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Our Makawao

(2021) 30 min


Produced for the Makawao History Museum. Received PBS Hawaii statewide broadcast and screened at the Maui Film Festival and Hawaii International Film Festival.

The town of Makawao in Upcountry Maui has a deeply colorful history. From a flourishing Native Hawaiian presence to early missionaries and immigrant labor; to cattle ranches, plantations, WWII, and rodeos - Makawao’s story is a fascinating reflection of the diversity of culture in Hawaii over the past 150 years. The town and many of the kupuna (elders) still remain to tell the story, so the Makawao History Museum is producing a documentary to capture it for future generations.

What began as the “Kupuna Video Project” in May 2015 was an effort to recount the unique history of upcountry Maui as told by elders who lived, worked, raised families, and experienced the profound changes that have marked the passage of time in Makawao.

Nearly 30 interviews were conducted under the direction of award winning filmmaker, Robert Stone, and producer Sunny Jordan. Sadly, Robert passed away shortly after filming was completed, so Sunny and the Makawao Museum began looking for someone to take on the project. In 2019, Sunny was introduced to Matt Yamashita, an Emmy Award-winning freelance filmmaker from the island of Molokai. Having grown up in a small town on Molokai, the Makawao project resonated with Matt and over the next year he and Sunny pieced together a beautiful storyline from over 40 hours of footage.

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Our Makawao Poster V6 9-22-21.jpg
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