Shaka Film Press Kit

The Secret to Paradise

“Shaka, A Story of Aloha” is a 74-minute feature-length documentary film described as, “Aloha. Mahalo. Hang Loose! From Japan’s temples to Brazil’s waves to Hawaii’s white sandy beaches, embark on a global quest to unravel the mystery of the Shaka gesture. Discover why it ignites pride in train-jumpers, surfers, and everyday adventurers alike. Explore its origins, meanings, and how it holds the key to creating and preserving paradise.”

Trailer:

Says producer/writer Steve Sue, “Our original goal was to produce a 20-minute short for classroom use but the story turned out to be bigger than anyone could have imagined. In the end, we discovered the Shakaʻs magic and how itʻs the secret to creating and maintaining paradise. He also noted, “If you want to know how to throw a truly legit Shaka or how to create paradise in your corner of the world, watch this film.”

The film is slated for late 2024 distribution, hopefully on streaming channels and possibly in cinemas. It has been in production since 2019 when first-funding and cultural experts were provided by Kamehameha Schools. During production, the COVID Pandemic forced a 2-year hiatus, but the project continued in 2022 with epic shots including the one-time running of an authentic Hukilau expedition that had not run in 60 years and the worldʻs first-ever Shaka Contest.

Through the production, it became clear that there are many origin stories, thus multiple theories are presented in the film, allowing audiences to decide which theory they find most credible. Says Sue, “The titling of the film as ‘A Story…’ represents only our group’s intent to present multiple origin stories, as several origin stories have evidence and testimony available. This leaves room for each audience member to decide for themself which story they favor as well as for other storytellers to present their own versions of the story.” Sue continues, “The more important thing for our team is providing a deep understanding of the meaning of it and how it can be used to share aloha and create paradise around the world.”

Even before release of the film, the publicʻs appetite for the story has resulted in several Shaka-based programs, now recognized as Project Shaka, a movement that includes a documentary film, a Summit (by Hawai’iʻs First Lady, Dawn Ige), a Hawai’i State Bill to recognize the Shaka as the official Hawai’i State Gesture (written by Steve Sue, filed by Senator Glenn Wakai and Representative Sean Quinlan), an official Hawai’i State DMV Shaka License Plate (approved by the State), and several curriculum models that teach the values and uses of the Shaka. See projectshaka.com »

While the film was originally intended as a non-profit education piece, there are now prospects for it to be distributed in public entertainment channels. Says Sue, “There are no investors to the film and none of us as producers own any part of it, so any distribution proceeds will go to our non-profit to support Shaka-based programs that benefit Hawai’i and the world beyond.”

For more, see Filmmaker’s Statement »

Produced by a Nonprofit

The film is produced by ID8 (ide•ate), a Hawai’i 501C3 nonprofit organization. Top-level producers/artists are unpaid and act only as volunteers who will never profit by participating in the production. These include Executive Producer Bryan Spicer (director/producer Hawaii-Five-O, Magnum PI), Grammy-nominated Music Director Henry Kapono and Exec Producer/Producer/Writer Steve Sue. Additional volunteers include Associate Producers Sean Morris, Jill Kuramoto, Ryan Ozawa, Rob Webb, Rebecca Teresia, Minette Lew-McCabe. Volunteer Cultural Advisors include Robert “Lono” Ikuwe, Manu Boyd and Hailama Farden. 

Utilizing Hawai’i Talent

The production team (paid living wages) is built from local talent from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa Academy of Creative Media Program.  These include native Hawaiian Director Alex Bocchieri, Cinematographer Kristle Backe, Co-Editor Shaun Oliqiano, Assistant Editor Sara Brekke and Coordinator Eve Ordinario. Dozens of additional locals served on the production and post-production teams.

60+ Expert Interviews

Many ask “who’s in the film?” Credibility counts as does factual evidence. We’ve treated this project like a court case, presenting direct testimony. Over a 5-year period, we conducted 60+ interviews including Joel “Baldy” Apuakehau, Charles Bargas, Todd Bradley, Cy Bridges, Renee Cabrinha, Ian Cairnes, Wally Camp, Jack Cione, Kathy Collins, Benjamin Dela Cruz, Frank Delima Jr., David Espinda, Joyce Fasi, Charles Fasi, Mike Foley, Victor Foniomoana, Gen. Kenneth Hara, Karl “Kini Popo” Hebenstreit, Fred Hemmings, Robert “Lono” Ikuwa, Mona Kahawaii, Henry Kapono, John “Keoni” Kauwe III, “Unko” George Kahumoku, Maria Latu, Brook Lee, Jeff Livingston, Vonn Logan, Kekela Miller, Riley Moffat, Jon Nouchi, Vernal Pratt, Harold Pukahi, Laverne Pukahi, Bill Sharp, Bob Sigall, Bryan Suzuki, Willa Tanabe, George Tanabe, Rev. Ryoso Toshima, Peter Townend, Leroy Transfield, Paul Udell, Caroline Vargas, Michael Victorino, Isaiah Walker.

Media Contact: Email Steve Sue »

Social Connects

Follow the project or find story assets:

Intended Uses

COMMERCIAL DISTRIBUTION: Cinematic, online streaming and broadcast screenings are sought to share the film’s message with the world.

EDUCATION (VIA COMMERCIAL DISTRIBUTION): The film is designed for educators to use as an icebreaker in classrooms to teach island history, virtues and values of the Shaka and Aloha Spirits. Following airing, student reflection, panels, roundtables or hands-on exercises may follow.

PROJECT SHAKA: The film has birthed several Shaka-themed programs including:

  • Shaka as the Official State Gesture of Hawai’i: a 2024 Legislative Bill SB3312 and HB2736 to make the Shaka the first Official Gesture of any state in America.
  • Official Shaka Emoji: an  application for an official Shaka emoji as the currently used emoji is “Call Me” and in text readers, is read as “call me”).
  • Hawai’i DMV “Shaka” license plate: approved by the State of Hawai’i DMV being made ready for production in mid 2024.
  • Shaka Monument: a concept to build a Shaka monument in a public location as recommended by the Hawai’i State Senate in an amendment to the Shaka Bill.

Free Use Pics & Vids

BTS Production Videos Download Here » | Credit “Courtesy ID8”

Shaka Film Laie Hawaii

Shooting interviews at kuleana lands, La’ie, Oahu. Kekela Miller, Joel “Baldy” Apuakehau & Harold Pukahi.

Steve Sue interviewing Kekela Miller

Steve Sue interviewing Kekela Miller.

Shaka Film Sight & Sound Hawaii

Shaka production meeting at Sight & Sound Productions, Honolulu, Hawai’i. 

Shaka Film Hawaii Steve Sue Bryan Spicer Sight & Sound Hawaii

Executive Producers Steve Sue & Bryan Spicer thinking big thoughts.

Shaka Film Steve Sue Bryson Chun Kristle Bakke Alex Boccheri

Shaka crew members Steve Sue, Bryson Chun, Kristle Backe, Alex Bocchieri.

Steve Sue interviewing Henry Kapono

Steve Sue interviewing Henry Kapono.

Steve Sue interviewing Henry Kapono

Steve Sue interviewing Henry Kapono.

Steve Sue interviewing Henry Kapono

Steve Sue interviewing Henry Kapono.

Steve Sue interviewing Henry Kapono

Steve Sue interviewing Henry Kapono.

Shaka Film Henry Kapono

Grammy-nominated Shaka Music Director Henry Kapono creates custom songs for the film.

Tanabe Lotus Farm

Interview of George Tanabe at Tanabe Lotus Farm, Wailuku, Hawai’i.

Shaka Film Hawaii Steve Sue Todd Bentley Fred Hemmings

Interview of Fred Hemmings, world-champion surfer, surf event founder, retired Hawai’i State Senator. 

Shaka Film Hawaii Outrigger Canoe Club

Interview of Todd Bradley, waterman & sports equipment innovator.

Shaka Film Alex Boccheri Steve Sue

Shaka shoot with Kristle Backe, Alex Bocchieri and Steve Sue.

Shaka Film Hawaii Tony Silva Henry Kapono Steve Sue Dawn Obrien

Shooting Shaka educational media with Tony Silva, Henry Kapono, Steve Sue & Dawn O’Brien.

Buddha Temple

Interview of Rev Ryoso Toshima at Honpa Hongwanji Hawai’i Betsuin

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Bryan Spicer & Kevin Sawicki

Executive Producer Bryan Spicer and Kevin Sawicki of Sight & Sound Productions scouting Hukilau Beach.

Hukilau

Hukilau shot with camera operator Abraham Williams and director Alex Bocchieri.

Steve Sue & Kekela Miller Hukilau

Producer/writer Steve Sue with Kekela Miller.

Sugarcane Shoot Shaka

Sugarcane shoot with Eve Ordinario, Sara Brekke, Alex Bocchieri.

Train jumpers Shaka

Train jumping re-enactment.

Shaka Music

Tavana McMoore, Henry Kapono, Kyle Spicer at Island Sound Studios, Hawai’i Kai, Hawai’i. 

Shaka Music Production

Henry Kapono & Kyle Spicer at Island Sound Studios, Hawai’i Kai, Hawai’i.

ShakaCon Yuji Okumoto

Yuji Okumoto wins at ShakaCon.

Shaka Board

Final Shaka Film shot with Alex Bocchieri, Steve Sue, Kekela Miller and Sara Brekke.

Shaka Bill

Steve Sue, Senator Glenn Wakai and staff introducing the Shaka to the Hawai’i State Senate.

Steve Sue with Kealoha

Steve Sue & Kealoha in recording session for “Power of Aloha.”

Power of Aloha Singers

Vocalists Malie Lyman, Michelle Busekrus and Angela Escontrias in “Power of Aloha.”

Kids Choir

Kids from Kailua Music School with Henry Kapono in “Children of the World.”

Tavana McMoore on Shaka film

Tavana McMoore performing “Shaka Man.”

Shaka film shoot bulletin board

Bulletin Board shoot for “Shaka, A Story of Aloha” in La’ie, HI.

Steve Sue with Ian Cairns

Rob Webb, Steve Sue, Ian Cairnes, Noah Alani, Les Asato at Surf Museum shot, Huntington Beach, CA.

Shaka Bill

Shaka Gesture bill HB2736 clears House Judicial & Hawaiian Affairs Committee.

Lanakila Senior Center Shaka Lei

Steve Sue, Shaka lei-making at Susie Chun Oaklandʻs Lanikila Senior Center for Shaka bill.

Train Scene shot Shaka Film

Steve Sue & Shaka production crew in Ewa Beach, HI.

Shaka Bill

Shaka Gesture bill HB2736 clears House Culture, Arts & International Affairs Committee.

Steve Sue , Peter Townend, Ken Hara

Mariko, Steve Sue, Peter Townend, Gen Kenneth Hara at Diamond Head Command, Honolulu, HI.

Frank Delima Interview

Steve Sue interviewing Frank Delima Jr., Director Alex Bocchieri recording, Honolulu, HI.

Steve Sue, Alina Lee, Glenn Wakai interview

Steve Sue, KHON2 reporter Alina Lee and Senator Glenn Wakai breaking Shaka Bill SB3312 news story.

Shaka Train Shoot

Shaka crew members Sara Brekke, Justin Ocampo, Abraham Williams shooting.

Shaka Waikiki shot

Shaka crew at Waikiki Beach, Steve Sue, Sean LaVau, Alexander Bocchieri, Sara Brekke and Even Ordinario.

Kids making Shaka  Lei for Shaka Bill

Webling Elementary students making Shaka lei for Shaka Bill legislators.

Frank Delima interview

Steve Sue interviewing Frank Delima Jr., Honolulu, HI.

Ken Hara Shaka Battalion military interview

Shaka crew Steve Sue, Kristle Backe, Sara Brekke, Nick Gruen, General Kenneth Hara and Alexander Bocchieri at Schofield Base, HI.

Eve Ordinario Shaka Shoot

Shaka crew member Eve Ordinario at Kōhana Rum fields, Haleiwa, HI.

Steve Sue at VC Film Festival, Los Angeles, CA 5/2/24

Karen Asato, Steve Sue and Dane Asato at VC Film Festival, Los Angeles, CA 5/2/24

Alex Bocchieri at VC Film Festival, Los Angeles, CA 5/2/24

Alex Bocchieri at VC Film Festival, Los Angeles, CA 5/2/24

Steve Sue, Kekela Miller, Alex Bocchieri, Kristle Backe, Sara Brekke at VC Film Festival, Los Angeles, CA 5/2/24

Steve Sue, Kekela Miller, Alex Bocchieri, Kristle Backe, Sara Brekke at VC Film Festival, Los Angeles, CA 5/2/24

Alex Bocchieri, Steve Sue at VC Film Festival, Los Angeles, CA 5/2/24

Alex Bocchieri, Steve Sue at VC Film Festival, Los Angeles, CA 5/2/24

Steve Sue at VC Film Festival, Los Angeles, CA 5/2/24

Steve Sue at VC Film Festival, Los Angeles, CA 5/2/24

Hula Halau for "Shaka, A Story of Aloha" at VC Film Festival, Los Angeles, CA 5/2/24

Hula Halau for “Shaka, A Story of Aloha” at VC Film Festival, Los Angeles, CA 5/2/24

VC Film Festival, Los Angeles, CA 5/2/24

VC Film Festival, Los Angeles, CA 5/2/24

VC Film Festival, Los Angeles, CA 5/2/24

VC Film Festival, Los Angeles, CA 5/2/24

Alex Bocchieri, Kekela Miller, Steve Sue at VC Film Festival, Los Angeles, CA 5/2/24

Alex Bocchieri, Kekela Miller, Steve Sue at VC Film Festival, Los Angeles, CA 5/2/24

Alex Bocchieri, Kekela Miller, Steve Sue at VC Film Festival, Los Angeles, CA 5/2/24

Alex Bocchieri, Kekela Miller, Steve Sue at VC Film Festival, Los Angeles, CA 5/2/24

Kekela Miller, Steve Sue at VC Film Festival, Los Angeles, CA 5/2/24

Kekela Miller, Steve Sue at VC Film Festival, Los Angeles, CA 5/2/24

Alex Bocchieri, Kekela Miller, Steve Sue at VC Film Festival, Los Angeles, CA 5/2/24

Alex Bocchieri, Kekela Miller, Steve Sue at VC Film Festival, Los Angeles, CA 5/2/24

Free Use Logos

Shaka Film Logo
Shaka Film Logo
Shaka, the Power of Aloha | ShakaFilm Logo | Bizgenics Hawaii
Shaka, the Power of Aloha Logo | Bizgenics Hawaii
Shaka Film Logo
Shaka Film Logo
Shaka, the Power of Aloha | ShakaFilm Logo | Bizgenics Hawaii
Shaka, the Power of Aloha | ShakaFilm Logo | Bizgenics Hawaii

Free Use Graphics

Shaka Movie Poster
Shaka Film VCFest Laurel
Shaka Film VCFest Laurel
Shaka Poster 4x6
Shaka Emoji
Shaka Emoji vs Call Me
Hawaii shaka license plate

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