Film documentary to feature crystal meth epidemic In Hawai’i

Award-winning local filmmaker Edgy Lee and producer Jeffrey Mueller are embarking on a new film project that will reveal the severity of crystal methamphetamine or “ice” epidemic in Hawai’i.

Titled “Hawai’i’s Ice Epidemic,” the commercial-free, half-hour television special is sponsored by The Pacific Arts Foundation and will air simultaneously on all four local networks and PBS Hawai’i during primetime in August 2003.

“The cooperation exhibited by Hawai’i’s major network affiliates agreeing to a primetime simulcast makes us proud to be part of this industry,” said Lee. “The show will offer more than facts and statistics. We’ll offer options and resources for the addict, the friend and family member, and the responsible community member.”

To further enhance the impact of the simulcast, PBS Hawai’i also will carry a half-hour “Town Square” discussion.

Producers have begun contacting various local leaders and expert resources who have been on the frontlines confronting this statewide problem to appear in the film. To date, Lieutenant Governor Duke Aiona; Dr. Michael Chun, Kamehameha Schools president; Dr. James Scott, Punahou School president; Skippa Diaz, deputy director of Parks and Recreation; Honolulu City Prosecutor Peter Carlisle; and Pat Oshiro, director of Child and Family Services, have confirmed their appearances in the program.

The film also will share the stories of ice addicts, children of addicts and foster parents who care for newborns of women addicted to ice. Former addicts and those who work with them will explain what they went through to rebuild their lives after the destruction caused by this drug. On a larger scope, the film also reveals how the ice epidemic in Hawai’i affects the community at large as it is linked directly to violent crimes; child, elder and spousal abuse; theft, rising insurance rates and medical costs and other community problems.

The projects is being funded through corporate, community and individual sponsorships, which are currently being sought. Contributions are tax deductible.

“With the highest rate of ice addition in the nation, Hawai’i is in a state of crisis,” said Mueller. “This special will raise awareness about the ice epidemic and will hopefully lead to increased efforts by the whole community to address this problem.”

The impact of the film will be further extended through a community outreach program organizes by Lieutenant Governor Aiona that will make the film available to schools, libraries, community groups, agencies and organizations. In addition, a special version of the program will be made specifically to educate children (grades four through eight) about the dangers of ice. This educational video will be accompanied by a teachers viewers guide for classroom use. Companies, organizations and individuals interested in sponsoring “Hawai’i’s Ice Epidemic,” should contact Film Works at 585-9005.

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