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A feature length documentary about the staple food of Hawaii; Kalo (taro) and its connection to Hawai''s culture.
A feature length documentary about the staple food of Hawaii; Kalo (taro) and its connection to Hawai''s culture.
706 backers pledged $78,780 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$78,780

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I am Hāloa is a feature length documentary film about Hawaiian identity and culture, as understood through the story of Hāloa, the first Hawaiian person in the Hawaiian Creation Story known as the Kumulipo, and the traditional Hawaiian staple food commonly known as poi. This film tells the story of three Kamehameha high school seniors who are embarking on a journey of self-discovery as they travel throughout the Hawaiian Islands to gain a better understanding of their culture and to re-establish a link to the first Hawaiian, Hāloa. For 90 days they will commit to cultivating, harvesting and eating kalo (taro) for three meals a day. During these 90 days the girls will travel from Oʻahu to Kauaʻi, Maui, Molokaʻi, Moku o Keawe, Kahoʻolawe, and Lānaʻi to learn from some of the most inspirational leaders in Hawaiʻi about the past, the present and the future role that Hāloa could play in guiding the people of Hawaiʻi. I am Hāloa will explore the inherent values and conflicts that come with incorporating Hāloa into modern lifestyles and also the amazingly delicious new ways that this ancient, sacred food is revolutionizing cuisine in Hawaiʻi. These three young ladies will work with some of the top chefs in Hawaiʻi like Lee Anne Wong, Ed Kenney, Mark Noguchi and Andrew Le, to see how Hāloa is being incorporated into the menus of the most delicious restaurants in Hawaii.

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Understanding the importance of where your food comes from and the intention that is used in the preparation of your food is a topic that is discussed around the world. For Hawaiians, there is a spiritual and metaphysical connection to poi through their ancestor Hāloa. In Japan itʻs sushi, for Italians itʻs pasta, for the French itʻs wine, in India itʻs curries that people look to for a certain level of quality and excellence within their culture. In many countries there are connections to the foods of their past and in Hawaii it is no different, except that in Hawaii, the kalo plant and poi have been disappearing over the last 200 years. I am Hāloa examines what happens when we no longer place an importance on protecting our food sources and the practices of our ancestors.

There is a global movement often referred to as the slow food movement in which people and communities are looking to eat fresh whole ingredients, grown from their own lands and shared within their own communities. A major factor in this decision is that people want to know in todayʻs world of processed foods and fast food: Where does my food come from?

Understanding what we eat, where it came from, how it was cultivated, who touched it along the way and what that food makes us feel like is important to understanding how we can be healthier as a global community. These three young women have committed to making their own food for 90 days and have committed to searching throughout Hawaii to see what the state of farming looks like in Hawaiʻi today.

Hawaii is a unique example of understanding the effects of Sustainable Agriculture. In Hawaii the life cycle of mother nature is shortened. From winds, to rainfall, to streams, to the soil and back to the ocean, the whole process of life is very quick and very delicate in Hawaii. Proximity and interconnectivity make growing foods in Hawaii a great incubator for understanding just how closely everything is related. Ancient Hawaiians understood this knowledge and in one of the oldest stories in Hawaii there is story that symbolizes sustainable agriculture. That story is the story of I am Hāloa.

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Risks and challenges

We believe that our team is the right one to make this project happen. We are a group of experienced film makers, story tellers, and cultural evangelists with decades of collective experience. The main risks we face are if any participants pull out, at which point we will find new participants or staff to fill the void. This may cause delays in completing the project, but we are dedicated to completing this project in any scenario.

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Funding period

- (30 days)