Edgy Lee & Oscar

Rasa Fournier
Wednesday - October 10, 2007
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Edgy Lee & Oscar
Edgy Lee & Oscar

Edgy Lee’s innovation in documenting compelling Hawaiian issues will be thoroughly put to use in her latest enterprise. In May, Lee embarked on a venture with Pacific Network Television that will deliver nine Net-based channels of Hawaii-themed programming to computers around the globe.

“It’s like a website and a television network - it’s like all the Discovery channels put together,” says Lee, conveying the enormity of the project. “It’s travel, the arts and culture, science, and it’s print as well - it’s a combination of all media. There is nothing like this anywhere, and we started it in Hawaii.”

As the founder, Lee is devoted fully to the project, and expects to have it broadcasting in beta test mode by the end of this year, and to be up and running in 2008. Much of the programming will be original, and will include miniseries and films, as well as books and radio shows that have been translated into video.

“It’s really exciting,” exclaims Lee, who appeared on MidWeek‘s cover in October 1998. “It’s providing a wholly new platform for artists and businesses to reflect and promote their work. It’s Hawaii-centric, so it reflects Native Hawaiian current events, governance, politics, arts and culture, sports, education, health, calendars, news. And then it overflows into if you are living in Hawaii, if you are interested in visiting Hawaii or if you are a student away from home or you’re all the way in Paris, France, and you’re just a Hawaii-phile, it’s going to appeal to you - so that’s pretty much everybody in the world.”

Inspiration for the project was born from a number of meetings with major networks who liked the material Lee was promoting, but of course, time on the stations is limited. Or they expressed interest in the series, but always wanted to own it. Lee is passionate about the Hawaii roots of the project.

“This is something for artists who reside here and want to continue to do work from Hawaii,” she explains. Yet the audience is broad: “(The project) is called ‘Native Hawaiian portal to the world,‘where it’s not exclusively Native Hawaiian (not just for the Native Hawaiian population nor solely in the Hawaiian language), but its focus is to reach all Native Hawaiians living all over the world and to really promote and highlight everything Hawaii-centric.”

Pacific Network’s partnership with Time Warner Telecom enables interaction with TWT’s 75 regional U.S. offices in areas well-populated by Hawaii expats, such as the Bay Area, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Pacific Network also will deliver media to classrooms, regarding topics like health and substance abuse. Lee, after all, is responsible for the highly acclaimed documentaries Life or Meth and ICE - Hawaii’s Crystal Meth Epidemic. She also made the feature Papakolea - A Story of Hawaiian Land, which is significant because, as she describes in her own words, “I live in Makiki Heights, proud to say, overlooking Papakolea.”


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