"Rise of the Wahine" film documents the fight for equality from UH Wahine Volleyball Team

"Rise of the Wahine" film documents the fight for equality from UH Wahine Volleyball Team
Updated: Sep. 3, 2018 at 9:51 AM HST
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Women are still fighting for equal rights today. There are plenty who should be recognized for the work they have put in in the past to help to gain an equal space with men. A documentary sharing the story of the University of Hawaii Wahine volleyball team shows part of that fight before the days of Title IX. Director Dean Kaneshiro, member of the first UH Wahine volleyball team Beth McLaughlin and Producer Ryan Kalei Tsuji appeared on Sunrise to talk about the upcoming film. Details are included in their press release below:


Hawaii Based Documentary on UH Rainbow Wahine, Title IX, and Women's Equality

HONOLULU, HI – Rise of the Wahine: Champions of Title IX is a historical sports documentary chronicling the birth of the first Rainbow Wahine volleyball team during a time of great change for women's equality. The film began production in 2012 and will be released on demand via digital streaming platforms on Wednesday, September 5, 2018.

The Rise of the Wahine 2018 premiere presented by HawaiianMiles will be held on September 5, 2018 at the historic Hawaii Theater in Downtown Honolulu. Tickets to the premiere are available online at Riseofthewahinefilm.com for $18 starting on August 16, 2018. Hawaiian Airlines is a sponsor of the film and will be donating all proceeds from the premiere event to the Patsy T Mink Foundation, an organization that supports educational access, opportunity, and equity for low-income women and educational enrichment for children.

Set in the 1970's, Rise of the Wahine is the mostly untold story of a group of women from Hawaii who battled women's inequality issues, leading up to and after the passing of Title IX. These women included Title IX Co-Author Patsy Mink and the University of Hawaii's first Women's Athletic Director, Dr. Donnis Thompson.

Hawaii born filmmaker Dean Kaneshiro who also served as the director, writer, and producer, was the catalyst for the project, "I grew up in Honolulu, and this incredible story took place in my own backyard—I had no idea. From this tiny island came women who played a significant role in unlocking the door of equality in female athletics and then busting it open for generations to come. They just wouldn't take 'no' for an answer."

Co-Producer of the film Ryan Kalei Tsuji was born and raised in Hilo, HI, and worked with the UH Rainbow Wahine volleyball team as a coach under Dave Shoji for eight seasons. He then began his broadcasting carrier as a commentator covering UH athletics. "This volleyball team is one of the most beloved sports teams in Hawaiian history," Tsuji says. "I had no idea that 40 years ago the players had to make so many sacrifices to play—just because they were women."

Copyright 2018 Hawaii News Now. 

Those who attend the movie premiere on September 5th will also be entered to win a trip for two to Las Vegas courtesy of HawaiianMiles. Attendees will automatically be entered to win a Las Vegas prize package that includes airfare, hotel accommodations on the strip, dining credit, and show tickets. The winner will be announced following the movie premiere and Q&A with the filmmakers.

Rise of the Wahine is produced by Tiffany Taylor, features music composed by Paulette Wooten, and narrated by Hollywood actress and former Hawaii resident Sarah Wayne Callies ("The Walking Dead", "Prison Break", and "Colony").

For more information on the film including links to purchase tickets to the 2018 premiere and to pre-order the film, visit Riseofthewahinefilm.com.