“I’m just a boy from the countryside, trying to save the world.”
History is biography.
Matthew Nagato is the writer and director of the beloved documentaries: Ola - Health is Everything and ‘Ike - Knowledge is Everywhere, both of which premiered at the Hawai‘i International Film Festival. Born and raised in Waimanalo, he experienced firsthand the racism, poverty, and stigma often associated with impoverished minority communities.
Ola, which Mr. Nagato described as his “love letter to Hawai‘i,” was screened over three hundred times in forums across the country, where he frequently led audience discussions about community and personal agency to address social issues. His 2013 TEDx Honolulu talk focused on the lessons inherent in the film and their power to cultivate community.
In addition to its nearly two hundred community screenings, ‘Ike—his “love letter to the future”—was broadcast on PBS Hawai‘i, where he participated in a special edition of PBS Insights following the film’s broadcast to discuss the issues raised about education and the role of public-private partnerships to address this pressing social issue. He continues to host and attend screenings of both Ola and ‘Ike across the country to this day.
After his work in the health care industry enabled his first foray into filmmaking, Mr. Nagato formed Lumos Media LLC to facilitate his ongoing desire to producing independent films and sharing inspirational, thought-provoking stories about his home state of Hawai‘i, where he now focuses his energies on creating thriving communities.
He has a way with words.