Young Filmmakers Earn Pride For Windward At Video Awards

Windward talent was all over the screen, so to speak, at the ‘Olelo Youth Xchange Student Video Awards banquet April 27 at the Ihilani hotel in Ko Olina.

The ninth annual competition earned Sony video cameras, as well as pride among peers, for its winners, and Windward schools claimed seven out of the 32 top-of-category honors – out of more than 600 entries from across the state.

Members of Kahuku High and Intermediate

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Members of Kahuku High and Intermediate’s winning student video production team include (from left) Tiani Jermiah, Pikake Hix, Welina Mills, TJ Latu and Leialoha White. Photo by Daniel Russell.

Kahuku High & Intermediate’s 21-member team won for its short feature, Ikaika Meets Kalo, which was filmed along the Koolauloa coast and accompanied by two original songs.

“We are grateful to the small Kahuku ‘Olelo branch for their full support of our students,” said Debra Barenaba, the school’s art/digital media teacher, “and it was wonderful to see so many students contribute their different talents to make such a special film.” A bonus from their work was that the video also was among the top three honored with cash and a plaque in the Office of Hawaiian Affairs Kalo Video Project at an April 7 ceremony in Honolulu.

The project’s concept was to contrast modern junk-food eating habits with the traditional taro-based diet, and it made an impact on the producers themselves.

“I learned culture is important for us to keep alive, to remember where we came from and who are ancestors were,” said student producer/actor Joachim Purcell on behalf of the crew.

* Maunawili Elementary won for Food Contamination and How to Prevent It, which was under the category of Healthy Homes & Community Environments. “They are such a nice bunch of kids, and I really want to celebrate all they have accomplished this year,” said Dee Takeno of her fifth-grade enrichment class. (They also did well in this year’s Lego robotics and SMARTboard competitions.)

* Kainalu Elementary won three times – for its public service announcement on Respect, and for its short feature The Lollipop and for news, Saving a Friend.

* Ahuimanu Elementary won in the Animation category for its Be A Jerk entry.

* Kalaheo High won in the Be A Jerk category for its Break the Chain entry.