Synopsis/How I Got Involved/ Why I'm Doing This Movie
Everyone knows Hawaii is the honeymooner’s land, but not everyone knows it is a methamphetamine inflicted state struggling to release itself from this poison that is destroying families everyday. Sonny Westbrook, cast member of the reality series "Dog and Beth On the Hunt“ and "Dog the Bounty Hunter" and boxing coach, runs The Kona Boxing Club, in Kona, Hawaii on The Big Island. As “father" of Kona, Sonny offers refuge to a group of 15 young people, some having fought a drug and street fighting battle. Treating his fighters like his own kids, he takes them off the streets, teaches them respect, while giving advice and direction and providing them with something invaluable: a brotherhood. Boxing after all is the original sport of the underdog. It is the opportunity to transform from a survivor to a warrior. A Boxing ‘Ohana is the story of Sonny and his warriors.
HOW I GOT INVOLVED IN THIS PROJECT:
I did not go looking for a project, instead this project found me. While vacationing in Hawaii in March 2009 I recognized Sonny Westbrook as boxing coach and cast member of the television reality series, “Dog the Bounty Hunter". I have always been very good with remembering faces and up to that point, had only seen Sonny on 2 episodes of the show. I introduced myself and as soon as we started talking I sensed a genuine kindness and a true salt-of-the-earth aura about him. In keeping in touch over the next few months I began learning more about what he does for the kids at his boxing gym, The Kona Boxing Club in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii and felt his story would make a great documentary. Not everyone is aware of the drug issue, in particular methamphetamine that is present in Hawaii and how it is destroying families daily. The idea grew to tell the story of how one man has reached out to so many young people who are in trouble and through his mentorship and the sport of boxing, has become a positive influence and not only a way out for these kids but also provides a safe haven for new goals to be made and reached.
WHY I’M DOING THIS MOVIE:
The film has the potential to inspire youth by raising curiosity in the world of neighborhood boxing gyms while educating individuals about what the mentor figure and sport itself brings to at-risk youth. Some of my goals are to have the film screened at festivals, shown on cable, home video and the Internet. It is my hope for the film to be screened as an educational outreach tool for in- school and after- school programs, community organizations, drug rehab programs and/or juvenile halls.