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PBS Hawaii to show Maui filmmaker’s inspiring documentary

By BY CINDY SCHUMACHER - | Mar 31, 2016

HONOLULU – A film directed by filmmaker and mental health client Don Lane will air on PBS Hawaii on March 31 at 8 p.m. The 30-minute film, “Haleakala-A Trek for Dignity,” follows mental health clients and their advocates through Haleakala Crater on Maui in search of clarity and relief from social stigma.

“I want to speak to other people that may be experiencing mental illness and let them know that they are not alone,” said Lane. “People need to see that recovery is possible given the opportunity.”

Lane, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, is not only the director of the film but a participant in the journey. He is an emerging Maui filmmaker and mental health advocate. Lane works as the media specialist for Mental Health Kokua (MHK) in Wailuku. His career began with music videos and commercials following film school at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California.

Lane has now segued into documentary filmmaking in hopes to put a spotlight on social issues with a character-based approach.

Tom Vendetti, PhD, an established documentary filmmaker, is the producer of the film and the clinical supervisor of MHK on Maui.

“Don and I made ‘Haleakala-A Trek for Dignity’ as part of a social movement to help rid stigma around the topic of mental illness and to demonstrate that those with mental illness are capable of extraordinary achievements,” Dr. Vendetti said.

MHK is an associate producer of the film and a driving force that allowed the film to become a reality. It was founded in 1973 as a nonprofit, Hawaii corporation. Its mission is to assist people with mental health and related challenges. In addition, MHK assists clients to achieve optimum recovery and functioning in the community.

“MHK was proud to support the documentary,” said Greg Payton, Mental Health Kokua CEO. “It symbolizes the resiliency of the human spirit.”