Local blogger Roger Bong is moving into the filmmaking realm with his passion project, Aloha Got Soul.
Bong started his blog in 2010 after hearing a mixtape by DJ Muro called “Hawaiian Breaks.” Two years later he released a mixtape of his own featuring classic 1970s and ‘80s local bands whose music had long since gone out of print.
In 2014, he debuted the Soul Time listening party at Bevy in Kakaako and soon after partnered with DJs in Chicago and London to start companion parties in those cities as well. Last year, Bong started a companion record label under the Aloha Got Soul brand to further capitalize on relationships he’d forged with artists in addition to re-releasing old music and exploring new projects.
This weekend, the public will get a sneak peek of the first Aloha Got Soul documentary at the Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club, 412 Lewers St. The Waikiki hotel will host a meet-and-greet with Bong, New York-based director Filipe Zapelini and Brazilian producer Pedro Ramos. Others involved with the project include Bong’s wife, Leimomi Bong, and Red House Studio Brazil’s Pedru Carvalho.
According to Bong, the untitled documentary — “a unique, refreshing look at the diversity of Hawaii’s music community” — was conceived in September after an email exchange between him and Ramos. Carvalho, Ramos and Zapelini arrived in Honolulu on Christmas Day and have since completed nine interviews in five days, with another 10 interviews scheduled next week.
Those signed up to participate in the project include Nohelani Cypriano, Kit Ebersbach, Pierre Grill, Maryanne Ito, Nicholas Kaleikini, Robin Kimura, Mike Lundy, Robert Meyers, Momi Riley, Howard Shapiro, Kirk Thompson, Gary Washburn, Pauline Wilson and Ward Yamashita.
Saturday’s screening party will take place from 7 to 11 p.m. and will feature a live performance by Ito, a preview of the film, a talk story Q&A with the filmmakers and sets by Aloha Got Soul DJs. Admission is free; visit alohagotsoul.com for more info.