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Filmmaker Christen Hepuakoa Marquez debuts


Meet the young director as she shares her personal journey of discovery through her Hawaiian name in the film E Haku Inoa (To Weave a Name)


hristen Hepuakoa Marquez is a Kanaka Maoli filmmaker who has produced both narrative and documentary work, and specializes in directing documentaries. Her company, Paradocs Productions, focuses on using video to solve social problems through character driven stories. Christen’s directorial debut feature documentary E Haku Inoa (To Weave A Name) recently premiered at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, and is scheduled to screen at the Hawai‘i International Film Festival and on PBS Hawai‘i in October 2013 and nationally on public television in May 2014. In E Haku Inoa, Christen sets out to discover the meaning of her lengthy Hawaiian name from her estranged schizophrenic mother. Through sporadic trips to the islands and deep research into her past, Christen not only discovers the meaning of her name, but gains a whole new perspective on how mental illness has affected her family and society at large. Natasia Gascon: What inspired you to become a filmmaker? Christen Marquez: When I first went to art school I considered becoming a fashion designer. But with visual storytelling you have the option to be serious or silly—there is a lot of flexibility within the medium. You can use films to try and change the world, simply entertain people, and every combination in between.

By Natasia Gascon

Director Christen Hepuakoa Marquez debuts “E Haku Inoa”.

NG: What motivated you to create E Haku Inoa and what was the most challenging aspect about making your film? CM: Personal documentaries are a favorite genre of mine. I haven’t seen a personal first-person documentary done from the perspective of a Pacific Islander individual, so I didn’t really have a role model for this film which was a little tough for me. At the same time, as a filmmaker primarily interested in doing documentary, I felt that I needed to live the role of “the subject” before I could feel completely comfortable being on the other side of the camera.

Aota 10 2013  
Aota 10 2013