“Waikiki” and “Hawaiian Soul” won the Made in Hawai’i awards at the the 40th edition of the Hawai’i International Film Festival.
The awards were announced at a virtual gala held Sunday. “Waikiki” is described as a dramatic and visceral allegory for the contemporary issues that plague Hawaii’s people, including mental illness, physical abuse and the loss of Hawaiian identity.
“In his feature debut, director Christopher Kahunahana unravels a hauntingly beautiful film that depicts the complicated and intertwined sides of paradise, both darkness and light,” the festival jury said of “Waikiki.” “Against the backdrop of Hawaii’s natural beauty, Kahunahana and cast focus on the very real struggles of many Hawaiian residents – and leave us wondering how we can be a part of the solution, not just the problem.”
The jury gave a special award for cinematography to Ryan Miyamoto for his work on “Waikiki” and said, “A visually complex film