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Local Filmmaker Directs TV Special

A half-hour television special illustrating the importance of Hawaii’s watershed and its protection will be airing on local stations this month and next. The show, produced on behalf of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources (DNLR) was written and directed by Molokai filmmaker Matt Yamashita. Staring actor Jason Scott Lee, “The Rain Follows the Forest” is a journey to learn about the islands’ fragile fresh water supply, its connections to the upland forest environment, and the ways we can protect this valuable resource.

Yamashita said he was tasked with more than just creating a documentary – producer Cal Hirai wanted more of a “real” story. So Yamashita “crafted a storyline that has [Scott Lee] setting off on a journey to find answers to what Hawaii will look like in 50 years,” Yamashita said, via email.

The piece was shot on Oahu, Maui and Hawaii Island.

“We interviewed really amazing people… [who] articulated the huge challenges we face in protecting these areas and ensuring continued fresh water supply for our islands,” said Yamashita.

“I think about my grandchildren all the time and the challenges that they are going to face,” said DLNR Chairperson William Aila, in a press release. “The worst-case scenario is that our watersheds are depleted and the source of fresh water diminishes.”

“The Rain Follows the Forest” is part of DLNR’s new initiative to focus on watershed protection, healthy function and restoration.

“Most importantly, we want people to be left with a sense of hope,” said Yamashita. “Personally, I hope that people are able to watch it and can connect to the message and feel inspired to support the DLNR in this initiative.”

The television special aired on KGMB and KHNL last week, and will air throughout February on “Outside Hawaii” on OC16.


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