The Short Film “Moloka’i Bound” was directed by Hawaii filmmaker Alika Maikau. It tells the story of a young man who just came out of prison and struggles to reconnect with his son and Hawaiian heritage. The little family is portrayed by Holden Mandrial-Santos (as “Kainoa”), Austin Tucker (as “Jonathan”) and Danielle Zalopany (as “Jessica”), who actually aren’t professional actors. Nevertheless, they portray their feelings well and reach the audience’s heart.
“Maikau manages to tell so much in only 8 minutes”
Tucker and Mandrial-Santos are speaking the so-called pidgin English, which is a mixture of English and local languages which enables people who do not share a common language to communicate. Another interesting fact about the short is that the entire story happens in only one place – a school. In combination with the non-professional actors, this is exactly what brings “authenticity which is really hard to cast” as Director Maikau said. The director, who grew up on Oahu and studied creative media at the University of Hawaii, wants to tell stories that are rooted in the Hawaiin Islands.