Cover story by Liberty Peralta, PBS Hawaiʻi


REEL WĀHINE OF HAWAIʻI: On the cover, clockwise from top left: Connie Flores, Heather Haunani Giugni, Jeannette Paulson Hereniko, Ciara Leina‘ala Lacy, Victoria Keith and Anne Misawa


Since the rise of the #MeToo movement in 2017, a spotlight on gender inequity in the historically male-dominated film industry has been shining brighter than ever. In April, PBS Hawaiʻi shines a local spotlight on our Islands’ own women filmmakers with a month-long presentation of their stories.


The presentation is anchored by the statewide broadcast premiere of PBS Hawaiʻi Presents: Reel Wāhine of Hawaiʻi on Thursday, April 30 at 9:00 pm. The hour-long compilation of six locally produced short films tells the stories of these Hawaiʻi-based filmmakers, taking them from behind the camera to out in front:

REEL WĀHINE OF HAWAIʻI Begins Thursday, April 30 at 9:00 pm. This presentation is sponsored by Waimea Valley, Hawaiian Airlines, DUNKIN' and PASHA HAWAII
Founder, Hula Girl Productions


Producer, Family Ingredients
Founder, ʻUluʻulu: The Henry Kuʻualoha Giugni
Moving Image Archive of Hawaiʻi


Producer/camera operator, The Sand Island Story


Writer/producer/director, Out of State


Associate Professor, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa-
Academy for Creative Media


Founding Director, Hawaiʻi International Film Festival

The six short films recount each woman’s creative philosophies, challenges and triumphs in contributing to Hawaiʻi’s film industry.


The shorts are produced by Hawaiʻi Women in Filmmaking, a nonprofit organization with a mission to redress gender inequity in the film industry. The organization’s executive director, Vera Zambonelli, directed the short film on Paulson Hereniko.


Anne Misawa, Jeanette Paulson Hereniko and Connie Flores


“In Hawaiʻi, we have a strong history of women behind the camera, including Native Hawaiians and women of color,” Zambonelli said. “Most of them have never told their stories before, and their accomplishments are great. We need to research, record and disseminate this knowledge to counter the ways that academic and cultural histories regularly neglect women’s authorship and work in film and in the arts in general.”


The series was also a training opportunity for young graduates of Hawaiʻi Women in Filmmaking’s educational programs. A team of veteran filmmakers guided the graduates along the production of the six short films. “We envisioned the series as an intergenerational project, where we put our active women filmmakers to work, documenting the stories of veterans of the field, while mentoring and training the next generation of Hawaiʻi women filmmakers,” Zambonelli said.


Victoria Keith, Hether Haunani Giugni and Ciara Leinaʻala Lacy


Reel Wāhine of Hawaiʻi producer Shirley Thompson sums up the importance of showcasing the stories of these and other women filmmakers. “[They] aren’t getting the same opportunities as men, in terms of hiring, pay, access to financing and access to gatekeepers,” she said. “Film is a powerful medium that shapes our very society. If we exclude women from writing those stories, or deciding which stories get told, we are excluding women’s voices from shaping our society and our future.”


As part of our month-long celebration of Hawaiʻi women filmmakers, PBS Hawaiʻi will air these encore presentations:



Kū Kanaka/Stand Tall
Directed and produced by Marlene Booth
Thursday, April 2, 9:00 pm


Heather Haunani Giugni
Tuesday, April 7, 7:30 pm


Under a Jarvis Moon
Co-directed and co-produced by Heather Haunani Giugni
Thursday, April 9, 9:00 pm


Ciara Leina‘ala Lacy
Tuesday, April 14, 7:30 pm


Out of State
Directed and co-produced by Ciara Leinaʻala Lacy
Thursday, April 16, 9:00 pm


Strange Land: My Mother’s War Bride Story
Directed by Stephanie Castillo
Thursday, April 23, 9:00 pm


Jeannette Paulson Hereniko
Tuesday, April 28, 7:30 pm




Trump addresses the nation amid coronavirus pandemic


President Donald Trump is expected to address the nation at 3 p.m. HST. Watch live in the player above.


After days of trying to downplay the threat, Trump announced he would be delivering a prime-time Oval Office address to the nation Wednesday on the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic.


The swiftly mounting effort to contain the outbreak and financial fallout intensified on a grueling day as the number of confirmed cases of the infection topped 1,000 in the U.S. and the World Health Organization declared that the global crisis is now a pandemic. Communities nationwide canceled public events in the hopes of halting the spread of the infection.




The Rub (Beginnings – 1933)

COUNTRY MUSIC: The Rub (Beginnings – 1933) - The Carter Family


See how what was first called “hillbilly music” reaches new audiences through phonographs and radio, and launches the careers of country music’s first big stars, the Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers.




How We Saved the Planet

OZONE HOLE: How We Saved the Planet


Discover the forgotten story of the hole in the ozone layer and how the world came together to fix it. Hear from the scientists and politicians who persuaded Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher to take action and solve the planetary problem.






Kids Caught in the Crackdown


Exposing the traumatic stories of migrant children detained under Trump’s immigration policies. An investigation with The Associated Press into the widespread consequences – and business – of the mass confinement of migrant children. Also, a report on the sexual exploitation of women in Iraq.




The Mueller Investigation



The nearly two-year investigation of special counsel Robert Mueller into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election has concluded, with Mueller’s final report delivered to Attorney General William Barr for review.






A Modern Twist on a 19th-Century Classic


A Modern Twist on a 19th-Century Classic: Les Misérables on MASTERPIECE

April program guide cover story by Jody Shiroma, PBS Hawai‘i


The story unfolds with Jean Valjean, a worn-out convict who cannot seem to break free from his life of crime, until a simple act of kindness changes his life for the better as he chooses to “pay it forward” by committing to save a young girl from a life of poverty.


Les Misérables: David Oyelowo as Javert, Dominic West as Jean ValjeanWhile you have probably heard of Les Misérables, or have seen the musical or the film of the musical, the dramatic interpretation of this classic novel on MASTERPIECE takes a new twist. Viewers tuning into the series will see the same story told differently, in a modern take on this French classic, as the team behind this television adaptation is ignoring the famous songs and instead embracing speaking-only roles in an ethnically diverse cast sporting British accents in a French setting. The intent is to add a contemporary feel to the 150-year-old story.


The series features an esteemed ensemble of actors to bring the story to life. It stars Dominic West in the iconic role of ex-convict Jean Valjean, David Oyelowo as his nemesis Javert and Lily Collins as the destitute Fantine as key players in the amazing cast.

Les Misérables: Lily Collins as FantineThis television adaptation of Les Misérables brings the renowned classic by Victor Hugo vibrantly to life through colorful and fetching characters. Multi award-winning screenwriter Andrew Davies goes back to the original novel and digs deep into the many layers of Hugo’s story, taking viewers on a roller coaster ride through Jean Valjean and Javert’s cat-and-mouse relationship set against the epic backdrop of France at a time of civil unrest.


Les Misérables includes some of the most famous characters in European literature, and touches upon many of the same social problems that we face today – the struggle of poverty, crime and punishment, good vs. evil, social injustice and wrong vs. right.


Director Tom Shankland says: “Working with this incredible cast on Andrew Davies’ fantastic adaptation of Les Misérables, really is a dream come true. We want to capture the thrilling spirit of passion and protest in Victor Hugo’s novel and make it feel more relevant than ever. The conviction, intensity and authenticity that all of these actors bring to their work is going to be a massive part of making this story speak to audiences everywhere.”

Les Misérables on MASTERPIECE

Sundays at 8:00 pm
April 14 – May 19, 2019
on PBS Hawaiʻi
Watch a preview here

Les Misérables on Masterpiece




A childhood discovery and a journey of 1500 pages


CEO Message


A childhood discovery and a journey of 1500 pages

Leslie Wilcox, PBS Hawai‘i President and CEOI was a barefoot third-grader, playing with hula hoops in a friend’s garage in Āina Haina, when I spied a stack of old comic books.


That was my unlikely introduction to Les Misérables. The foreign words were on the cover of a Classics Illustrated comic book, where a man carrying another was running from pursuers in a rat-infested tunnel.


My playmate and I dropped our hoops and hunched over that top book in the stack. The drawings were dramatic – and even more striking were the words, painting the story of a man who was both hero and crook, good and bad, trusted and untrustworthy, long-suffering and impatient, a man who hated and loved.

Comic book cover art of Victor Hugo's Les MisérablesWe’d found a magic comic book that was not the usual kid stuff of bright, positive absolutes.


Even though the story was set far away and long ago, it resonated deeply. It spoke to the confusing contradictions I’d already experienced in my young life – a father who promised to be home at night but rarely was; an admired teen scholar/ athlete who kicked his dog when he thought no one could see; and the much-feared school bully who was understanding and even gracious when I accidentally hit him in the face with a kickball.


A couple of years later, during summer vacation, I wanted more than the comic book version of Les Misérables. As it turned out (just my luck!), the hardcover novel is one of the longest books in European literature, nearly 1,500 pages. On top of that, I needed to have a second book handy, the dictionary. I still remember the first of many words I looked up: morass.


Reading the novel sometimes felt like slogging through a morass. Author Victor Hugo would digress into long, detailed histories – of the Battle of Waterloo, the construction of Paris sewers and more. Those parts, I skimmed.


However, I was forever held by the main story line which famously starts with Jean Valjean sent to prison for stealing bread to feed his widowed sister’s seven children. The story enveloped me in a world in which I was often trying to decipher the boundaries of right and wrong, good and evil, war and peace, love and hate.


Later, when I covered poverty as a journalist, I would return to Les Misérables to re-read this stinging quote: “There is always more misery among the lower classes than there is humanity in the higher.”


Since childhood, I’ve always been eager to see new adaptations of Les Misérables, on stage and screen. I hope you’ll join me in spirit, on the community sofa, to view this latest PBS television presentation.


Les Misérables on MASTERPIECE

Sundays at 8:00 pm
April 14 – May 19, 2019
on PBS Hawaiʻi


Learn more about Les Misérables
in our program guide cover story by
Jody Shiroma, VP of Communications, PBS Hawaiʻi.


Aloha Nui,

Leslie signature