The Third Annual Lanai Film Festival to feature premiere films for two days at the Lodge at Koele

The theatre at Lanai City stands empty and unused for years but that won’t be stopping visitors and residents from gathering around world premier feature films this weekend at the free Lanai Film Festival hosted at the Lodge at Koele. Filmmaker and event producer Ken Martinez Burgmaier will bring the independently produced festival back for the third time with highlights like the premier showing of his film Aunty Nona Beamer – Malama Ko Aloha, and live music with Paula Fuga, Kevin Brown and Sonny Lim.

“We understand the importance of the arts and are privileged to be able to assist with bringing the festival back to the island for all to enjoy,” says Tom Roelens the General Manager of the Four Seasons Lanai. “ We are honored to host the Lanai Film Festival with such revered filmmakers and artists presenting their works to the Lanai Community and resort guests.”

The festival features many hard to find Polynesian films that you don’t normally get to see. The short Fish Bowl by Kiyo Hatta was shown briefly on Independent Lens, but Hatta, best known for her film Picture Bride, died abruptly right before the film’s premier. Fijian Vilsoni Hereniko won the Hubert Bals Fund award (International Film Festival Rotterdam) to create his and Fiji’s first feature length film starring local Fijians in their own tale The Land Has Eyes.

Martinez Burgmaier’s own film Aunty Nona Beamer – Malama Ko Aloha will have its Lana’i premier. The First Glide is the first feature length film on stand up paddleboarding by Mike Waltze showing Laird Hamilton, Dave Kalama and other Maui watermen at the sport.

“Filmmakers Shawn Hiatt and Mike Waltze and myself will be on hand for introductions and Q & A for our films,” says Martinez Burgmaier. “It shows that we do have a Film Industry here and many of our films go on to BIG Festivals and National Broadcast TV, My Keola Beamer Kiho’Alu went on to National PBS and won an EMMY and won at 13 Film Festivals, some of our other films have won, Sundance too.”

Lana’i Cultural and Heritage Center will also be contributing showing some films from its Voices of Lanai series established in 2009 to create video oral histories of Lana’i. The twenty minute short “Chief” chosen as one of the must see films of Sundance in 2008 weaves the story of a Samoan chief living as a taxi driver in Honolulu.

The collection of films will be shown in screenings over two days in the Great Hall, Music Room and Library at the Lodge at Koele. The Lanai Film Festival is also a music festival with several live music appearances around the island and a nose flute workshop.

“Stones, Keomoku, Lanai a New Beginning is having its WORLD PREMIERE at the Lana’i Film Festival,” says Martinez Burgmaier. “Aunty Nona Beamer-Malama Ko Aloha, was selected as the opening film for the Big Island Film Festival in 2012. Grammy Winner Sonny Lim, and Calvin Hou are in my Aunty Nona Beamer Film too, and will be performing live at the festival along with Paula Fuga and Kevin Brown.”


Schedule of Events:

  • The Lodge at Koele – Friday, February 8, 2013; 6:00-9:00 p.m.  Roll out the red carpet with the Lanai Film Festival premieres with live music
  • Coffee Works – Saturday, February 9, 2013; 9:00-11:00 a.m.  Start the morning with a ‘Cup of Joe’ & live Slack Key music with Kevin Brown & Grammy Winner Sonny Lim.
  • Café 565 – Saturday, February 9, 2013; 11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Enjoy lunch & live music with Robbie Ray Lopaka.
  • Lodge at Koele 1-2:30 PM FREE Hawaiian Nose Flute Workshop with Calvin Hoe
  • The Lodge at Koele – Saturday, February 9, 2013; 5:00-9:00 p.m. Join us for Polynesian Film night, with award winning films premiering to the public including: Malama Ko Aloha; The Land Has Eyes; Rolling Down Like Pele; Chief; Local Kin; That First Glide; and many more.  Screenings will be held in the Great Hall, Music Room and the Library. LIVE Hawaiian style Music with Grammy Winner Sonny Lim, Paula Fuga and Kevin Brown.
  • No Ka ‘Oi Grinds – Sunday, February 10, 2013; 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.  Enjoy breakfast as you listen to the melodic sounds of musician Robby Ray Lopaka.
  • Sunday Film FEST Breakfast -Lodge at Koele 9:30 AM- 12 w/ Slack Key Master Kevin Brown
  • Sunday Dinner Film Fest-Lodge at Koele 7-9PM w/ GRAMMY Winner Sonny Lim


2 Cars One Night – 12 min. Short by Taika Waititi
Two Maori kids find a connection in an unusual location.

Aunty Nona Beamer – Malama Ko Aloha (Keep Your Love) – Documentary by Kenneth K Martinez Burgmaier. Premier showing on Lanai.

This documentary on Aunty Nona Beamer’s life chronicles how she has shared her beliefs and love of the Hawaiian culture, touching the lives of many.

“Chief” – 21 min. Short by Brett Wagner
Semu Fatutoa is a taxi driver in Honolulu trying to forget his past, but his traditional Samoan body tattoos are a grim reminder of the tragedy he left at home.

Fish Bowl – Short by Kayo Hatta
A funny look at growing up in the 70’s through Hilo girl Lovey Nariyoshi and her BFF Jerry.

Hana Remembers Her Sons – The Sarah Joe –  Documentary by Kenneth K Martinez
The mystery of the lost fishermen of The Sarah Joe, that left one fateful day in Hana only to be found with more questions than answers.

Holomua – 10 min. Short by Vince Keala Lucero
A native Hawaiian community struggles to find their identity through preservation of precious sites.

I Scream Floats & Sundays – 11 min. Short by Leah Kihara.
Three vignettes explore contemporary Hawaiian women’s lives.

Massacre at Kaupao Beach, 7 min. Short by Kenneth K Martinez Burgmaier
This film explores the tragedy of what happened at Molokai’s beloved Kaupao Beach.

Mrs. Mafua’s Hat – 8 min. Short by Rachael Walker
A Samoan woman and a Palagi nurse bridge cultural differences with headwear.

Rolling Down Like Pele – 4 min. Animated Short by Laura Margulies.
A tale of Hawaiian hula and chant overlaid with mixed media animation.


Sunday Wind – 14min. Short by Michael Wurth.
The humble routines of 3 hardworking farmers are forever changed one Sunday morning.

The Land has Eyes – 87 min. drama by Vilsoni Hereniko

First ever Fijian film, authentic in its storytelling, starring local actors that had never seen a film before this one. A coming of age story of a young girl who faces her tribulations with inspiration from a warrior woman god.

That First Gllide – 74 min. Documentary by Mike Waltze
Stand up paddle boarding with Laird, Kai Lenny, Dave Kalama, Gerry Lopez and more.

Voyages – 18 min. Short by Herb Kane and Paul Csige
Kane’s historical art comes alive as a small group of Polynesians take to the sea.

Also Showing:


Local Kine

Fly Girl

A Legacy

Polynesian Journey


The Little Things

Lanai Cultural Heritage Center Films


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Written by Jen Russo

Jen Russo

Food, Drink, Arts, Entertainment, Lifestyle, Business News and everything else Writer. Adore my big family. Fashion & Beauty junkie, Blogger, Social Media and Internet fanatic, Maui specialist. also at

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About Jen Russo

Food, Drink, Arts, Entertainment, Lifestyle, Business News and everything else Writer. Adore my big family. Fashion & Beauty junkie, Blogger, Social Media and Internet fanatic, Maui specialist. also at

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