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HomeAnimationsUnique: 'Kapaemahu' Filmmakers Debut LGBTQ Romantic Journey 'Aikāne'

Unique: ‘Kapaemahu’ Filmmakers Debut LGBTQ Romantic Journey ‘Aikāne’

The workforce behind the acclaimed animated brief Kapaemahu is debuting a brand new movie impressed by Hawaiian tradition, titled Aikāne — an historic time period for intimate same-sex mates that has taken on new relevance with the worldwide resurgence of anti-LGBTQ hostility. The movie will premiere on the Animayo and Seattle Worldwide Movie Festivals in Could, adopted by a collection of screenings throughout Satisfaction Month in June.

Aikāne tells the story of an island warrior who falls into a wierd underwater world after being wounded in battle. When the octopus who rescues him shapeshifts right into a good-looking younger man, sparks fly and an epic journey begins. Love, belief and braveness are the glue that bind the unlikely couple collectively of their fierce battle in opposition to international invaders.

Aikane 4 battle copy

Advocacy for LGBTQ rights was a key motivation for co-directors Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson, a married couple whose movie careers started with a documentary in regards to the uproar that their very own marriage announcement brought on in Wilson’s rural hometown. “At a time like this, when children are being advised that they will’t even say the phrase ‘homosexual’ in class, we expect that telling a queer love story with a cheerful ending is a fantastic and crucial type of resistance,” stated Wilson.

Hamer added, “I want I may have seen a movie like Aikāne once I was younger. It will have meant a lot to me. Now I wish to make sure that a child in Florida or Texas has that likelihood, and that they’ll watch it with their mother and father.”


For producer Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, a mahu (transgender) Native Hawaiian tradition bearer who has been collaborating with Hamer and Wilson for a decade, there was additionally a private facet. “As a Kanaka, a local individual in an island occupied by a international energy and concepts, I need our younger individuals of all genders and sexualities to know that being their genuine selves, and loving who they love, is a cause to rejoice to not worry.”

The workforce’s earlier animation Kapaemahu (which you’ll be able to watch at kapaemahufilm.com) received 5 Oscar-qualifying awards and was shortlisted on the 93rd Academy Awards, and was expanded right into a kids’s e-book, public broadcast documentary, immersive museum exhibition and everlasting exhibition of the painted movie characters on the Hawaii Conference Heart. That work impressed a motion to revive information and understanding of mahu as a time period of cultural respect, together with a change to the signage at a monument initially meant to honor them in Waikiki seashore.


Hoping to construct the same motion behind Aikāne, the workforce invited Emmy-winning actor and trailblazing LGBTQ advocate Judith Gentle to return on as govt producer. “I’m honored to be part of this transcendent movie that brings an inspirational message that love is love is love when it’s so profoundly wanted,” stated Gentle, who was one of many first celebrities to advocate for the queer neighborhood and people with HIV/AIDS, and performed pivotal roles in The Ryan White Story, Clear, and different tasks bringing LGBTQ visibility to the fore. “It’s a story of the spirit, transformational and mystical in nature that resonates with love, braveness, compassion and neighborhood.”

The visible world of Aikāne contrasts the stark landscapes and dizzying cliffs of the land above the floor, the positioning of battle, with the wealthy colours and soothing movement of the ocean beneath, the place the heroes fall in love. Academy Award-nominated animator, designer and co-director Daniel Sousa brings the characters to life with a easy, flowing type, portraying their feelings by delicate gestures and closeups. Dan Golden supplied the music and sound design for the non-dialog movie, incorporating underwater sounds captured by Hamer and Wilson of their free-diving expeditions. Sousa and Golden have been additionally creative collaborators on Kapaemahu.


Aikāne was produced by Hamer and Wilson’s Qwaves in affiliation with Kanaka Pakipika, the manufacturing firm the couple shaped for his or her trans-Pacific collaborations with Wong-Kalu.

Upcoming screenings embody Animayo (Could 3-6), Seattle Worldwide Movie Pageant (Could 11-21), Kashish Mumbai Worldwide Queer Movie Pageant (June 7-11), Abhimani Queer Movie Pageant Sri Lanka (June 19-21), Provincetown Worldwide Movie Pageant (TBA), Frameline Worldwide Movie Pageant (TBA), Palm Springs Worldwide ShortFest (TBA), Wairoa Maori Movie Pageant (TBA) and Smithsonian Native Cinema Showcase (TBA).




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