Filmmaker Seeks Funding for False Ballistic Missile Alert Film

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“Ballistic” publicity image.

Hawai‘i-born-and-raised filmmaker Zack Harris has launched a Kickstarter Crowd Funding Campaign to raise the capital needed for production of his latest short film—BallisticThis is not a drill!

“Up to this point, this film has been entirely self-funded,” Harris said. “I’m now humbly reaching out to friends, associates, alumni, supporters of the arts and Hawai‘i film industry for your assistance and greatly appreciate all and any contributions.”

Ballistic is a fictional work inspired by the true story of the missile SMS alert transmitted throughout Hawai‘i on Jan. 13, 2018. The early-morning emergency alert, BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII-SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER-THIS IS NOT A DRILL! was mistakenly dispatched to cell phones across the state of Hawai‘i, setting off widespread panic fueled by escalating tensions between the United States and North Korea at that time.


Ballistic is the story of Ryan Watanabe, a local resident who is working at a Waikiki hotel when the emergency alert is dispatched and mayhem ensues. His first thought is the safety of his mother and little sister before impact and the journey of their survival, overcoming family disparity and the erupting tension of a paradise in turmoil.

Harris added, “Ballistic is a story that I am truly passionate about and I have been fortunate that it has attracted some of Hawai‘i’s leading SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild) actors to this project.”

Actor/Director Zack portrays lead character Ryan. The other lead, Ryan’s mother, Michi Watanabe, is played by Una Wilding, who guest starred in the television hit shows Hawaii 5-0 and Magnum P.I. and was also featured in a principal role in the film Man Up and the short film Leave Keys in Car. Other co-star supporting roles are played by Rylee Brooke Kamahele, as daughter Jazmine; Allen Cole as Ginger Guest; Dezmond Gilla as Lono and Nikol Luoma who plays Nani.


The Ballistic Kickstarter Campaign launched Aug. 1, 2019, with pledges beginning at $5. The campaign ends at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 6.

To learn more about Ballistic and its cast, go online.

About Zack Harris – Writer, Director & Actor


Zack Harris’ love for the arts began with performing stints at Diamond Head Theatre and Punahou School programs. He studied film at the South Seas Film & Television School in Auckland, New Zealand, where he wrote and directed his first short film, Adah and Steve. His debut work was released with critical acclaim and was featured in the 2014 Wairoa Maori Film Festival. Whilst attending University of Hawai‘i he collaborated on multiple projects as head of the film department for UH Productions. Aside from UH projects, he also directed and produced television commercials for Burger King, Jamba Juice, Central Pacific Bank and Volvo. Since graduating with his business degree from Arizona State University in 2018, Harris has worked on an array of independent film projects including acting in the lead role in Teammates. He finds inspiration from subject matter with provocative stories, encouraging conversation and exploring the intricate spectrum of human emotion and identity.

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