The precious lychee



It’s a bit unusual even on a independent film when the cast and crew start eating the main prop. But no one on Lychee Thieves, the indie written and directed by director Katherine Man #2Hawaii born and raised Kathleen Man (right), seemed to mind since the oh-so-ripe lychees that were being picked for two days of filming at a cozy Kaneohe home would have just gone to waste after their 15 minutes of fame. So there was Man, co producer Matt Locey, DP Anne Misawa (below left), camera operator Vince Lucero and just about every one else including lead actor Pomai Brown munching on the coveted fruit between scenes…

The 30-minute Lychee Thieves centers on four local characters – Hawaiian, Chinese, Japanese, and Caucasian – who clash over a miraculously bountiful lychee tree. The story takes place from a Friday to Monday. Filming is eight days ending Saturday…

Anne M views a monitor

Lychee Thieves was inspired by a newspaper article about two locals who robbed a Big Island lychee farm. The characters of Arnie and Ethel grow paranoid and territorial when Keoki, a Hawaiian man who picks fruit between jobs, offers to harvest the lychee growing in their yard. Driven by selfish impulses, Arnie fiercely defends the tree from Keoki (Pomai Brown) and their neighbor, Mrs. Chun (Blossom Lam Hoffman) by arranging for professional pickers to strip the tree of its fruit as quickly as possible, no matter what the consequences. It falls on Keoki’s shoulders to break a cycle of long standing fears that governs our daily lives…

Camera operator Vince Lucero (below)

Cam Op tight

clapboard in scene #1

Actors Pomai Brown and Blossom Lam Hoffman film a Lychee Thieves scene

The filming has been done primarily on weekends when most of he crew is available..Man, who graduated from Punahou before heading to Yale, now teaches film at Vassar College. This is her first movie shot in Hawaii…Lychee Thieves’ budget is “next to nothing,” she said. Man said getting a top notch crew “is miraculous” since she knows so few crew in Hawaii. But contacting and meeting production vets like Angie Laprete, producer on Lychee opened doors to get the crew she wanted…

Man and Misawa watch the filming on a monitor

Director K Man likes what she sees. DP Ann Misawa at left


Stage blood #1


Make up and hair artist Tania Kahale applies fake blood


L-R: Happy execs producer Angie Laprete and director/screenwriter Kathleen Man

Lychee Thieves is one of three stories to be used in a feature film by Man. The other segments were shot in Italy and New York City…

Crew logo #2

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