An interview with filmmaker Aina Paikai

A new series of local films begins Friday night at Coffee Talk in Kaimuki.

Hawaii Independent Staff

Coffee Talk and Show & Tell are showcasing local films Friday night at 7pm. The event is free. We interviewed ‘Aina Paikai, one of the featured filmmakers, about his film “Blessed Assurance.”

1. The name of your piece is “Blessed Assurance.” Can you talk about the name? And tell me about your choice of music for the surfing sequence.

Funny you ask these two questions (or most likely you did your research), but the title of the track used for the surfing sequence is “Blessed Assurance,” produced by a young, talented, LA based artist named Teebs.  In fact, all of his music was used throughout the film.  I thought the title “Blessed Assurance” was quite fitting to the feeling of the film and that it would be appropriate to re-use the songs title.  (Renaming the film after the track was also a mahalo to Teebs for letting me use his music, free of charge.  His music is very modern, yet organic, and that was also the theme I was going for in the film.)  This “Blessed Assurance” I am referring to in the film is one that we as Hawaiians, if we practice our customary traditions, have ancient knowledge to rely on.

3. The TV show “Revolution” is a dystopian look at a post-electricity US, with a decidedly less hopeful tone than your piece. Why is your point of view different?

“Blessed Assurance” was directly created as apart of the Showdown in Chinatown short film challenge.  The theme for that particular challenge was, “What if Hawaii ran out of gas?”  I had a feeling that most other competitors would choose the apocalyptic route, but as a Hawaiian, I wanted to remind everyone that Native Hawaiians lived without any imports for thousands of generations and suggest that “the end of the world” mentality is not how a modern Hawaiian would approach this dilemma.  All of our necessities can be found on these islands and in its surrounding ocean and we as island people need to be aware of our depleting resources, so that if this “mysterious vanishing of gasoline” were indeed to happen, we are skilled in the ways of the kupuna and can survive sustainably, the way they did, as well as be able to utilize our modern conveniences.