Casting underway for Hawaiian language version of ‘Moana’

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Casting is underway for the Hawaiian language version of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ animated film, “Moana.”

Aulii Cravalho will reprise her role as the title character.

“I am so deeply proud of my Hawaiian roots,” Cravalho said. “To perform the role of Moana, acting and singing in the Hawaiian language, is so deeply humbling and exciting. I can’t wait to work with the talented language experts who will help bring this version to life.”

The Hawaiian language version is being created by the University of Hawaii in collaboration with The Walt Disney Studios.

“We are so thrilled that we have the opportunity to make a Hawaiian version of the film, especially with the incredible Aulii,” Moana producer Osnat Shurer said. “To now make a Hawaiian language version, after recently collaborating on Tahitian and Te Reo Maori language versions, goes beyond any dreams we had for the film’s impact within communities that deeply inspired the movie.”

The University of Hawaii’s Academy for Creative Media System is funding and coordinating this collaborative project with the goal of sharing the film for educational purposes in Hawaii and beyond. It is expected to be distributed via the Hawaii State Department of Education to schools throughout the state as a Hawaiian language educational tool.

“There are many great things to highlight about this collaboration,” said UH West Oahu Chancellor Maenette Benham. “The movie can be used as a language learning tool, it builds positive motivation and pride for all children and youth to know their cultural moolelo, and it speaks to the brilliant collaboration of our faculty and staff across the UH System.”

Dr. Puakea Nogelmeier, professor of Hawaiian language and executive director of Awaiaulu, a nonprofit organization for Hawaiian-language translation training, will oversee a team of Awaiaulu’s translators; Hailiopua Baker, Professor of Hawaiian Theatre at UH-Manoa’s Theatre department will serve as acting director; Ethnomusicologist Aaron J. Sala will serve the project as music director; the film will be re-recorded in Hawaiian at Honolulu Community College’s MELE Studio and engineered by Jon Ross; collections specialist and producer for UHWO’s Uluulu, Hawaii’s moving image archive Heather Giugni and Sharla Hanaoka, Director of Creative Media at UHWO, are producers of the Hawaiian language-version of Moana, in cooperation with Rick Dempsey, SVP Creative, for Disney Character Voices International.

Casting will be overseen by Rachel Sutton.

Fluent Hawaiian language speakers and singers should submit a photo, cell number, and a link to a Vimeo or YouTube video of them singing/chanting in Hawaiian to Deadline for submissions is Nov. 17, 2017.Click here for more information.

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