‘Rise of the Wahine’ to Premiere Sept. 5

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Rise of the Wahine: Champions of Title IX. PC:

The highly anticipated release and premiere of Rise of the Wahine: Champions of Title IX is scheduled for today, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018, at the Hawaii Theater in downtown Honolulu on O‘ahu; the film will also be released via digital streaming for purchase or rental beginning at 3 p.m. at

The Rise of the Wahine premiere event presented by HawaiianMiles will begin at 6:30 p.m. on O‘ahu, where a nearly sold-out theater will gather to view the film.

Immediately following the premiere of the film, filmmakers Dean Kaneshiro and Ryan Kalei Tsuji along with former University of Hawai‘i Wahine Volleyball Coach Dave Shoji and first Wahine Volleyball Team Captain Beth McLaughlin will participate in a panel discussion.


Proceeds from the evening will be donated to the Patsy T. Mink Foundation, an organization that supports educational access, opportunity, and equity for low-income women and educational enrichment for children, on behalf of Hawaiian Airlines.

The film began production in 2012.

Set in the 1970’s, Rise of the Wahine is the mostly untold story of a group of women from Hawai‘i who battled women’s inequality issues, leading up to and after the passing of Title IX.


These women included Title IX co-author Mink and UH’s first Women’s athletic director, Dr. Donnis Thompson.

Hawai‘i-born filmmaker Kaneshiro, who also served as the director, writer and producer, was the catalyst for the project.

“I grew up in Honolulu and this incredible story took place in my own backyard—I had no idea,” Kaneshiro said. “From this tiny island came women who played a significant role in unlocking the door of equality in female athletics and then busting it open for generations to come. They just wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer.”


Co-producer Tsuji was born and raised in Hilo and worked with the UH Rainbow Wahine volleyball team as a coach under Shoji for eight seasons. He then began his broadcasting carrier as a commentator covering UH athletics.

“This volleyball team is one of the most beloved sports teams in Hawaiian history,” Tsuji said. “I had no idea that 40 years ago, the players had to make so many sacrifices to play—just because they were women.”

Rise of the Wahine is produced by Tiffany Taylor, features music composed by Paulette Wooten, and is narrated by Hollywood actress and former Hawai‘i resident Sarah Wayne Callies (The Walking Dead, Prison Break and Colony).

For more information on the film, including the trailer and links to purchase tickets to the 2018 premiere and to pre-order the film, visit

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