Part of King Street through Downtown was closed for most of the day Sunday because of the filming of a movie.
The movie “Go For Broke” is shooting scenes on the street and on the grounds of Iolani Palace .
It’s a local production including cast, crew and hundreds of extras. Jake Shimabukuro, Lanai Tabura, Cole Horibe, and State Senator Glenn Wakai are among the names you might recognize on screen.
The production is not big-budget, but it did get half-a-million dollars in funding from the State with money going through the non-profit 442nd Regimental Combat Team Foundation.
State funded movies are rare because it uses taxpayer money with no revenue gain in return.
It’s not easy getting this film grant from the State and film productions need to follow strict requirements. But legislators who supported the “Go For Broke” film project said there needs to be more movies like this.
Hundreds of extras portrayed as soldiers and civilians take you back to the 1940s — to an untold story of the 442nd.
“The world had no idea what it took to be created at all. They think it just happened, which is not true at all. There are a lot of people who work behind the scenes supporting the Japanese-Americans and the Japanese community,” said Executive Producer and Writer Stacey Hayashi.
From beginning to end, the film production used local crew members and actors.
“You see in Hollywood so many films that start off as like a Japanese based film, they get white-washed,” said Actor Chad Yazawa who plays Akira Otani in the movie, “You need local people to tell local stories in that local perspective.”
“One of the most important things in the film industry is the ability for us to have local productions told by local voices, so I think it’s important that we encourage that,” said Representative Mark Nakashima, Chair of the Economic Development and Business Committee.
Representative Nakashima supported the film back in 2014 when the State gave about $560-thousand. The money was what’s called a grant-in-aid or GIA.
“The subject matter that is funded by GIA’s are important they are important to our community, to our lawmakers, and to — in some cases like the 442nd regiment project “Go For Broke” — have a global impact,” said Georja Skinner of the State Creative Industries.
Hayashi said because the project is partially state-funded, they are working with a modest budget. But she’s received immense support from the community. Many people here are volunteering their time, even the food is donated.
“It’s a period piece. You look at our extras, these are all volunteers. We can’t afford this. We could never afford this today at all,” said Hayashi.
Georja Skinner from the State Creative Industries said there are not a lot of films that were partially state funded.
“So you can see it’s not something that filmmakers necessarily are going to nor it’s something that I think the legislators are looking at,” said Skinner, “there really are other ways to fund projects in the state as in any film making community across the us.”
Other grant-in-aid films that the state supported include a Patsy Mink Documentary and a cooking show featuring Roy Yamaguchi.
The “Go For Broke” film would be the first drama funded by the State and it received the largest amount in state funds.
The movie is set to be released this Fall.
For more about the movie, visit https://www.goforbrokemovie.com/