Award-Winning Filmmaker to Present “The Haumāna”

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Filmmaker Keo Woolford is set to present his award-winning film “The Haumāna” at the Kahilu Theatre on Wednesday, Oct. 8, at 6:30 p.m. with a talk-story period after the viewing.

In this independent feature film, protagonist Johny Kealoha is the charismatic host of a struggling Waikiki Polynesian lu’au show. To everyone’s surprise, including his own, he is appointed as the successor to a high school boys’ hula class when his former Kumu Hula passes away. He becomes as much a student as a teacher through the demands of leading the boys and rediscovers the sanctity of the culture he has previously abandoned.

“The Haumāna” won both the Audience Award and Best First Feature Award at the 2013 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. Woolford, a talented multi-disciplinary artist who was born and raised in Hawai’i, made his directorial debut with this film.

Woolford is also an actor, with recent work featured in the box office hit “Act of Valor,” and with a recurring role as Detective/Sgt. Chang on Hawai’i 5-0. In addition to his popular roles, Woolford is also a writer, musician, and a member of Robert Cazimero’s Halau Na Kamalei O Lililehua. He also co-produced the award-winning documentary “Na Kamalei: Men of Hula.”


The busy filmmaker’s long list of accomplishments continue on as his self-penned one-man show “I Land” was nominated for an Ovation Award and won the Scenie Outstanding Solo Show Award. Woolford has also starred as the King of Siam in Rogers and Hammerstein’s “The King and I” at the London Palladium in London’s West End.

Prior to the film showing, an introductory hula workshop will take place from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. with Kumu Hula Leia Lawrence, who leads Hula Halau O Kukui Aloha O Kohala, sister halau to Hula Halau Mana’olana O Kohala. Participants will learn basic hula movements and their significance.

The film is the second and only feature film of Kahilu Theatre’s Ola Hawaiian Filmmakers Series. The series has been administered by filmmaker, artist, and educator Meleanna Aluli Meyer, who wishes to give a voice to traditional and contemporary Hawaiian culture.


The series runs through December and includes seven films, each with a talk-story period with the filmmakers after the screening and cultural workshops relating to the films.

Tickets are $5 for the film and $10 for the hula workshop. You can purchase tickets online, by calling (808) 885-6868, or at the Kahilu Theatre Box Office from Monday through Friday between 9 a.m to 1 p.m.

The Kukulu Ola Hawaiian Filmmakers Series is supported in part by a grant from the Hawai’i Tourism Authority and the Office of Hawai’i Country District 9 Councilwoman Margaret Willie.


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