http://cdn.itvs.org/kumu_hina-background.jpg
  • Kumu Hina (Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu), hula teacher & cultural director of Hālau Lōkahi Charter School.

    Kumu Hina (Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu), hula teacher & cultural director of Hālau Lōkahi Charter School.

    http://cdn.itvs.org/kumu_hina-01.jpg
  • Hoʻonani leads the boys in a performance of ʻai ka mūmū kēkē, a chant & hula about overcoming adversity

    Hoʻonani leads the boys in a performance of ʻai ka mūmū kēkē, a chant & hula about overcoming adversity

    http://cdn.itvs.org/kumu_hina-02.jpg
  • Kumu Hina with her husband Haemaccelo Kalu, a young man from Tonga

    Kumu Hina with her husband Haemaccelo Kalu, a young man from Tonga

    http://cdn.itvs.org/kumu_hina-03.jpg
  • Hoʻonani Kamai, 6th grade student who becomes the leader of the boys hula group

    Hoʻonani Kamai, 6th grade student who becomes the leader of the boys hula group

    http://cdn.itvs.org/kumu_hina-04.jpg
  • Hina shares a kiss with her husband Haema

    Hina shares a kiss with her husband Haema

    http://cdn.itvs.org/kumu_hina-05.jpg
  • Kumu Hina and her students sing one of her compositions
Credit: Qwaves, LLC

    Kumu Hina and her students sing one of her compositions Credit: Qwaves, LLC

    http://cdn.itvs.org/kumu_hina-06.jpg

The Film

Imagine a world where a little boy can grow up to be the woman of his dreams, and a young girl can rise to become a leader among men.

Kumu Hina tells the inspiring story of Hina Wong-Kalu, a transgender native Hawaiian teacher and cultural icon who brings to life Hawaii’s traditional embrace of māhū — those who embody both male and female spirit. The film traces Hina’s evolution from Collin Wong, a timid high school boy, to her present position as a married woman and cultural director of a school in one of Honolulu’s grittier neighborhoods. When Ho’onani, a charismatic 6th grade girl, asks to join the school’s all-male hula troupe, Hina gives her the opportunity to express her inner male spirit. As teacher and student prepare for a climactic end-of-year performance, they meet many obstacles, but hold fast to the idea that being true to oneself matters most.

The film also delves into Hina’s pursuit of a dream of her own: a fulfilling romantic relationship. Her marriage to a headstrong Tongan man, and the challenges they encounter, offer a glimpse of a Hawaii rarely seen on film and a deeper understanding of the true meaning of aloha — love, honor, and respect for all.

The Filmmakers

  1. Dean HamerProducer/Director
  2. Joe WilsonProducer/Director