Press Kit

“Shaka, A Story of Aloha”

“Shaka, A Story of Aloha” is a 70-minute feature-length documentary film scheduled for 6-months of focus test screenings through the end of December, 2023.

Says producer Steve Sue,” Our goal with the test screenings is to ensure both story accuracy and entertainment value. Viewers are invited to see the film free, then asked to complete a short exit survey to help drive sweetening of the film’s final cut.”

Following the test screening period, the film is expected to premiere at a Spring 2024 film festival then travel to other festivals and hopefully see some kind of commercial cinematic and/or streaming release.

The project has been in development since 2019 when first funding and cultural experts were provided by Kamehameha Schools. Since that time, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced multiple production closures, but the project has completed all major shots including an authentic Hukilau and a live Shaka Contest.

Through production, it became clear that there are multiple competing origin stories, In the end, there may be no definitive single story, and if so, multiple credible theories will be presented. Says Sue, “The titling of the film as ‘A Story…’ represents only our group’s best efforts, leaving room for others to tell their versions of the story. More importantly, our film seeks to provide a deep understanding of the origin, history and meanings of the Shaka in order to drive a goal of sharing aloha around the world.” For more, see Filmmaker’s Statement »

Produced by a Nonprofit

The film is produced by ID8, a Hawaii-based 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 team.

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 and expert testimony, while leaving out hearsay anecdotes. Over a 4-year period, we conducted 60+ interviews including Joel “Baldy” Apuakehau, Charles Bargas, Todd Bradley, Cy Bridges, Renee Cabrinha, 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, Bob Sigall, Bryan Suzuki, Willa Tanabe, George Tanabe, Rev. Ryoso Toshima, Leroy Transfield, Paul Udell, Caroline Vargas, Michael Victorino, Isaiah Walker.

Part of a Nonprofit Movement

The film has spawned the “Project Shaka” Movement, an initiative to share aloha through the Shaka. Project Shaka includes the film as an educational tool, a free Shaka Sticker program, free school curriculum, and other Shaka awareness programs. See »

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: an application for a nonprofit license plate to support Project Shaka).
  • 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.
Shaka Emoji
Hawaii shaka license plate

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 Posters

Shaka Poster 4x6

4″ x 6″

Shaka Poster 4x6

4″ x 6″

Shaka Poster 6x6

6″ x 6″

Shaka Poster 8.5x11

8.5″ x 11″

Free Use Pics

Credit “ID8”

Shaka Film Laie Hawaii

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

Shaka Film Henry Kapono

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

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.

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


Bryan Spicer & Kevin Sawicki

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


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 with Kealoha
Power of Aloha Singers
Kids Choir
Tavana McMoore on Shaka film
Shaka film shoot bulletin board
Steve Sue with Ian Cairns
Shaka Bill
Lanakila Senior Center Shaka Lei
Train Scene shot Shaka Film
Shaka Bill
Steve Sue , Peter Townend, Ken Hara
Frank Delima Interview
Steve Sue, Alina Lee, Glenn Wakai interview
Shaka Train Shoot
Shaka Waikiki shot
Kids making Shaka  Lei for Shaka Bill
Frank Delima interview
Ken Hara Shaka Battalion military interview
Eve Ordinario Shaka Shoot

Project Shaka


Project Shaka

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