Posts Tagged ‘Sasha Parulis

13
Feb
13

A Boxing ‘Ohana – an update …

A Boxing ‘Ohana – an update …

Sonny & Annabelle, The Kona Boxing Club

In Hawaii, an ‘Ohana is a family. A family that may be related through blood or the kind of family the evolves around a passion or a shared set of experiences. Regardless, an ‘Ohana connotes a sacred trust of people who have each other’s back.

When it comes to The Kona Boxing Club, the idea lives in the ‘Ohana that owner and trainer Sonny Westbrook has created around boxing.

Word of the club and of Sonny’s work in the community inspired Sasha Parulis to produce a documentary she has titled, A Boxing ‘Ohana, her way of acknowledging the impact that The Kona Boxing Club has had on the lives of the young men and women who have passed through its doors–lives that have overcome shattered families, drugs, and run-ins with the law.

Kaleo Shadowboxing A Boxing 'Ohana

Now, after four years of developing her short documentary, Parulis and her crew, wrapped production earlier this year in Kailua-Kona Hawaii, on The Big Island. Sasha along with NY-based Director Cynthia Younker and Hawaii-based Director of Photography, Sam Kapoi shot the film on the island for 5 days.

The documentary focuses on how Sonny Westbrook, boxing coach of The Kona Boxing Club has helped and changed many of his boxer’s lives and others in the community. He is a man who is paying it forward in awe-inspiring ways, and the crew captured this on film through anecdotes from Sonny and perspectives of the pivotal people in his life. Sasha is currently working on prepping the next stage of the filmmaking process with editing scheduled for 2013. She is also working on marketing efforts through the film’s Twitter and Facebook pages.

For more information check out A Boxing ‘Ohana’s website here.

See also “A Boxing ‘Ohana – a documentary in the making …”

07
May
12

“A Boxing ‘Ohana” – a documentary in the making …

“A Boxing ‘Ohana” – a documentary in the making …

A Boxing ‘Ohana, Sonny Westerbrook and The Kona Boxing Club, Credit: Sasha Parulis

A Boxing ‘Ohana is a documentary in development by the New York based filmmaker, Sasha Parulis. The piece will be a short film about Sonny Westbrook and his gym, The Kona Boxing Club. Set on the big Island of Hawaii, Parulis envisions her work as a tone poem to the hard work of the gym and Sonny Westbrook’s efforts to create an ‘Ohana or family among his young fighters.

Sonny Westbook is most known for his recurring role on the reality show, Dog The Bounty Hunter. Sasha Parulis met Sonny two years ago during a visit to Hawaii and was moved to begin her project. “He is a kind soul,” she said, “People need to know who he is. He is also a mentor to a lot of kids.”

Shalei, The Kona Boxing Club, Credit: Sasha Parulis

It is his role as a mentor to troubled youths that most impressed Parulis. As she notes, while we may all think of Hawaii as a honeymooners’ paradise, the island is beset with the devastating effects of methamphetamine on the community. This has torn families apart and has left a generation of kids with nowhere to turn. What Westerbrook has attempted to build is a place where upwards of 15 young people can go to feel safe and through the discipline of boxing, find a way out of their troubles. In the words of the filmmaker, the story of The Kona Boxing Gym is at heart a story of “transforming the survivors of troubled times into warriors.”

Parulis also sees her film “as an educational outreach tool,” one she hopes will prove inspiring to everyone who watches. She will be returning to Hawaii soon to continue filming with an eye towards having a finished product sometime next year. The following is a clip of her project so far.

For further information the website link for the film is as follows: www.aboxingohana.com




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