Tiki Willis is a talented young actor and professional surfer born and raised in Waikiki. She has guest starred on well-known shows like "Magnum P.I.", recently starred in an upcoming Netflix pilot project, and walked as a model in the spring 2022 Jacquemus fashion show, which was recently featured in Vogue magazine. Tiki brings her experience living in California, away from her home and distanced from her native culture, into this role.
Tessie is an O’ahu-based actor who has been involved in several movies, television series, commercials and theatre productions. Namely, she co-starred in "Hawaii 5-0" and has acted in films ranging from "Godzilla" to "Soul Surfer". From an early age, Tessie learned about the values of her Filipino culture from her parents. She is dedicated to sharing these stories and lessons with future generations so that they do not forget where they come from and who they are.
Virginia Almonte Savella Harper
Virginia is a second-generation Filipina who is a dedicated family historian. Her grandparents were immigrants that came to work on the sugar plantations in Hawai’i from the republic of the Philippines in the early 1920’s. "Lahi" is her acting debut. Virginia enjoyed straddling fiction and reality in this film, acting as ‘Gabriela’ while sharing her real family stories that had been buried in the past for decades.
Cynthia Bonta is a lifelong activist and advocate for Filipino justice. She was born and raised in the Philippines, and her true story as a survivor of WWII is the bedrock and inspiration for much of "Lahi". She was a key organizer for the UFW movement in California, as well as the anti-Martial Law campaign, seeking to aid the quest for democracy in the Philippines. She always has been, and always will be, a warrior and hero for underrepresented communities.
Writer, Director, Producer
Reina Bonta recently graduated from Yale University. She has interned at HBO, worked as a camera operator in Kenya for a documentary project about endangered black rhinos, and was most recently an Archival Producer on Prime Video's "Judy Blume Forever" (Premiere: Sundance 2023). Reina comes from a family of activists and is dedicated to keeping her Filipino cultural history alive. She is constantly inspired by her Lola, Cynthia Bonta, who is the bravest, most determined woman she knows.
Angelique Kalani Axelrode
Angelique Kalani Axelrode is a filmmaker and recent graduate of Vanderbilt university where she received her B.S. in Human & Organizational Development and minored in Cinema & Media Arts. With a background in activism, she has an impact oriented approach to her work. She has collaborated with numerous nonprofits ranging from Climate Justice Alliance and New Economy Coalition, to Planned Parenthood and Merited Favor Safe house. Through her art, she seeks to showcase the beauty of intersectional identities.
Director of Photography
Kilani Villiaros is an O’ahu-born cinematographer who currently works as a camera operator on "NCIS: Hawaii". After obtaining a B.A. in Cinematography at Academy of Art University in San Francisco and Academy of Creative Media at the University of Hawaii, she became an experienced filmmaker, working on a wide variety of indie features, short films, commercials, and television shows. Creating artistic and meaningful content in film is her ultimate goal.
Caroline Ho is a film composer, pianist, and cellist from Los Angeles, CA. After growing up studying the classical repertoire in depth, she started film composing while at Yale University, where in addition to writing concert music, she expanded her musical pallet by experimenting with jazz/improvisation and producing. She has gone on to write scores to many short films and documentaries and orchestrated/arranged for golden globe-nominated composer Alex Heffes.