by Jolene Toves Guam - With the main mission of the Chamorro Studies and Special Project Division of GDOE to provide and implement educational programs that will revive and maintain the language and culture of the indigenous people of Guam they announced the launch of “HITA: Hinanao-ñiha I Taotao-ta Antes”, Meaning: Our way of life long ago. Named in memory of the late Angel Leon Guerrero Santos, a Chamoru rights advocate and senator who fought for indigenous rights and the right to self-determination.
HITA is a historic and unique new project that blends Chamorro Culture, Language, Art, Animation, and Student Participation. The culmination of these important elements being the creation of both a short animated film version of a classic Chamorro legend and an educational graphic novel based on the animated film. With production headed up by Honolulu, Hawaii's Twiddle Productions Inc., selected Chamorro students will participate in both the voice over and creation of key art for the production. Student participation will be structured into two phases: starting in October 2014, phase one will focus on voice overs with Chamorro speaking student auditions and a studio record session of the Chamorro language script at Stel-Star Productions during Twiddle's first production trip to Guam.
Phase two will take place in March of 2015 during Guam's Chamorro cultural heritage month. Twiddle crew members, alongside animation industry professionals, will work side by side with students to train them in the creation of culturally rich animation art to be included in the film. In addition to the real world experience of working with Industry professionals, students who participate in the production process will also receive their first professional screen credit in the film & graphic novel.
The Twiddle Production team will also be reaching out to local artists and filmmakers to participate in various areas of production for the film.