Category Archives: HIFF

Don’t miss ʻUluʻulu at the Hawaiʻi International Film Festival!

With the current pandemic environment, many regularly scheduled festivals and gatherings have sadly been cancelled over the last several months. However, The Hawaiʻi International Film Festival (HIFF) was able to go virtual instead of cancelling. So, while we, film-buffs, are unable to gather together to celebrate, we are fortunate to be able to take part in the festival from the safety of our homes.

The switch to the new format meant that ʻUluʻulu’s participation in the HIFF would change a little from the last several years. Usually, we do an Archival Screening Night, featuring a selection from our vault that is restored and shared on the big screen for a curious public. While we weren’t able to do the usual Archival Screening Night, we were able to co-sponsor and collaborate with the Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) on the screening of four documentaries on the Hōkūleʻa for the “Made in Hawaii: Visions of Hōkūleʻa Program.” Three of the documentaries are older pieces, selected from the ʻUluʻulu vault, “Hōkūleʻa, Star of Gladness,” “Hōkūleʻa: Return to Tahiti,” and “Hōkūleʻa: The Proud Voyage Home,” and one is a new, collaborative piece between ʻUluʻulu and PVS titled, “He Waʻa, He Honua.” All will be available for free online streaming, along with Naʻalehu Anthony’s, 2018 film “Moananuiākea: One ocean. One people. One canoe.” from November 16th through the 29th!

The program also includes a discussion panel, that will take place this Friday, November 20th, at 7:00pm. The panel will include: Dr. Emmet Aluli, Pomai Bertelmann, Bruce Blankenfeld, Denise Espania, Larry Kimura, Kaiʻulani Murphy, Walter Ritte, Nainoa Thompson, and Governor John Waihee.

We are excited that sharing history and heritage through our collection and our work with others is still a possibility through the HIFF in this difficult time. Find out more about how to attend the panel or the films by following the links below!

To get free tickets to the panel, follow this link:

For free tickets to watch any of the documentaries by following this link:


‘Ulu‘ulu 2019 Annual Newsletter


From all of us here at ‘Ulu‘ulu to all of you – we wish you the very best in the coming New Year! Since we sent out our last “year ender” two years ago, well, we have much to share.

ʻUluʻulu is not just your typical archive. It preserves, educates and participates. The Academy for Creative Media System concluded an agreement with Disney Animation in the summer of 2017 to translate Disney’s Moana into the Hawaiian language. With ACM System’s Director Chris Lee at the helm, the work continued throughout 2018 culminating with a world premiere on the beach at the ‘Aulani, A DIsney Resort & Spa followed by screenings at the Hawaiʻi International Film Festival 2018 and on the Great Lawn of the Bishop Museum. UHWO ACM partnered with ʻUluʻulu, Awaiaulu, Mele Studios at Honolulu Community College and UH Manoa’s Department of Theater and Dance among others to make this a successful effort.

In 2018, ‘Uluʻulu continued to grow with many new collections. One was the partnership with Bishop Museum, holder of one of the largest film collections in the state. The transfer will take a few years as staff from both institutions work carefully to prepare the thousands of film reels for the move from Kalihi to Kapolei. Within the collection is a small number of nitrate films from the early 1900s. Cellulose nitrate based films were produced in the early 20th century until 1952 and are combustible under certain temperatures and so are a priority for preservation. While attending the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA) Conference in November of 2019, Assistant Archivist for Processing Hōkū Kaʻahaʻaina completed the Nitrate Shipping and Packing Workshop and is now the only certified technician in the state that can safely pack and ship these films.

2019 was also a very special year. It marked our ten year anniversary since our first grant award was received to create ‘Uluʻulu. We celebrated with a fabulous “fun-raiser” on the Great Lawn of the Bishop Museum where we honored collection donors and supporters.  Hawaii News Now’s Rick Blangiardi was the Event Chair and ‘Iolani Palace Executive Director Paula Akana was our Emcee. We are grateful for the support of so many including the Hawaiʻi State Legislature who helped to make this incredible educational facility possible.

In terms of special collections in 2019, we were honored to become the official caretakers of the Merrie Monarch Festival video content. We were also the recipient of the cinematic legacy of George Tahara, a prolific filmmaker who directed from the 1930s through the 1970s. His special interest was Hawaiian legends but in his lifetime he produced many projects from his days with the U.S. military producing war bond films during World War II, to educational documentaries that a generation of students watched in Hawai‘i classrooms.

We ended the year with a HIFF 2019 screening of newly transferred 16mm footage about the making of the tapestries which hang on the walls of the Senate and House chambers in the State Capitol.

All of this and more can be found on our website! Be sure to check it out!

We’d like to take a moment to share some of our accomplishments from 2018 and 2019 with you. Click here to view the ‘Ulu‘ulu 2019 Annual Newsletter report on our new collections, digital preservation projects, television and film premieres and more!

Mahalo nui loa for your support!

HIFF 2016: Olympic Dreams and Plantation Memories and Kū Kanaka (Stand Tall)

preserving-olympic-dreams-and-plantation-memories-11x17-posterThis year, ‘Ulu‘ulu: The Henry Ku‘ualoha Guigni Moving Image Archive is very excited to have two films showing at the Hawaii International Film Festival that pull directly from our archival collections! The festival runs from Nov 3-13, 2016, and is a platform to illustrate international cinematic achievements in the Asia-Pacific region.

Preserving Olympic Dreams and Plantation Memories

The first film program Preserving Olympic Dreams and Plantation Memories is a partnership between ‘Ulu‘ulu, CLEAR (Center for Labor Education & Research) and the Hawai‘i Council for the Humanities as part of HIFF’s Film for Thought program series. The film screening features the newly restored and digitized 1984 Rice & Roses 30 minute documentary: COACH, produced by the Center for Labor, Education & Research. This half hour program tells the story of how Maui plantation kids trained in irrigation ditches in the 1930s and went on to win national and even Olympics championships under Coach Soichi Sakamoto. Archival raw footage and outtakes from this film will also be screened.

The archival footage related to COACH was preserved by ‘Ulu‘ulu as part of a collaborative partnership with the Hawai‘i Council for the Humanities and the Center for Labor Education & Research (CLEAR) at the University of Hawai‘i – West O‘ahu. This project began in 2015 with the aim to digitize and make accessible 95 hours of selected programs from the Rice & Roses television series produced by CLEAR and aired on PBS Hawai‘i from 1971 – 1996 that tells the stories of Hawai‘i’s labor history and our local plantation experience. This year’s HIFF screening is the first of several public programs about this new digital resource that will continue to take place in 2017.


This free screening event will be followed by a special panel discussion presented by ‘Ulu‘ulu. The panel discussion will include outtakes of never-before-seen footage that will be narrated by Julie Checkoway, writer of the New York Times bestseller, The Three-Year Swim Club. Other panelists include ʻUluʻulu Head Archivist Janel Quirante and COACH Director Joy Chong-Stannard.


Sunday, November 06, 2:00 PM at Dole Cannery C

Kū Kanaka (Stand Tall)


The second film, Kū Kanaka (Stand Tall), is directed by award-winning filmmaker and professor from the Academy for Creative Media department at University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Dr. Marlene Booth. Here, she tells the story of Kanalu Young and his strength while fighting for Hawaiian rights and the challenges of living as a quadriplegic.

Professor Booth used various resources from ‘Ulu‘ulu Archive to put together this intimate look at a powerful life.


Eager to impress his friends on an August afternoon in 1969, 15 year old Kanalu Young takes a dive into shallow water that changes his life forever. He hits his head and becomes quadriplegic, paralyzed from the neck down. Angry and defiant through months of rehabilitation, he begins to change when he learns Hawaiian language and discovers an untold story of Hawaiian history and culture. Fired up to tell Hawai‘i’s story, he earns a PhD, gets arrested fighting for Hawaiian rights, and becomes a crusading teacher and leader. Repeatedly stymied by pressure sores and respiratory problems, Kanalu soldiers on, driven to help transform his community by teaching history and practicing culture. Eventually hospitalized with a breathing tube to keep him alive, he asks his doctors to allow him to end his life, and they agree.

This film will be screened with feature film Ties That Bind: Hawai‘i in the Pacific. As part of HIFF’s Film For Thought program in partnership with the Hawai‘i Council for the Humanities the first screening of this program will be followed by a special extended discussion with director Marlene Booth (Kū Kanaka), director Caleb McMahan (Ties That Bind: Hawai‘i in the Pacific), and University of Hawai‘i professor Noelani Goodyear-Kaopua.


Monday, November 07, 8:00 PM at Dole Cannery B

Friday, November 11, 1:15 PM at Dole Cannery A

Sunday, November 20, 12:00 PM at Kauai Waimea Theater

Please be sure to stop by and view these films at this year’s festival!