Thrilled to receive our first industry review from Richard Kuipers, film critic/reviewer for Variety. Read the full review here.
After a few years, 8TB of interviews, more than 500 photos and newspaper clippings, marathon editing and Skype musical-score sessions, and travel from Hawai'i to DC, we're extremely excited to announce the premiere and celebration of Rise of the Wahine.
Join us for the premiere of Rise of the Wahine: Monday, November 3, 7pm at the Hawai'i Theater. Tickets can be purchased at HIFF.org. Be sure to use code "myhiff" for a discount.
Then, join us for a night of dancing and mack-diggity celebration. Fans of all ages are welcome. Tickets are limited so get yours now.
Rise After Party
1144 Bethel St
Honolulu, HI 96813
(Across the street from the Hawai'i Theater.)
Fans of all ages are invited (we know Dean's 5 kids will be there!).
Order tickets online.
We've wrapped up the interviews (we think!) and have moved into acting! We've been filming re-enactments of key moments in the story to help create strong visuals so you can really experience the story. In above left shot, Director Dean Kaneshiro is filming actress Serena Michel, who is portraying our leading lady, Dr. Donnis Thompson.
Donnis was the first Women's Athletic Director at the University of Hawai'i and a woman truly ahead of her time. An incredibly gifted athlete in her own right, she grew up in Chicago. There she was denied access to coaching, because of her skin color and gender, that would possibly have taken her to an elite level of play. (This is part of the shot above.) Instead of getting angry and bitter, she vowed to break down barriers so a future generation of women could have opportunities she never did. We think you'll fall in love with her in the film.
The above right shot is "The Belly Button Scene" in our script. You'll have to watch the film to learn more, but let's just say it was a pivotal moment that turned Donnis into a lion.
Welcome to the Editing Suite! The editing is cranking now (we're on revision 6) and this is the place where the magic is now happening (along with tears, lack of sleep, moldy archives, and excitement).
Thanks again for all your support. We're seeing life come to the vision we've only imagined right before our eyes. It's a pretty amazing experience, and you've helped make it all possible. We truly can't thank you enough.
Mahalo Nui Loa!
The producers of Rise of the Wahine are excited to announce a new partnership with the University of Hawai'i Alumni Association.
Rise of the Wahine is a historical documentary chronicling the central role that Hawai'i played in unlocking opportunities for women forty years ago. The 1970's were a flash point for women’s opportunities in America, and female athletics at the University of Hawai‘i, especially volleyball, became the center of the fight.
Timothy Ing from the UH Alumni Association says, "UHAA is partnering with Rise of the Wahine because we are proud of our alumni and our school and the indelible impact that it has made in our nation. We also wish to do all we can to help communicate and share this story, so that all may appreciate those that came before us and the sacrifices and hardships they endured so that we may have a brighter today."
Mostly unknown heroes like Dr. Donnis Thompson (UH’s first women’s athletic director), Patsy Mink (U.S. congresswoman from Hawai‘i), and UH Wahine volleyball coach Dave Shoji were ahead of their time and instrumental in breaking down barriers across the nation that prevented girls from obtaining degrees in higher education and being able to play sports.
"We're incredibly excited to partner with the alumni of UH. This mostly untold story is an exciting part of their heritage, and we're finding most alums have never heard of it," said Tiffany Taylor, a producer on the film. "These pioneers include several University of Hawai‘i faculty and alumni and they played central roles in the sweeping changes for women’s opportunities in sports and education."
The film is centered around one woman, Dr. Thompson, and the birth of the first Rainbow Wahine volleyball team – a scrappy group of players that took us from “who would want to watch girls play?” to fervent, forever UH pride.
HONOLULU, HI, November 19, 2013—Hawaiian filmmaker Dean Kaneshiro is one of the producers for Rise of the Wahine, a historical sports documentary chronicling the birth of the first Rainbow Wahine volleyball team during a time of great change for women’s equality. Rise of the Wahine is currently in production and set to be released in 2014.
Set in the 1970’s, Rise of the Wahine is the mostly untold story of a group of women from Hawaii who battled women’s inequality issues, leading up to and after the passing of Title IX. These women included Title IX Co-Author Patsy Mink and the University of Hawaii’s first Women’s Athletic Director, Dr. Donnis Thompson.
Dean Kaneshiro, Director/Producer, was the catalyst for the project, “I grew up in Honolulu, and this incredible story took place in my own backyard—I had no idea. From this tiny island came women who played a significant role in unlocking the door of equality in female athletics and then busting it open for generations to come. They just wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer.”
Founder of EarthSuit Media, Dean has experience on both sides of the camera. As an actor, he has appeared in both film ("The Ultimate Gift") and television (most recently "Hawaii 5-0" and "Last Resort"). As a director, Dean has a 10-year history producing television shows, commercials, and promotional content for non-profits.
Associate Producer Ryan Tsuji is a morning anchor / reporter for KITV News in Honolulu. Born and raised in Hilo, HI, he worked with the UH Rainbow Wahine volleyball team as an assistant coach under Dave Shoji for eight seasons. He then began his broadcasting carrier as a commentator for UH volleyball matches.
“This volleyball team is one of the most beloved sports teams in Hawaiian history,” Ryan says. “I had no idea that 40 years ago the players had to make so many sacrifices to play—just because they were women.”
Rise of the Wahine is currently raising funds to complete filming and post. Produced by EarthSuit Media and Angel & Company, and directed by Dean Kaneshiro, anticipated premiere is 2014.
Tiffany Taylor, Producer
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