To You Sweetheart, Aloha
To You Sweetheart, Aloha - 57 minutes
Synopsis: Bill is a sharp dresser, a naughty jokester, and an irresistible charmer. After the recent 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:
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 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.