HONOLULU, HI – PBS Hawai‘i is partnering with the Hawaiian Legacy Foundation to present a televised and online film festival, The Films of Eddie and Myrna Kamae, From the Heart. This showcase will feature all 10 award-winning documentaries in Eddie and Myrna Kamae’s Hawaiian Legacy Series, released between 1988 and 2007.
The showcase airs on primetime television over three nights starting Thursday, April 6, and concludes the afternoon of Sunday, April 9 on PBS Hawai‘i. The films will also be live streamed on pbshawaii.org/kamaefilms.
The broadcast presentation will be followed by a weeklong online showcase, in which all 10 films will be available to view at pbshawaii.org/kamaefilms April 10-17.
Eddie Kamae, who passed away in January at age 89, was a man of many talents. A venerable musician, vocalist and songwriter who helped usher in the Hawaiian Cultural Renaissance of the 1970s, Eddie became a filmmaker, dedicated to documenting Hawai‘i’s cultural treasures for future generations. He and his wife Myrna established a nonprofit, Hawaiian Legacy Foundation, which aims to perpetuate Hawai‘i’s cultural heritage.
“Eddie and I dedicated our energy to the films we created together and as they were released, we enjoyed the success each and every one of them achieved on every level,” said Myrna Kamae. “PBS Hawai‘i takes the lead in cultural programing and embraces this timeless material. I can hear Eddie saying ‘Ho‘omau, Ho‘omau,’ and thanks to PBS Hawai‘i, we continue to provide a window into a time and place that many people have yet to discover.”
The film festival celebrates the Kamaes as visionary cinematic storytellers who understood the value and urgency in preserving Hawai‘i’s cultural traditions. PBS Hawai‘i President and CEO Leslie Wilcox hosts the broadcast television presentation.
“We see Eddie and Myrna Kamae as film warriors, exploring the past and discovering the future,” Wilcox said. “They are timeless figures who will always be regarded as forward-thinking. What they did over many years took a lot of heart – discipline, tenacity, resilience, trust-building, continuous learning and enduring love of Hawaiian culture. We at PBS Hawai‘i are pleased to partner with the Hawaiian Legacy Foundation to present these 10 Kamae films, featuring special people and stories that profoundly enrich our understanding and our lives.”
PBS Hawai‘i’s broadcast and online live stream schedule is as follows:
Thursday, April 6, 8-10 pm
LI‘A: The Legacy of a Hawaiian Man (1988)
This award-winning documentary celebrates the music and spirit of Sam Li‘a Kalainaina, a performer and composer shaped by his home in remote Waipi‘o Valley on Hawai‘i Island.
THOSE WHO CAME BEFORE: The Musical Journey of Eddie Kamae (2009)
The Kamae’s final documentary recounts Eddie’s own journey of musical self-discovery, a journey that led him to some of the most well respected gatekeepers of the Hawaiian Renaissance and grew into a 50-year pursuit of Hawaiian cultural and musical traditions.
Friday, April 7, 8-10:30 pm
LAHAINA: Waves of Change (2007)
In 1999, Lahaina’s plantation era came to an end with the closing of the West Maui town’s Pioneer Mill, the beating heart of Lahaina’s sugar industry. This film documents the last harvest, the last cane burning and the final days of operation at the mill, revealing a town with great historical and sacred significance, and the persistence to thrive into the future.
THE HISTORY OF THE SONS OF HAWAI‘I (2000)
Surveying 40 years of Hawai‘i’s rich musical traditions, this film tells the story of the Sons of Hawai‘i, the music group led by Eddie Kamae that helped launch the Hawaiian Cultural Renaissance in the 1970s.
Saturday, April 8, 7-9 pm
KI HO‘ALU SLACK KEY: The Hawaiian Way (1993)
Candid interviews, archival images and music from virtuoso performers tell the story of Hawaiian slack key. It depicts how this unique style of playing has become fundamental to Hawai‘i’s musical, cultural and familial traditions.
LUTHER KAHEKILI MAKEKAU: A One Kine Hawaiian Man (1997)
Winner of the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Hawaii International Film Festival, this film constructs a rich portrait of a colorful and controversial Hawaiian man. Born on Maui in 1890 during the reign of King Kalākaua, Luther Makekau was part philosopher and part outlaw, a chanter, singer and poet, as well as a fighter and a cattle rustler, known throughout the islands for both his passion and his rebellious nature.
Sunday, April 9, 12-4 pm
LISTEN TO THE FOREST (1991)
An environmental documentary that traces the destruction of Hawai‘i’s rainforests, this film calls for preservation and a return to the ecological wisdom that guided traditional Hawaiians’ connection to the land.
HAWAIIAN VOICES: Bridging Past to Present (1998)
This documentary honors the role of kupuna in preserving Hawaiian culture, and taps into the valuable memories and perspectives of three respected Hawaiian elders whose lives bridged the transition from older times into the late 20th century.
WORDS, EARTH & ALOHA: The Source of Hawaiian Music (1995)
Featuring some of Hawai‘i’s most respected cultural resources and talented performers, this documentary pays tribute to composers who flourished between the 1870s and the 1920s. The film looks closely at Hawaiian lyrics and the places that inspired them, and charts the evolution of Hawaiian music with the introduction of imported musical forms.
KEEPERS OF THE FLAME: The Cultural Legacy of Three Hawaiian Women (2005)
The lives of three extraordinary Hawaiian women, Mary Kawena Pukui, ‘Iolani Luahine and Edith Kanaka‘ole, are chronicled in this film. It shows how together, they combined their talents and commitment to reignite the flame of tradition in a time when Hawaiian culture was gravely threatened.
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