George Tahara was a legendary filmmaker in the state of Hawaii
Mr. Tahara is best known for his "Legends of Hawaii" film series
1930s – Began learning the legends of Hawaii from one of King David Kalakaua's retainers, Kumu Hula Mary Pukui. He laughed when he recalled that he would sit quietly and respectfully listening as she told him a tale, then he would quickly race outside and write down everything she had said before he could forget it.
1941 – Began filming the "Legends of Hawaii" films. He found his actors, usually boys between ages 10 and 17, as he travelled throughout the islands. With parent's permission, he would take the actors to the filming location. Each film had a narrative of the legend, with the actors showing the story.
1960 – "Kioni's Poi Pounder" was shown at the New York World's Fair. The film tells the legend behind the formation of the island called Chinaman's Hat. Shortly after, libraries across the nation asked for Mr. Tahara's films.
1970 – The "Legends of Hawaii" films ran regularly on PBS as part of educational programming by the Department of Education. They were shown to students in elementary schools at that time.
1971 – Revised his previous promotional film about University of Hawaii's East-West Center. This "period piece" features narration by the late James MacArthur, who is also known as Danno on the original Hawaii 5-0 television show.
2005 – Commissioned the Hawaiian Legends films to be published as the "Hawaiian Legends Photo Book", including the "Boyhood of Kamehameha". Chose each film to be converted to photos and culled the narratives to retain each story in a few short pages.
2006 – Received Lifetime Achievement Award from the Island Independent Film Festival.
Attending the ceremony were Hawaiian Legend actors Elani, Cippy and Rongo, who shared their stories of working with George Tahara and the Hawaiian Legends films when they were children
2014 – Screening of 'Iolani Palace: Hawaii's Past Today (1968) and 'Iolani Palace Restoration (circa 1970) at the Hawaii International Film Festival. See a preview of the screening.
2018 – Resting at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, in Honolulu, Hawaii
"In any other country, if you made 200-plus films, you'd be a household name. But (Tahara) is not, and he should be. He's a legendary filmmaker."
— filmmaker Christopher Kahunahana