Kumu Hina

NEWS & REVIEWS

  • "Facebook Comments by Oregon City Councilor Highlight Fears of Coming Out" ~ East Oregonian

    The exchange between Wilson, who lives in Hawaii, and Nakapalau happened on the “Kumu Hina” Facebook page, named after a documentary Wilson released in 2014 about a transgender Hawaiian woman. Wilson had posted an article about the Trump administration’s statement that transgender workers are not protected by federal anti-discrimination laws. Nakapalau commented that transgender people already have rights and he’s “Sick of the LBGTQ crowd shoving their ho keyed up agenda down my throat.”

    Posted 11th Oct in news

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  • New Film from "Kumu Hina" Team to Premiere in Washington, DC and Los Angeles

    A new short documentary from O'ahu-based directors Dean Hamer & Joe Wilson, producer Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, and esteemed editor Bill Weber has been selected to premiere in competition in two prestigious film festivals: AFI DOCS in Washington, DC (June 16) and the LA Film Festival in Los Angeles, CA (June 18). LADY EVA is the story of a transgender girl in Tonga who sets off on a journey to become her true self, with a little inspiration from Tina Turner along the way.

    Posted 14th May in news

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  • "A Multimedia Community Educational Campaign for Gender Diversity & Inclusion" - The Communication Initiative Network

    Revolving around the film and curricular tools to spark discussion and learning within the school context, the initiative offers a model of the advantages diversity brings to the entire community and the importance of understanding and preserving indigenous culture. Exploring topics ranging from bullying to colonialism, from the importance of parental acceptance and support to the difficulties of holding onto Pacific Islander values, "Kumu Hina" is designed to appeal to everyone who seeks a more just and peaceful world.

    Posted 24th Apr in news

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  • Hawaii Film About Transgender Woman Is At Center Of Federal Debate - Honolulu Civil Beat

    Trump wants to eliminate money for public broadcasting, and support for “Kumu Hina” is cited as one reason for the budget cut.

    Posted 18th Apr in news

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  • "Kumu Hina Documentary Takes Center Stage in National Debate Over PBS Funding" - Hawaii News Now

    "PBS is about empowering and enabling the marginalized voices within the diversity of our community," said Kumu Hina in response to news that Maryland Congressman Rep. Andy Harris, a Republican, cited the Hawaii-produced documentary as one of the reasons why federal funding should be eliminated.

    Posted 14th Apr in news

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  • INDIE CAUCUS RESPONSE TO STATEMENTS BY CONGRESS ABOUT DIVERSE PBS DOCUMENTARIES

    On March 28th, during the Congressional Subcommittee Hearing on President Trump's plan to eliminate the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), Rep. Andy Harris (R, Maryland) singled out three PBS broadcast documentary films that he thought should not have been supported by public dollars: The New Black (directed by Yoruba Richen), Kumu Hina (directed by Joe Wilson and Dean Hamer), and Baby Mama High (directed by Heather Ross). Each of these films focused on different stories about women of color in America.

    Posted 6th Apr in news

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  • Diverse Documentaries Under Attack as Congressman Questions Public Broadcasting ‘Agenda’ -- IndieWire

    Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) singled out PBS' "Independent Lens" docs "The New Black," "Baby Mama High" and "Kumu Hina" as not appropriate for funding.

    Posted 4th Apr in news

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  • UN Experts, Diplomats Demand Equal Rights for Transgenders in Pakistan with "Kumu Hina" Screening

    ISLAMABAD: Transgender activists, government representatives, community representatives, diplomats and UN experts gathered here on Thursday at the UN Information Centre to discuss the educational, economic and health issues facing the transgender community in Pakistan. The event was jointly organised by the High Commission of Canada and the UN Information Centre and was followed by the screening of documentary "Kumu Hina" which features the real story of Hina Wong-Kalu, a native Hawaiian transgender.

    Posted 21st Dec in news

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  • ‘Kumu Hina’ film teaches lessons of love - The Slate

    Aloha means more than bright leis and grass skirts; the word encompasses unconditional love to all and respect for Hawaiian culture. On Tuesday, Nov. 1, students gathered in Shippenburg State University's Orndorff Theatre to view a PBS film titled, “Kumu Hina: The True Meaning of Aloha.”

    Posted 9th Nov in news

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  • Our New Film from Tonga

    Last December, we were invited to screen Kumu Hina in the Kingdom of Tonga, a beautiful island nation arrayed across thousands of miles of the South Pacific, steeped in tradition and proud of its independence. As filmmakers, we immediately began to shoot all that was unfolding around us. We captured footage of the pageant, and of Joey and other leitis preparing for the event and attending to other aspects of daily life in the kingdom. Inspired by what we saw and the belief that these stories could build on the foundation laid by the Kumu Hina project to deepen understanding and promote positive social change on a global scale, we applied for and received Research and Development funding from Pacific Islanders in Communications to explore further.

    Posted 31st Oct in news

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  • "Growing Up Trans" - PBS Frontline

    Just a generation ago, it was adults, not kids, who changed genders. But today, many children are transitioning, too — with new medical options, and at younger and younger ages. In Growing Up Trans, FRONTLINE takes viewers on an intimate and eye-opening journey inside the struggles and choices facing transgender kids and their families.

    Posted 26th Oct in news

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  • Sexual and Gender Diversity in Native America and the Pacific Islands - National Park Service

    Although scholars of LGBTQ history have generally been inclusive of women, the working classes, and gender-nonconforming people, the narrative that is found in mainstream media and that many people think of when they think of LGBTQ history is overwhelmingly white, middle-class, male, and has been focused on urban communities. While these are important histories, they do not present a full picture of LGBTQ history. To include other communities, we asked the authors to look beyond the more well-known stories. Inclusion within each chapter, however, isn’t enough to describe the geographic, economic, legal, and other cultural factors that shaped these diverse histories. Therefore, we commissioned chapters providing broad historical contexts for two spirit, transgender, Latino/a, African American Pacific Islander, and bisexual communities.

    Posted 25th Oct in news

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  • OUTREACH, DISTRIBUTION AND ENGAGEMENT FOR KUMU HINA - Pacific Islanders in Communications

    Making a documentary is a lot of work. But once the final frame is finished, how do you make sure that your film is seen and has the impact you're hoping for? What we found for our PIC-supported documentary KUMU HINA is that outreach, distribution and engagement are just as demanding, and as important, as the filmmaking itself.

    Posted 25th Oct in news

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  • "A Place in the Middle" on The Laura Flanders Show

    "Native Hawaiians have a lot to teach us about our limited approach to gender diversity. Dean Hamer & Joe Wilson produced a film on exactly that. Now they're releasing a curriculum in connection with the film." Journalist and author Laura Flanders, interviews forward thinking people from the world of politics, business and arts.

    Posted 8th Oct in news

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  • "Kumu Hina: Bold, Raw, and Unforgettable" - The Palm Springs Desert Sun

    “Kumu Hina” — bold, raw, and unforgettable, triumphed in storytelling. The doc spotlighted a transgender native Hawaiian teacher and cultural icon who relays stories about Hawaii's long-held embrace of “mahu” ...

    Posted 8th Sep in news

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  • Free Gender Diversity Resources for Educators

    As the new school year begins, communities across the country are searching for ways to help ensure that all students, including transgender students, can attend school in an environment free from discrimination. To help educators seeking to deepen their own understanding and get students thinking and talking about how to create a welcoming and inclusive school climate, a powerful resource modeled on Hawaiian culture's tradition of gender diversity is being made available for free to all interested in putting them to use in the classroom.

    Posted 7th Sep in news

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  • "22 Awesome LGBT Documentaries You Need to Watch on Netflix" - Here Media

    These documentaries show just how diverse our lives are. LGBT people live vastly different lives, and documentaries provide a window into how our family is living around the world, or lived through different periods of history. These 22 documentaries currently streaming on Netflix cover a range of subjects, from gay and lesbian parenting, to transgender athletes who are breaking barriers.

    Posted 24th Aug in news

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  • Kumu Hina Receives the NEA's Ellison S. Onizuka Award for Human & Civil Rights

    The National Education Association has recognized and honored those who have fought — and continue to fight — for human and civil rights at a moving and inspiring awards gala since 1967. This year, NEA will thank and honor the outstanding work of Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu and 12 of America’s social justice heroes at its annual Human and Civil Rights Awards Dinner on July 3 in Washington. Among Hina’s greatest accomplishments is the development of a multi-award winning PBS production called “A Place in the Middle.” Through this 25-minute kid-friendly film, viewers are left with a powerful message that focuses on acceptance, love, and anti-bullying.

    Posted 5th Jul in news

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  • Now on NETFLIX

    KUMU HINA available for streaming on Netflix July 1, 2016.

    Posted 1st Jul in news

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  • "THE TRANS-FOCUSED ENTERTAINMENT YOU SHOULD BE WATCHING" -- Tribeca Film Institute

    Highly distinctive and endlessly illuminating, Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson's documentary follows Hina Wong-Kalu, a Hawaiian teacher and māhū (i.e. transgender woman), as she strives to maintain her native culture and encourages one of her promising female students to lead the school's all-male hula group. Kumu Hina, which is also available in an educational children's version, is a moving and empowering story about a person, place, and culture the movies rarely take an interest in, unless presented with the opportunity to cast Emma Stone as half-Asian. So Kumu Hina is a rarity that's hard to imagine many audience members selecting of their own volition, but it's a rarity that has a great deal to tell and teach us, if we only wish to learn.

    Posted 19th Jun in news

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  • "UOTeachOUT To Screen Documentary on Transgender Teacher" - Eugene Weekly

    On May 12, UOTeachOUT hosts a screening of "A Place in the Middle," followed by a discussion with Kumu Hina Wong-Kalu. The film’s directors, Dean Hamer & Joe Wilson, will also be present.

    Posted 7th May in news

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  • "Advocates Push DOE On Guidelines For Transgender Students" - Hawaii Public Radio

    Transgender advocates are calling on the Hawai‘i State Department of Education to move more quickly on creating specific guidelines for transgender students. An online petition supporting those plans - launched by The Kumu Hina Project - has already received more than 5,600 signatures over the past two weeks.

    Posted 6th May in news

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  • "What’s Next for DOE's Policy on Transgender Students?" -- The Conversation on Hawaii Public Radio

    The kids in the middle got a boost this week when a group petitioned the DOE to create and implement a gender diversity policy backed with training for teachers and administrators. Joe Wilson is half of the documentary team which produced the film Kumu Hina about an inspiring Native Hawaiian teacher who uses traditional culture to empower her students. He now coordinates The Kumu Hina Project, the educational effort that emerged from the film. It’s aimed at making schools and communities safe and inclusive across the gender spectrum.

    Posted 6th May in news

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  • "Transgender Community Takes Petition to BOE" - KITV Island News

    Members of the transgender community delivered a petition to the Hawaii Board of education on Tuesday asking for guidelines and training in Hawaii schools for working with transgender students. Kumu Hina Wong-Kalu addressed the board, outlining what they sought in the petition, which over 5,400 people from around the world and Hawaii had signed.

    Posted 5th May in news

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  • "Seeking A Step Forward For Transgender Students" - by Todd Simmons, Honolulu Civil Beat

    Transgender leaders called on the Board of Education for fair treatment of students. For one activist, it was worth missing a White House visit.

    Posted 4th May in news

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  • "Petition Calls for Hawaii Schools to Protect Transgender Students" - Hawaii News Now

    Transgender leaders are calling on Hawaii public schools to develop guidelines and training to protect transgender students from discrimination. Advocates with the Kumu Hina Project hand-delivered a petition Tuesday with more than 5,400 signatures to Board of Education members.

    Posted 4th May in news

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  • "Policy on Transgender Students Urged" - Honolulu Star-Advertiser

    Local transgender community leaders and supporters are calling on education officials to implement policies and staff training to ensure the safety and fair treatment of transgender students in Hawaii public schools. Kumu and cultural practitioner Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, a transgender woman, said the lack of clear guidelines for school leaders has led to some transgender students being discriminated against, bullied and harassed in school.

    Posted 4th May in news

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  • "Advocates Ask State For Clear Policies On Transgender Students" - Honolulu Civil Beat

    The Kumu Hina Project asks the Department of Education to protect transgender students’ rights.

    Posted 3rd May in news

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  • Media Advisory: Transgender Leaders to Deliver Petition to Hawaii Department of Education

    Prominent transgender figures including fashion designer Ari South, soccer and film star Jaiyah Saelua, and teacher and cultural practitioner Hina Wong-Kalu will gather with local transgender students and their families and community supporters to express the urgent need, and offer a strong show of support, for the Hawaii Department of Education to establish guidelines and training to ensure that students across the gender spectrum are respected and protected in schools.

    Posted 2nd May in news

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  • White House Recognizes Kumu Hina Among “Champions of Change”

    On Wednesday, May 4, the White House recognizes ten individuals from across the country as “White House Champions of Change for Asian American and Pacific Islander Art and Storytelling.”

    Posted 30th Apr in news

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  • Transgender Student Unable to Walk With Graduating Class - ABC National News

    "My intention in making this film and having the petition is just to make sure that no other child, even if they're not transgender or part of the LGBT community, doesn't have to go through something like this. It's not okay," Purcell told ABC News.

    Posted 23rd Apr in news

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  • Transgender Woman Denied Walk at Kahuku Graduation - KITV News Honolulu

    Jennea Purcell is a transgender woman living in Laie. She says she was denied the right to walk at graduation last year as a woman at Kahuku High School. Purcell is sharing her story in hopes of persuading the state Department of Education to come up with a policy on how transgender students are treated.

    Posted 22nd Apr in news

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  • Transgender Woman Urges Inclusion, Respect at Hawaii Public Schools - KHON TV 2 Honolulu

    “What gain and what benefit would this young transgender woman have to subject herself to the scrutiny and the judgments of the community, knowing what will come?” Kumu Hina Wong-Kalu asked. “When you are put down because this is your personal articulation and expression of yourself, you question everything else that you do.”

    Posted 22nd Apr in news

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  • "Hawaii Schools Need A Transgender Policy Now" - Honolulu Civil Beat

    More and more transgender and gender nonconforming youth are finding the courage to express their authentic identity. They deserve the same access to education as every other child in Hawaii's schools. But as Jennea's story, and many others like it, clearly show, they are instead being singled out for harassment and discrimination - not by other students, but by the very school officials who are supposed to serve and protect them.

    Posted 20th Apr in news

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  • Kumu Hina Wins at GLAAD Media Awards, Hollywood Vows to Continue Fight Against Anti-LGBT Laws

    GLAAD is an advocacy group aiming to accelerate the acceptance of LGBT people by holding media accountable for their representations of the community in TV, film and other disciplines. Each year, the best, most inclusive and nuanced portrayals are recognized with a nomination at its media awards.

    Posted 4th Apr in news

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  • It Gets Better for Kumu Hina at Kamehameha Schools

    On Wednesday, April 6, Kamehameha Schools welcomes 1990 graduate Hina Wong-Kalu back to its Honolulu campus for a very special evening of film, music, and conversation.

    Posted 30th Mar in news

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  • A TRANS* Pacific Talk Story: A Night of Mahuwahine and Translatina Solidarity at the University of Hawai'i

    All are invited to a night to celebrate mahuwahine and translatina solidarity spanning the Pacific. How often do we use a critical lens to look at political issues from both an indigenous and transgender perspective? Please join us to take part in a dynamic cross-cultural dialogue about: Identity. Land. Occupation Colonization. Abuse. Deportation. Activism. Hope. Community. Love. Advocacy. Justice. Liberation.

    Posted 22nd Mar in news

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  • Kamehameha Schools Rendition of Kumu Hinaʻs "Kū‘u ha‘aheo e ku‘u Hawai‘i - Stand tall my Hawai‘i"

    "I was truly honored to have my composition, my mele Ku Haaheo e Kuu Hawaii featured in the finale of this yearʻs Hoike of Kamehameha Schools Song Contest 2016. Mahalo for this wonderful honor to all those whom made this yearʻs Hoike possible. I am so very proud of the students who presented the mele and yes I stood with you and sang last night too. I wasnʻt going to but I didnʻt want to let you all down." - Kumu Hina Wong-Kalu

    Posted 20th Mar in news

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  • Reframe Gender Through Film - A Gender Spectrum Conversation with Joe Wilson & Dean Hamer

    "In order to highlight the way films bring gender stories to life, we created the Reframing Gender Through Film group. This group is a dedicated space for parents/caregivers, family members, teens and professionals to discuss the role of film in raising awareness about expanding understanding of gender and gender diversity. We invite you to join our group, participate in our forum, and contribute to the conversation by sharing videos, film titles, links for viewing, and discussion topics. Tune into our first broadcast of the Reframe Gender Through Film Series, February 9, 2016 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm (PST) - A Conversation with Joe Wilson and Dean Hamer, Producers of A Place in the Middle. Check out the film beforehand at www.aplaceinthemiddle.org. Tweet/follow us at @GenderSpectrum."

    Posted 10th Feb in news

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  • Local Film Earns Nomination For ‘Gay Oscar’ -- Honolulu Civil Beat

    Featured last year on PBS and in some of the world’s best film festivals, Kumu Hina is now up for best documentary at the GLAAD Media Awards.

    Posted 30th Jan in news

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  • KUMU HINA Nominated for GLAAD Media Award

    The GLAAD Media Awards recognize and honor media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and the issues that affect their lives. KUMU HINA has been nominated in the Outstanding Documentary category!

    Posted 28th Jan in news

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  • "A Place in the Middle" Included in New Resource: "Expanding Gender: Youth Out Front"

    A primer for students, teachers, administrators, and parents, Expanding Gender: Youth Out Front, explores the varied identities of trans and gender expansive youth and young adults through four documentaries that allow these brave individuals to share their own stories. This collection features professionally developed curriculum for use in Gay-Straight Alliance meetings, as well as integration into classrooms. An accompanying Action Guide for Gay-Straight Alliances includes resources to enhance GSA activism—within schools and communities at large—thus creating safer spaces for LGBTQ people.

    Posted 26th Jan in news

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  • Making Democracy Work -- A League of Women Voters interview with Kumu Hina

    Carl Campagna interviews Kumu Hina about "A Place in the Middle" - a culturally-centered campaign to promote gender diversity and inclusion for all.

    Posted 25th Jan in news

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  • "Mahu Demonstrate Hawaii’s Shifting Attitudes Toward LGBT Life" - Al Jazeera

    LGBT advocates say Hawaii’s native culture traditionally accepted more nuanced gender roles, and current attitudes toward gender and sexual identity in Hawaii have been affected by colonization, land seizures, the suppression of Hawaiian language and culture, and the imposition of moral codes by Western missionaries.

    Posted 10th Jan in news

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  • Documentary on Transgender Hawaiian Caps Fiji Human Rights Festival - ABC Radio Australia

    The Nothing Less Than Equal Film Festival ends in Suva, with a screening of 'Kumu Hina', a documentary about a transgender native Hawaiian woman who found refuge in her traditional culture.

    Posted 11th Dec in news

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  • Transgender Love Story Closes Fiji Film Festival - Radio New Zealand

    A Hawaiian-Tongan transgender love story was the focus of the last film at the 11 day long Nothing Less Than Equal Film Festival in Fiji.

    Posted 11th Dec in news

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  • Free & Equal in the South Pacific: Kumu Hina Screenings in Fiji & Tonga

    This week, directors, and project ambassadors, Dean & Joe are off to share a message of gender diversity and inclusion with audiences in Fiji and Tonga!

    Posted 6th Dec in news

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  • UOTeachOUT: Leadership Summit & Educational Series on Gender Identity & Sexual Orientation Issues in Education to Feature KUMU HINA & A PLACE IN THE MIDDLE

    Save the Date: Thursday, May 12, 2016 -- The University of Oregon's UOTeachOUT 2016 Youth Leadership Summit -- Featuring: Documentary filmmakers Joe Wilson & Dean Hamer, and teacher and keynote speaker Kumu Hina. And screening two amazing new documentary films: "A Place in the Middle" and "Kumu Hina"

    Posted 26th Nov in news

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  • NITV Australia Respects Transgender Day of Remembrance with 'Kumu Hina' & 'A Place in the Middle'

    National Indigenous Television pays its respects to the Transgender Day of Remembrance on 20 November 2015, a day that we believe is an opportunity to look hopefully towards the future, while taking guidance from the culture and heritage of our past.

    Posted 20th Nov in news

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  • "An Interview with Native Hawaiian Activist Kumu Hina" -- Radio 94.1FM KPFA -- Berkeley, CA

    Sharon Sobotta talks with Kumu Hina, subject of an award-winning PBS documentary, about gender and sexuality in native Hawaiian culture.

    Posted 17th Nov in news

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  • "How Can Our Community Better Understand Gender Diversity?" -- Insights on PBS Hawaii - Nov.12, 2015

    Following a broadcast of "A Place in the Middle" -- the short, youth-focused, educational version of "Kumu Hina," -- PBS Hawaii hosted a one-hour on-air conversation to help promote understanding, acceptance and inclusion of all people, across the gender spectrum, in our communities.

    Posted 14th Nov in news

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  • 雞蛋花的世界:《跨性夏威夷》Plumeria World: "Cross of Hawaii" -- 知名影評─但唐謨, Taiwanese Film Critic Dàn Táng Mó

    紀錄片《跨性夏威夷》的男/女主角荷娜就非常喜歡在頭上帶著一朵雞蛋花,搭配他壯碩的體格,呈現了一份力與美的陰性魅力。《跨性夏威夷》記錄一段遙遠文化下的性別之旅。位處太平洋的夏威夷也有著長遠殖民歷史,雖然是美國的一州,當地的傳統仍然是南島文化。傳統夏威夷的性別概念,除了男女之外,還有一種介於兩者之間的性別「māhū」。māhū兼具男女兩種性別,也同時擁有兩者的優越性;但是經過長久的歐洲殖民,象徵夏威夷當地傳統性別文化的māhū也受到了打壓。 Documentary "Cross of Hawaii," the male / female Hena would very much like eggs in the head with a flower, with his burly physique, showing a negative power and beauty of the charm. "Cross of Hawaii" record period of sex tours under distant culture. Located in the Pacific Ocean, Hawaii also has a long-term colonial history, although it is part of the United States, local tradition is still Austronesian culture. Traditional Hawaiian concept of gender, in addition to men and women, there is a cross between gender between "māhū." māhū both men and women of both sexes, and also has the advantages of both; but after a long European colonization, a symbol of Hawaiian culture, local traditional gender māhū also been suppressed.

    Posted 31st Oct in news

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  • "It's About Being Brave" - The Garden Island News

    “KUMU HINA is about being brave,” said Kati Conant, Hale Halawai’s executive director. “Brave enough to be not only your true self, but brave enough to be your best self while respecting your culture and, in this case, the Hawaiian culture. There’s a lesson for all humans in this film.”

    Posted 22nd Oct in news

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  • Penn Museum Film Series Explores Gender Boundaries with Hawaiian Stories

    “Gender Across Cultures” is the focus of the Penn Museum’s Second Sunday Culture Film Series, which begins Oct. 11. Two documentaries about Hawaii will be shown: “A Place in the Middle” and “Heart of the Sea.” The films are about big ideas, but it should be noted that the two documentaries being screened are neither pretentious nor didactic. On the contrary, they are colorful, eye-opening and fun to watch.

    Posted 9th Oct in news

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  • Encore Broadcast of Kumu Hina on PBS World Channel, October 28, 2015

    Imagine a world where a little boy can grow up to be the woman of his dreams, and a young girl can rise to become a leader among men. Welcome to Kumu Hinaʻs Hawaiʻi. PBS World Channel offers an encore broadcast of "Kumu Hina," winner of the Audience Award for the 2014/15 season of PBS / Independent Lens.

    Posted 2nd Oct in news

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  • Hawaii State Public Library System Sponsors Kumu Hina's Bullying Prevention Campaign

    The Hawaii State Public Library System will present "A Place in the Middle" - a short Hawaiian film at the heart of a new bullying prevention campaign centered on cultural empowerment and gender inclusion - in a series of screenings at eight selected public libraries statewide from Friday, Sept. 18 through Wednesday, Oct. 28.

    Posted 18th Sep in news

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  • Hawaiian Anti-Bullying Film to Show in Waimea

    One Big Island public library will be among seven in the state to present “A Place in the Middle,” a Hawai’i-made anti-bullying film. The film was made to support a culturally-centered campaign for safe and inclusive schools and will be shown at free screenings across the state between Sept. 18 and Oct. 28.

    Posted 11th Sep in news

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  • "Countering Bullying, with Aloha" - The Huffington Post

    Bullying doesn't occur in a vacuum; it's the product of underlying stigma and prejudice. That's why it's time to move beyond telling children that it's bad to be mean, and start showing them why it's good to be inclusive and accepting - not just for the targets of bullying, but for everyone in the school and community.

    Posted 19th Aug in news

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  • "What Native Hawaiian Culture Can Teach Us About Gender Identity" - Yes! Magazine

    As the documentary Kumu Hina reveals, living between both genders is the more powerful “mahu" way.

    Posted 29th Jul in news

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  • Educational Video "A Place In The Middle" Distributed with Subtitles in China

    In a new partnership between the Kumu Hina Project and Queer Comrades, the educational video "A Place In The Middle" is now available online to viewers in China, with Chinese subtitles! Queer Comrades is a project operating under the Beijing Gender Health Education Institute and receives support from the Ford Foundation and the Worldwide Fund Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.

    Posted 22nd Jul in news

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  • A Place In The Middle: An Educational Toolkit for Cultural Empowerment & Gender Diversity

    This youth-focused educational film is a great way to get K-12 students thinking and talking about the values of diversity and inclusion, the power of knowing your heritage, and how to create a school climate of aloha, from their own point of view!

    Posted 14th Jul in news

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  • And the Winner of the 2014-15 PBS/Independent Lens Audience Award Is: "Kumu Hina"

    The winner of this season’s Independent Lens Audience Award, as chosen by voting viewers, is…. Kumu Hina!

    Posted 1st Jul in news

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  • "A Film about the People Who Fit in the In-Between" - Documentary Edge Festival, NZ

    "The real Hawai'i lies beneath the tiki cocktails and the souvenir shirts, and there is no better representative of it than Kumu Hina Wong-Kalu."

    Posted 29th Jun in news

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  • On Cameron Croweʻs ʻAlohaʻ and Other, More Important, Indigenous Pacific Films

    "Kumu Hina is an actual love story, not just set in Hawaiʻi, but about the very real difficulties of having and sustaining love in a place that is supposed to naturally exude it! Love, or shall we say, aloha, here – expands aloha to ʻohana, community, to the ʻāina. Aloha in this film is lived through Hina’s kuleana to her community and her students at a Maoli charter school in Honolulu. Gender, sexuality, decolonization, and aloha are interwoven themes through the film and through Hina’s personal story. Hina’s struggle in love and life help to tell the larger stories of ways that colonial histories have shaped Maoli lives in intimate ways in the present." - Kumu Hina (http://kumuhina.com/ available on iTunes) -- 2014, Dir. Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson

    Posted 23rd Jun in news

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  • "Staff Picks: What We're Watching" - Teaching Tolerance

    A Place in the Middle: The True Meaning of Aloha, a documentary short by Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson, tells the story of a school in Honolulu, Hawaii, that is demonstrating respect for and inclusion of gender-fluid students. The film centers on 11-year-old Ho’onani, who embodies māhū, a Hawaiian term that refers to people who embrace feminine and masculine spirits. Ho’onani occupies “a place in the middle” on the gender spectrum and leads her school’s hula troupe, typically for boys only. Ho’onani’s teacher Kumu Hina—a transgender woman—tells the troupe, “I want every student to know that if you are my student, you have a place to be—in the middle.” A Place in the Middle documents some of the positive outcomes that can occur when schools welcome students with love, harmony and respect (the deeper meaning of aloha). The film also makes the point that this welcome should not be extended despite students’ gender identity or expression, but precisely because of who they are.

    Posted 24th May in news

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  • "Hollywood's Appropriation of Hawaiian Culture" - Janet Mock, MSNBC's So Popular!

    So POPular!'s Janet Mock, who is herself a native Hawaiian or Kanaka Maoli, talks about the new film “Aloha,” Hollywood’s continued appropriation of Hawaii and the culture of its native people, and mentions the recent PBS broadcast of KUMU HINA.

    Posted 14th May in news

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  • "Making 'A Place in the Middle' in Every Classroom" - Teaching Tolerance

    Many U.S. schools serve groups of kids who are diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, age, religious or non-religious belief, national origin, family situation, ability, sexual orientation and gender identity. This diversity is especially vibrant here in Hawai'i, where many people describe their ethnic background as “chop suey,” Christians are in a minority and gender-nonconforming individuals are not only accepted but are respected and admired for their important role in perpetuating cultural knowledge and traditions.

    Posted 6th May in news

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  • "Transgender Kumu Finds Acceptance Far From Home" - Honolulu Star-Advertiser

    Being mahu, or transgender, as well as both Hawaiian and Chinese, defines her identity "in the middle" and is the subject of a documentary film, "Kumu Hina," which premieres nationally on PBS' "Independent Lens" on Monday, May 4, in celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

    Posted 3rd May in news

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  • "Kumu Hina and A Place in the Middle: New Inspiring Films Explore Gender in Hawaiian Culture" - Welcoming Schools

    “Unlike most educational films, it’s not just about kids, it’s for kids,” says Hamer, and Ho’onani narrates much of her own story. Hamer and Wilson have prepared a guide to help teachers facilitate discussions based on the film about “how gender is interpreted by culture, and how instead of just accepting people who are ‘in the middle,’ this culture celebrates them.”

    Posted 2nd May in news

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  • "National PBS Premiere of ‘Kumu Hina’ to Launch Educational Campaign" - Teaching Tolerance

    May 4 also marks the launch of an educational campaign from the creators of Kumu Hina. Hamer and Wilson created a 30-minute educational version of Kumu Hina called A Place in the Middle, distributed for free on PBS LearningMedia. Ho’onani’s inspiring story takes center stage in A Place in the Middle. Viewers can commit to making their schools more inclusive and welcoming by taking a #PledgeofAloha—an expression of love, honor and respect for all. Additional educational resources can be found in the free discussion guide that accompanies A Place in the Middle.

    Posted 29th Apr in news

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  • "TRUE LIBERATION" - The Huffington Post

    "The Beautiful Way Hawaiian Culture Embraces A Particular Kind Of Transgender Identity" -- Kumu Hina premieres on PBS on Monday, May 4 at 10 p.m. EST (9 PM CST).

    Posted 29th Apr in news

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  • "A Captivating, Gorgeous, and Inspiring Love Story" - Lei Magazine

    It’s a huge, controversial subject told through a captivating love story. A love between a man and a woman, a love shared between a teacher and student, and a love for culture and tradition. Kumu Hina examines the intricacies of a woman who struggled with her identity and the modern-day perceptions of what it meant to be a mahu. Always hovering in the “place in the middle,”Wong-Kalu is figuring out what her next move will be. No matter what, she will continue to speak her opinion, and inspire all around her.

    Posted 18th Apr in news

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  • "Kumu Hina Has Sparked A New Passion In My Life" - Barb Baus, Bethlehem, Pa

    "I have never been so touched emotionally by any other movie I've seen. You just need to know that Kumu Hina has sparked a new passion in my life. It has put a face to a GLBT issue that has been overlooked for far too long. Here in the Lehigh Valley, we will be making a difference."

    Posted 14th Apr in news

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  • PBS Learning Media Unveils Kumu Hina Educational Resource: 'A Place In The Middle'

    Learn about the native Hawaiian approach to gender diversity, the power of cultural heritage, and the true meaning of aloha – love, honor and respect for all – in this short film about an eleven year-old girl who dreams of leading the all-male hula troupe at her school in Honolulu.

    Posted 11th Apr in news

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  • "Kumu Hina, un mahu efféminé, une histoire émouvante." - FranceTV

    Hina, une jeune femme transsexuelle à Hawaï.Colin, lycéen timide est devenu Hina. Une histoire émouvante.

    Posted 6th Apr in news

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  • Kumu Hina Premieres on Independent Lens Monday, May 4, 2015 on PBS

    Film About a Transgender Teacher in Hawaii Brings an Ancient Cultural Perspective to National Debate on Transgender Rights

    Posted 21st Mar in news

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  • CHILDRENʻS JURY AWARD 2015: Childrenʻs Film Festival Seattle

    The Global Zoom Prize for the film that best promotes intercultural understanding and cooperation is awarded to "Kumu Hina: A Place In The Middle"

    Posted 19th Mar in news

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  • Keali'i Reichel and Kumu Hina in New York

    "Kumu Hina is the Wahine Alo Ehuehu of our time, the Woman Who Faces the Storm," said Keali'i Reichel as he sang "E O Mai" before a screening of "Kumu Hina" at the Ford Foundation in New York on December 10, 2014.

    Posted 15th Mar in news

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  • Pacific Islander Culture, Gender Identity Focus of University of Hawaiʻi West Oʻahu series

    The University of Hawaiʻi–West Oʻahu welcomes distinguished visiting scholar and Kanaka Maoli teacher, cultural practitioner and community leader Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu to UH West Oʻahu for a film screening and a series of presentations this February. Wong-Kalu is a founding member and outreach specialist for Kulia Na Mamo, a community organization with a mission to improve the quality of life for māhū wahine (transgender women) and former cultural director for Hālau Lōkahi public charter school.

    Posted 5th Mar in news

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  • "The True meaning of Aloha" - The Northern Star, Australia

    Although there have been several high profile films about transgender and gender non-conforming people over the years, they have tended to focus on the prejudice, discrimination and hostility that trans people face, rather than on their abilities and accomplishments. Kumu Hina turns this paradigm around by portraying a world that recognizes those who display both male and female characteristics as gifted and special. A world where transgender people are visible, included and honoured. A world where youth who are searching for their own creative forms of gender expression are embraced and encouraged to be themselves rather than to hide in fear or pretend they are just like everyone else.

    Posted 28th Feb in news

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  • "Words of Wisdom: Kumu Hina" - Center for Asian American Media

    February 18, 2015 on the ancient Chinese lunar calendar is New Year’s eve. As I scramble to prepare traditional foods and rituals to usher in the year of the goat, I found myself reflecting on the powerful convictions of a great teacher. You may not have heard of her yet, but I’m sure that in due time, you will because Hinaleimoana Kwai Kong Wong-Kalu (黄貴光) has an inspiring spirit that shines bright on and off the screen. Hinaleimoana is the starring character in a feature documentary called Kumu Hina showing at CAAMFest this year. Here’s an excerpt of an interview I did with her and filmmakers Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson. --Kar Yin Tham

    Posted 22nd Feb in news

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  • "Kumu In The Middle" - Hana Hou! The Magazine of Hawaiian Airlines

    “I really don’t know what’s in store,” Hina says at the end of the film, and though she’s referring specifically to her marriage, she might as well be talking about her life as a whole. “What I do know is that I’m fortunate to live in a place that allows me to love who I love. I can be whoever I want to be. That’s what I hope most to leave with my students: A genuine understanding of unconditional acceptance and respect. To me that’s the true meaning of aloha.”

    Posted 16th Feb in news

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  • Kumu Hina: Teaching Us All About Love and Acceptance

    As for her hopes for what audiences will take away from watching Kumu Hina, Wong-Kalu said at the end of the International Examiner’s interview, “I’d like them to have unconditional love and understanding and acceptance of people who are different. I’d like them to understand that there are different paradigms of life that can exist. All are acceptable. … To other transgenders out there, all they have to do is put their heart and soul into their mind, and go north toward it.”

    Posted 4th Feb in news

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  • "A Beautiful Look into Hawaiian Culture and Living Outside the Gender Binary" -- AfterEllen.com

    A Place in the Middle is a documentary short about a young Hawaiian person growing up “in the middle” of the gender binary; about the reclamation and celebration of Hawaiian culture; the wounds of colonialism; the bonds between students and teachers; about acceptance. It tells us more than once about the true meaning of aloha: love, harmony. In this story, aloha means standing in the girls’ line or the boys’—or out in front, with two leis; different, but not alone.

    Posted 30th Jan in news

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  • 'Kumu Hina: A Place in the Middle' Premieres at the 65th Berlinale

    A PLACE IN THE MIDDLE, the educational version of Hamer & Wilson's feature documentary KUMU HINA, is one of 65 films from 35 countries selected for the 65th Berlinale's Generation programme, a slate of state-of-the-art world cinema devoted to children and young people seen by more than 60,000 attendees annually.

    Posted 17th Jan in news

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  • "Hiding in Plain Sight: The Beijing Queer Film Festival" -- Filmmaker Magazine

    In the USA, many LGBT film festivals are struggling as queer movies become readily available in mainstream theaters and on TV and the web. For Joe and me, what made the Beijing screening of "Kumu Hina" among the most moving and memorable experiences we’ve had on the festival circuit was the realization that it was more than an entertainment, it was a statement. Every single person in the room was risking something – perhaps even their own freedom – just to be there. It was a rare opportunity to see how a community under duress depends on the power of film and storytelling to help bring about change.​

    Posted 7th Jan in news

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  • "Hiding in Plain Sight: 'Kumu Hina' at the Beijing Queer Film Festival"

    This screening in Beijing was a rare opportunity to see how a community under duress depends on the power of film and storytelling to help bring about change.

    Posted 7th Jan in news

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  • An Evening with Kumu Hina at the Ford Foundation

    On December 10, the foundation hosted 2014’s final JustFilms Philanthropy New York screening and performance series, this time celebrating cultural icon Kumu Hina, a transgender Native Hawaiian activist and teacher, and the subject of the evening’s film by directors Dean Hamer & Joe Wilson. The film points to Hawaii's leadership as the first state to have two official languages, English and ʻŌlelo Hawai'i; as an early proponent of marriage equality; and as a model for a polycultural America, where culture and values influence each other and move fluidly across boundaries rather than live side by side, or in a hierarchy, as separate entities.

    Posted 24th Dec in news

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  • "KUMU HINA: A Powerful Portrait" -- by Basil Tsiokos of 'what (not) to doc'

    The filmmakers adroitly capture a strong yet vulnerable woman in a well-rounded manner too often missing from many profiles of transgender individuals that only focus on a singular aspect of their identity.

    Posted 13th Nov in news

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  • Kumu Hina at TEDxMaui: "He Inoa Mana (A Powerful Name)"

    In her talk, Kumu HIna shares about a recent trip to China which unexpectedly connected her to her family there, and the realizations this new connection is bringing to her about the origins of identity.

    Posted 30th Oct in news

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  • Kumu HIna Live Interview on Akakū Maui Media

    Hina & co-director Dean Hamer bare (almost) everything in this behind-the-scenes VIDEO interview with Shaggy Jenkins of Akakū Maui Community Media

    Posted 10th Oct in news

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  • KUMU HINA: A Life of Aloha -- Modern Weekly, Guangzhou, China

    9月15日,纪录片《Kumu Hina》在广州小范围放映。主角Hina是夏威夷一位传承传统文化的教 师和社会活动家;同时她也是Mahu(玛胡)— 现代西方语义中的“变性人”;Hina身上还有一 半中国血统。多元的文化交织融合,正体现Hina一直发扬的夏威夷传统精神内核:爱与包容。

    Posted 9th Oct in news

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  • Kumu Hina Gives Hope for the Future -- City Newspaper, Rochester, NY

    "Watch for the scene stealing Ho’onani, a pint-sized tomboy mirror of her teacher whose preternatural wisdom gives hope for the future."

    Posted 9th Oct in news

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  • "A Story of Deep Inner Grace and Uplifting Beauty in a Paradisiacal Land" -- ImageOut Film Festival

    ImageOut Rochester Review by Jennifer Morgan: "Striking a balance by living an authentic life in a paradisiacal land, Hina’s story is one of deep inner grace, uplifting beauty, and self-empowerment. Without ignoring the differences between traditional and contemporary attitudes, she molds a life full of dignity, humility, and true inner joy."

    Posted 27th Sep in news

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  • Going Global with the True Meaning of Aloha -- China Screening Tour

    This week, we’re heading off to China for a series of KUMU HINA events organized by local activists seeking to advance the country’s emerging movement for understanding and acceptance of transgender and gender fluid people.

    Posted 8th Sep in news

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  • Kumu Hina Wins Youth Jury Award at Rhode Island International Film Fest

    See All 2014 RIIFF Award Winners HERE

    Posted 13th Aug in news

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  • KUMU HINA Wins Audience Choice Award at AAIFF 2014 New York

    The 37th Asian American International Film Festival Announces the 2014 Award Recipients – see ful

    Posted 12th Aug in news

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  • "A Stunning Eye-Opener, A Filmic Encounter"

    The world Hina lives in, and by this I mean class as well as gender, is something that tourists never see. Here’s your chance — and a colorful world it is.

    Posted 23rd Jul in news

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  • Trans Cinema is Here and Now

    "An incredibly poignant and moving documentary...not to be missed."

    Posted 17th Jul in news

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