Catch Reina Bonta’s short film “LAHI” at Hawai’i International Film Festival

HONOLULU (HI Now) - LAHI, the Tagalog word for race, is a short film about cultural identity filmed in Hawai’i, sourcing nearly 100% of its local crew from professionals in O’ahu. It is inspired by writer and director Reina Bonta’s own experiences as a third-generation Filipina, as well as the life of her lola, a WWII survivor born and raised in the Philippines. The film secured early streaming distribution with Asian-American owned company Electric Entertainment, and is now beginning its film festival circuit.

LAHI is a narrative story about a young, culturallydisconnected Filipina girl named Mimi who returns to O’ahu for her grandmother’s funeral. On the island, she embarks on a journey to return a family heirloom and is visited by the apparition of her grandmother and elders whose stories about Filipino identity turn her worldview upside down.

LAHI has also been accepted by Portland Film Festival (global premiere), San Diego Filipino Film Festival (CA premiere), LA Femme International Film Festival, Twin Cities Film Festival (Midwest premiere), and Hawai’i International (Hawai’i premiere). The film features exceptional performances by Tiki as Mimi (debut lead performance, known for Magnum P.I., upcoming Netflix pilot project), Tessie Magaoay as Andrea, Virginia Almonte-Savella Harper as Gabriela, and Cynthia Bonta (Reina’s grandmother, lifelong activist) as Lola’s Apparition. DP Kilani Villiaros (NCIS: Hawaii), Producers Connie M. Florez (Waikiki) and Angelique Kalani Axelrode, and Executive Producer Bryan Spicer (24, Bones, The X Files) are crew members of the project.

For more information, visit