Mele Murals is a documentary about the transformative power of art through the unlikely union of graffiti and ancient Hawaiian culture. At the center of this story are the artists Estria Miyashiro (aka Estria) and John Hina (aka Prime), and a group of Native Hawaiian youth from the rural community of Waimea, HI. Together they create a mural that addresses the ill effects of environmental changes and encroaching modernization on their native culture. Mele Murals shows how public art combined with Native Hawaiian traditions transforms the students, the local community and, unexpectedly, the two artists as they rediscover their own identities and responsibilities as Hawaiian artists.
TADASHI NAKAMURA - Producer / Director
Tadashi Nakamura was named one of CNN’s Young People Who Rock for being the youngest filmmaker at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. His recent film Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings (NEA funded) was broadcast nationally on PBS in 2013 and went on to win the 2013 Gotham Independent Film Audience Award. Nakamura’s trilogy of films on the Japanese American experience, Yellow Brotherhood (2003), Pilgrimage (2007) and A Song for Ourselves (2009) have garnered over 20 awards at film festivals.
KEONI LEE - Producer
Keoni Lee is a native Hawaiian film producer and co-founder of ʻŌiwi TV, the first and only Hawaiian language and culture-focused television station. Lee and ʻŌiwi TV have produced 3 PBS national programs, produced the first native language news magazine on a nationally affiliated tv station (Ahaʻi ʻŌlelo Ola, KGMB9), received awards from international peers in the World Indigenous Television Broadcasters Network, and in 2012 he was a panelist on native media at the United Nations Indigenous Forum.
I first met ʻŌiwi TV's Keoni Lee and Nāʻālehu Anthony while working on my previous film Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings (a Pacific Islanders in Communications co-production). ʻŌiwi TV handled all the production on Oʻahu for that project and we instantly clicked. After the success of Life on Four Strings we could not wait to work together again.
- Tadashi Nakamura