“Lahaina Noon,” directed and written by Christopher Kahunahana, is featured on the X1 Asian American destination this May in the Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month mini-destination. We had the chance to ask Christopher what inspired his filmmaking journey and how his Hawaiian background influences his work.
Tell us about your film featured on X1 this month!
Christopher Kahunahana: “Lahaina Noon,” is the yearly tropical solar phenomenon where the sun passes directly overhead at noon. During this unique solar event, upright objects do not cast a shadow. Native Hawaiians believe that, at that moment, your shadow crawls back into your body and gives an individual extra mana or power. When confronted by life-altering choices, the main characters deepest desires are amplified by the cruel noon sun and forced their fate.
How did you get into filmmaking?
CK: Late at night, when everyone else had gone to sleep, Iʻd sneak out of my room to sit under my mothersʻ protective arm to watch “The Twilight Zone,” it was our secret to share the craziness of this imaginative world until the television would go off the air. These moments spent with my mom will be forever entwined with my love for films.
What are some films and/or filmmakers that have inspired you?
CK: There are so many films and filmmakers that have inspired me such as masters like Kurosawa, Kubrick, and Tarkovsky and there are contemporaries filmmakers like Lynne Ramsay, Wong Kar-Wai, Alejandro Inarritu, and Chloe Zhao.
Do you have a favorite Asian American film?
CK: Films such as “Better Luck Tomorrow” and “Planet B-boy” are landmarks for me because they depict American life and culture through an Asian American point-of-view. “Better Luck Tomorrow” deals with crime from a uniquely teen perspective and “Planet B-boy” shows personal ambition through family struggle.
How does your Asian heritage influence your work?
What is your outlook on the state of Asian American cinema?
What’s next for you?
Don’t have X1 yet? Get it Now! Call today: (877) 838-7651
For more Filmmaker Spotlights or Asian American news and entertainment visit Xfinity Asian American.