Hawaiʻi International Film Festival panel to discuss Hawaiian-Language Moana

image grab from movie Moana showing characters Maui and Moana

Disney’s Moana in ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi will be the subject of a panel discussion during the Hawaiʻi International Film Festival on Nov. 11, when a series of clips from the Hawaiian-language version of Moana will be shown and discussed by a panel who was involved in the re-recording.

Moana, a project that drew people and resources from University of Hawaiʻi campuses to work in collaboration with Walt Disney Animation Studios, will be discussed by ‘ōlelo Hawai’i translators Puakea Nogelmeier and Kamuela Yim. Kalehuapuakeʻula Kawaʻa, who was the voice of Gramma Tala, will also be on the panel that takes place from 4 to 5:20 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 11 at the Dole Cannery.

The making of a Hawaiian-language version of Moana was the first time a Disney picture was re-recorded in ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi. The University of Hawaiʻi’s Academy for Creative Media System funded and coordinated the re-recording of Moana with the goal of sharing the film for educational purposes in Hawai‘i and beyond. The collaborative production included faculty and staff from the University of Hawaiʻi – West Oʻahu, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, and Honolulu Community College.

The Hawaiian language version of Moana had its premiere in June and stars Hawaiʻi’s Auliʻi Cravalho as the voice of Moana, and recording artist and actress Nicole Scherzinger as Sina. Local Hawaiian-speaking actors were recruited to fill in the rest of the cast, including UH Mānoa student Christopher Kaipulaumakaniolono Baker as Maui, Kelikokauaikekai Hoe as Ali‘i Tui, Kawaʻa as Puna Tala, Kamakakehau Fernandez as Tamatoa, and 24 locally cast ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi speaking actors and singers.

The Hawaii International Film Festival endeavors to recognize new and emerging talent, promote career development and original collaborations through innovative education programs, and facilitate dynamic cultural exchange through the cinema arts.The 38th annual festival is scheduled Nov. 8 to 18 on Oʻahu, Nov. 15 to 18 on Kauaʻi, and Nov. 29 to Dec. 2 on Hawaiʻi Island.

Image courtesy of Walt Disney Animation Studios