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Mayor’s Office of Economic Development to screen two locally produced films

By Staff | Dec 24, 2015

WAILUKU – The Mayor’s Office of Economic Development (OED), along with the Maui County Film Office and Pacific Islanders in Communications, is pleased to present “Returning to Our Roots,” a screening of two locally produced films at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s McCoy Theater on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2016.

“The Roots of Ulu,” produced by John Antonelli and funded through a Kickstarter campaign, transports the viewer from the Polynesian voyaging canoes that brought ulu (breadfruit) from Tahiti to Hawaii to the present-day efforts of native practitioners, medical specialists and agricultural experts in educating our community on the role ulu plays in cultural preservation, health restoration and food sustainability for Hawaii’s future.

“Sons of Halawa,” produced by Matt Yamashita, follows the last native resident of Molokai’s Halawa Valley in his search for a successor to keep its cultural traditions alive.

Notable achievements for both films include screenings at the 2015 Hawaii International Film Festival and the upcoming 2016 Waimea Ocean Film Festival.

“The Roots of Ulu” also received HIFF’s 2015 Audience Award for Best Short Film.

“It’s not every day that a community has two locally produced movies to showcase,” said Teena Rasmussen, OED director.

“Once they were screened at HIFF, we called the producers immediately to tell them we would sponsor a screening for the Maui community. We are very lucky to have this kind of talent in Maui County, and the powerful stories they tell are not to be missed!”

“Returning to Our Roots” will be shown first at 7 p.m.; doors open at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $10 and includes both films, a Q&A session with the producers of both films, as well as a meet-and-greet with “Sons of Halawa” star Uncle Pilipo Solatorio.

Tickets may be purchased in person at the MACC Box Office, by calling (808) 242-SHOW (7469) or online at www.MauiArts.org.