ALOHA FRIENDS, IZ FANS, AND KICKSTARTER STOPPERS-BY!
After shooting 10% of this film we are fundraising the money we'll need for production and post production
Mahalo, thank you, for visiting the BRUDDAH IZ movie page! Getting to "Kickstarter launch" has been a journey only made possible by the aloha, contributions, and support that have already come to the BRUDDAH IZ movie. After an initial investment by an “angel investor” (an individual who provides capital for start-up), receiving the blessing to make this film from IZ's wife, Marlene, generosity from his music label the Mountain Apple Company, doing a mini shoot, and a tremendous amount of hard work, we are here, inviting you to join the BRUDDAH IZ movie movement so that we can make the remainder of the film through contributions - whether those contributions be a good word about the project to a friend, sharing this campaign on Facebook, sending us a few bucks, or dumping out a big ol’ pot of gold. For any of the above - MAHALO!
ISRAEL KAMAKAWIWO'OLE (1959-1997)
Israel, Bruddah IZ, or just IZ, was a native Hawaiian, a descendant of the original Polynesian settlers who created the place called Hawai'i and became the Hawaiian people. Like Bob Marley, IZ used popular music to affect social change, to tell the stories and bring awareness to the issues of his people. With his own health proving emblematic of the health of the land and the challenges of his people, IZ's compelling life story contextualizes the story of the Hawaiians today. He had a voice like few others' and through his music he still speaks to people of all backgrounds today, 18 years after his passing.
WHY TELL THE IZ STORY NOW
This film is a unique opportunity for the IZ story to reach a vast majority who are not aware that there are a Hawaiian people, those who don't know that “Hawaiian" isn’t an entree with a pineapple ring on top. IZ emerged from the Hawaiian Renaissance, a movement of cultural resurgence in the 1970s, as both a musical and socially conscious voice. His music is still playing now - on the radio, Pandora, iTunes playlists - at the same time a new generation of Hawaiians, educated in Hawaiian language, history, and environment, are coming of age with social media in hand and when many of the issues that concerned IZ are more pressing today.
It would be truly unique for a film that illuminates the truth about IZ and his Hawaiian experience to reach the audiences of all the mainstream studio films and network television shows created from an outsider’s perspective. A film that reaches all the people who know IZ’s international hit song would be a film that touches and informs millions and millions of people. Today, platforms such as Kickstarter are an avenue for independent filmmakers to raise money and build an audience at the same time.
BRUDDAH IZ MOVIE CAMPAIGN REWARDS
WHAT KIND OF “MOVIE” IS THIS DOCUMENTARY
The BRUDDAH IZ movie will be A MOVIE: a film and experience large enough to be called a movie with a story significant enough to be the subject of a movie. This film will be similar to RIDING GIANTS, SEARCHING FOR SUGARMAN, HAWAIIAN: THE LEGEND OF EDDIE AIKAU, and the like, a well-told but very specific story that reaches the masses by way of mainstream theater distribution, cable television, DVD, and online streaming, the kind of film that is true to its world yet also provides a hugely cinematic film experience to all audiences.
People love "Somewhere Over the Rainbow / What a Wonderful World" because of the emotionalized, perhaps even soothing quality to IZ's voice and the simple accompaniment of a single 'ukulele. IZ's version of those two songs is played at weddings, on baby shower home videos posted to YouTube, and anything else as a "life soundtrack." "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" (1939) is a depression-era song dreaming of better days, and "What a Wonderful World" (1967) came out of incredible racial strife during the U.S. Civil Rights Movement and looks on the bright side of things. Isn't it interesting that a native Hawaiian man born the same year that Hawai'i becaume a U.S. state, seemingly never to return to being the Hawaiian Kingdom, put these two songs together in his own way, yet seamlessly, and with such huge emotion? What a perfect jumping off point for telling this film's story.
Earlier this year I interviewed one of IZ's close friends who told me that before he passed away IZ didn't feel his life's work was complete, that he still wanted to reach the world outside of Hawai'i with the story of the Hawaiian people. That is my intention with this film - to tell the story of the Hawaiian people through the story of IZ and to reach everyone who loves IZ's hit song. I believe that through this film his wish will be fulfilled.
JENNIFER AKANA STURLA - DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: Jennifer is a California-Hawai‘i filmmaker whose devotion to telling Hawaiian stories that speak to 'both sides of the Pacific' began with her first film school efforts and led to this project on BRUDDAH IZ. (See bio, below.)
TADAO SALIMA - PRODUCER: A Hollywood veteran with experience in all aspects of the “biz,” Tadao was born and raised in Carson, California and holds close ties to the Polynesian communities and their intersection with Hollywood productions. He brings a unique contribution to projects such as this one.
JONATHAN MCHUGH - PRODUCER: Jonathan has produced or music supervised 75 films including the acclaimed documentary WEST OF MEMPHIS (2012) and the upcoming documentary on Janis Joplin, JANIS: LITTLE GIRL BLUE (2015) and was instrumental in making the Hawaiian Music genre an official Grammy category. Jonathan's years developing relationships with top music supervisors and executives provides him access to music for his projects that is out of reach for most filmmakers.
BRIAN KEAULANA is a friend of the BRUDDAH IZ movie and was a close childhood friend of IZ himself. A legendary Hawaiian waterman, Brian has worked on virtually every major Hawai‘i production from WATERWORLD (1995) to this year's ALOHA (2015) and is a renowned second unit director and producer. Brian has been a major supporter of the BRUDDAH IZ movie's director, Jennifer, since their first collaboration in 2003, and his aloha, help, and enthusiasm for this film have been huge and continuous.
MIKE PRICKETT - CINEMATOGRAPHER: From O'ahu's North Shore, Mike has been shooting for 25 years and his cinematography can be seen in Kathryn Bigelow's recent CHANEL commercial, the Kelly Slater IMAX film ULTIMATE WAVE TAHITI (2010), and the dramatic surf flick CHASING MAVERICKS (2012). He is known worldwide for his work in the water, has shot in nearly every ocean in the world, and has won numerous awards for his work including more than one Emmy and Best Cinematography at the Sundance Film Festival.
KAMA MO'IHĀ - VISUAL EFFECTS SUPERVISOR: Kama is a visual effects digital compositor and has been working on huge Hollywood flicks since the ‘90s such as X-MEN, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN, ARGO, IRON MAN 3, and the new ROBOCOP. Having extensively studied his Hawaiian ancestry and with such deep visual effects credits under his belt, Kama is a perfect contributor to the BRUDDAH IZ movie.
JOE DZUBAN - SOUND DESIGNER: A master re-recording mixer and supervising sound editor, Joe has worked on movies ranging from THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM to INSIDIOUS to FAST AND FURIOUS 7. He holds his MFA in film and television production from the University of Southern California and is under contract at Todd-Soundelux in Hollywood as both sound supervisor and re-recording mixer. More importantly, Joe did on-set sound (booming and mixing simultaneously = a true friend) for two weeks on O'ahu's North Shore for director Jennifer's USC thesis film KAMEA.
KERRIGAN HENNINGS - LEGAL COUNSEL: Kerrigan is Associate Director of Legal and Business Affairs at Warner/Chappell Music, part of Warner Music Group. Prior to joining Warner Chappell, Kerrigan was a trial lawyer at a general corporate law firm in Los Angeles where he specialized in secured commercial transactions, intellectual property enforcement, and partner/director disputes. A longtime friend of the director, Kerrigan has given time and expertise pro bono to the BRUDDAH IZ movie over the past two years of development.
WHAT'S IN THE BUDGET - WHERE'S THE MONEY GOING?
This film is being made with minimal funds, maximum effort. We have already received - and hope to continue to receive - donated and discounted services, "sweat equity," and the like, and any monies contributed to the film go to the cold hard costs of film production and post production. Moreover, additional funds will be required upon the completion of this film to pay for film and video clip licensing, as well as music licensing. This campaign is the first of what will be ongoing fundraising for the making of the BRUDDAH IZ movie and our ultimate goal is to raise at least $150,000.
IN THE MEDIA
Jennifer and the BRUDDAH IZ movie on HAWAI'I'S REEL STORIES 7.23.15
Jennifer and Tadao talk about the BRUDDAH IZ movie on THE BBQ RADIO SHOW 7.30.15
JENNIFER AKANA STURLA - DIRECTOR'S BIO
Jennifer’s USC graduate thesis film KAMEA (25 min, 35mm) won top prizes at several festivals including Best Short at the Hawai‘i International Film Festival. Next, Jennifer was hired to write and direct the action-sports narrative short RIDE THE WAKE (22 min, 35mm) which found distribution to Amazon and Netflix. Her dance movie in development, HAWAIIAN STYLE, was developed in part by Sony Pictures.
Born to a Hawaiian beauty queen and an aerospace engineer from New Jersey, growing up Jennifer vacillated between the life of a southern California “Valley Girl” and the world of her Hawaiian family on the Big Island and on O‘ahu. Jennifer attended an arts-oriented Rudolf Steiner Waldorf school after which she earned her Bachelor of Arts in literature from the University of California at Santa Cruz and her Master of Fine Arts in film and television production from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinema-Television (now the School of Cinematic Arts).
Since her first entertainment industry job as a polyester-clad NBC Page in Burbank, Jennifer’s 19 years in “Hollywood" are marked by myriad gigs. On Fox’s original BEVERLY HILLS, 90210 Jennifer assisted the writers on the show; she worked as a researcher on HBO's Spielberg/Hanks produced BAND OF BROTHERS; on MGM’s Paul Walker water epic INTO THE BLUE Jennifer apprenticed with the director John Stockwell; later, Jennifer spent six years working on the Sony Pictures studio lot in publicity, marketing, and distribution, among countless other jobs, while working on her own independent film projects.
Other work by BRUDDAH IZ director Jennifer Akana Sturla:
HAWAIIAN STYLE (6-min sizzle reel for a dance movie in development) starring SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE cast members Twitch, Ade, Nathan, and Ryan. Click pop-out button on bottom of frame for full screen:
KAMEA (25-minute, 35mm; the full short film below), a mystical, coming-of-age story about a shy Hawaiian girl guided by the spirit of surf legend Duke Kahanamoku. Click pop-out button on bottom of frame for full screen:
WHERE CAN I BUY IZ’S MUSIC AND STUFF
For official IZ merchandise and IZ's amazing music, please visit IZ's store on the Mountain Apple Company's site:
MAHALO NUI LOA - SPECIAL THANKS - TO:
DANNY AGENA - LEAH BERNSTEIN - DON BROWN - TIM CARRAS - HIAPO CASHMAN - JON DE MELLO - GERARD ELMORE - HEATHER FITZGERALD - MIKE HAASE - TAMAR HALPERN - DANA HANKINS - KERRIGAN HENNINGS - MOKE HILACION - VAL ITO - TYLER JONES - CHRIS KAMAKA - BRIAN KEAULANA - MARLENE KAMAKAWIWO'OLE - SAM KAPOI - VINCE KEALA LUCERO - ANNE MISAWA - KAMA MO'IHĀ - KRISTEN OLMO - JASON ERIC PERLMAN - JOE QUENGA - MARTHA & RUSS ROBERTSON - ANNE C. RUSSELL - JOE SAVAGE - LORETTA & BOB STURLA - CHRIS THOMAS - DA VERDADERO 'OHANA - THE BBQ SHOW - GRAPHIC PRINTS INC. - THE MOUNTAIN APPLE COMPANY - HAWAIIAN STUDIES PROGRAM UNIVERSITY OF HAWAI'I, MĀNOA - HAWAI'INUIĀKEA HAWAIIAN SCHOOL OF KNOWLEDGE & KA PAPA LO'I 'O KĀNEWAI - CO CREATIVE STUDIOS - SIGHT AND SOUND STUDIOS - KAMAKA HAWAI'I - HAWAI'I'S REEL STORIES - MARTIN GUITAR - POLYNESIAN VOYAGING SOCIETY - COMEN VFX - HELLOVAL.COM - THE WIZARD PRINTING
Risks and challenges
The number one challenge to completing this film will be making sure we raise enough money for finishing funds and all the necessary licensing (film/video and music). Thankfully, many Kickstarter film projects have done more than one campaign and have successfully met their budgets. The producers of this film plan to do the same and will cut new pitch videos to include new up-to-date footage and an explanation of what the additional funds are for. Once the film is "in the can," the next challenge will be to secure distribution - the kind that includes theatrical and international releasing, DVD/Blu-Ray, cable, and online streaming. Having worked in studio film distribution, the producer/director of this film is blessed with friends and colleagues whose distribution expertise she can lean on.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)