(Narrative Feature, 1 hr 35 mins)
Synopsis: A Vietnam vet must rediscover the Hawaiian warrior within to protect his family, defend their land, and clear his father's name. Kuleana, written and directed by Brian Kohne, is unquestionably the work of a filmmaker who deeply loves the culture and people of Hawaii. And anyone who’s had the opportunity to visit Maui will likewise be entranced, as the film serves up the island’s beauty along with a densely layered story that Kohne has constructed. The film is set in two time periods. The first is 1959, prior to Hawaii’s official statehood, but when opportunistic real estate developers were already moving in to destroy paradise in the name of the almighty dollar. A parallel storyline is set 15 years later. What ties the two time periods together are the main characters. We’re first introduced to Nohea (Moronai Kanekoa) and Kim (Sonya Balmores) as children, but then they are reunited as adults to confront the demons from their past. The score is a combination of native music by Willie K. Kahaiali’I and Johnny Wilson and period tunes.
Director: Hawaii’s Brian Kohne is an award-winning music producer (BAREFOOT NATIVES, WILLIE K) and independent writer/director/producer (GET A JOB, KULEANA). The San Jose State graduate (Art and Radio/TV/Film) returned home to Maui in ’05 from Silicon Valley having excelled as national director of sales and marketing, in corporate video, sports broadcasting, and as senior user interface architect for an interactive television corporation. Kohne is active on the festival circuit with his latest motion picture KULEANA, a feature mystery/drama slated for initial theatrical release in the islands, and is principal of both MALAMA PONO PRODUCTIONS and HAWAI’I CINEMA INC, an island-based marketing/publicity company.