Maui News

Mana Studios to Host Hawaiian Language Film Captioning Event

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Photo courtesy: Purple Maiʻa Foundation.

This Saturday, Mana Studios will host the first ever crowd-sourced translation event to celebrate and expand Hawaiian language use in today’s media-saturated world. Mana Studios is a recipient of the 2019 Purple Prize.

Using a crowd-sourced approach to translate closed-captioned movie dialogue, ʻŌlelo Jam will challenge Hawaiian language speakers at all levels of proficiency to work collaboratively to complete a translation of a popular movie using Mana Studios’ new online platform, ʻŌleloflix.

Timed as a capping event to celebrate February as Hawaiian Language Month, Hawaiian language practitioners of all ages are invited to join the jam session at Hālau ʻĪnana (2438 S. Beretania  Street) on Saturday, Feb. 29 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.


“We are incredibly excited to announce ʻŌlelo Jam, a first of its kind collaborative event by Mana Studios and Purple Maiʻa that will transform Hālau ʻĪnana into a kīpuka ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian language island of life),” Mana Studios CTO Kalani Bright said in a press release.

“We anticipate that a lot of families with kids who attend Hawaiian immersion schools will come out in force to  nānā (see), kikokiko (keyboarding), and hoʻolohe (listen) to co create close captioned dialogue in Hawaiian language. We are hearing from keiki about their favorite TV programs to choose a popular title at the Jam. We hope that both kumu and haumāna come.  This is how we use language today.”

Participants will join workstations at the event to collaborate on fast-paced translations while other curated experiences will engage keiki to kūpuna in a demonstration of technologies such as online Hawaiian language resources, learning software, or games that allow users to apply their Hawaiian language skills. Code Haumāna will teach coding as a language via a game activity.


Additionally, DJ Mermaid will be jamming sounds to keep the excitement flowing and a festive pāʻina is planned at the end to celebrate progress to the goal of getting a feature length film ready to be enjoyed in Hawaiian language in under two hours.

Aupuni Palapala, a K-12 teacher inservice grant program at UH Mānoa College of Education and Hale Kuamoʻo, UH Hilo’s Hawaiian Language multimedia powerhouse have partnered with Mana Studios and will be present at the Jam.  Interested participants can register here. Qualifying public school teachers who participate can receive a stipend if this is a work related PD learning activity.

In 2019, Mana Studios participated in the Purple Prize startup incubator by Purple Maiʻa Foundation.


“Mana Studios is on track to catalyze a huge boost to Hawaiian language revitalization…right now, it’s Netflix movies and TV shows, but because of the technology the team’s CTO has built, soon it will be video games and even e-books. We’re looking forward to their evolution and excited about the team amplifying the power of community,” said Alec Wagner, the Director of the Purple Prize.


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