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High schooler’s film short First Base brings community together

<i>KITV</i><br/>Lana'i high schooler's film short First Base brings community together.
Lana'i high schooler's film short First Base brings community together.

By Diane Ako

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    LANAI, Hawaii (KITV) — A young woman on Lana’i is seeing her work on the big screen. High schooler Lucie Reese produced an inspirational film to encourage people to go for their dreams, and along the way, she’s reached hers- and brought a community together.

First Base is a short film produced by Lana’i High School student Lucie Reese. “The premise of the story is how, when you have a dream, you can take action. It’s about how this young boy had a passion for baseball,” starts Reese.

That young boy was Rich Reese, who became a pro baseball player for the Minnesota Twins and Detroit Tigers- and only because he wasn’t afraid to try. “There was a tryout camp offered to him. He could have said no, but he said yes,” she continues.

Lucie knows him as Grandpa. This is her tribute to him. “My grandfather, he’s very happy about it,” she smiles, adding her grandmother is, as well.

15-year-old Reese took a page out of his playbook and decided to aim for her goals. “I have always wanted to see my work on a big screen,” she admits.

She worked hard, starting up her own business, The Lucie Store, selling crocheted items to make the money to fund her project. Every cent went towards the movie’s premiere on September 28, 2022 at the Lana’i Theater. “I didn’t expect the film to premiere at the theater, but with the help of the community it happened,” she marvels. About 180 people attended that premiere.

Family friend Mary Lou Kaukeano is amazed at what Reese has done. “It was awesome. The theater was filled with everyone: her classmates, younger children, adults; everybody loved it, because it was a community effort,” shares Kaukeano, who herself bought 100 shirts for the cast, crew, and as audience prizes.

Reese says she’s surprised by the success that’s followed. Besides selling out the movie theater, “What else I didn’t expect is talking with you today. This is truly amazing. And the theater is showing it a second time,” she tells me.

That second showing is October 26 at 6:30 and 7:45 p.m. It’s free.

And there’s more. “One of my other films that I made a few months ago got into the Hawaii International Film Festival. I was very happy about that. It’s just amazing how things evolve if you work hard, if you meet people- it’s so important,” she says. (That other film is showing on Nov. 5 in the Student Showcase.)

Kaukeano says, “This is something I’ve never seen from a youth on the island. I just want to support her in any way I can.”

From the local cast and crew, to the local supporters – it’s a 100% Lana’i community effort. And all because Lucie took a chance. So to anyone else listening, her advice is to “take action and do it. It’s amazing what can happen. This film happened. The whole community is part of it. It’s amazing and I’m so grateful.”

She could say – she’s hit a home run with First Base.

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