A Place in the Middle

Hawaii/USA, documentary, 24min, 2011. Dir: Dean Hamer & Joe Wilson. Japan Premiere!


Eleven year old Ho’onani dreams of leading the hula troupe at her inner-city Honolulu school. The only trouble is that the group is just for boys. She’s fortunate that her teacher understands first-hand what it’s like to be ‘in the middle’ – the Hawaiian tradition of embracing both male and female spirit. Together they set out to prove that what matters most is what’s in your heart and mind (from Hawaii International Film Festival).

Ai Ke Mumu Year End PerformanceA Place in the Middle Animation Image



Dean Hamer & Joe Wilson (color)Directed and Produced by Emmy Award-winners Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson, A PLACE IN THE MIDDLE brings an enlightened Hawaiian perspective to efforts to create welcoming and inclusive schools and communities for children of all ages. This 25 minute film, adapted from the feature documentary KUMU HINA, conveys the depth and reality of gender fluidity in a kid-friendly way by telling the story through the youth’s own point of view and colorful animation.

Festival appearances include the Berlin International Film Festival, Hawaii

International Film Festival, and Toronto International Kids Film Festival. The film will be distributed to schools through PBS Learning Media.


Cast and Crew:

Story creator: Kumu Hina Wong-Kalu

Featuring: Ho’onani Kamai, Jozie Kamai, Laara Allbrett, and the

students of Halau Lokahi

Produced and directed by: Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson

Editor: Nels Bangerter

Animation: Jared Greenleaf and Jed Henry

Original score: Makana


Website and Resources:


Includes complete film (24 min), clips, Discussion and Teaching guides, and additional resources.Place in the Middle Berlinale postcard