Three Mini-Documentaries To Share Rare Glimpses of Paniolo Heritage At Free Kahilu Theatre Makana Series Film Night Fri., Dec. 30, 2011

It’s been quite a year for Paniolo Preservation Society and 2012 promises even more excitement.  For 13 years this not-for-profit organization has increased public awareness and appreciation of the roles, practices and traditions of the paniolo as profound contributors to the history and lifestyle of Hawai’i.

2011 marked a huge milestone for PPS with the opening of the Paniolo Heritage Center at Parker Ranch’s famous Pukalani Stables, a community center and “museum-in-progress” dedicated to keeping the proud paniolo heritage alive.

To celebrate the achievements of 2011 and formally announce significant new events coming to the Paniolo Heritage Center in 2012, including the inaugural of Lifetime Achievement Awards on Jan. 21, PPS will co-host a Paniolo Film Night at Kahilu Theatre at 5:30 p.m., Fri., Dec. 30, 2011.

Three excitingly diverse mini-documentaries will be shown at this free, family-friendly Makana Series event at Kahilu Theatre.  Paniolo Film Night will include:

•         “Ka Nohona Makamae o Na Paniolo – The Treasured Lifestyle of the Paniolo,” featuring Waimea ranch families, Hawaiian saddle making and the ‘olelo (Hawaiian language) kept alive by the paniolo.  Three Waimea educators with ranching “roots” — Ellen Cordeiro, Pua Case and Ku’ulei Keakealani — collaborated on this film, which was funded by a Kamehameha Schools Mapuna Grant in partnership with Waimea Middle Public Conversion Charter School’s ’Ike Hawai’i program, PPS and Waimea Education Hui.

•         Next will be a very different view of paniolo life through the eyes of two contemporary, nationally ranked members of Professional Bull Riders (PBR) and a young PBR stock provider who came to the islands last summer to learn about Hawaiian ranching.  This mini-film captures their visit as guests of PPS at a branding at historic Wahine Kea Corral at Makahalau, a pau hana pa’ina at Kahua Ranch and a bull riding clinic at Parker Ranch.  The film shares their discoveries about the vitality, diversity and unique character of Hawaiian cowboys and ranching, including an understanding about why paniolo do so well in national competitions.  The film, funded in part by Hawai’i Tourism Authority, recently aired nationally as part of PBR’s 2011 competitive circuit, giving millions of viewers a first-hand look at Hawai’i’s unique paniolo heritage, practices and protocols.

•         Award-winning photojournalist Julia Cumes’ premiere of her new documentary, “The Last of the Hawaiian Cowboys.”  Julia will introduce her film and tell about how her interest in the paniolo culture developed over many years visiting Hawai’i Island where her parents still live.  “I wanted to capture the richness of the culture which so few people know about.” Originally from South Africa, Julia has completed extensive study including a Masters in Photojournalism from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School, and done freelance photography around the world.  “My goal is to create images that move and inform, that are beautiful and capture in a unique way this extraordinary and complex world we live in.”

“There is such a long history of cowboys in Hawai’i and I thought it essential that this unique culture be documented.  It was a privilege and an honor and I hope the documentary does justice to their world,” says Cumes of her film.

No tickets are required for Kahilu Theatre Makana Series events, which are funded in part by The Lee Family and Lakeside Industries.  For information, call Kahilu Theatre (885-6868) –, or PPS (854-1541) –