Catch a wave this Sunday night May 8 at 7:30 PM at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival as they celebrate Duke Kahanamoku – the Ambassador of Aloha – the Father of Modern Surfin With the Los Angeles screening of the award-winning documentary WATERMAN. Seats are going fast.
WATERMAN chronicles the life of five-time Olympic medalist and Hawaiian surfing icon Duke Kahanamoku or “The Duke.” Widely considered the “father of modern surfing,” his success elevated the sport into the cultural phenomenon it is today. Narrated by Jason Momoa (Aquaman, Game of Thrones, Dune)and directed by Isaac Halisama, the documentary explores his journey breaking racial barriers on the mainland and influencing surfing’s global spread as well as his life-saving achievements and the obstacles he conquered both within and outside the sporting world.
This original documentary by Sidewinder Films (At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal, Munich ’72 and Beyond) is directed by Isaac Halasima and features commentary from surfing’s biggest stars, including newly-crowned Olympic gold medalist Carissa Moore, while also delving into his personal successes, struggles and humanitarianism through rare footage, contemporary visuals and incisive interviews.
From modest roots in Waikiki, Duke swam his way to fame, becoming the face of a changing Hawaii – and a vital part of its tourism industry – as it evolved from an independent Kingdom to the 50th American state. Yet relatively few outside Hawaii know the full extent of Duke’s impact on sports, lifesaving, and combatting prejudice.
Through Duke’s incredible athletic accomplishments, personal doctrine of Aloha, and enduring gift of surfing to the world, the film explores a theme that still resonates today – the role of sports in breaking societal barriers – and celebrates his triumphs and philosophy of inclusion, challenging us all to embrace diversity and incorporate Aloha into our own lives.
“In Hawai’i, we greet friends, loved ones and strangers with Aloha, which means with love. Aloha is the key word to the universal spirit of real hospitality, which makes Hawai’i renowned as the world’s center of understanding and fellowship. Try meeting or leaving people with Aloha. You’ll be surprised by their reaction. I believe it and it is my creed.”– Duke Paoa Kahanamoku