Private Project

Fire and Sand

On May 3, 2018 Kilauea erupted. Over the following three months, hundreds of earthquakes shook the Island of Hawai`i as Pele, Hawaiian goddess of the volcano consumed homes, businesses and treasured landmarks in the district of lower Puna— displacing thousands of people.

This award-winning film by a psychologist and first-time filmmaker documents community mobilization and healing during the 2018 Kilauea eruption. Through exploration of the firsthand experiences of people affected and the living mythology of Pele, Fire and Sand reveals inner and outer landscapes of traumatic loss, hope, and new beginnings.

Local kumus (teachers), mental health professionals, and evacuees are featured in the documentary that highlights resiliency in the Hawaiian culture and the use of mobile Sandplay Therapy in disaster relief and recovery.

With over 14 million people displaced every year due to natural disasters, an inside look at one community’s actions offers potential insights for those responding to catastrophic events in our global community.

Brief description:
Natural disasters including volcanic eruptions displace millions of people annually. Fire and Sand examines community trauma and resilience, the use of mobile Sandplay Therapy in disaster relief and the living mythology of Pele, Hawaiian goddess of the volcano during the 2018 Kilauea eruption in Hawai`i.

  • Lorraine R. Freedle, PhD
    Director
  • Sarah Echsner
    Director
    A Horse Named Rio
  • Lorraine R. Freedle, PhD
    Writer
  • Lorraine R. Freedle, PhD
    Producer
  • Sarah Echsner
    Producer
  • Kumu Hula Ryan McCormack
    Key Cast
  • Lorraine R. Freedle, PhD
    Key Cast
  • Sherry Renmu Shepherd, PhD
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Genres:
    documentary, psychology, culture, natural disaster, Humanitarian, social consciousness
  • Runtime:
    37 minutes 9 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    December 4, 2018
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    Yes
  • Student Project:
    No
  • Hawaii Psychological Association 2018 Annual Convention
    Honolulu, HI
    United States
    October 26, 2018
    Professional Preview
  • Private Premiere @ Hilo Palace Theater
    Hilo, HI
    United States
    December 4, 2018
    Local Screening
  • Santa Fe Film Festival
    Santa Fe, NM
    United States
    February 17, 2019
    North American Premiere
    Official Selection & Winner: 2019 Humanitarian & Social Justice Award
  • Made in Hawaii Film Festival
    Hilo, HI
    United States
    June 1, 2019
    Official Selection
  • Honolulu Film Awards
    Honolulu, HI
    United States
    May 5, 2019
    Official Selection & Winner: 2019 Best Hawaii Film Award
Director Biography - Lorraine R. Freedle, PhD, Sarah Echsner

Lorraine R. Freedle, Ph.D., ABPdN, CST-T is a pediatric neuropsychologist and international sandplay therapy teacher (STA/ISST). She is the Clinical Director of Pacific Quest, a holistic outdoor behavioral health program in Hilo, Hawai'i where she also maintains a private practice, Black Sand Neuropsychological Services. She is on faculty at the Trauma Research Foundation's Traumatic Stress Studies Certificate Program and Southwestern College in Santa Fe, NM. Dr. Freedle has numerous publications, and is an award-winning researcher for her studies of sandplay therapy with adults with traumatic brain injury and youth with co-occurring trauma and addiction. She currently serves as President of the Sandplay Therapists of America and is the Research Editor for the Journal of Sandplay Therapy.

Sarah Echsner is a filmmaker, musician, and artist from Longmont, Colorado. She is drawn to the art of storytelling through film for its ability to spread compassion, healing, and knowledge. Sarah's journey with documentary film began in 2014 when she studied and worked with NW Documentary, a non-profit in Portland, Oregon. In 2018, Sarah established Little Feather Films LLC and created her first two documentaries: "A Horse Named Rio" (2018) and "Fire and Sand" (2018)

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