Thursday, May 19, 2022 |
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LIHUE The filmmakers of The Hanapepe Massacre Mystery project are launching a fundraising campaign.
LIHUE — The filmmakers of “The Hanapepe Massacre Mystery” project are launching a fundraising campaign.
The project team jumped into action on Sept. 21 when the film crew followed community researchers searching for the unmarked grave of 16 Filipino striking sugar cane workers killed in an ensuing riot in 1924.
The film project’s momentum grew on Sept. 28 when a potential mass grave was identified at the Hanapepe Filipino Cemetery by ground-penetrating radar.
The filmmakers, headed by Emmy Award-winning documentary-maker and Kauai native Stephanie J. Castillo, have also begun interviewing descendants with stories and other community storytellers.
“We are confident that this critical move to raise funds online will generate a gigantic wave of support for our efforts,” said Castillo.
This is her 11th documentary.
She and her project team are all from Kauai. They will be reaching out to the Filipino community, as well as to all those wanting to see this 95-year-old history of a Kauai massacre told more completely.
“Questions and mysteries abound, and the film will seek to uncover the answers as to why 16 Filipino sugar cane workers were killed in Hanapepe during the strike incident and riot and also caused the deaths of four sheriff deputies,” she said.
“The 1924 Hanapepe massacre is a forgotten story and needs updating. Missing for 95 years in the telling of this horrific tale are the voices of the community on Kauai that lived through it, those that remember it and the stories of its aftermath passed down through the generations,” Castillo added.
“The relevance of this story resonates today for issues involving labor rights, immigration and transnational workers,” she said.
Donor support using the GoFundMe online platform can be a lifeline for the project for now, Castillo said, while the team seeks funding assistance from private foundations and government entities and nonprofit grants.
“We wanted to launch the GoFundMe campaign this Thanksgiving week, in the spirit of giving, and want to ask everyone to consider making a donation to help launch this very important documentary project, the Hanapepe Massacre Mystery,” said Castillo, whose Filipino family comes from Kapahi.
When completed, she plans to offer this film to PBS, which has aired several of her other documentaries.
Castillo’s project team leaders include co-Executive Producer Randy Francisco of Hanapepe, the former film commissioner of Kauai, and lead researcher Christopher Ballesteros, who is from Kauai and wrote a history thesis on the massacre for his Harvard undergraduate degree.
To donate: GoFundMe.com
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