Oiwi Film Festival opens tomorrow

Photo: Courtesy Honolulu Museum

Oiwi Film Festival is dedicated to providing films that explore Native Hawaiian themes of identity, tradition and culture.

Moving into its third year, the festival kicks off on November 8 with an opening night reception at Doris Duke Theatre featuring live musical performances, a Hawaiian buffet and a screening of the documentary E Haku Inoa: How to Weave a Name directed by Christen Marquez.

E Haku Inoa: How To Weave a Name, is a gripping documentary of Marquez's quest to unlock the meaning of the Hawaiian name given to her by her estranged schizophrenic mother. In reconnecting with her mother, and untangling the meaning of her name, Marquez uncovers her Hawaiian identity and gains cultural insight about her mother's diagnosis.

On November 9 and 10, the festival screens Let's Play Music: Slack Key with Cyril Pahinui & Friends, directed by Naalehu Anthony. With a mix of musical footage, the feature captures the emotional talent that became the legendary Gabby Pahinui's signature sound.  

November 10 and 12, follow the efforts of taro farmer Daniel Anthony and his family in Kalo (directed by Kamuela Vance) as they prepare for the 2011 Haleiwa Taro Festival and illustrate the modern value of this dwindling cultural tradition.

Concluding the event on November 12 and 13, is a diverse showcase of short features. Choose between Kae (by Lana Dang), a nostalgic short about parental connection shot at Heeia Kea boat harbor, Chout (by Kale Kaaikala), a Maui-based skateboarding feature or Koa 'Ohana (by Erin Lau), a story of a teenage girl’s attempt to become an MMA fighter.

Also featured is Little Girl’s War Cry (directed by Erin Lau), following the story of a Maori girl masking the pain of domestic abuse with hero-centered imaginations. Festival co-founder Anne Marie Kirk directs the featured short, Small Kine Stories, capturing the tradition of Hawaiian “talk-story” as kupuna recall stories of their home.

“It is so exciting to see the diversity of work by Native Hawaiian filmmakers and the stories they are telling as we move into our third year,” says Kirk. “From documentary to narrative fiction, the films in the 2013 Oiwi Film Festival offer a… uniquely Hawaiian way of telling stories.”

For a detailed schedule of Oiwi Film Festival screening, events and ticket information, visit honolulumuseum.org.