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‘Mele’ Comes to L.A.

The Los Angeles premiere of “Mele Murals” was presented on Aug. 5 at the Aratani Theatre in Little Tokyo by the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center and Visual Communications. The documentary by Tadashi Nakamura (“Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings”) shows the transformative power of modern graffiti art and ancient Hawaiian culture for a new generation of Native Hawaiians, focusing on renowned street artists, a group of Native Hawaiian youth, and the rural community of Waimea. Above left: Nakamura introduces the film. Above right: Singer/songwriter Paula Fuga performed at the screening and during a reception at the James Irvine Japanese Garden.

Opening remarks were made by VC Executive Director Francis Cullado and JACCC Director of Performing Arts and Community Engagement Alison De La Cruz.

Executive producer Keoni Lee and director of photography Justyn Ah Chong took part in a Q&A after the screening.

John “Prime” Hina and Kanoa Castro, who appear in the film.

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Photos by J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo

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