‘The Fishing Club’

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<p>Author Cathey Tarleton ( PHOTO COURTESY OF TARLETON FOR NHN)</p>
<p>Author Cathey Tarleton. PHOTO BY KIRK AEDER</p>

“This is hugely exciting,” said Cathey Tarleton, reflecting about her story “The Fishing Club” being made into a film.

It all started 24 years ago, when Tarleton was new to Hawaii and working at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel.

“I was soaking everything up like a sponge,” she said. The sights, sounds, and personalities of her new home found their way into her writing, and each year she submitted a short story to the Honolulu Magazine fiction contest.

“I never won the contest, but it was my annual motivation to write a short story,” she said.

“The Fishing Club” was entered in the contest in the early 90’s, and received an honorable mention.

“It’s a serious story, with a sense of humor,” said Tarleton.

The story behind the story of “The Fishing Club” was the annual menpachi fishing tournament on the Kohala Coast. When she was first working at the Mauna Kea, the Hilton Waikoloa was brand new, and the Ritz (now the Fairmont Orchid) was just opening. Those events, along with the local cast of characters who worked to put the tournament together, set the stage for her short story.

She wondered: What if there was a fishing club, and someone wanted to build a resort on their fishing site? How far would they go to protect it?

Dana Hankins of Redhead Productions found the story through Honolulu Magazine and signed it for her “Tradewinds” series of short films for television in 2002, but that fell through. Hankins reconnected with Tarleton in 2012 with the idea of making a film of the story.

“Making a film is exciting and fun, and very different from fiction. As a short story, it’s a completed work, and doesn’t change. Film is continually fluid; you adjust to make things happen,” said Tarleton.

The film production is being led by award-winning director David Rosen, and stars an ensemble cast of Hawaii’s top talent, including KITV4 sports director Robert Kekaula and musical artist and kumu hula Kealii Reichel.

Filming is scheduled to begin at the end of the month on Oahu, with a world premiere planned for later this year, and film festival tour to follow.

Tarleton is excited to be part of this film production because it represents a local story being told by local people.

“Great Hawaiian stories have been made into films, but most of them have been made by people from other places. We can make these films here, and tell our own local stories,” she said.

“I’m especially grateful to Dana Hankins for finding this story and never giving up on the idea, and to David Rosen and Darrin Kaneshiro with Shooters Film Productions for helping ‘The Fishing Club’ evolve into something we can share with a wider audience,” said Tarleton.

Local audiences might have the opportunity to see the film at next year’s 2014 Big Island Film Festival.