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Hawaii: Cultural center's new film explores soul of the islands

December 21, 2012|By Jay Jones
  • Visitors learn hula at the Polynesian Cultural Center on Oahu's North Shore.
Visitors learn hula at the Polynesian Cultural Center on Oahu's North… (Polynesian Cultural Center )

Oahu's Polynesian Cultural Center kicks off 2013 -- its 50th anniversary year -- with a new movie depicting the people and places of Hawaii. The premiere is expected in late January.

The film promises high-definition images of erupting volcanoes and cascading waterfalls while also sharing Hawaii’s unique culture.

“The multi-generational story line springs from a moolelo, a Hawaiian tale of ancestors, the creation of ... these islands, and its special meaning in their hearts and identity,” P. Alfred Grace, the center’s chief operating officer, said in a statement. “It will give our guests an intimate encounter with the soul of the Hawaiian people and their spiritual connection to these islands.”

Grace, who served as executive producer, brought two Emmy Award winners on board to help create the film: Reed Smoot, the director of photography, and composer Sam Cardon. The narrator is local actor Al Harrington, who played Ben in the original “Hawaii Five-O” TV series.

The 14-minute film will be screened in the Hukilau Theater, which is being remodeled to look like an ancient volcano. The film will be shown on a 40-by-74-foot screen in high definition and promises four times the resolution of home HDTVs.

The Polynesian Cultural Center  is near the town of Laie on Oahu’s North Shore, a little more than an hour’s drive from the Waikiki resorts. General admission, which includes visits to villages representing seven Pacific island cultures, is $49.95 for adults and $39.95 for children 5-11.

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