This blog is about Hawaii's status as an independent country under prolonged illegal occupation by the United States, and the history, culture, law & politics of the islands.

By Scott Crawford, Hana, Maui


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Native Hawaiian Filmmaker Awarded Prestigious Fellowship

From Indian Country Today

Native Hawaiian Filmmaker Awarded Prestigious Fellowship


In January, it was announced that Native Hawaiian Ciara Leina’ala Lacy (Kanaka Maoli) became the first recipient of the Merata Mita Fellowship from the Sundance Institute. Named in honor of late Maori filmmaker Merata Mita, the award was created as a way of continuing her legacy by helping indigenous filmmakers. According to the Sundance Institute, the fellowship provides financial support, access to strategic and creative services and mentorship opportunities.

Lacy’s first feature film, Out of State,follows the story of a group of Native Hawaiian prisoners who, after being moved to Saguaro Correctional Center in Arizona, began practicing hula to feel closer to home and connect with their culture. The fellowship will help Lacy and her creative team finish the editing process and complete post-production.

“It’s not a cheap pursuit,” she says. “As an independent filmmaker, my family and I have invested heavily to make sure this project sees completion.”



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