Local filmmaker and mystery enthusiast Robin Lung, began a journey to create a film about an inspirational woman in early 2009. On November 5, 2016 at 6:15pm she got to sit with eager moviegoers at the world premiere of Finding Kukan at Dole Cannery for Hawaii International Film Festivals 36th year. The film sold out days before the screening and ticket holders lined up outside Dole Cannery hours before the screening to ensure the best seat in the house. When I arrived at the premiere the line wrapped around the lobby and around the side of the building. The excitement and relieve on Lungs face will not be a site I will soon forget.
Finding Kukan is a historical and heart felt search for a lost Oscar-winning film “Kukan”. Lung had been on a search for an inspirational woman to follow but she never knew the whirlwind she would be taken on after learning about Li Ling Ai, who was a Chinese American Play writer from Oahu, Hawaii.
Li Ling Ai was a social lite living in Hawaii and after seeing the destruction and chaos that was taking place in war torn China in the later 1930’s she knew she wanted to do something to help. Not knowing anything about film production she enlisted the help of a local cameraman who worked at the Advertiser Rey Scott. Li Ling Ai financially funded the project and ensured Scott had the necessary contacts and equipment to film the documentary in China. After the film was produced Scott and Li Ling Ai showcased the film to the United States, which, was the first ever-full color feature length documentary to win an Academy Award.
If I was just to tell you that it would sound like the perfect outcome for all their hard work, but the story does not end there. After several years of production and editing Li Ling Ai never got the credit she deserved for her undeniable help with the movie. So this is where the mystery and intrigue of this movie come into play, after Lung tried to locate the movie Li Ling Ai and Scott produced “Kukan” she learned the Academy did not have any footage of the movie and that they had been searching for it for years.
This is as far as I will take you on this Journey. You will have to go and watch the movie to see how this mystery plays out, as Lung sets out on an 8-year journey to uncover the mystery that is “Kukan”. Lung tries to show the world that Li Ling Ai was not just an assistant on the movie but an actual Producer worthy of the Oscar she never got.
Finding Kukan has another showing of the film on Friday November 11, at 3”45pm.
To learn more about the film and Robin Lung visit her site at http://www.nestedeggproductions.com/more-about-kukan