Netflix Film “Finding Ohana” Premieres Today
January 29, 2021, 9:02 AM HST
* Updated January 29, 1:32 PM
The new Netflix film “Finding ʻOhana” premieres today, starring Maui’s Lindsay Watson, Alex Aiono of YouTube fame, teen dancer Kea Peahu, established Honolulu-born actress Kelly Hu, and long-time actor and stuntman Branscombe Richmond of Maui.
Described as a heart-felt feel good family adventure, the movie is about two Brooklyn-raised siblings who connect with their Hawaiian identity while spending a summer on Oʻahu. While doing so, they get caught up on a quest for long-lost treasure.
As the film synopsis explains:
“Geocache champion Pilialoha “Pili” Kawena, age 12, is abruptly lifted from her busy New York life and dropped into rural O‘ahu to help care for her grandfather. Initially skeptical about her new surroundings, Pili finds a cryptic pirate’s journal in her Papa’s studio hinting at a 200-year-old shipwrecked treasure hidden away in the island’s caves and mountains. With her older brother and new friends in tow she uses her clue solving skills to lead them on an adventure of a lifetime through the natural wonders of Hawaiʻi. As she learns to respect and love her native culture she also discovers not all secrets should be shared and that the real treasure in life is ‘ohana – her family.”
A Los Angeles Times review says the film channels “The Goonies,” but “diverges from its well-worn path when it matters, staying true to its heart and love of Hawaiian culture.”
That thought is echoed by Maui’s Lindsay Watson who landed her breakout role as Hana in the film. In an interview with Maui Now in October 2019, Watson commended the film crew for their dedication to portraying the Hawaiian culture accurately.
“Theyʻre always, like, you know what, youʻre the Hawaiian here. We listen to you, we believe you,” Watson said.
The film was written by Christina Strain and directed by Jude Weng.
*Video: FINDING ‘OHANA | Official Trailer | Netflix