‘KULEANA’ Held Over After Successful Opening Weekend

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Actor Augie T, Writer-Director Brian Kohne and Mahealani Sims-Tulba at the Maui opening of KULEANA. Courtesy photo.

The award-winning film KULEANA began its statewide theatrical release on March 30, 2018, at Regal and Consolidated Theaters throughout Hawai‘i.

KULEANA announced the following Monday that its opening weekend saw near sell-out audiences statewide.

As a result, the film and will be held over in Hawai‘i and Guam and will add screens at Regal Cinemas on O‘ahu, including Windward, Kapolei Commons and Pearl Highlands.

“KULEANA has proven itself a mainstream competitor to other Hollywood films in theaters now,” said KULEANA Writer-Director Brian Kohne, a long-time Maui resident.

“We are excited to expand O‘ahu presence into Regal Cinemas many luxurious locations,” said Kohne. “They have proven to be a reliable partner for the Hawai‘i filmmaker through their incredible support of KULEANA with openings statewide and in Guam, as well as in their ongoing relationship with the Hawai‘i International Film Festival.”


Produced entirely in Hawai‘i, KULEANA has received the Audience Choice Award in the Santa Cruz Film Festival, the Maui Film Festival and the San Antonio Film Festival, as well as “Best of Fest” in the Guam International Film Festival.

“Our island stories deserve to be showcased alongside that of our Hollywood friends,” said Kohne, “and the Regal Entertainment Group are truly the ones in Hawai‘i investing in our growth as motion picture writers, directors, actors and producers.”

The film opened the Regal Keauhou Stadium 7 at the Keauhou Shopping Center in Kailua-Kona and the Regal Prince Kuhio 9 in Prince Kuhio Plaza in Hilo.

Big Island Now attended the noon showing at the Regal Prince Kuhio, where 90 of the 100 seats in theater were filled.

Moviegoers enjoyed the film, sharing their comments with Big Island Now—”great,” terrific,” “brilliant,” “it was wonderful,” “loved it,” “it gave me chicken skin.”



KULEANA opening celebration on Maui. VC: Maui Now

“The weekend seemed to go well everywhere we opened,” said Kohne.

Reviews are coming in, and one in particular came from Terry Hunter, critic on KGMB, who said, if you live in Hawai‘i, if you love Hawai‘i, don’t miss KULEANA.

KULEANA has also been accepted into the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival for a screening on May 8. The Los Angeles premiere offers the opportunity to showcase for the film industry in California.


“This could prove a ripe opportunity to cross the pond with momentum and attract additional attention at a pretty sizable festival,” said Kohne.

Kohne is also anticipating breaks in the Hollywood Reporter and Variety very soon.

Jump on KULEANA’s Facebook page to read more reviews and comments.

More KULEANA reviews can be found online on MauiNow.com and on Maui Now’s Facebook page.

For more about the Maui opening of KULEANA, click here.

Mainland residents can sign up to host/attend a screening in their city at www.hawaiicinema.com via Gathr, a technology-based Theatrical On Demand service.


In KULEANA, set in Hawai‘i in 1971, a disabled Vietnam vet rediscovers the Hawaiian warrior within to protect his family, defend their land and clear his father’s name. Boasting high production values in picture, performances and music, KULEANA has earned the faith of mainland theater giants Reading International (Consolidated) and Regal, which will also open the movie in Guam. The film received an MPAA PG-13 rating, and also holds a spot on popular movie review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.

KULEANA is the Hawaiian word for Spiritual Responsibility. The provocative new mystery/drama was written and directed by Kohne, produced by Stefan Schaefer, and stars Moronai Kanekoa, Sonya Balmores (Marvel’s INHUMANS), Kristina Anapau (TRUE BLOOD), Augie T, Marlene Sai, Branscombe Richmond (CHICAGO MED) and Mel Cabang. Willie K provides an original score; the soundtrack boasts hit songs by Joni Mitchell, Procol Harum, and Tony Orlando and Dawn, with Hawaiian classics of the era by Genoa Keawe, Lena Machado, Sunday Manoa, Sons of Hawaii, Marlene Sai and more.

*Pacific Media Group, Big Island Now and Maui Now’s parent company, is a shareholder in the film KULEANA.

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