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).
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