Kanaka Pakipika with Pacific Islanders in Communications, with funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, present the powerful animated short Kapaemahu, available on The Criterion Channel on December 1.
Kapaemahu, tells the long forgotten story of four mahu, extraordinary beings of dual male and female spirit who brought the healing arts from Tahiti to Hawaii. Beloved by the people for their gentle ways and miraculous cures, they imbued four giant boulders with their powers. Although the stones still stand on what is now Waikiki Beach, the true story behind them has been hidden – until now.
Narrated in an ancient Hawaiian dialect, and seen through the eyes of a curious child, the story of Kapaemahu brings to life this powerful legend in richly hand-drawn and 2D animation.
The film is written, directed and produced by Native Hawaiian teacher and filmmaker Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, Emmy Award-winning filmmakers Joe Wilson and Dean Hamer, and Academy Award-nominated animation director Daniel Sousa (Feral). A winner at numerous international film festivals including the Tribeca Film Festival, Animayo International Film Festival, Atlanta Film Festival, Hiroshima International Animation Festival and Outfest Film Festival, Kapaemahu is a reminder of the rich cultures and diverse identities that deserve recognition and representation through storytelling.