On October 12, it was a privilege to hold the first public screening of our work-in-progress of "Toward Living Pono" at the 2008 Louis Vuitton Hawaiian International Film Festival in Honolulu. Organizers Chuck Boller and Anderson Le had graciously accepted our rough cut for exhibition at their prestigious event, giving us the chance to gauge audience interest and test the waters with local publicity—and I'm pleased to announce that our sneak peek showing was a great success!
Beloved Honolulu KITV news anchor Pamela Young surprised us by popping in right before the tape rolled to wish us luck and presented us with leis, Hawaiian style. I was really touched by this thoughtful gesture, what an honor.
Moviegoers packed the Regal Dole Cannery Theater venue and seemed to enjoy the cut. Jason, his wife Diana and mother Sylvia and friends were there, and Jason joined me and co-producer Roland Joseph Torres for a Q&A session after the program. We had to be kicked out to make room for the next film!
It was particularly gratifying that as a result of significant positive audience response, the Festival scheduled a second screening the following Sunday, October 19. Another packed theater seemed to enjoy this showing, too. There was really productive audience feedback during Q&A and I got the chance to chat with audience members at length at the "Critics Corner" in the lobby for a long while afterward.
Local Hawai'i media gave us some great coverage, including TV news features
and a mention in Honolulu papers
The work-in-progress is set to screen on the Big Island at the beautiful Palace Theater in downtown Hilo on Friday, November 7th at 5:30 PM as part of the E Malama 'Aina Festival kickoff event. The festival is being presented by co-producer Roland Joseph Torres, pictured here with award-winning musician and teacher Kainani Kahaunaele, who was kind enough to give us an interview about her efforts as an instructor of Hawaiian language at UH Hilo, where the photo was taken. But more on that later!