Casting Call for National Park Service Films

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Big Island Now stock photo. Dec. 2016.

The National Park Service on the Island of Hawaiʻi has released a casting call for Native Hawaiians to play a variety of roles in four new visitor center films to be released in 2018. Told from the Native Hawaiian perspective, the inspirational films will tell rich stories of Hawaiʻi’s past, from 300 A.D to modern times. No acting experience is necessary.

Told from the Native Hawaiian perspective, the inspirational films will tell rich stories of Hawaiʻi’s past, from 300 A.D to modern times. No acting experience is necessary.

The parks, Puʻukoholā Heiau National Historic Site, Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park, Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park and Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail, are dedicated to the preservation, protection and interpretation of traditional Native Hawaiian culture and natural resources.


All four NPS sites are located on the western side of the island.

Each 15-minute film is being produced, not just for domestic and international visitors, but also for the Hawaiian people themselves. Each will be available for viewing in English and Native Hawaiian languages. The films will include audio description in both languages for visitors who are blind or have minimal vision, and on-screen subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing in both languages for visitors who have hearing impairment.

The stories of these sacred places are told through on-camera interviews with Hawaiian kūpuna, spiritual leaders and cultural practitioners. Also interviewed are Native Hawaiians who work at each park as interpreters, cultural experts, natural resource managers and historians. All voices are woven into a “living” tapestry, revealing each park’s distinct story from a Native Hawaiian perspective.


A common thread throughout is the spiritual relationship native Hawaiians have with their gods, their land and one another. The films honor and celebrate the beauty and deep history of the Hawaiian people—past, present and future—and the National Park Service sites that help preserve the legacy and spirit of sacred places.

Great Divide Pictures of Denver, Colorado, award-winning producers of over 30 films for the National Park Service, is producing the films for the Hawaiʻi parks. To complement the interviews, Great Divide will capture the visual splendor of each park from the ground and air, and will produce cinematic historical recreations that bring Hawaiʻi’s important past alive.

Among the historical scenes planned for production are:

  • The intense personal journey of an escaped warrior who undergoes a spiritual transformation at Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau during the 1600s;
  • The 1791 confrontation of rivals, Kamehameha and Keōua Kūʻahuʻula, at Puʻukoholā Heiau;
  • The ingenious methods Hawaiians used to create life-sustaining fishponds at Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park;
  • How ancestral Hawaiians created an extensive network of trails—lifelines—throughout the island, commemorated now by Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail.

The historical recreations will be filmed on-site at each park in May 2017. Great Divide and the National Park Service are looking to cast people who will portray Kamehameha the Great and Keōua Kūʻahuʻula. In addition, the producers are looking to cast warriors, kahuna, aliʻi (Hawaiian royalty) and makaʻāinana (commoners).

The casting deadline is Feb. 15, 2017.

Send an email to [email protected].

For more information,  download the NPS.Casting Call Document.

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