On her days off of work, Chanel (Taiana Tully) finds herself at the beach. Her only source of comfort is between the waves and the sand. While surfing helps mend the emotional wounds of her parent’s death, Chanel still struggles to connect with her drug-addicted brother, Caleb (a powerful performance by Randall Galius).
Then one day, Caleb is injured in a hit-and-run accident. While convalescing in the hospital, Chanel vows to help her brother heal his physical injuries and his drug problem. Memories of their parent’s surface while they are together and conversations about surfing binds them as one family. But while mending their broken relationship, another problem arises that challenges Caleb’s already broken spirit. WATER LIKE FIRE is a tale about the courage to walk through fire until you find peace.
Director Mitchel Viernes crafts a story about grief and trauma, but also redemption in a way that is unique to Hawai‘i, surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and the almost zen-like action of surfing and being submerged in the healing powers of said ocean. As the title suggests, there is an antithesis to this healing, as life is ultimately fleeting, which these two siblings will soon realize in their bifurcated paths. Ultimately, in life, it’s what you make of it. — Anderson Le
Director: Mitchel Viernes
Writer: Josiah Simpson, Mitchel Viernes
Producer: Mitchel Viernes
Executive Producer: Tom Schneider, Patricia Viernes
Director of Photography: Mitchel Viernes
Editor: Mitchel Viernes
Production Designer: Mitchel Viernes
Composer: Gian Marco Castro
Sound Designer: Mitchel Viernes
Cast: Taiana Tully, Randall Galius Jr., Angie Anderson, Kimo Kahoano
Co-presented with Community Partners: Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (CAPE)