77 min – Hawaii & Fiji – 2014
Director : Dean Hamer
Production : Qwaves & Pacific Islanders in Communications, ITVS
Kumu Hina – A Place in The Middle tells the inspiring story of a transgender native Hawaiian teacher who brings to life Hawaii’s traditional embrace of mahu – those who emboody male and female spirit. The film traces Hina’s evolution from Collin Wong, a timid high school boy, to her present positions as a married woman and cultural director of a school in urban Honolulu. When Ho’onani, a charismatic 6th grade girl, asks to join the school’s all-male hula troupe, Kumu Hina gives her the opportunity to express her inner male spirit. As teacher and student prepare for a climatic end-of-year public performance, they meet many obstacles, but hold fast to the idea that being true to oneself matters most.