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Kupuna Lens Participants to Showcase Stories at Hawaii International Film Festival

September 29, 2012

Image‘Ōlelo Community Media, in partnership with the Hawai’i International Film Festival, is proud to present the Kupuna Lens Film Program, a digital video production and storytelling course.

Everyone has a story to tell, and yet, the way narratives figure into our lives has changed dramatically in our increasingly digital world, leaving many meaningful voices unheard. “You don’t see children sitting down by their grandparents to listen to their stories of old,” said Alice Unawai, one of the ten kupuna selected for the program. “They’re into the visuals.”

Unawai, a former special education teacher who specialized in teaching deaf-blind students to communicate, is not averse to a challenge. They are, in fact, what drove her to perform and teach kapa haka when Maori language and culture were on the wane—to compete in her first triathlon at 40, and go on to complete six more. It was the inherent difficulty of those acheivements, and of filmmaking, that spurred her to apply for the program. Unawai’s film, As the Years Go By, an autobiographical mini-documentary of the joys found in overcoming the many obstacles in life, also represents a challenge to other kupuna: “Never be satisfied just because you’re 70, or you’re 85. Don’t sit back, but just keep moving, keep doing, keep creating.”

Her film will be one of ten shown in a free screening on October 20, in a showcase of the films produced throughout the Kupuna Lens Film Program.

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