Hapa, noun, a person who is partially of Asian or Pacific Islander descent. This word stems from the Hawaiian word hapalua, which means half or in other terms “mixed-race”. It’s a term that explains people’s identity and connects others in an instant. It is a term that creates a sense of community around similar life experiences and questions of identity.
This short documentary follows a young man, named Cory Faamausili. He is of Samoan, Filipino, Portuguese, and French Canadian descent. As the film explores Cory’s cultural identity, it also touches upon his other half as a gay collegiate NCAA cheerleader. We follow the journey of Cory who is seeking the courage to be himself within the world of NCAA Sports. The film will expand not only the NCAA’s perspective on LGBTQ athletes, but help them gain more acceptance in NCAA sports.
We were inspired to create the film because of the lack of presence that we have seen of Hapa, LGBTQ athletes in the media. We wanted to explore the idea of identity internally and externally. Growing up in Stockton, California in a very diverse community being surrounded by his Filipino and Samoan family, one can often feel like they are stumbling through the dark looking racially ambiguous. Cory often feels like he drifts through race and culture. Through this documentary we hope to give Cory a voice and explore how he identifies racially and culturally and question how that fits into the American culture. When being half is part of your identity it can be a challenge to feel whole. Being gay and Hapa also comes with its own set of challenges, but when it comes to what counts, Cory is not half at all. If anything, Cory is doubly amazing, doubly interesting and doubly fabulous!
The film is currently in production and will be moving into post production towards the end of 2019. The hope for the documentary is to submit the film to film festivals that focus on athletes, LGBTQ Youth and the Hapa experience in America today. Hapa is produced by FitzSili Productions and produced and directed by Kelsey Faamausili and Margot Fitzsimmons.
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