Puna-made ‘Stoke’ makes Northwest debut

  • Big Island Film ‘Stoke’ will make its Northwest debut next week. (Courtesy photo)

Hawaii-island road film “Stoke” will tour theaters in the Pacific Northwest this month, premiering in Tacoma on Thursday before playing in Portland on July 26.

“Stoke” follows an entitled tourist who hires two wannabe tour guides to take her to the Kilauea volcano, exploring themes of impermanence, grief, and reverence for nature.


“Stoke” premiered at the Hawaii International Film Festival in late 2018. It went on to play additional festivals and take home several awards before playing theatrically across the state of Hawaii. A comedy/drama, the 90 minute film is rated R for nudity and language.

“It feels fitting to play in the Pacific Northwest,” said co-director Zoe Eisenberg, “especially Portland, which shares a similar vibe with Puna, where much of the film was shot.”

Eisenberg and co-director Phillips Payson will be attending the screenings. Both Eisenberg and Payson live in Puna, and were inspired to make Stoke by their community’s reverence for the Kilauea volcano.

“We shot an earlier documentary called ‘Aloha From Lavaland’ that directly addressed our community’s relationship with Kilauea,” Payson said. “With that project, we asked our community the emotional impact of living near the volcano, and the resulting lava tourism. The inspiration for ‘Stoke’ came directly out of these interviews with community members both born on island or transplanted, as well as the tourists called to visit.”

“Stoke” was shot in 2017, but the 2018 flow re-contextualized its themes for many Hawaii island residents — the filmmakers included.


Thursday, Stoke plays in Tacoma at the Blue Mouse Theater at 7 p.m. Tickets and information can be found at www.StokeTheMovie.com/screenings.

July 26, “Stoke” makes its Portland premiere at the Clinton Street Theater at 7 p.m. Tickets and information can be found at www.StokeTheMovie.com/screenings.

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