Kapaemahu is a short film that brings the powerful Hawaiian legend of Kapaemahu to life through vivid animation.
“Long ago, four extraordinary individuals of dual male and female spirit brought the healing arts from Tahiti to Hawaii. The name of their leader was Kapaemahu. Beloved by the people for their gentle ways and miraculous cures, they imbued four giant boulders with their powers. The stones still stand on what is now Waikiki Beach, but the true story behind them has been hidden – until now.”
Kapaemahu is co-directed and produced by Native Hawaiian teacher, cultural practitioner and filmmaker Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu. Wong-Kalu also narrates the film in Olelo Niihau, a dialect of the Hawaiian language.
The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. It has since screened at multiple international film festivals, including the New Zealand International Film Festival 2020, and has triple-qualified for the Oscars after winning the Grand Jury Award at the Animayo International Film Festival, Best Animated Short at the Atlanta Film Festival, and Best Animated Short at the Foyle Film Festival.
The animated short is available to watch online until February 20.