Bethany's tale on film
AFTER two years of work, filmmaker Becky Baumgartner
has completed "Heart of a Soul Surfer," a documentary about Bethany Hamilton
who lost her arm to a 14-foot tiger shark in 2003. While a film school student at Cal State Fullerton, Baumgartner met the Hamilton family through Bethany's older brother. Inspired by the personal stories she began hearing, Baumgartner decided to videotape some of them.
"I wanted them to be able to tell their story from their heart, the way I was hearing them," she said. The small video evolved, and Baumgartner began working with Walking on Water, a company known for its surfing videos. An editor and cinematographer came on board. Quickly it became the 22-year-old Baumgartner's "first real project."
Still photos, surfing footage and interviews with Bethany, her family and friends tell the story, which premiered at the Maui Film Festival last month, and has been accepted into a variety of festivals around the country. But Baumgartner is most proud of the fact that the Hamilton family believes she depicts Bethany's life authentically.
Kauai residents can see the 30-minute production at 7 p.m. July 13 at Kilauea Theater, or at sunset July 28 at Hanalei Bay, as part of the Hawaii Ocean Film Festival.
PACIFIC Islanders in Communications is inviting proposal submissions for public television projects through its Media Fund Open Call. Members of the filmmaking community can get funding for projects related to indigenous Pacific cultures.
Several grants up to $15,000 each will go toward proposals in the research and development stage, and those in the production and completion stages could receive up to $50,000. Open Call is now in its 15th year. An independent review panel evaluates each proposal.
"Even if the project is not selected for funding this cycle, we work with the applicants to refine their application so they can apply to PIC again, and apply for money from other sources," executive director Ruth Bolan said in a statement. "At PIC, we know that the stories from the Pacific can change the world. We are committed to being a valuable resource for our producers."
When a filmmaker receives PIC funding, additional assistance becomes available, including grants for travel, scholarships and workshops. "Beyond the financial support for my documentaries, PIC is integral in assisting with outreach, education and community engagement for public television audiences, which make a broadcast truly successful," said Lisette Marie Flanary, a past recipient and producer of "Na Kamalei: The Men of Hula."
Applications are due by 5:30 p.m. on July 13. Visit www.piccom.org or call Shane Seggar at 591-0059.
AFTER breezing through Honolulu to conduct an acting workshop at UH, the never-idle Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa traveled to Hong Kong to work on a British-Chinese martial arts film called "A New Beginning." His plans after it wraps? According to his publicist, he'll visit Nepal to join a Tibetan Buddhist sect.