ʻĀina talks to Pūpū A ʻO ʻEwa about himself, his goals, and our favorite video, Moke Action, which takes a clever look at local modes of communication.
Kamakanioka`āina Paikai is an up-and-coming filmmaker. A graduate of Leeward CC, he went on to earn a bachelor’s degree at the University of Hawai`i – Mānoa Academy of Creative Media. ʻĀina works at ‘Oiwi TV, Hawai’i’s only Hawaiian television station. He encourages other young Hawaiians to tell our own stories: “Find your voice and put it out there.”
About Nani Ke Kalo, ʻĀina writes:
Nani Ke Kalo was originally inspired by the ʻAipōhaku song, Controller. The chorus says, “In 2040 they say we gone away/ Hawaiian man, take back your Hawaiian land.”
This idea that all full-blooded Hawaiians would cease to exist in the year 2040 was originally noted by Dr. Kekuni Blaisdell. With that concept in mind, I thought about what the reverse of that would be, which is living in a Hawaiʻi where everyone is Hawaiian, no longer by blood, but more through perspective, which derives from language.
I wanted to explain the wrongs in Hawaiian history via the language and how the language in our current American laws would actually reinstate the Hawaiian nation. And then if everyone was forced to teach in Hawaiian at the primary level, how would that re-shape our education. This history lesson was needed to drive a story that pushes us into the future, highlighting the ignorance of youth and how we selfishly perceive time as our own. If we recognize Hawaiian tradition, knowing our past keeps us grounded and more deeply connected to ourselves.
I hope viewers of this film are inspired by what the potential future Hawaiʻi has to offer the next generation. I hope they appreciate the beauty of our language and customs. Iʻd really like to mahalo my kumu, Hailiʻōpua Baker, who helped guide me every step of the way, from conceptualizing this potential future to co-writing our charactersʻ paths and casting several of her childrenʻs classmates from Ke Kula ʻO Samuel M. Kamakau.