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  • Hula Girls is an award-winning Japanese film, directed by Sang-il Lee and co-written by Lee and Daisuke Habara, and first released across Japanese theaters on September 23, 2006. Starring Yū Aoi, Yasuko Matsuyuki, Etsushi Toyokawa, Shizuyo Yamazaki, Ittoku Kishibe, Eri Tokunaga, Yoko Ikezu and Sumiko Fuji, it is based on the real-life event of how a group of enthusiastic girls take on hula dancing to save their small mining village, Iwaki, helping the formation of Joban Hawaiian Center, which was later to become one of Japan's most popular theme parks. It received its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. Hula Girls was critically acclaimed upon release in Japan and nominated for a total of 12 awards at the 2007 Japan Academy Awards, going on to win five major awards, including that of best film, best director, best screenplay, best supporting actress, and most popular film. It also won two major awards at the 80th Kinema Junpo awards, including that of best film and best supporting actress. Since its release in Japan, the film has been shown across theaters and film festivals worldwide.

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