The KoAloha Ukulele Story received the Gold Kahuna Award from the Honolulu International Film Festival. Rocky Kev and I were both very excited because this was an opportunity to bring the film back home to Hawaii. We later found out for some odd reason, we received an award but were not able to screen the film at the festival. This was a disappointment to us but it did not stop KoAloha Ukulele and Alan Okami who said, “We’ll have our own screening and make it a KoAloha experience that people will never forget.” And that’s exactly what we did.
We had our very own private screening at the Arts at Marks Garage located in the heart of Honolulu’s Chinatown. Arts at Marks Garage is one of my favorite community arts organizations in the country. Their home is in– You guessed it! A Parking Garage! They transformed part of a parking garage into a living and breathing community arts center with a theater and a gallery. Arts and Marks brings art into the lives of the local community from the streets of Honolulu’s Chinatown and beyond.
It truly was an honor to have the Hawaii screening in this intimate setting of the Arts at Marks Garage theater and to bring film, ukulele, and community all together in the same place. This was always one of my intentions with the film to bring community together and that is exactly what we did here.
And of course, there would not be a KoAloha event with out Pops breaking out in song this time with his beautiful dedication to his mother with the song “Days of Wine and Roses”. He was accompanied by the one man band ukulele orchestra of Gordon Mark.
His son Alan Okami was not to be out shined and broke out in a little Hawaiian falsetto with the help of Toni C.
Best of all, there was a wonderful emotional tribute to Pat “Moms” Okami by Alvin and her sons.
The KoAloha Ukulele Story film really touched a chord with many folks that night. Our simple black and white animated film almost was not to be because we lost so much of the original footage. But with perseverance and a little help from the animation talent of Rocky Kev we were able to put together a very unique ukulele story that reminds us to never give up on our passion.
To hear people’s laughter and enthusiastic cheers at the end of the film was such a heart warming feeling to know that we have touched people with our little film. The KoAloha Ukulele Story is the first part to the KoAloha Story and we are so thrilled to have made this shared film screening and live concert a reality.