Local Film About Outrigger Paddling Legend, Joseph “Nappy” Napoleon, to Receive Honolulu Film Award’s Silver Lei Award

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“I Just Love to Paddle” is the only documentary film in the Action Sports Film Category to receive the prestigious Silver Lei Award, part of the Honolulu Film Awards held at the world-famous Sarento’s Top of the “I” located at the Ilikai Hotel & Suites.

“I Just Love to Paddle” is the story of Joseph “Nappy” Napoleon, a man who lives, loves, practices, teaches and perpetuates an ancient tradition in the contemporary world. There are many stories of heroes long gone, but this is a story about someone who proves to be a source of vast knowledge and a connection to the ancient Hawaiian traditions. Nappy is a modern day example of an ancient Hawaiian paradigm: superb ocean judgment, wisdom about the hearts of others, total commitment to his life calling, and an unparalleled decency of character.


The story focuses on an expedition in July 2008, when Napoleon, 67 years old, with five paddling companions, attempt to cross nine Hawaiian channels in six consecutive days, each in a one-man outrigger canoe, a total of almost 240 miles.

In a time when our pop icons exhibit ambitious self-promotion, glitz and sex appeal, Uncle Nappy – as he is affectionately known – is a humble hero. Humorously self-effacing, he radiates an inner calm, patience, and infectious confidence. He possesses an extraordinary bond with nature and a magical relationship with the ocean. There are few paddlers in the world that can match the experience and knowledge of Nappy Napoleon. If there were degrees in paddling, he has the highest doctorate.

Nappy Napoleon, Marta Czajkowska, producer and director, and the film’s music composer, George Quirin will be attending the gala ceremony on May 5th.

The Honolulu Film Awards is a crossroads of the world, bridging the gap between East and West and held annually on the beautiful island of Oahu, Hawaii.  Surrounded by the sparkling Pacific and spectacular scenery, the Honolulu Film Awards recognizes outstanding achievement in filmmaking from around the world. Their mission is to recognize and celebrate the finest independent cinema the world has to offer while helping to advance the careers of promising filmmakers by providing a platform through which their talents can be recognized.