Cast & Crew Season I


Anne Misawa

Cinematographer, Director and ANNE MISAWA’s directorial credits include Waking Mele, (Sundance Film Festival), Eden’s Curve, and the feature length documentary, State Of Aloha. Her work as cinematographer includes the stunning Margarita with a Straw and Treeless Mountain, nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Cinematography. 


Laurie Sumiye


Heather Haunani Giugni

Prolific Native Hawaiian producer HEATHER HAUNANI GIUGNI recounts her start in 1980’s male-dominated world of news, “If you were female and wanted to do something, you were ridiculed!” She left news to start the first woman-owned production company in Hawai‘i. She then developed the first television show produced by and about Native Hawaiians. She won a National Emmy for her nationally syndicated food and travel series for PBS, Family Ingredients and founded ‘Ulu’ulu, the official moving image archive for Hawai‘i.


Shirley Thompson


Ciara Lacy

Director CIARA LACY is an emerging Native Hawaiian film director and experienced producer whose films reflect her ethos: community-oriented and place-based. Her first feature Out of State (PBS, 2019) is a riveting look inside a for-profit Arizona prison which holds incarcerated Native Hawaiian men who practice hula and traditional chant behind prison walls. 


Heather H. Giugni


Jeannette Paulson Hereniko

JEANETTE PAULSON HERENIKO is a film producer who transformed the landscape for Hawai‘i-based filmmakers when she founded the Hawai‘i International Film Festival in 1981. She produced The Land Has Eyes, the first feature film shot in Fiji, with filmmaking partner and spouse Vilsoni Hereniko. She is producing their second feature Until the Dolphin Flies and writing a screenplay based on her autobiographical one-woman play, When Strangers Meet.


Vera Zambonelli


Connie M. Florez

As a busy producer, line producer and location manager CONNIE FLOREZ works on feature films, shorts, as well as episodic and reality television. An early advocate for queer film in the Islands, she organized and curated the Honolulu LGBT Film Festival. She produced Kumu Hina a nationally broadcast documentary featuring transgender teacher and native Hawaiian activist Hinaleimoana Kalu Wong.


Leah Kihara


Victoria Keith

It’s 1981 on Oahu’s Sand Island and camerawoman VICTORIA KEITH fearlessly films as Honolulu police evict Hawaiian activists by force and residents burn down their homes in protest. Sand Island Story became a seminal film of the Hawaiian Renaissance. The first woman hired as a news photographer in Hawai‘i, Keith produced and directed dozens of films highlighting Hawaiian culture, and the environmental and sustainability challenges of living on islands.


Shirley Thompson

Cast & Crew Season II

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Erin Lau

Writer and director Erin Lau creates emotional narrative films about families and relationships featuring strong women protagonists, including The Moon and the Night and Empty Spaces. In her 20’s, she is already a working director in Los Angeles with a clear sense of her own voice, her creative process and a deep understanding of why she wants to tell stories based on her own Hawaiian culture and community.


Renea Veneri-Stewart

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Lisette Flanary

Independent filmmaker and hula dancer Lisette Marie Flannary creates documentary films that celebrate a modern renaissance of hula and Hawaiian culture. Her film American Aloha: Hula Beyond Hawai’i aired on the critically acclaimed POV series. Nā Kamalei: The Men of Hula, features legendary Hawaiian master hula teacher and entertainer, Robert Cazimero. She is also passionate about mentoring the next generation of filmmakers through her work as a professor of film at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.


Taylour Chang

Laura Margulies

Animator Laura Margulies creates by hand using oil paints, watercolors and gouache to create lush moving paintings in motion. From her commissioned works for Sundance and PBS to her personal films like Rolling Down Like Pele, many of her animations are inspired by her work as a dancer and choreographer and her love of dance and music.


Vera Zambonelli

Marlene Booth

Director/producer Marlene Booth had a thirty year filmmaking career in Cambridge, MA before relocating to Honolulu in 2000 and turning her eye toward Hawai‘i stories. Her films KŪ KANAKA: STAND TALL and PIDGIN THE VOICE OF HAWAI‘I recount Hawai‘i history and culture through powerful character driven narratives. PIDGIN won the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the 2009 Hawai‘i International Film Festival. She teaches film at the Academy for Creative Media at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.


Kimberlee Bassford

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Lisa Altieri

Editor and producer Lisa Altieri is best known for the documentary features she has edited about Pacific Islander culture and history including Skin Stories, Papa Mau and Under a Jarvis Moon. Undaunted by the hundreds of hours of raw footage and thousands of images she must consider and shape into a compelling hour long film, she connects deeply to the Hawaiian stories she edits through the stories of her own family.  


Robin Lung

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Myrna Kamae

For half a century Myrna Kamae & Eddie Kamae were partners in life, music and film. Myrna produced and Eddie directed ten films about Hawaiian music, language and culture, beginning with Li‘a Legacy of a Hawaiian Man in 1988. They documented renowned Hawaiian kumus (teachers) and kupuna (elders) to preserve their knowledge for future generations. Their music driven films include songs and performances of celebrated Hawaiian musicians and composers, including Eddie’s band, the Sons of Hawai‘i. 


Shirley Thompson

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