Chester Kahapea sold copies of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin on Aug. 21, 1959. A new federally funded documentary project about Hawaii statehood is under way.
Interview subjects are being sought for the $500,000 documentary
By Tim Ryan
The ACM Hawaii Statehood Documentary project is seeking people who were photographed or in the news at the time of Hawaii’s statehood.
Write to Anne Misawa, c/o Lily Ching, 2550 Campus Road, Crawford 210, Honolulu, HI 96822; or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you were in the news 45 years ago when Hawaii became the 50th state, the University of Hawaii’s film school wants to make you a star.
“We’re looking for those people who were in some of the famous pictures holding statehood-day newspapers or flags or celebrating or protesting, from plantation workers to politicians,” said Chris Lee, chairman of the UH Academy for Creative Media.
ACM students have begun production on the Hawaii Statehood Documentary project, funded by a $500,000 federal grant. The high-definition film will be at least 30 minutes long and should be completed in 2005. No decisions have been made on how or where the film will be distributed.
“Statehood” is being produced and directed by film school instructor Anne Misawa with Lee as executive producer. ACM students will do production work, research, some interviews and animation for the documentary.
Dan Boylan, the film’s primary interviewer, has already completed his first story with U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye.
Other interviewees will include people who are not ordinarily in the public eye, but who have definite points of view, Lee said.
“We look forward to hearing what people have to say,” said Misawa. “We hope to be as representative as possible.”
On June 14, 1959, Boy Scout Milton Motooka helped get the word out for Hawaii’s statehood plebiscite to be held 13 days later. A new documentary will focus on Hawaii’s statehood.
“Statehood is such a fascinating subject for Hawaii because it’s the only state where you can find people who voted on it, lived here, and the issue is still being discussed,” Lee said.
Hawaii was admitted as the 50th state on Aug. 21, 1959, by proclamation of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Just as the overthrow of Queen Lili’uokalani in 1893 and the subsequent annexation of the islands by the United States in 1898 are steeped in controversy, so, too, is statehood.
The government funding is unrestricted, which allows the film school to purchase equipment for this documentary and future film-school projects, Lee said.
He and Misawa plan to purchase a high-definition camera package in the $50,000-to-$100,000 range.
UH Academy for Creative Media