Maui Arts & Entertainment

Kuleana Held Over for Week 7, Maui Stars Attend LA Premiere

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PC: Kuleana / Hawaii Cinema

By popular demand, Hawai‘i-made KULEANA will is held over on Maui and Keauhou for week seven.

This multiple award winning film was shot entirely on Maui with an all-Hawai‘i cast.

The film serves up Hawai‘i’s beauty and culture in a densely layered, noir-style mystery story.

“Kuleana” is the Hawaiian word for spiritual responsibility. In KULEANA, set in Hawai‘i in 1971, a disabled Vietnam vet rediscovers the Hawaiian warrior within to protect his family, defend their land, and clear his father’s name.

Maui’s Branscombe Richmond was among the film stars who attended Saturday’s LA premiere.  His wife, Lei Richmond performed an oli before the festivities, and their son, Farai Richmond showed a short film he produced entitled THE TREE as part of the event.


The film also stars Maui’s Moronai Kanekoa, Stefan Schaefer, Sonya Balmores (Marvel’s INHUMANS), Vene Chun, Augie T, Marlene Sai, Branscombe Richmond (CHICAGO MED) and Mel Cabang. Kristina Anapau (True Blood, Black Swan), an actress and one of the executive producers, is a Hilo-native, now living and working in Hollywood.


KULEANA was written and directed by Brian Kohne and produced by Stefan Schaefer.

Willie K provides an original score; the soundtrack boasts hit songs by Joni Mitchell, Procol Harum, and Tony Orlando and Dawn, with Hawaiian classics of the era by Genoa Keawe, Lena Machado, Sunday Manoa, Sons of Hawaii, Marlene Sai and more.

KULEANA began its statewide theatrical release on March 30, 2018, at theaters throughout Hawai‘i.


Moviegoers enjoyed the film, sharing their comments with Maui Now—”great,” terrific,” “brilliant,” “it was wonderful,” “loved it,” “it gave me chicken skin.”

*Pacific Media Group, Maui Now’s parent company, is a shareholder in the film KULEANA.

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Kuleana. PC: Brian Khone/Maui FIlm Festival

Kuleana’s Moronai Kanekoa and Branscombe Richmond

Kanoa Chung (Sonya’s Husband), Adi, Branscombe, Byron, with Sonya Balmores being interviewed in the background by Sarah Peterson

Farai Richmond, Adi, Branscombe, Moronai, Brian on Red Carpet of Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival

Adi Ell-Ad (editor)

Brian, Peter Kwong, Branscombe

Intro right after LA Public Works presentation

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