Local documentary wins film festival award

Isaiah, Zach, Brolin, Max, and Ka'ai from 'One Voice.' Courtesy photo.
Isaiah, Zach, Brolin, Max, and Ka'ai from 'One Voice.' Courtesy photo.
Out of more than 600 films screening at the 11th Annual San Diego Asian Film Festival, ‘One Voice,’ a local documentary from Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC) about the Kamehameha Schools Song Contest, was this year’s audience award winner.

“The Harrah’s Rincon Audience Award is special because it is chosen by the people who attend the festival and actually saw the film,” says Ruth Bolan, producer of ‘One Voice’ and executive director of Pacific Islanders in Communications. “It reaffirms our mission of sharing the stories of the Pacific with the world, and the importance of perpetuating Hawaiian language and culture.”

‘One Voice’ also took home the Audience Award at the 30th Annual Hawaii International Film Festival in October. The documentary tells the story of the Kamehameha Schools Song Contest through the eyes of 10 student song directors. Every year in Hawai‘i, 2000 high school students compete in the Kamehameha Schools Song Contest where young leaders direct their peers in singing Hawaiian music in four-part harmony. The Contest is a unique cultural celebration that has become a major local event, broadcast live on TV, played on the radio, and streamed on the Internet.

‘One Voice’ shares the thrill of the competition via the personal stories of the student song directors as they experience the trials and tribulations of competition in this annual high school event. Following the elected student song directors, the audience sees how the tradition creates an indelible experience that builds class unity, instills cultural pride, and builds character. The film also explores their world outside of school by meeting their families, or ‘ohana, and revealing their hopes and dreams for the future. Through the stories and lives of these contemporary high school students, the audience will experience Hawaiian culture as it has survived, flourished, and grown through the universal power of music and song.

About ‘One Voice’

Presented by Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC) in partnership with Juniroa Productions, ‘One Voice,’ a documentary about ten Kamehameha Schools student song directors and their journey to Song Contest, made its Hawaii premiere at HIFF on October 15th at Dole Cannery Stadium 18 Theaters. It had a second screening at Dole Theaters on Wednesday, October 20th and a third screening at Sunset on the Beach in Waikiki on Saturday, October 23rd.

‘One Voice’ follows the students as they prepare for the Song Contest, showing their contributions to preserving and perpetuating the Hawaiian culture. Through the stories and the lives of these contemporary high school students, the audience will experience Hawaiian culture as it has survived, flourished and grown through the universal power of music and song.

About Pacific Islanders in Communications

The mission of Pacific Islanders in Communications is to support, advance, and develop Pacific Island media content and talent that results in a deeper understanding of Pacific Island history, culture, and contemporary challenges. Established in Honolulu in 1991 as a national nonprofit media arts corporation, PIC is a member of the National Minority Consortia, which collectively addresses the need for programming that reflects America’s growing ethnic and cultural diversity. Primary funding for PIC and the Consortia is provided through an annual grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Visit www.piccom.org for additional information.

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