“Shaka, A Story of Aloha” is a quest for the origin and meanings of the Shaka. Production continues through October, 2022 when a Shaka Contest takes place at the Polynesian Cultural Center. The premiere is slated for Spring 2023. Learn more at: ShakaFilm.com | See Shaka Trailer | Sponsor’s Rate Card
The documentary is produced by Bizgenics in association with Henry Kapono Foundation and Sight & Sound Hawai‘i. Kamehameha Schools is also involved as it provided first funding and cultural consultants. Noteworthy members of the film’s creative team include Grammy nominated music director Henry Kapono, award-winning Hawaiian Director Alex Bocchieri, Co-Exec Producer Bryan Spicer (producer/director of Hawaii Five-O and Magnum PI) and Writer/Exec Producer/Producer Steve Sue.
We are in fundraising for $500,000 to finish the piece. The first $50,000 in first-funding was provided by Kamehameha Schools and others have followed suit including Remedy Spa contributing $150,000. Individuals, companies and organizations are invited to sponsor. See Sponsor’s Rate Card » or Contact Us »
“Shaka, A Story of Aloha” started as a passing curiosity when a friend introduced me to Kupuna (elders) in La‘ie who, as Keiki (children) in the 1930s and 1940s, knew the Shaka Man, Hamana Kalili. It turns out that the Kupuna have kept their story secret for almost a century as they didn’t want it commercialized. But given advancing age and a world in need, they asked that I help share their story.
In May 2019, our film crew first visited La’ie, Oahu to record oral history from Kupuna who learned to fish and the lessons of life from “Tutu Hamana” (“grandfather”) who despite a debilitating injury, became the embodiment of strength and the aloha spirit.
While the above storyline is well-documented, alternative origin stories abound including a Maui-based marbles-playing version that centers around TV actor and entertainer Lippy Espinda, a Molokai-based Kalaupapa leprosy colony version and a Portuguese drinking gesture version. As documentarians, our job is to fairly present all credible findings so audiences can decide for themselves.
Aloha from Hawai’i to the World
In the end, we may never prove the actual historical origin, but what seems clear is that the Shaka originated in Hawai’i and carries the aloha spirit to the world. And today, more than ever, the world is in need of optimism, tolerance, cooperation and living with aloha. We’re therefore honored to be entrusted with this story and hope you’ll join us with a Shaka attitude of “Fear Not, Go for It!”
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