Hi, I am an author, journalist and artist, born in Austria, coming from a background of marketing, graphic design, journalism and photography (mostly in Vienna), and I have “turned filmmaker” to take advantage of more modern tools of story-telling. I have worked in all areas of the media business, from reporter over art-director, ad-exec, layouter to editor-in-chief, and I have traveled the world publishing feature reports about exotic themes. I am an experienced copywriter and conceptionist for advertising, commercial campaigns, music videos, promotional videos and documentary films. My early works as an independent filmmaker are documentaries about interesting people. I have been working in all facets of video production and have made a few short film.
The last three years I spent making an epic documentary about Hawaii, and I am seeking preview and fundraising screening venues for my film – which was made completely out of pocket, and all I need now is to be able to pay for clearances.
My film is the ultimate educational-cultural gem about Hawaii, so factual that it has the hardest time getting funding. Why? Because my 56 speakers and 10 Hawaiian narrators tell Hawaii’s story how it really was, detached from the usual bias. And not everyone is happy about having to revise their pre-conceived ideas about “the good guys and the bad guys”, about “paradise” and the contrary … and it all has been existing in the Hawaiian islands for millennia.
Here is the online trailer of my film "Native Of Owhyhee" (390 min., widescreen, that I wrote, produced, directed and edited): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2VTzh5CZdg .
"Native Of Owhyhee" – WGA.reg. 1170301 © Jo Danieli 2008 – in post-production/seeking distribution/completion funding
Feature documentary, 390 minutes, widescreen;
The epic historical documentary "Native Of Owhyhee" tells the story how Hawaii turned from an ancient "pagan" society into one of the most literate Christian nations in the world of the 1800s. It is the story of tribal cults and sacrifices, of legendary magical ways of living predating the era of the settlement of Polynesia, of indigenous traditions in the islands through the eras, and it features the intersection of cultures in Hawaii as well as the fate of several young Hawaiian sailors and a Prince who played historical key-roles in the era of greatest changes shortly after Western contact, together with the pioneer American Christian missionaries. The film features 56 speakers from Hawaii and New England and ten native Hawaiian narrators, over 1000 historical images, historical film-clips and great original Hawaiian and New England music.
I am not much of a chatter, but I’d appreciate referrals to screening venues and / or sponsors who want to help me to make this film public to honor the many people who are sharing their expert “mana’o” (“knowledge”) in our film.
One “kupuna” (Hawaiian elder) who speaks in the film, passed away, and this makes me very sad. His wish was, however, after seeing an early version of the docu, that it be shared with the world. And I am working on that one and would appreciate your help. I’d share the preview screener with anyone interested and/or a two hours content-clips DVD.
My reel is available.
I’d love to make my next documentaries, but currently, I have to try and find a way to survive economically after spending literally all I had on my Hawaii docu – just BECAUSE people (especially sponsors-to-be) were so incredibly nasty about facts that matter and tried to force me to adjust historical facts to their ideas of history and their political and religious agendas. To threaten me is the best way to keep me on track, though – that’s why “Native Of Owhyhee” is “pono”: It means, it’s right and pure and genuine and honors all people involved in the intersection of cultures as it has been going on in Hawaii and in the Pacific for thousands of years.
Do I have Polynesian/Pacific ancestry? Maybe. This doesn’t matter. The world should be an open space for humans, and to me, race or nationality are only words.
One of the speakers in my film says the ultimate truth about it all:
“Spirit is universial, it’s not racial.”
And that’s the motto of my film.
I hope, many people will get to see it. Of course I’ll share the rights with people helping me to get it out there.
With “hula” being still such a trendy dance, it’s needless to say, that Japan alone with it’s thousands of hula-schools, is waiting for my film that actually explains Hawaiian culture to the people who wish to honor it by dancing a Hawaiian dance (saying “dance the hula” would mean “dance the dance”) …
I am not online all that often, so if you would like to communicate with me about my film – please, just email.
Jodanieli2@hawaii.rr.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for your attention.
Aloha nui loa!