Justyn Ah Chong | Brine Podcast 2.7
My guest for Brine S2.E7 is Justyn Ah Chong––an independent filmmaker, and Native Hawaiian, who was born and raised on the island of Oʻahu. He seeks to tell culturally rooted stories that amplify the depth and breadth of the wisdom of his ancestors, while simultaneously providing a platform to showcase the relationship between the intergenerational genius and trauma that has produced our contemporary Hawaiian experience.
Our conversation begins with the importance of storytelling as humans, we then move to why cultures and communities need to keep this practice alive in order to maintain control over their own narratives, and then we dive into how he carved his path into the film world and some of his own projects.
At present, Justyn is promoting his directorial debut, Down on the Sidewalk in Waikiki, a short film that highlights the Hawaiian poet Wayne Westlake, whose work was ahead of its time. The film is making the rounds in festivals across 2019 and 2020. See www.saltedlogic.com for more info and links!
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Justyn graduated from the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts in 2011 with a B.A. in Film Production and a Minor in Business. Upon graduating, he returned home to Hawaiʻi where he worked as a full-time videographer and editor at ʻŌiwi TV – Hawaiʻi's first and only indigenous television broadcasting network. There he had the opportunity to craft his skills behind the camera and in the edit bay on numerous mini-documentary projects, news pieces, commercial work, and non-profit videos. Through ʻŌiwi TV he's been blessed to travel the world, sailing with and documenting the Hōkūleʻa's Worldwide Voyage and has collaborated on several PBS national documentaries, including the Nā Loea series, and Let's Play Music! Slack Key with Cyril Pahinui and Friends. As for feature-length films, Justyn was a co-director with Matthew Ward on Wichita, which was developed and produced with colleagues from USC.
Tickets for film festivals featuring Down on the Sidewalk in Waikīkī
Learn more about the film via its original Kiskstarter page.
Mahalo Nui …many thanks to the following people and places.
Kevin Chang and Kupa’āina for allowing Brine to use their music.
Waiwai Collective for an amazing co-work space and use of their vault to record.
Maunalua - you raised me right!