Blog Correction from October 17, 2014

On Friday, October 17th, an unauthorized political advertisement appeared on my blog purporting to endorse Chris Lethem who is running for state senator.  This transmission was done without my knowledge or consent.  An intern in my office who had access to my blog did this inferring that Niche was endorsing this candidate.  This is not true.  Niche is completely non-political and would never impose its views or mine on my blog followers.  Please accept my apologies.

Casting Kalama

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Since his first appearance on Hawaii Five-0 in 2011, Hawaii born Kalama Epstein has been making quite a name for himself. The now 14 year old has since landed a leading role in an award winning short film The Kid, written and directed by Sean Brosnan. His latest project to hit the silver screen is the widely acclaimed film Under The Blood Red Sun. Now spending much of his time in Hollywood, this career minded teen plans to keep working hard to get the next big role. Kalama may have incredible maturity and determination for a fourteen year old, but his ability to burp on command reminds us all not to take life too seriously.I had a chance to talk to this leading man about his career, his aspirations, and non-stop schedule in Hollywood.

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The Dances with Films Festival with co-stars Carlson Young and Cade Carradine

Kalama, what projects are you currently working on?

I’m playing a young Ben Affleck on Comedy Central’s Kroll Show, I had to work on my Boston Accent for this role. I’m also guest starring in Disney Channel’s Dog with a Blog. And I have a role in the upcoming Nickelodeon series, Bella and the Bulldogs.

What is your best memory from working in Hollywood?

During filming of the Kroll Show, I was getting something to eat between scenes. Nick Kroll is my comedic idol,  and he came up to me to say hi. I was really nervous and just blurted out ‘nice to meet you!’  and then I just ran away really quickly. Seth Rogan saw the whole scenario from a distance and was cracking up.
I don’t care whether Seth was laughing with me or laughing at me, it was just cool that I made him laugh. I’m thinking, I can quit the business now because that’s epic!

What advice can you give other aspiring young actors?

The best thing I can say to kids who want to act is this; don’t give up or put it off until you’re older. Get a head start, take classes, and work hard.
On the set of Hawaii Five-0 back in 2011
On the set of Hawaii Five-0 back in 2011

Who do you have no respect for?

Hmm. That’s a tough question. Im not sure how to answer that….No matter who it is, you have to respect the hard work no matter what. It’s a lot of rejection, I mean years and years of rejection, and I commend all actors no matter who they are.  You can’t let heartbreak get you down and any actor who can handle it has my respect.

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Tell me about the film Under the Blood Red Sun.

The film was adapted from the novel by Graham Salisbury, it’s about a friendship between two boys following Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor and a fight for survival. This was a completely local production and it’s truly awesome that pulled off such an amazing film. Everyone is connected to World War II in one way or another…I hope everyone checks it out.

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How did you prepare for your role in the film?

Just reading and re-reading the book, and focusing in on my character. And I would Skype with director Tim Savage.  I also had to research what it was like in the 1940’s and the issues of prejudice going on at the time.

Kalama says his plan for the next year is to be as busy as possible. This career minded young actor is always thinking a step ahead and can’t wait for the next audition. He tells me that his dream is to one day become a director. Despite his busy Hollywood life, this true Hawaii boy loves nothing more than taking it easy and catching a few waves back at Sandy beach.

By Annalisa Unbedacht

Catching up with a Wild Fox

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Far from her sleepy hometown of Wainiha, Kauai, Ann Kai Cunningham is having the time of her life after scoring a direct booking with one of the season’s hottest swimwear lines, Wildfox Couture. Ana Kai will be seen in this playful vintage inspired campaign “Cruise 2015’, on billboards, magazines, and even on top of taxi cabs in New York City. We caught up with this bombshell beauty to get an update on her glamorous life and recent experiences working in tinsel town with some of the best in the business.

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Ana Kai, what has been your most memorable experience in Hollywood?

[For the Wildfox campaign] we shot in Malibu at an unbelievable beach bungalow. There were so many random and crazy moments, amazing vibes and amazing people to work with. We drank milkshakes, tumbled down the hill like kids, and had funky lunches like hamburgers and lobster…it was such a cool place to be….we would feed each other and laugh way too much.

Thats work? So what do you do for fun when you’re not shooting?

Pool parties in Beverly Hills, bike rides in Venice Beach, hiking Runyon Canyon, staying active, grilling, star gazing, catching movies…..and oh yeah, shopping.

Every model can agree, to make it in Hollywood, you have to abandon your insecurities and learn to use your flaws to your advantage. Ana Kai says L.A. has completely broken down her insecurities.

You can’t have self-doubt out here, you won’t make it far. I quickly realized that my faults are who I am and what makes me unique.

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It looks like this little wild fox is growing up and taking the ferocious city by storm,   but this freckled face child-at-heart tells me there’s no place like home.

By Annalisa Unbedacht

Hawaiian born artist Willy Branlund, is as honest and natural as his photographs are.

Branlund has been in the game for over twenty years, and has mastered the ability to capture the strength of the human spirit.

“People are much more beautiful when they are just themselves,” he says.

Branlund’s photography exemplifies vast diversity, yet he has a unique proclivity in capturing truth, honesty and authenticity throughout his images.

Branlund’s work mirrors the words of Leonardo daVinci, “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication,” as he tackles photography from a simplistic angle, capturing sheer poise and finesse.

Branlund kick started his career by being Art Director for Moving Sun Studios in Las Vegas, before being offered the opportunity to assist renowned photographer Gareth Atkins. This allowed Branlund to be more creative with his artistic talent, hence, leading to the establishment of Willy Branlund Studios, LLC.

For over a decade, Branlund has been working with a diversified range of clients, including Walmart and the Discovery Channel, as well as editorial and publishing work for his upcoming new book.

Niche Models and Talent recently co-ordinated a modeling shoot, with Branlund, which turned out to be a huge success.

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Branlund utilizes the same approach when shooting fashion images, as he does when shooting portrait images. Simple, natural and raw. His approach is to simplify everything, to allow room for the natural beauty to shine.

“I capture what people don’t see,” he says.

In the recent modeling shoot with Niche, Branlund opted for a basic black and grey background, whilst advising makeup artists to apply minimal application.

Branlund was determined in this particular shoot to release the models true and natural beauty, refrain from hiding any blemishes, and pose the question “who are you?”

Just for fun, Branlund has captured some great images of Australian indie-rock group, The Temper Trap, whilst they toured the West Coast of America.

Willy Branlund has proved to Hawaii, that he has a niche for photography.

Willy Branlund’s website: http://willybranlund.com/

Written by: Paige McLaren

WILLY BRANLUND

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Her previous life, modeling in LA, is gone now. This turned nymph roams the forest to free her spirit. She wants to be at peace, Peace with the Earth and her Soul. 

 

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She pouts when the journey to find herself is prolonged – she begins to travel nude to heighten her senses and becomes one with the coffee tinted soil that presses against her toes. The sun touches her chestnut hair while the wind plays with her ivory skin. 

 

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There are no weeds when she walks. Just life. She even sees beauty in thorns. The deep red colors her skin. To fade the color, she watches water drop from the clouds; she dances beneath the jade sycamore branches where the perfect amount of moisture dances on her. 

 

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Now enlightened, she can move back to the soul-less city. She looks back on her life and decides to stay. Stay where she feels the most alive. 

Written By: John Colburn

  Her previous life, modeling in LA, is gone

Hawaii’s Kate Moss

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This summer just got hotter as Hawaii’s newest and freshest face Ana Kai, graced us with her beauty. At just fifteen years old, Ana Kai is dominating the modeling industry with her flawless figure, breathtaking smile, and sun kissed blonde tresses.

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The heat is on for this young Kate Moss lookalike, as she was recently featured in a six page editorial spread, in Japan’s Hottest Surf and Fashion Magazine, ‘Honey’, she is also the face of the Young, Fabulous and Broke Clothing Summer 2013 Campaign, as well as rocking her pulchritudinous look in a Shoot for Gillia Clothing’s Spring and Summer Catalogue. Ana Kai’s angelic look and pacified disposition is what makes her so appealing and ambrosial for photographing.

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This ‘Beach Baby’ displays incredible maturity when modeling, and is renowned for her opulent green eyes and 5’11” stance.

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Ana Kai has high hopes for the future after recently being picked up by VNY, in New York and LA models in Los Angeles, both eminent and distinguished modeling agencies. This is a staggering achievement by someone of such a young age.

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Things can only get hotter for this shining new model, who is on track to blaze her way to the top!

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Written by: Paige McLaren

Angelic Traveler

She was five foot nine

With caramel skin

And long earthy hair

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Her legs, lanky

And her smile, always

the wrong side up

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Days upon days,

She climbed rocks

And laid on the sand

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Traveling from sea

to mountain, mountain

to sea

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She lived only to go

Forward and to never

Ever, look into the past

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Clothes hung loosely

Off her small frame

‘free with the wind’

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and she was free

to fly and to fly and to fly

far away from home.

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Photography: Tommy Shih

http://www.tommyshihphoto.com/

Words: Christina Whitver

http://me0wcifer.com/

Stylist: Tiare Thomas

http://tiarethomas.com/

Hair & Make-up: Kecia Littman

http://www.keciabella.com/

Model: Mahina Alexander

http://www.nichemodelsandtalent.com/