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March 10, 2008

EVENT REPORT: SUCCESSFUL HAWAIIAN-THEMED GALA DRAWS HUNDREDS IN SUPPORT OF CATHERINE BAUKNIGHT'S DOCUMENTARY "HAWAII: A VOICE FOR SOVEREIGNTY"

Event Report posted by Don Rose

(Los Angeles, CA - February 29, 2008) Award-winning photojournalist Catherine Bauknight hosted a stellar evening in Hollywood in support of her pilot documentary "Hawaii - A Voice for Sovereignty" - a gala, green-carpet soiree at hotspot Boulevard 3. Celebrities, members of the press and distinguished guests all came out in support of her latest documentary work. The 250+ guests, some coming from as far as the Hawaiian Islands and Las Vegas, included actor Armand Assante (American Gangster), Silvia Suvadova (Kolja), Kyle Swann (Ned's Declassified), Andrew Roach (Forever Strong), Cassandra Hepburn (Hellride), Michael Guarnera (The Centurion), Greg Lindsay (Las Vegas) and Vanetta Smith (Freedom Writers), who came to show support for this important issue.

All of the celebrities were welcomed to Boulevard 3 with traditional Hawaiian leis provided by Simply Exotic Floral and Leis. The entire venue was beautifully adorned with Hawaiian-themed d├ęcor and lovely floral arrangements. The evening showcased special appearances and performances including an introductory chant led by Hawaiian Sovereignty supporter and Sioux tribal elder Running Deer. A Hula dance group preformed under the direction of Hula Master Halau Keali'i O Nalani gracefully displayed the ancient Hawaiian art form. Also on hand were Guy Aina and Hanalei Colleado (both featured in the film), who took part in the celebration.

The most pivotal moment of the night was of course the screening of Hawaii - A Voice for Sovereignty, which was not only positively received but especially validating to all the Hawaiian guests who had traveled so far to come see and support this important work.

In addition, the night was complimented by a silent auction, with generous donations, as well as various sponsored cabanas. The event was made possible in part by a fiscal sponsorship from IDA (International Documentary Association), a non-profit organization supporting documentary filmmaking (http://www.documentary.org/). Additional sponsors included Pasadena Weekly (http://www.pasadenaweekly.com/), Women In Photography International (http://www.womeninphotography.org/), Froote Jewelry (http://www.frootejewelry.com/), eco-fashion designer Linda Loudermilk (http://www.lindalourdermilk.com/), Erewhon Market (http://www.erewhonmarket.com/), Swagg News (http://www.swaggnews.com/), Runway Magazine (http://www.runwaymagazineinc.com/) and Duke Kahanamoku of Swimboat. Additional kudos to FREE FM radio host Linda Salvin, as well as "Cornell and Bosham" radio host Lydia Cornell, for their on-air support.

About the film

"Hawaii - A Voice for Sovereignty" spotlights the culture of the Hawaiian indigenous people and their connection to the land. It explores their struggles of the Hawaiians to reclaim their ancestral lands. In rare and moving interviews, the Hawaiians reveal their fears about the imminent loss of their culture and their land as overdevelopment threatens an ancient and environmentally sustainable way of life. "Hawaii- A Voice for Sovereignty" - the 10 minute short version - was selected from among 1,000 submissions to premiere at the Maui Film Festival in June 2007, and also screened at the Hana Film Festival in November 2007.

About the filmmaker

A professional photojournalist for over two decades, Bauknight's work has been featured in such distinguished publications as Rolling Stone, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, USA Today, Time, and People Magazine. She was one of five international photographers who risked their lives to cover the Tiananmen Square massacre. Other notable photography projects include: "Ethiopia - Bad Water," and "The Renaissance of the Catawba Indians." Bauknight is a member of both the NPPA and WIPI, and was an adjunct professor of photography at Cal State University-Fullerton and California Polytechnic State University. Bauknight is the Vice President on the Board of Directors for the Visual Artists Guild, a contract photographer for Zuma Press, and resides in Pasadena, CA.

For more information and updates on related fundraiser events, please see: www.catharinebauknight.com - and also visit www.youtube.com/voiceforsovereignty ; for all media requests, or to schedule an interview with Catherine Bauknight, contact J.R. Savet at 805-405-0710; e-mail: jrsavet@gmail.com. Special thanks to J.R. Savet for his assistance on this story.

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