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To You Sweetheart, Aloha
January 24th, 2009

Please join us for a wonderful story of loss and rebirth— a tale of the strength of the human spirit when buoyed by love. To You Sweetheart, Aloha is the unlikely love story between 94-year old Bill Tapia, a Hawai'i-born 'ukulele pioneer and his 26-year old manager, Alyssa.

To You Sweetheart, Aloha - 57 minutes
Directors: S. Leo Chiang and Mercedes Coats
Date: Saturday, January 24th, 2009
Location: Aurora Theater, 800 Aurora Street, 77009
Tickets: $10.00 online or $10.00 cash/check at the door.
Ticket price includes free refreshments: beer, soft drinks, water, and popcorn
Chiang & Coats Reception: 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Screening Time: 8:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Chiang & Coats Q&A: 9:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Door Prize: A signed DVD of the film

Synopsis: Bill is a sharp dresser, a naughty jokester, and an irresistible charmer. After the Bill and Alyssarecent death of his wife and only daughter, Bill gave up on music, his vocation and passion for over 80 years. Unexpectedly, he finds a new soul mate in his much younger manager, Alyssa. With Alyssa by his side, Bill rediscovers not only his musical zeal but also his youthful spirit. Understandably, he falls for her. What follows is a painful heartbreak, a resurrected music career, and Bill's inspired realization to live life to the fullest— even at age 94.

This intimate film addresses the taboos of cross-generational relationships and challenges the traditional notion of "graceful aging" with an entertaining yet poignant portrayal of a passionate elderly artist who continues to love, to grieve, and to live a complete life that is well beyond the society's expectations.

More About Bill Tapia: A professional jazz guitarist and ‘ukulele player from the age of 10, Bill performed in World War I USO shows and in the Hawaiian vaudeville circuit before leading his own bands. He has performed with such musical luminaries as Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong, and many Hawaiian greats. Bill is credited as the first musician to play jazz on the ‘ukulele and today continues to play (at 100!) for enthusiastic audiences around the country in support of his two recently released CDs, Tropical Swing and Duke of Uke.

About the Directors:
S. Leo Chiang started his documentary career directing and editing S Leo ChiangDirecting: How to Get There for Directors Guild of America, in which he documented early careers of several well-known filmmakers including Robert Wise, Norman Jewison, and Steven Spielberg. He went on to make One + One, a documentary about mixed HIV-status couples (CINE Golden Eagle Award, 2002). Leo has worked on many non-fiction programs for commercial cable television as a director and/or producer. Most recently, he spent almost two years working on such productions in Asia. Leo returned to the US in 2006 to complete To You Sweetheart, Aloha for its US public television broadcast.

Leo is also an experienced editor and cinematographer. His projects have been broadcasted nationally on HBO, Discovery, PBS, Showtime, and screened at various film festivals around the world. Leo holds a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and received his MFA in film production from University of Southern California.

Mercedes CoatsMercedes Coats has directed and produced the award-winning documentaries Little Stars, about the unpredictable and challenging world of child actors, and Seoul II Soul, about a Korean/African-American family in post-riot Los Angeles (National PBS premiere presented by NAATA, Feb 2002). Her work has been seen on PBS, in educational video series for the California Science Center and others, and in family films and television seen on Showtime and distributed theatrically by Sony Pictures. She is the recipient of several awards and honors, including the Alfred P. Sloan Award, an Entertainment Weekly film scholarship, and the Women in Film/Paramount Pictures Crystal Award scholarship.

Mercedes recently collaborated with her USC film school classmate, S. Leo Chiang, to make To You Sweetheart, Aloha that won the Audience Award at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival in 2005. She earned her MFA in Film Production from USC’s School of Cinema-Television in 1999, and holds a BA in Theatre from Occidental College.

Awards:
Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (Audience Award)
Silver Images Film & Video Festival (Special Recognition Award, Documentary)

For More Information:
Movie Website
Bill Tapia’s Website

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