Born and raised in Honolulu, Brayden spent spent five years studying direction at the Film & Television Institute of India. His most recent short film, Breakdown, gained acceptance to several festivals in North America and around the world, won the “audience award” at the March 2014 HollyShorts Screening in Hollywood and an “emerging artist” award at the 2014 Taos Shortz Festival in New Mexico.
Before moving to the subcontinent, Brayden lived in Australia, where he studied screenwriting as part of a master’s in creative writing at the University of Technology, Sydney. Upon arriving in Los Angeles, Brayden gained selection to the 2014/2015 Writers Guild Foundation’s veterans' writing program at the WGA West; later that year, his writing also gained him admission to the screenwriting accelerator at the Creative Lab Hawaiʻi.
Brayden decided to pursue a career in film after first serving as a U.S. Army officer in Germany and Iraq, experiences he credits with finding his voice on veterans issues and cultural understanding. In 2016, he formed Clearing Barrel Productions, an independent, veteran-owned company dedicated to telling stories that challenge, inspire, & entertain through the media arts.
Ciara Leinaʻala Lacy is a native Hawaiian filmmaker whose interest lies in crafting films with strong characters and investigative journalism, which challenge the creative and political status quo. Her directorial debut, the feature-length documentary OUT OF STATE, premiered in June 2017 at the LA Film Festival, and two weeks later won Best Documentary Feature Film at the Cayman International Film Festival. As a producer, Ciara has produced documentary content for film and television, managed independent features, and coordinated product placement and clearances for various platforms.
In 2016, Ciara was honored to have been selected as the inaugural Sundance Institute Merata Mita Fellow and she is a current Princess Grace Awards Special Project grantee. She has also benefited from fellowships with Firelight Media's Documentary Lab, the Sundance Institute and Time Warner Foundation, the Sundance Institute’s NativeLab, the Princess Grace Foundation, and IFP. Ciara holds a BA from Yale University, and is a graduate of Hawaiʻi's Kamehameha Schools.
Robert Bates is a producer and director based in Honolulu. Best known for creating the James Beard Award-winning series “The Kitchen Sessions,” Robert has directed documentaries for PBS about Hawaiian history and the Japanese-American experience in Hawaiʻi, while producing scores of commercials over a thirty-year career. A consummate filmmaker, his credits as an editor include the feature films, Four Wedding Planners, Under The Blood Red Sun, Waikiki The Film, and Rocket Club.
Concepcion "Connie" Alicino is a relentless producer who strives to collaborate with talented filmmakers. After years of working in the mainstream production industry, Connie brings a invaluable sensibility and a keen eye for combining efficiency and artistic freedom.
An active and proud member of the Producers Guild of America, Connie is always looking for innovative ideas and talented individuals with whom to collaborate. She merges the best of both micro- and macro- productions into her collaborations, and seeks out projects that have both passion and a business plan.
Straddling the worlds of fiction and documentary filmmaking, Chapin is a Hawaii & Los Angeles based Cinematographer. Trained by legendary documentary cameraman, Bob Richman, Chapin has worked on feature films, commercials, and TV under some of the best directors of non-fiction film; from RJ Cutler, Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky, and Albert Maysles, to Academy Award winners like Nathaniel Kahn, and Davis Guggenheim. An accomplished visual artist in several media before picking up a film camera, Chapin seeks to craft visual language which is unique to each creative endeavor through an artistic approach to cinematography and deep trust for the collaborative spirit of film.
Hilo native Alana Bombino is passionate about bringing worlds to life in film through creative and thorough set design. During her time at the Academy for Creative Media at the University of Hawaiʻi, she designed sets for her classmates before making her own short, B Movie, which gained selection to several film festivals and launched her production design career.
Before moving on to pursue her passion for designing indie films, Alana first gained experience as a PA on a number of Hollywood features including Jumanji, Jurassic World : Fallen Kingdom, and Snatched. She is most known for her production design work on the 2017 local feature Go For Broke.
Originally from NYC, Anna has lived in Hawai’i since 2001. In that time, Anna has designed and constructed sets, costumes and projections for local theater groups as well as mainland productions. Her most recent costuming project was I’m A Bright Kid Foundation’s production of The King and I at Paliku theater in 2017, for which she also designed projections. She was also Costumer and projection designer for Paliku’s production of 1776. Anna currently works as the Assistant Backstage Technical Manager at Paliku Theater on the Windward Community College campus.
She was a Stage Manager and Resident Designer at Honolulu Theater for Youth in 2015-2016 where she had the opportunity to design lights, sets and costumes. Anna was Technical Theater teacher at Mililani High School for 5 years where she taught the high school students how to design and construct their own sets and costumes for productions. Anna was the set designer for the Hawai’i Shakespeare Festival in 2016.
Anna started out in technical theater as a part of Dickinson Community Players at SUNY Binghamton where she received a BA in Creative Writing and Literature. She is an avid photographer and mother of three beautiful teenaged girls.
Born and raised in Kailua, Oʻahu, Jennifer Iacovelli holds a Master's Degree from New York University in Visual Culture: Costume Studies and a Bachelor's Degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Studio Art with an emphasis in Fashion Design. As a professional costumer for theatre and dance productions, her credits include West Side Story, The Mikado, The King and I, The Little Mermaid, Alice in Wonderland, and Pippin.
A lover of fashion history, Jennifer currently works in her dream job at the Costume and Textiles Department at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Before that, she was first afforded the opportunity to learn about historical costume and dress during her time working in The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Born and raised in Tokyo, Akemi dreamt of living in Hawaiʻi since she was a little girl. After moving from Japan to the U.S. in the early 1980s, she eventually made her way to Honolulu, where she now specializes in “street casting” – finding new faces on the island for local films and commercials. She feels grateful everyday to call Oʻahu home.
Ahnya Chang grew up on the Honolulu stage, where she first received her training in ballet, jazz, tap, and theater dance. After furthering her arts education at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Ahnya went on to New York City, where she served as a Teaching Artist at the National Dance Institute and as an Assistant Choreographer at Theatre Works USA. Since returning home to Hawai’i, Ahnya has choreographed numerous shows, to include Urinetown at Manoa Valley Theatre, West Side Story at the Kamehameha Schools, Beauty and the Beast at St Louis Preforming Arts, and the Gridiron Show for the Hawaii Society of Professional Journalists. She continues to teach dance at Diamond Head Theatre and Punahou School, while also performing locally.
Stephen finds joy in making music from everything he learns. Born and raised in Honolulu, Stephen plays Grammy-nominated slack key guitar and tours with the most respected of traditional Hawaiian musicians. He is perhaps most well-known for his duet album with Dennis Kamakahi, Waimaka Helelei, which won Hawaii’s Na Hoku Hanohano Award and is on permanent display at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. A fantastic collaborator, Stephen was stoked to join lyricist Gavan Daws to compose the original song “Kalākaua After Hours” for Last Taxi Dance, on which he also played guitar and featured in the film. He looks forward to doing more film work in the future!
A trained violinist, Matt's musical performing career stretched through his college years, before eventually leading him to Hollywood and a new career as a composer for film, television, and commercials. Matt’s music has been featured prominently in such television shows as “The Bachelor” and “Naked and Afraid,” and in films like Ride Along 2 and The Wedding Ringer. For Last Taxi Dance, Matt composed the film’s title theme, performed by Alan Akaka and Jeff Peterson.
Alan hails from a family with deep roots in Hawaiian music. His father, the late Senator Daniel K. Akaka, former director of the famous Kawaiaha‘o Church Choir, played a vital role in Alanʻs beginnings and encouraged him in his musical development at the Kamehameha Schools and on through the University of Hawaiʻi. Alan would later give back to his alma mater by serving as the director of Kamehamehaʻs Performing Arts Academy for sixteen years, and his passion for arts and music education would lead him in 2009 to establish Ke Kula Mele - School of Hawaiian Music. Ke Kula Mele provides a welcoming environment where those who want to learn to play ‘ukulele, steel guitar, upright Hawaiian bass, and guitar can come to pursue their dreams of learning to play and sing Hawaiian songs.
A steel guitar virtuoso, Alan created his own sound and style, incorporating ideas from the masters - David Rogers, Benny Rogers, Jules Ah See, Billy Hew Len, David Keliʻi, Jake Keliʻikoa, and his own teacher Jerry Byrd. He recorded with a number of artists including Genoa Keawe, Benny Kalama, Sonny Kamahele, Raiatea Helm, Kuana Torres Kahele, Randy Hongo, Owana, Nohelani Cypriano, Nina Kealiʻiwahamana, and Karen Keawehawai’i as well as with Sweden’s Simons and a number of Japan artists and groups. “How Dʻya Do” featuring the Islanders was a finalist at the 1987 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards and his solo album “Simply Steel” was a finalist at the 2010 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards.
For over twenty years, Alan led “The Islanders” featured at the Halekūlani's House Without A Key, while concurrently performing with Genoa Keawe and the Keawe ʻOhana at the Waikīkī Beach Marriott Resort. He travels throughout the world as an artist and conducts Hawaiian music and steel guitar workshops through his “AkakaClub.”. In 2012, Akaka was inducted in the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame along with fellow members of the Hawaiian language music group “Ka Leo Hawaiʻi”. In 2014, he was invited as a guest soloist at the International Steel Guitar Convention in St. Louis. In 2015, he traveled to Kolkata, India and was presented with an award at the India International Guitar Festival.
In 2015, Akaka established HIMELE – Hawai‘i Institute for Music Enrichment and Learning Experiences that supports music education and enrichment for people of all ages. Its purpose is to educate, promote and perpetuate Hawaiian music, Hawaiian culture and Hawaiian musical instruments by organizing and sponsoring annual Hawaiian steel guitar festivals on Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Maui and Hawaiʻi.
An award-winning musician, producer, engineer, composer and musical director, Christopher “Kit” Ebersbach has been key to the success of Pacific Music Productions, Inc. since its inception in 1986. You’ll find him there in his downtown studio nearly every day composing original works, working on musical arrangements, designing sound for film, and engineering & producing award-winning albums for some of Hawaii’s biggest names in music. For Last Taxi Dance, Kit contributed the recording and arrangement of “Kaulana nā Pua,” as well as the recording and engineering of the film's title theme.
Kit is a member of the Hawaii Academy of Recording Artists, ASCAP, and the Song Writers’ Guild of America. An accomplished pianist, Kit’s evenings and weekends are often spent performing at various concerts and conventions, and at Disney’s Aulani hotel with Teresa Bright.
Originally from Aiea, Cameron Spencer is a producer/editor who currently resides in Los Angeles. She often works with Alexander Payne, her UCLA film school classmate, for whom she has produced the special features on The Descendants, Nebraska and Downsizing. Cameron was thrilled to return home to Hawaiʻi to tell the behind-the-scenes tale of the making of Last Taxi Dance.
Greg Doi, Jr. has worked in camera and lighting departments for over sixteen years. Born and raised in Honolulu, he has worked on dozens of Hollywood productions shot in Hawaiʻi, to include movies such as Jurassic World and Kong: Skull Island, and television shows such as Lost and Inhumans. One of his recent projects, The Land, for which he served as gaffer, premiered at Sundance in 2016.
Greg currently travels between Los Angeles and Honolulu, lighting a diversity projects from short films to cosmetic ads to features. But his heart belongs to Hawaiʻi Nei: "My true passion is working with Hawaiʻi filmmakers and telling stories that come from the place I call home."