night of competition, when they sing with one voice. The documentary is a testament to their song, a film that is a living, breathing, singing celebration of the Hawaiian people.
- Best Documentary Feature - 2011 San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival Audience Award
- 2010 Hawaii International Film Festival Audience Choice Award - Documentary
- 2010 San Diego Asian Film Festival OVerall Audience Award